Mobile Solar Charger for Nissan Leaf Using Jackery 1500

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
solar leaf 1.jpg

Thanks to the Jackery, this is a really simple system, but I have one major problem: if the Jackery gets fully discharged, I have to manually restart the Jackery's 110v inverter after the Jackery recharges in the sun. So I have to go out to the car and push a button on the front of the Jackery at least one time per day. Any ideas so that my Leaf will automatically recharge if I leave town for a few days?
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Arudino.

Monitor Jackery battery voltage.

If voltage is < X, open a relay disconnecting the car from the jackery. Once voltage is > Y, close relay and resume charging.

Lots of online tutorials for monitoring voltages and controlling relays.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
I don't want to hack into the Jackery if I can avoid it.
The 12v output of the Jackery is regulated. So I can't monitor the battery voltage without opening up the box which I guess would void the warranty.
Do you think maybe that even the regulated 12v output might drop measurably as the state of charge drops? I can check this easily, so I'll report back. Edit: Report: If I cycle 1300 watts out of the inverter receptacle, the 12VDC stays rock solid at 13.09 volts whether the inverter is on or off. (The Jackery battery is at 93% SOC in this photo)
 

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snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Doubt it. Regulators may respond to abrupt changes in input voltage, but they will seek their regulated voltage as the input voltage stabilizes. Slow changes in voltage, as I expect you're seeing, would not show up on the regulated 12V.

You could install a manual timer that turns charging on and off at intervals that prevents the Jackery from getting depleted.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
I thought of that but the Jackery will still deplete 100% on a cloudy day.
Denver is pretty sunny all summer, but winter would be difficult.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
A timer cycling on and off might produce that transient in the regulated output that you mentioned above. Combined with another timer or time-delay relay, maybe that could work.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
This photo shows that the DC output is still 13.10 with the battery at 53% SOC
 

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macheung

Solar Enthusiast
Is there wifi coverage? If so, web cam to see jackery status and smart plug to turn outlet the charger is connected to off and on.
 

macheung

Solar Enthusiast
Also, you may want to set the charge current to something smaller to keep pace with solar. I know it can be done on a Tesla but not sure about this car.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
Good ideas. The Jackery display normally shuts off about a minute after pushing one of the buttons, but I think it comes back on when the 110VAC load is cycled on. Unfortunately if the charge percentage is at zero, cycling the load does nothing because the inverter won't come on at that point.
I've never seen an adjustment for the Leaf charging current, but that is worth the research. There is an app called Leaf Spy that communicates via the OBD port.

In the meantime, I did open up the Jackery and found an XT60 connector that seems to be connected directly to the battery. We are seeing a voltage that varies between 33VDC and 41.1 depending on the charge percentage shown on the display.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
We designed a circuit that could control the charging of the Leaf based on the voltage level of the internal battery where we tapped in.
BUT THEN we discovered that the parasitic power draw of the Jackery's internal inverter is too significant to ignore. We had planned to just leave the inverter on all the time. In addition to that problem, we also discovered that if no 110VAC power is drawn for about 4 hours, the inverter shuts itself off.

So now the only thing I can think of is a programmable solenoid plunger that can hit the "inverter on" button a few times per sunny day.

But a solar generator that can be controlled remotely with wifi or bluetooth would be an easier solution. Are there any? I like Will Prowse's "milk crate" solar generators, I think some of those controllers have communication functions. But I'm not keen on throwing much more money at this project.
 

macheung

Solar Enthusiast
We designed a circuit that could control the charging of the Leaf based on the voltage level of the internal battery where we tapped in.
BUT THEN we discovered that the parasitic power draw of the Jackery's internal inverter is too significant to ignore. We had planned to just leave the inverter on all the time. In addition to that problem, we also discovered that if no 110VAC power is drawn for about 4 hours, the inverter shuts itself off.

So now the only thing I can think of is a programmable solenoid plunger that can hit the "inverter on" button a few times per sunny day.

But a solar generator that can be controlled remotely with wifi or bluetooth would be an easier solution. Are there any? I like Will Prowse's "milk crate" solar generators, I think some of those controllers have communication functions. But I'm not keen on throwing much more money at this project.
What is the parasitic draw of the jackery 1500 or 2000 inverter? If the AC is turned on with no load, what is the power consumption like? The built in display shows 0, but I don’t believe it.
 

Kevin in Denver

Solar Enthusiast
What is the parasitic draw of the jackery 1500 or 2000 inverter? If the AC is turned on with no load, what is the power consumption like? The built in display shows 0, but I don’t believe it.
The no load 110VAC power consumption is by definition zero. That's why the display shows zero. The standby consumption of the inverter has to be calculated by other means. I've observed about a 10% drop in the battery percentage if I leave the inverter on overnight. The inverter turns itself off after a few hours of zero load. I'm not sure how long this period is.
 

macheung

Solar Enthusiast
The no load 110VAC power consumption is by definition zero. That's why the display shows zero. The standby consumption of the inverter has to be calculated by other means. I've observed about a 10% drop in the battery percentage if I leave the inverter on overnight. The inverter turns itself off after a few hours of zero load. I'm not sure how long this period is.
I mean power drain from the battery with inverter on and no load connected to it. Jackery can measure the current out of the battery to computer power consumption upstream of the inverter.

The other Jackery models turn off inverter after 12hrs of <10w power use. So 10% consumption is around 150wh, over 12 hrs would mean 13 watts. For reference, my no name 1000W pure sine inverter takes about 8-10W with no load measured via battery shunt.
 
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