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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / solar panel battery charging
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Posted By Discussion Topic: solar panel battery charging

Similar Threads That Might Help :
starter battery solar panel advice| Using Solar Panels to topp the batteries| solar battery charging| Solar Panels| Solar Panels| Solar Panel fitting|

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peaenjay
Nov-07-2017 @ 1:14 AM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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I have just bought a new 20W solar panel to keep my three batteries topped up, so I plan to have the panel permanently connected during the off-season.  The panel is putting out 20 volts.  I have a good new Sure Power isolator installed.  Besides splitting the charge between the start battery and service batteries, does this unit also prevent over charging of the batteries? the spec. doesn't make that clear.

annville
Nov-07-2017 @ 10:42 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Are you sure its 20w if so it will not charge your batteries, up it will only give you 1 to 1 1/2 amps this will hardly overcome the resistance its at best a trickle charger, you wouldn't need a regulator with only 20 watts on a 12 volt battery,you need at least a 100w panel,sorry to dishearten you, can you return it for a larger panel? Not sure what you're sure power isolator is, but isolator to me is a switch which is not a regulator.What make and part no is it? I can then Google it to find out what is does.John

peaenjay
Nov-07-2017 @ 11:44 AM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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John. I am only looking to trickle charge the batteries during the winter. I tried this panel on a run down car battery (70Ah) and it charged it enough to start a 1.9 diesel engine after about 8 hours. The battery isolator I have is Sure Power brand 120 Amp model.

Regulo
Nov-07-2017 @ 1:19 PM                           Permalink
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I think you'll find the isolator is basically a charge splitter, simply (put in older technology) two diodes to prevent the starter and domestic batteries from discharging into each other. As far as I know, they have no charge limiting feature.

Regards, Ray.

Whatever happens now, I'm blaming it on Brexit. Everyone else is!

ncsl
Nov-07-2017 @ 3:19 PM                           Permalink
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At 20watts there is no chance of over charging.

This info may be a bit helpful .
http://www.ncsl.co.uk/solarinfo1.html


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annville
Nov-07-2017 @ 5:53 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Pea Its to stop two battery banks from discharging each other, ie if you only have one alternator but two banks of batteries one engine and one domestic it allows the alternator to charge both batteries at the same time controlled by alternator regulator. when the engine stops,it splits each bank so you can run the domestic bank down until flat but engine battery will stay charged to enable you to start up and charge the flattened bank.it's a automatic switch.this does not control the charging rate or stop the batteries being overcharged this is done by a regulator.the current from the solar panel is so low that you are unlikely to overcharge the batteries       with so small a currant,it's a trickle charge not sure it would work on two or more batteries at the same time as currant is so low,it would more likely work if you connect directly to each battery at a time.or best get a 100w plus panel with a controller with twin  outlets connected to each bank this will keep both banks fully charged automatically over the winter increasing battery's longevity.John

Stingers
Nov-07-2017 @ 8:56 PM                           Permalink
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peaenjay: a 20W charger will be fine to trickle-charge your batteries over winter. I have used a 10W panel for the last 12 years, feeding both the starter and domestic batteries via diodes and it works just fine (no form of regulator etc). I've never experienced any over charging problems and I've always had plenty of juice for starting.
Good luck & be kind to your batteries with a trickle charge.

Andy

Garry1973
Nov-07-2017 @ 10:25 PM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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Hi. My experience using 20w panels on day boats in a harbour was they worked well for a single or double stater battery (no domestic batt bank) provided batteries are in reasonable condition and self discharge isn’t to high as already mentioned.  My suggestion would be try the 20w panel and a 5a diode to each batt bank. With batteries isolated this should be enough to keep the batteries topped up but not to charge them. Test on sunny days over the winter and you should get 13-14v on each bank if the panel is keeping up.  If not keeping up you could try one panel for starter and one for domestic.

Part time Boater

peaenjay
Nov-07-2017 @ 11:56 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks everyone for the good advice.  I have three new batteries and want to keep them in working order for as long as possible, so I will see how this 20W panel goes.

annville
Nov-08-2017 @ 11:31 AM                           Permalink
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Hi peter You will need to disconnect the batteries and let them stand  for ideally 24hrs before checking the voltage readings for accurate readings,best of luck,perhaps you will let us know how you get on. John

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