Best Dressed Cars Contest

Discussion, ideas and thoughts on police vehicles.
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby AHP309 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:42 pm

ewmedicst wrote:If the department had someone in-house, or a local friendly mechanic/tech, they could easily save tons of money on this stuff and re-purpose the funds to other needy areas. Just a thought...


Now that is a great idea.....perhaps Windsor could spend the money putting decals and striping on those unmarked units they use for blocking intersections.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby Pete Broccolo » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:23 am

The article on Vancouver PD's new vehicles, especially the idle-management technology, got me thinking (SHUT UP!) about, "Why do patrol vehicles NOT have built in solar-panel charging systems combined with power-storage cells?" At a minimum, the top panel of the roof light bars could be completely a solar-panel array, and a smaller array could be designed into the top surface of the dashboard. The storage cells could be designed into the trunk area of a sedan or below the floor and / or into the fender sections of the rear cargo area. Such systems could generate enough power to run the roof lights, MWS, radio, etc without the engine even running.

Then again, what the heck do I know?
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby IndictableChaser » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:02 pm

Pete Broccolo wrote:The article on Vancouver PD's new vehicles, especially the idle-management technology, got me thinking (SHUT UP!) about, "Why do patrol vehicles NOT have built in solar-panel charging systems combined with power-storage cells?" At a minimum, the top panel of the roof light bars could be completely a solar-panel array, and a smaller array could be designed into the top surface of the dashboard. The storage cells could be designed into the trunk area of a sedan or below the floor and / or into the fender sections of the rear cargo area. Such systems could generate enough power to run the roof lights, MWS, radio, etc without the engine even running.

Then again, what the heck do I know?


Winter time? Snow and ice, hell I know sometimes I'm too lazy to clear the top bar off. Now imagine the effectiveness of such a unit.
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby GoodWitness » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:47 pm

Interesting idea with the solar arrays and power cells. Of course they'd only work during the day and only if not obscured by snow and ice.

If only there was some way to convert some of the mechanical energy of the car engine into electrical energy and store that energy for use when the engine isn't running, reducing the reliance on solar energy. This would even work if the vehicle was used in complete darkness. Hmm... :mrgreen:

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby mark y » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:39 am

Pete Broccolo wrote:The article on Vancouver PD's new vehicles, especially the idle-management technology, got me thinking (SHUT UP!) about, "Why do patrol vehicles NOT have built in solar-panel charging systems combined with power-storage cells?" At a minimum, the top panel of the roof light bars could be completely a solar-panel array, and a smaller array could be designed into the top surface of the dashboard. The storage cells could be designed into the trunk area of a sedan or below the floor and / or into the fender sections of the rear cargo area. Such systems could generate enough power to run the roof lights, MWS, radio, etc without the engine even running.

Then again, what the heck do I know?


Pete - the Valor lightbar they are using is actually designed for exactly that. The option is not in production yet, but the bar is going to have an option for a full solar panel on top. The bar's chassis actually has a channel built into it that's about 3" wide by 3" deep and running the width of the bar, that is designed to hold battery packs. That way, the bar can charge during the day then use that energy whenever it needs to (it uses solar to charge, but can also charge off the car when the car is driving around normally). I don't anticipate that it'll fully power the bar, but it would offset the need to idle the car (especially with Vancouver PD's auto-idle system). We actually do have an available option on some of our other lightbars for a small solar panel on top, but it's more to offset any parasitic draws in the car than actually power any emergency equipment.

A similar bar from Federal Signal is being used by Arizona DOT and the solar panel FULLY powers the bar. They also have a wireless bar controller so you literally have no wires between the bar and the truck. It meets all the standards for lighting intensity, etc. Federal Signal worked on special patterns (reduced # of LEDs on at night) to conserve power, and it works well. I believe they've had them in service for about 3 years now.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby mark y » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:44 am

GoodWitness wrote:Interesting idea with the solar arrays and power cells. Of course they'd only work during the day and only if not obscured by snow and ice.

If only there was some way to convert some of the mechanical energy of the car engine into electrical energy and store that energy for use when the engine isn't running, reducing the reliance on solar energy. This would even work if the vehicle was used in complete darkness. Hmm... :mrgreen:


Simple. Just hook a battery system up to the car's alternator. That's essentially what a 2nd battery in the car is doing. You use a special battery isolator that has voltage sensing, which only charges the 2nd battery once the main battery is at full voltage, and it also doesn't allow the car's aftermarket equipment to pull power from the main [starting] battery. It would be a piece of cake to hook a solar panel to that setup and have the solar panel charge the 2nd battery, too. The trick is finding a solar panel that is suitable for use on top of a police car (you could mount it on the car's roof, or on the lightbar), as it'd have to be flexible and rugged. They exist, but the flexible panels are pricy and much lower efficiency than a 'flat' panel.

