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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 12-27-2009, 12:17 PM
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Mech_Man Mech_Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
I think you can get more than 2 D-cells. Anyone else remember that in the 90s there was a Mazda that had air conditioning powered by solar cells? It could keep the car cool on hot days. Something was obviously very wrong with the technology because you don't see it any more - I wonder why.
Sorry but there's not that much energy available in sunlight. I did the math a while back after reading about solar powered cars

1,370 Total energy in sunlight (Watts per Square Meter W/SM)
x 51% Total energy penetrating Earth's atmosphere (assuming zero clouds) (percent)
= 699 Total energy penetrating Earth's atmosphere, assuming zero clouds in W/SM)

x 15% Efficiency of conversion of sunlight energy to eletricity energy (best solar cells)
= 105 Electricity at the Earth's surface (W/SM)

x 2.3 Size of solar cells (in Square Meters, about 5' square)
= 241 Power available (watts)

x 615 (Cost per SM of solar cells (average cell quality)
= $1,415 (Dollars per car additional cost)


Notes:
Per the link below, this would yield an additional 14 kM (8 miles) range per day, but uses the most efficient commercially available solar cells, which would cost more.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../16/c9889.html

To put 240 watts in perspective, most hair dryers and microwaves are about 1,200 watts (though of course, those are intermittent) and

your average house air conditioner is 800 - 1,200 watts. (from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_w...onditioner_use)

Also, car A/Cs are actually more powerful than typical houses as cars have no insulation and a lot of glass. (That's one reason so many add tint to their car windows -- like I did, and it made a huge difference since I chose an IR-opaque film).

also read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_vehicle


Bottom line? To make solar energy economical, you need a VAST area covered, with CHEAP cells, and find a way to store the energy, since you consume in peaks a huge amount more than you can store, so you just have to have storage to take advantage of all the sun you can get.

Even replacing the entire roof of your house, while living in the deep southwest (where three are few clouds), really doesn't pay itself back, unless you are way far away from the grid and you would also have to pay for the cost of running power poles a long way.

Right now it's just not economical except for some very few, very specific examples. The rest are partially funded by advertising or PR funds, not payback by energy saved. (One of the things I do for a living is calculation energy payback savings).
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  #27  
Old 12-27-2009, 07:18 PM
njlou njlou is offline
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I was always impresed with the Mazda sedan(1980's 929??) solar panel sunroof.
It charged the battery and had a simple vent fan/s in the trunk (not refrigeration a/c).
The vent mode went on at a time when the sun was out, the car was warm, and the solar cells were working well. If the vent fan was off you just charged the battery. I recall it was fairly expensive to just run a fan. We have a similar feature without the solar.
BTW - It's amazing how little power you really need for a trickle charge over time.
The truth is that the BMW doesnt charge 100% (~80%) by the generator only so you could let it run for 50 years and only get 80%. The other 20% is from braking and "engine overrun". It's some crazy hi-tech enviro item. It allows you to save ~$.09/yr in gas??

Last edited by njlou; 12-27-2009 at 08:48 PM.
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2009, 05:02 PM
jonjazzblue jonjazzblue is offline
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BMW sells a charger for $75 that can be plugged into the cigarette lighter / power outlet. It is a pain to plug in as you have to leave the window down by an inch, hop out, thread the cable through (passenger side in my case), hop in, plug it in, hop out and plug into the wall. On top of all these gyrations the dang thing does not work on my 545 which holds charge for all of 3 days. My Walmart brand motorcycle trickle charger works better and is easier to connect under the hood.
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2009, 06:39 PM
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NJ wagon driver NJ wagon driver is offline
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I have a 66 Mustang that gets limited use and I use a battery trender to keep it charged. I adapted the harness and soldered on a female headphone jack. I mounted this in the grill. I modified harness for the charger with a matching male end. When stored for the winter, I simply plug the jack into the socket in the grill and keep the battery charged. No reason to open the hood, easy to connect and easy to disconnect when not needed.
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  #30  
Old 12-31-2009, 12:02 PM
jonjazzblue jonjazzblue is offline
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Took my BMW charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter yesterday as it did not work. Looks like BMW already knew that it did not work. The parts guy just replaced it with a charger that has the regular terminal clips. Hopefully this one will work.
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  #31  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:31 PM
HarryHotspur HarryHotspur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesimmons View Post
First picture shows positive eyelet (red) installation under hood. The negative lead (black) is attached to the bracket that secures the brake fluid reservoir to the frame (3rd picture). Any close-by screw or bolt that is secured to the frame will work. I secure the wire and quick disconnect plug to the upper stabilizer bar with velcro (second picture) for easy access.
Thanks, JE. I'll look under my hood tomorrow to see it I've got it sorted out.
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  #32  
Old 01-24-2010, 06:13 AM
Ctortora Ctortora is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06bigbird View Post
Battery is in trunk, right? Put rings on cable bolts. Leave trickle charger with power cord lying in trunk. Pop trunk when running long extension cord. Power saver module in car turns trunk light out after x number of minutes.

