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-   -   Chevy Volt battery pack for off grid solar? (

Sully01 06-23-17 02:38 PM

So is this still in production? I thought they were shutting the production of the volts down for whatever various reasons.

randen 06-23-17 04:19 PM


Now that you have some experience with the batteries with solar. What would your dream system be?? How many batteries, How much solar??


creeky 06-23-17 06:43 PM

easy answer.

The next one. smile.

The only thing about this lithium system that isn't worked out is the charger. We get those two months nov/dec of heavy cloud here. The short days don't help. Yet January is fine. Maybe with global climate change we'll get sunny novembers thru Christmas. Who knows.

So last year I did go until Dec 10 (I left the farm traveling on the 10th, wasn't back until March) without charging, but there were some mighty frugal days with 5 day stretches of that dark cloud.

All that said.

This year I will reduce the amount of storage. 12kw is too much. My low was 43.5. From 48. Even that was an anomaly. Most of the time overnight lows were in the 46s. Occasionally 45s (dishwasher night). Just seems silly to have storage you don't use.

As this year I think I will stay at the farm until just after Christmas. I am adding a charger. I could add a simple 48v 1500w Iota or similar. But I've gotten a rather nice deal on a Schneider SW 4048. So I'm going to give it a go.

I am also going to reduce my battery to 9kw. For discretionary purposes I won't go into detail as why.

I will also add a battery heater. Rebuild the battery box.

But the best solar system is the one that is working. 2kws. A good solar controller. Morningstar in the house! A reliable inverter. And a lithium battery pack. All I need.

Now. If I were to add an electric truck say. Or electrify the ol' Massey 30. Or, and I'm considering this. Put an ashp in the studio.

Hmm. Maybe I should be hanging onto that extra 12kw after all.

creeky 08-03-17 03:39 PM

Well. Up to Volt pack number 5.

And just bought my first Nissan Leaf pack. A 2015 with 11k km on it. Sheesh. Like brand new. Can't wait to open 'er up.

bronco_ed 08-21-17 08:39 PM


A novice here...

I have been around the web looking for info on the chevy volt battery and how it can be used for solar applications. and... I have seen you on several forums.

Please excuse my comment if this has already been explored. I am sure I have not found every thread on the topic yet. ;)

The last video I seen on youtube regarding the chevy volt battery packs had shown that a heater is used on the setup to keep the batteries from freezing and... runs off of pack voltage. If this is the case it may be possible that the freezing problem can be solved by simply utilizing the included pack heater and keeping fluid in the heating/cooling system in the battery itself?

The heater is discussed around the 4:30 mark in the video. I am not sure if I would be allowed to link the video. Easily found on youtube.
"How to find, buy, and use the Chevy Volt battery in a DIY EV"

Again I apologize if this has been discussed. Just thinking it could be possibly be a valuable piece of info.

This also a good time to thank you for all of the information that you have put out on the project.


creeky 08-22-17 12:02 PM

I'll have a look at that. Keep in mind I'm not doing an EV build. I'm using the modules for SESS (solar energy storage system)

A few folks have looked at the heater. It was designed to operate at very high voltage. So once you break down your pack its not that useful.

Those who have tried to keep the fluid based heating cooling have had very poor luck. Leaks abound.

Air based heating and cooling have no leaks. And have proved quite simple to use. Just do nothing. Smile. The original ESS built by Sandia in 2012 opted for air based heating and cooling. When you don't have the heavy demands of vehicle use you don't need the robust temp management.

Great link tho. Thx.

bronco_ed 08-22-17 01:05 PM

I wanted to mention it... Since you already have it in the purchase of the volt battery pack.

Yes I am aware of your system... I have been reading all of your information in an attempt to to put together one myself. ;)



creeky 08-24-17 09:57 PM

Just bought pack #6. Sigh. 2015.

Ed. Good luck with your build. Its time well spent. and a lot of fun.

bronco_ed 08-25-17 09:06 AM

Thanks, I have your site "bookmarked" and will support as I move forward when I can. I have directed a few folks to your site.

creeky 09-02-17 10:27 AM

I am starting to find the parts necessary to build more robust Volt SESS packs. Starting with custom wiring harnesses to replace the Volt orange plug.

The advantage of the custom harness is that it ties all the cells together into 12 parallel strings. The breakout PCB allows "cell balancers" to be wired in. I will have more on this later. The cell monitors are sitting on my work table. Huzzah.

(If anyone needs the old style Volt plugs I have a bunch available now. Still useful. You can clip the output head off and rewire. Or use as is to plug a monitor into).

One small step for Volt SESS.

First pack to receive the harness.

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