Solar panel efficiency continues to improve and as they get even better (and gas prices increase), I think this topic will surface more. It makes perfect sense and it's a wonder that more police dept's aren't already experimenting with it.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby GoodWitness » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:24 pm

mark y wrote:
GoodWitness wrote:Interesting idea with the solar arrays and power cells. Of course they'd only work during the day and only if not obscured by snow and ice.

If only there was some way to convert some of the mechanical energy of the car engine into electrical energy and store that energy for use when the engine isn't running, reducing the reliance on solar energy. This would even work if the vehicle was used in complete darkness. Hmm... :mrgreen:


Simple. Just hook a battery system up to the car's alternator. That's essentially what a 2nd battery in the car is doing. You use a special battery isolator that has voltage sensing, which only charges the 2nd battery once the main battery is at full voltage, and it also doesn't allow the car's aftermarket equipment to pull power from the main [starting] battery. It would be a piece of cake to hook a solar panel to that setup and have the solar panel charge the 2nd battery, too. The trick is finding a solar panel that is suitable for use on top of a police car (you could mount it on the car's roof, or on the lightbar), as it'd have to be flexible and rugged. They exist, but the flexible panels are pricy and much lower efficiency than a 'flat' panel.

Solar panel efficiency continues to improve and as they get even better (and gas prices increase), I think this topic will surface more. It makes perfect sense and it's a wonder that more police dept's aren't already experimenting with it.


LOL, yes, that was sarcasm! Obviously I'm going to have to work on my use of emoticons. I thought Pete might be having a GoodWitness moment... I recently was texting using the voice recognition feature, and was thinking how good it would be if you could record a text, send it, and then on the receiver's smartphone you could then have the opposite happen - the text would be read aloud to the user. Then it occurred to me that I had more or less just described a complicated version of the telephone. :oops:

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby IndictableChaser » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:50 pm

GoodWitness wrote:
mark y wrote:
GoodWitness wrote:Interesting idea with the solar arrays and power cells. Of course they'd only work during the day and only if not obscured by snow and ice.

If only there was some way to convert some of the mechanical energy of the car engine into electrical energy and store that energy for use when the engine isn't running, reducing the reliance on solar energy. This would even work if the vehicle was used in complete darkness. Hmm... :mrgreen:


Simple. Just hook a battery system up to the car's alternator. That's essentially what a 2nd battery in the car is doing. You use a special battery isolator that has voltage sensing, which only charges the 2nd battery once the main battery is at full voltage, and it also doesn't allow the car's aftermarket equipment to pull power from the main [starting] battery. It would be a piece of cake to hook a solar panel to that setup and have the solar panel charge the 2nd battery, too. The trick is finding a solar panel that is suitable for use on top of a police car (you could mount it on the car's roof, or on the lightbar), as it'd have to be flexible and rugged. They exist, but the flexible panels are pricy and much lower efficiency than a 'flat' panel.

Solar panel efficiency continues to improve and as they get even better (and gas prices increase), I think this topic will surface more. It makes perfect sense and it's a wonder that more police dept's aren't already experimenting with it.


LOL, yes, that was sarcasm! Obviously I'm going to have to work on my use of emoticons. I thought Pete might be having a GoodWitness moment... I recently was texting using the voice recognition feature, and was thinking how good it would be if you could record a text, send it, and then on the receiver's smartphone you could then have the opposite happen - the text would be read aloud to the user. Then it occurred to me that I had more or less just described a complicated version of the telephone. :oops:



I picked up on it ;)
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby GoodWitness » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:19 am

Phew. Thought I was losing it.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby Molson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:36 am

mark y wrote:
GoodWitness wrote:Interesting idea with the solar arrays and power cells. Of course they'd only work during the day and only if not obscured by snow and ice.

