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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you check to see if the solar panel is working? The crippled command center tells nothing for me. I may have missed it in the owners manual. Please enlighten me if you have the answer. Thanks!
 

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Karma 2012 said:
How do you check to see if the solar panel is working?
There is a three-part method for this:
(1) get out of the car
(2) look up in the sky
(3) if you can see the sun, the solar panel is working

Just kidding, of course! Actually, the Solar section of the command center is intended to display the current and historical data on amount of energy generated and captured by the rooftop solar panel. You may currently have a static screen showing a "star pattern", fixed on a particular month of the year, which may be the case in some (if not most) cars. I was told this is something being de-bugged in the next software release.

Also, remember that the panel is primarily intended to run the battery's cooling system on a hot day, while also avoiding having the battery run down. So unfortunately, in my view the best test of the panel will be when summer comes and I can park it on hot asphalt at WalMart on a 105 degree day, set the car to cool the cabin (double-click the lock) while also cooling the battery, then come out in an hour and see if the cabin is cool and the battery range has not declined.
 

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The AC (and heating) probably use 2 to 3 kW. The solar panel delivers only 0,12 kW max. So it will not be able to cool the car without help from the battery. For me the solar panel is just symbolic, stressing what this car is all about. We will probably not be seeing it on any future Fisker cars, because it is too expensive (it comes from a German Quantum-subsidiary and will probably be dropped along with Quantum).
 

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Dutch said:
The AC (and heating) probably use 2 to 3 kW. The solar panel delivers only 0,12 kW max. So it will not be able to cool the car without help from the battery. For me the solar panel is just symbolic, stressing what this car is all about. We will probably not be seeing it on any future Fisker cars, because it is too expensive (it comes from a German Quantum-subsidiary and will probably be dropped along with Quantum).
I thought the solar panels only run exhaust fans while the car was parked, not the compressor or other parts of the AC system.

-- Fab.
 

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kabalah70 said:
Fab, that is my understanding too.
If that's the case, it should be possible to tell if the fans are running when you park your car in the direct sun and then turn off the power. That should tell you if the PV cells are actually generating power.

-- Fab.
 

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Fisker said in the Jay Leno interview that future cars would have a sunroof (unclear whether the solar cells would still be there -eg translucent cells)
 

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SoCalGuy said:
Fisker said in the Jay Leno interview that future cars would have a sunroof (unclear whether the solar cells would still be there -eg translucent cells)
Probably sun lamps inside the car powered by the solar cells on the roof. Something along these lines:



They are also taking about adding a wind-powered fan. :D

-- Fab.
 

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Dutch said:
The AC (and heating) probably use 2 to 3 kW. The solar panel delivers only 0,12 kW max.
The Karma Owners manual discusses the solar display in the command center and is available online here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24861328/Fisker_Karma_Owner_Handbook.pdf

The manual (page/section 6.8) says it can supply "half a kwH per day" so they must be assuming 4 - 8 hours of available sun and getting less than the max 0.12 kw rate of generation. It also says it "not only helps recharge the battery but also aids the cabin climate control system". So, my WalMart test would likely still see some battery range decline but only if the "cabin pre-conditioning" stays on for some time. The owner's manual indicates (page/section 5.17) the cabin pre-conditioning is started via a two-second lock from the key fob but it does not say how long it takes nor how long it will stay active.
 

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Just remove the leads while the car is in the sun and stick your tongue on them. Let us know what happens :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kabalah, thank you for checking. I kind of wish all these described features were tested before the release. I believe the multiple delays probably forced them to do a rush job. I know that is not a good excuse, but I truly hope it is not too late for Fisker to repair their reputation. I guess time will tell, and I am still young ;-)
 
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