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Discussion Starter #1
You seen the commercials? Sounds great, right? - a solar-powered ventilator system that keeps the car from becoming an oven when it's parked, and doesn't suck anything from the battery.

The option costs $3600.

Ouch. :-(
 

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How bout solar powered headlights? didn't american cars use to have some kind of auto vent system way back when? It was a little fan on a sun visor with a solar panel on it, so you left, flipped the visor into the window so it was towards the sun, and then it spun the fan and blew air from the window around the cabin. I think you can also buy something similar for about $20... $3600 is a little overpriced...
 

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How bout solar powered headlights? didn't american cars use to have some kind of auto vent system way back when? It was a little fan on a sun visor with a solar panel on it, so you left, flipped the visor into the window so it was towards the sun, and then it spun the fan and blew air from the window around the cabin. I think you can also buy something similar for about $20... $3600 is a little overpriced...
I do love gadgets, but about all the $20 gadget could do was spin the fan blade so you could say "ooh! see? It's working." You've got to assume that the overpriced one has much larger solar panels and enough air flow to actually be effective.

BTW, my first "air conditioner" was a big metal housing about a foot in diameter and two feet long that hung on the outside of the window. A scoop on the front of the tube funneled ram air through a rotating screen saturated with water so that evaporation cooled the air and blew it in the window on your face. You had to pull a cord every minute or so to spin the screen and get it wet again. Although it didn't use any electricity, it wasn't all that effective either. On the other hand, it's all we had and by golly, we liked it.
 

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Well, my E has a passive cooling system. It's called the rear sunroof. Pop it up and viola, ventilation. Came standard on the pre-09 AWD.

That is a really expensive option for a car. I wonder if the solar panels can help charge the batteries when not used for cooling the interior?
 

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Plenty of aftermarket gadget that do the same thing.

for example:
http://www.x-tremegeek.com/templates/SearchDetail.asp?productID=11491

Besides... I think the E is set up nicely for a mod. One could replace the sunroof and put a solar panel/exhaust fan set-up. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the side vents open all the time as long as you don't manually close them??? This would provide the fresh air source would it not?


Sounds like a mod challenge is in order.;-)
 

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I checked the Toyota website, the solar vents come with the navigation system. Easy way to bundle up some packages and jack up the price.
 

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perhaps the navigation system will lead you to a shady spot to park in.:rolleyes:
 

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Now only if it would repark the car in the shade as the day progressed.
 

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Now wait a sec, people. It's solar powered so you should park in the brightest Sun you can find.
 

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Solar stuff in small effects has never worked that well anyway.
I swear by my solar battery charger/topper offer.
Last time I deployed for 6 months I put one on my Si's battery.
When I got back it cranked up like I had just shut it off the day before.
And that's WITH an aftermarket alarm armed and a couple of LEDs blinking like crazy.
 

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From what i've heard.... The $3600.00 is for the "solar package" and includes photochromatic windows. I suspect thats the majority of the $$$ Don't quote me though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Actually, I think the largest portion of the cost is the glass roof that protects the cells. Since the glass has to be somewhat structural and then subject to the usual issues with rooftop glass, I suspect it's fabulously expensive to produce.
 

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From what i've heard.... The $3600.00 is for the "solar package" and includes photochromatic windows. I suspect thats the majority of the $$$ Don't quote me though.
Ooooh! Now what I'd like are electrochromatic windows. We had a limo come through once that had em - some sort of plastic film layered between the outer glass and the lexan inside. You could flip a switch and go between tinted windows and practically opaque.

Come to think of it, I've seen some welder's masks down at the tool store that used this. A couple other fun uses come to mind too.
 

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Have those windows connected to the door lock so when you park and lock your car the windows become opaque. That would really help with keeping the burglars out. Would hate for a window to accidentally get switched while driving though.;-)
 

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I can't say who it belonged to but suffice to say that enough money was spent to make sure nothing happened by accident. I wasn't even allowed in the car to oogle at the features without somebody watching me.

I've seen the same kind of thing being done to office windows now on a TV program so it must be fairly affordable on a large scale.
 

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Electrochromatic windows, they dont work so well in cold temps, so half the year they would prove utterly useless to me. The fan running in the winter would just mean that the car wouldn't retain thermal energy from a sunny day and be at least a LITTLE warmer. Lastly, I agree, it should switch over and charge the batteries so you can run the vehicle without the engine...

It's still a car similarly named for something that is considered a side effect of taking levitra...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I will agree with a need to "charge battery" while it's sitting there in the parking lot doing nothing, esp. on sunny days.

I couldn't do without A/C this morning in the HCH, and noticed on getting to work that the battery was at half of what it is normally at the end of the same trip. The end result is that the deficiency will have to be compensated by "forced recharge", an aggravating mode that sucks gas when the computer decides the battery is too low. If it were to magically top-off while otherwise sitting, that would be a good thing.
 
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