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Solar 12VDC trickle charger/maintainer


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Solar 12VDC trickle charger/maintainer
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-09-13, 10:20

OK, so I have this vehicle that sits most of the week and gets used once or twice (at best) every week. I'm reading more and more about batteries (looking into solar) and seeing this is horrible for my car batteries. Does anyone have a recommendation for a solar trickle charger/maintainer? The battery is <600 CCA so this isn't RV level or anything and it would be convenient to be able to just plug it into the 12V "accessory" jack inside the cabin as opposed to clamping to the battery.

Anyway, anyone have one or can recommend one specifically? Tons on Amazon and such but I have little faith in reviews for those.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-09-13, 10:46

I have a thing at the house tied to my storage shed electrical. It's just a 12V RV battery connected to a 200W inverter and a 7W solar panel to trickle charge it. It runs 2 12V light bulbs and the inverter, which I use to charge Ryobi 18V batteries. I threw away the packaging when I installed the panel, so I have no idea the manufacturer, but I can say it's just a generic panel that came with a pair of alligator clips that got snipped and connected to a little Renogy solar charge controller.

You should be OK with just about whatever, even the cheap Amazon stuff. After all, it's just a solar panel. The trouble is less to do with that than it has to do with controlling overcharge, which is what the charge controller does. The controller just prevents the battery from getting overcharged and maintains a consistent voltage.

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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-09-14, 07:31

This is actually my situation too.

I have two cars and have not been driving one as much as the other. I need to plug in my little computer doodad to check the battery health. I have a trickle charger thing somewhere. I guess I have to unhook the battery from the car to do that charge? Can't remember. Seems like there should just be some off the shelf thing you can buy?



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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-09-14, 07:39

I ordered a "two pack" from Amazon yesterday. A 5W and 10W version of the same thing. If you want to wait until I get them in I'll be able to tell you about them. The only difference between the two really is how fast it will charge a battery. Given it is a solar panel that puts out 12VDC, we can use them camping and such too, not just to keep the battery topped off.

Of course then I realized I have a generator that I just about never use and it has an electric starter on it so I got this one that plugs into the wall.

I was buying a new battery from Auto Zone Saturday and they used to carry a solar charger but it was $60 and out of stock. It was no better than what I ordered I can assure you. I forgot how many watts it was rated for, but I'm nearly certain it was only 5W.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-09-20, 09:49

I got my chargers in this weekend and put them to use. So far so good. Testing with a multimeter showed the expected voltages when in the sun. Time will tell if they actually do their job. Given I've bought two batteries this pandemic shows I really needed them. I currently have them sitting on the dash between the glass and a windshield sunshade plugged into the lighter socket.

I haven't used the plug-in model yet for the generator. I need to get to the battery to verify what kind of battery it is first as well as move the thing closer to an outlet, I didn't think about that when came up with my master plan.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-09-20, 16:24

Pics when you get them!


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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-09-21, 07:28

I'll try to get some today... if it stops raining. While my plants are happy, it has changed my plans for sure.
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