If only there was some way to convert some of the mechanical energy of the car engine into electrical energy and store that energy for use when the engine isn't running, reducing the reliance on solar energy. This would even work if the vehicle was used in complete darkness. Hmm... :mrgreen:


Simple. Just hook a battery system up to the car's alternator. That's essentially what a 2nd battery in the car is doing. You use a special battery isolator that has voltage sensing, which only charges the 2nd battery once the main battery is at full voltage, and it also doesn't allow the car's aftermarket equipment to pull power from the main [starting] battery. It would be a piece of cake to hook a solar panel to that setup and have the solar panel charge the 2nd battery, too. The trick is finding a solar panel that is suitable for use on top of a police car (you could mount it on the car's roof, or on the lightbar), as it'd have to be flexible and rugged. They exist, but the flexible panels are pricy and much lower efficiency than a 'flat' panel.

Solar panel efficiency continues to improve and as they get even better (and gas prices increase), I think this topic will surface more. It makes perfect sense and it's a wonder that more police dept's aren't already experimenting with it.


Same thing they have been doing in boats for years.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby mark y » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:04 am

IndictableChaser wrote:I picked up on it ;)


Me, not so much! :?

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby Pete Broccolo » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:24 pm

Sarcasm? Never heard of it!

Oh, I realize that one would have to lift their arse to reach and brush off the snow from the roof - done that lots; I have advocated for years, even here in Saskatchewan / "F" Division, where the use of aircraft (fixed let alone rotary wing) is rare, that the vehicles SHOULD HAVE the call signs decalled on the roof (or even the hood and trunk, to allow more characters, for inter-provincial / Divisional identification - but that's another discussion!), which, of course, would require even MORE snow removal (which would also prevent the cleared windows from becoming blocked by the neglected-to-be-removed snow on the roof sliding down!).

Anyways, I was NOT going to get into the size of the storage battery pack required, placement of same, interconnection to and cross-charging by the vehicle's main electrical system, but I see others are at least thinking about this crap (so I am not all that irrelevant - I just may have to print this out and show it to my wife!). Even if a roof-bar-mounted solar-panel and included battery storage system would not run the lights (and siren / PA?!) fully independently of the vehicle's main system, it would help some. And yes, for the smart-arses, there obviously WILL be dark times, either naturally or because a vehicle is stored in a garage. However, in MY experience, the vehicles sit outside, unused during the "quiet" days, so it JUST might get a lot of charge.

And, no, I am not butt-hurt, and if anyone reading this is, well, sunshine, leave your security blanket at home, and stop sucking your thumb!
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby GoodWitness » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:04 pm

TL:DR.
From a quick scan I think the gist of what Pete is saying is that there are some who think the sun shines out of their butts, so they could put a flexible solar panel on their driver's seat and recharge that way too.
I like it. Canadian innovation.

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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby Redfields Apprentice » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:51 pm

Bump; someone must know when the submission deadline is for the best dressed?
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Re: Best Dressed Cars Contest

Postby Dave Brown » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:01 pm

Submissions come from a variety of sources: photos taken by others, agencies submit their own vehicles, officers submit photos, an interesting photo in a newspaper article, a posting in this forum; it all comes together around November each year.

A panel of judges views all the submissions throughout the year and makes decisions based on visibility, officer safety, community identity, directionality, originality and an integration of officers and their workspace.

An independant panel of judges picks the cover (first place award winner.)

This is where we may recognize a new design (VPD) twice; one year in second place as a new design that was seen in a newspaper article, and the next year as a first place award winner when we learn more about the design, and it particularly impresses the big judge who decides the first place winner.

This contest is hotly fought, especially the past few years where agencies are looking for well-desrved recognition for their innovative designs and the seamless integration of equipment into their marked cars. Agencies and officers have even been known to try to curry favor with the judges by gifts, compliments or the purchasing of tasty alcoholic beverages.

We here at Blue Line encourage that form of behaviour.

It won't skew the results, but we still encourage it.

But the TRUTH is ... if you send a submission in before November, it will be considered for the awards in the January issue. Entries are actually a pretty informal process and agencies have been recognized for their designs without even knowing they were in contention for an award.

We actually NEED entries. Send them in to bestdressed@blueline.ca. We like good photos - we even did a sidebar article in the January issue a few years back on how to take a good vehicle photo - plus a bit of information on the design and the equipments and a contact name if possible.

Heck, we don't care. Post a photo in here if you want. Photos don't actually have to come from an agency or their own officers.

Also, if a vehicle is recognized, the actual physical awards are handed out at our Trade Show every April during the awards banquet, and many agencies have made the trek to proudly accept the award on behalf of their agencies.

And that Awards Dinner is legendary.


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