Solar charging

 
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Solar charging

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Posted: 12.02.2018  ·  #1
There is another thread about solar charging but I have a question if anyone can help. I have been looking at the chargers that sit on the dashboard and trickle charge the vehicle battery. I just want something to keep it topped up while sitting. What size of panel would you suggest
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 12.02.2018  ·  #2
I keep one of those plugged in all the time - just a small one that was about £20 or so. Probably doesn’t do very much but better than nothing. I bought it to top up a small 12v battery via crocodile clips with the aim of running a submersible pump off it but never did so I just keep it plugged into the cab cigarette socket.

I have a 100w solar panel that feeds into 2 leisure batteries & the engine battery so that does most of the work. I plug the van into the mains now & again over winter as combined the dash & roof panels are not enough.
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 12.02.2018  ·  #3
My engine battery died a death last winter due to lack of use because of having a kids busy social life. My local battery supplier ( independent ) recommended a Halfords 6 watt panel costing €30, as a good topup because modern vans use 9 watts per day in diagnosis sensors.
Malcolm
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 13.02.2018  ·  #4
I was wondering if it was worth it to buy one of those small solar panels. We do use the van relatively often as we go out at least once a month, but even so they're short trips, might not be a bad idea if they actually put any charge whatsoever.

We do use the EHU if the van will be sitting for more than a week but I don't think it actually charges the van battery, so plugging a panel to the lighter could be a good idea if it actually does something.
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 13.02.2018  ·  #5
Quote by RTV

I was wondering if it was worth it to buy one of those small solar panels. We do use the van relatively often as we go out at least once a month, but even so they're short trips, might not be a bad idea if they actually put any charge whatsoever.

We do use the EHU if the van will be sitting for more than a week but I don't think it actually charges the van battery, so plugging a panel to the lighter could be a good idea if it actually does something.


Check it with a volt meter incasr it is getting charged, might save you buying a panel
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 13.02.2018  ·  #6
Quote by RTV



We do use the EHU if the van will be sitting for more than a week but I don't think it actually charges the van battery, so plugging a panel to the lighter could be a good idea if it actually does something.


On many vehicles the cigarette socket is only live when the ignition is switched on. If this is the case how does the solar panel connect to the vehicle battery?
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 14.02.2018  ·  #7
The panel comes with an optional lead fitted with crocodile clips to clamp onto the battery terminals.
Our Transit based MH has an extra cig socket fitted on constant power which is placed under a storage panel in the dash.
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 14.02.2018  ·  #8
Quote by kabundi

Quote by RTV



We do use the EHU if the van will be sitting for more than a week but I don't think it actually charges the van battery, so plugging a panel to the lighter could be a good idea if it actually does something.


On many vehicles the cigarette socket is only live when the ignition is switched on. If this is the case how does the solar panel connect to the vehicle battery?


Mine is live all the time, either because it's very old or because someone wired it directly at some point in life. But yeah... cigarette light wouldn't be an option if it's only activated with the ignition turned into accessories.
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Re: Solar charging

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Posted: 14.02.2018  ·  #9
My starter battery went flat once this winter. I have a 100W panel on the roof charging the leisure battery via a controller that can charge up to two batteries. I thought I should wire the starter battery to this second output so that it gets some solar power too. The only problem though is that once the starter battery receives solar charging, its voltage will rise and it will trigger the split charge relay and put the leisure battery in parallel with the starter which is not what I want.

Maybe I’ll wire a two way switch that switches solar power to the starter and disconnects the split charge and vice-versa.
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