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Author Topic: Auxiliary Solar Panel  (Read 2575 times)

thetiebers

  • Posts: 3
Auxiliary Solar Panel
« on: July 31, 2010, 10:07:58 AM »
Hello, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it a good or bad idea to leave a small auxiliary solar panel hooked up to the starting battery when stored between trips? The reason I ask is I had a sears die hard that ended up with two cells almost dry when I had my small solar panel hooked to it. Just not sure if that is what caused it. I have switched to an Interstate starter battery. Thanks

donn

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  • Posts: 2940
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 10:17:07 AM »
Anytime a wet cell battery is charged/discharged it will consume some water.  The best thing you can do is monitor the water level of your battery monthly.  Keeping a trickle charger on it will keep it charged but will most assuredly also use water.

taoshum

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  • Posts: 2565
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2010, 12:04:56 PM »
The newspaper article on the Chinese Solar Panel Maker said that their panels are, on average, selling for $2/watt.  This is 1/4th the cost a year ago.  Is anyone jumping on the solar bandwagon?  If so where are you buying the panels?
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

Paul & Ann

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  • Posts: 1443
    • Paul and Ann's Great RV Adventure
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 12:21:24 PM »
If I were going to buy solar panels, here is where I would go.

http://sunelec.com/

Paul
Paul & Ann  Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
http://stoughrvadventure.blogspot.com/

thetiebers

  • Posts: 3
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 07:03:11 PM »
The Solar panel I use is a portable 2.5 watt.  It should not over charge the battery I hope.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
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  • Posts: 61070
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010, 07:45:58 PM »
Even a 12-15 watt panel isn't going to overcharge anything, so no, it won't "boil" away the battery electrolyte.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

taoshum

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  • Posts: 2565
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 01:09:33 AM »
If I were going to buy solar panels, here is where I would go.

http://sunelec.com/

Paul

I can see why!  do they do installations?
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

DonTom

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  • Posts: 2197
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 05:17:48 AM »
Hello, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it a good or bad idea to leave a small auxiliary solar panel hooked up to the starting battery when stored between trips? The reason I ask is I had a sears die hard that ended up with two cells almost dry when I had my small solar panel hooked to it. Just not sure if that is what caused it. I have switched to an Interstate starter battery. Thanks
When was the last time it was checked before then?

I have a 5 watt solar panel on my chassis battery and 65 watts worth on my house batteries. I have a solar controller on both, but the little controller for the chassis battery is just there for fun,  it really doesn't do much, with only a five watt panel. But thanks for reminding me to check the water level in the chassis battery.

For my chassis battery I use:

http://www.harborfreight.com/5-watt-solar-battery-charger-41144.html which is permanently mounted to the top of the RV.

I use it with this little solar controller (but it's not really necessary, unless you want the light indicators that all is fine):

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-amp-solar-charge-regulator-96728.html

-Don-

-Don-   AA6GA

2000 Fleetwood Tioga 24D, 7.4L

Eight motorcycles:
Original owner of:
1971 BMW R75/5
1984 Yamaha Venture
2002 Suzuki DR200SE
2013 Triumph Trophy SE
2016 Versys 650 LT
2016 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
2017 Zero DS ZF6.5
2017 Zero SR 13 w/pwr tank

DonTom

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  • Posts: 2197
Re: Auxiliary Solar Panel
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2010, 06:01:39 AM »
Even a 12-15 watt panel isn't going to overcharge anything, so no, it won't "boil" away the battery electrolyte.
Yeah, that one full amp (for 12 watts) should not even be enough to over-charge my little motorcycle battery in my 200 CC  Suzuki DR200SE.

BTW, ever take apart one of those portable battery jumpers to see what's inside? You will find a motorcycle battery. So it must be possible to start a RV with a well charged motorcycle battery.

BTW, in my old RV which only had a single 15 watt solar panel with a small controller, it did seem to dry out the single house battery more often than expected. The daytime battery voltage would often get up to above 17 volts, even with the controller. The controller I have now shuts off at 14.5 VDC but it charges two larger batteries. And with 65 watts of panels. But with this setup, I rarely have to add any water to the house batteries.

But I don't really see how voltage alone with no real charge current can dry out a battery, so who knows what was really happening.

Tomorrow, I have to remember to check the water lever in the chassis battery.

-Don-


-Don-   AA6GA

2000 Fleetwood Tioga 24D, 7.4L

Eight motorcycles:
Original owner of:
1971 BMW R75/5
1984 Yamaha Venture
2002 Suzuki DR200SE
2013 Triumph Trophy SE
2016 Versys 650 LT
2016 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
2017 Zero DS ZF6.5
2017 Zero SR 13 w/pwr tank

 

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