Improved VW solar charger

Batwatch

VW has been shipping their cars to the US with small solar panels inside to keep the batteries from going dead during shipment. Dick Streefland picked one up and added a small monitor circuit to monitor and charge his battery. Batwatch is based on the Atmel ATtiny13V and measures the voltage on two sides of a resister to determine the voltage of the battery while the solar panel is charging the system.

16 thoughts on “Improved VW solar charger

  1. I think this kind of thing would be a good aftermarket kit for hybrid cars. My hybrid has a sun roof, and I thought a perfect place for the panel would be between the interior shade and the glass. The space is about 18″ x 24″, so it’s peak power should be about 50 Watts. (I estimated using this panel http://store.solar-electric.com/ge173wasopaf.html))

  2. This is an awsome hack. I was looking into some of these panels to give away as door prizes for the VW bus festivals I go to.

    clean, simple and well executed.

    Thank you

  3. yay for replacing all the fuel lines right after i bought it! i almost passed out driving that thing 80 miles home with a broken gas cap and a leaky fuel line. ive been told the best thing to do is upgrade to metal aircraft fuel lines, as they dont melt when it gets really hot, althought i havnt done that yet.

  4. #2 – no it doesn’t look like you could use it without the panel. the panel provides the power to the voltage regulator to run the micro. so, you would have to provide a power source for it, and that power source also would be attempting to charge the battery.

  5. i have a better idea lets make hackaday like a proper website and bann all you idiots and then lets go one step further and put some proper hacks on OH MY GOD THEY UNTHINKABUL PROPER HACKS NEVER LOVE THE TROLL

  6. Trouble is, most newer cars won’t allow voltage IN to the 12v outlets. These solar devices do nothing for your battery.

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