Shouldn't something like this work?? Certainly not in public driveway, but it should be ok in your garage.
Absolutely. The manual states "jump start from under the hood. There is no problem installing the battery maintainer in the truck. Place the "O" ring right on the battery terminal bolts, use a flat extension cord and you can close the trunk.
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  #33  
Old 01-24-2010, 08:52 AM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctortora View Post
Absolutely. The manual states "jump start from under the hood. There is no problem installing the battery maintainer in the truck. Place the "O" ring right on the battery terminal bolts, use a flat extension cord and you can close the trunk.
My e60 manual actually states:
Quote:
Charging battery
Only charge the battery in the vehicle via the
terminals in the engine compartment with the
engine switched off. Connections, refer to
Jump starting on page 248.
The reason for this is - connecting the charger directly to the battery bypasses the IBS curcuitry which monitors the charging profile of the battery. If the battery is damaged because the IBS was bypassed, you may be in for an unexpected battery replacement before you otherwise should need one. My advice - RTFM and follow what yours says.
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2010, 09:37 AM
njlou njlou is offline
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If I am not mistaken, the non-US cars need the ign on to activate the lighter socket. When the car is parked/off you just shut off the charger circuit.
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  #35  
Old 02-07-2010, 07:54 AM
Raymond Lee Raymond Lee is offline
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Thanks to you all for reaffirming the battery tender I bought was wise thing to do! When you know, it is nothing but when you don't know, it can be a big deal and lot of headaches.
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  #36  
Old 02-08-2010, 08:28 AM
jonjazzblue jonjazzblue is offline
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RL, it is money well spent. My 545i gets driven 25 miles a day on week days but, it needs to be charged every weekend. It is very disappointing but the performance of the car makes up for it. The dealership has no answers except to say - "drive it more or trickle charge it".
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  #37  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:29 AM
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Mech_Man Mech_Man is offline
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I had an e36 who's battery started to go flat every time I left it parked more than 3 days straight.

It took three trips to two different dealers before one figured out that the problem was the electric fan for the radiator (that is energized when the engine is hot, to keep air moving through the radiator - even after you switch off the car, to help it cool down).

It turned out that the relay that was suppose to shut off this fan had failed, and so the fan ran continuously.

If left only overnight, it wouldn't drain the battery enough to keep the car from cranking and I didn't notice a problem. However, if I left the car for 2+ days, (say over a parked weekend), then the running fan would drain the battery totally.

The only other symptom would have been if I had noticed the fan running when it shouldn't have: after the engine had cooled off, but before the fan had emptied the battery.
I guess the times it had been sitting less than a day, I just jumped in the car, cranked it up and drove off, and didn't notice the fan was running from the day before. And the days it had been left longer, the fan had already run the battery dry and itself was quiet.
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  #38  
Old 02-08-2010, 03:00 PM
Raymond Lee Raymond Lee is offline
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jessimons,
My test trials supports what you have said. I do same thing you do after learning from all you good guys! BMW is just not for anybody. You really have to have love for Bimmer to love it! My wife never drives my car out unless I am sitting next to her. She is scared of any kinds of unpredictable car problems.
I am convinced of marits of having battery tender next to car when parked in garage.
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