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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Searching for solar battery maintainer kit

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ezrydrs

Chillicothe, Ohio

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Posted: 05/19/17 03:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking for a small, complete setup to maintain a deep cycle marine battery in my fishing boat. I usually keep a charger on it every so often to keep it charged but it would be nice to have a solar kit. I'd still use the charger after a trip to the lake.
Is anyone familiar with something like this in one kit? Or will I have to buy a panel and controller separately?
Thanks

* This post was edited 05/19/17 03:17am by ezrydrs *

ezrydrs

Chillicothe, Ohio

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Posted: 05/19/17 03:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like this?

Or this

* This post was edited 05/19/17 03:20am by ezrydrs *

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 05/19/17 03:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harbor Freight has a Solar Panel Kit.
But, it's only 45 watts. And then there is the questionable HF Quality issues.
I'm sure there are others available, this is just one option.

ezrydrs

Chillicothe, Ohio

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Posted: 05/19/17 04:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think 5W - 10W is big enough. Something I can leave on all the time to maintain my battery during the summer

bobndot

USA

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Posted: 05/19/17 04:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have some solar marine info, was looking into this for our boats as well. I kept this below from D.C. I hope this info is helpful.
(Don Casey has been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and upgrades for 30 years, and is one of the BoatUS Magazine's panel of experts.)


If you have a wet cell marine battery they self-discharge at about 1% of amp hour rating per day depending on outside temp. (less on hot days-more on cold days)

A watt panel has an output of approx .33 amps. But that's at peak power = noon . The rest of the time it's less. On average, we expect about 5 peak hours per day out of any solar panel.

The expected daily output of a five-watt panel about 1.65 amp-hours (5 x 0.33).

Allowing for recharging inefficiencies, this is still about 50% more than necessary to float a 100-amp-hour battery. A good rule of thumb is 3.5 watts per 100 amp-hours of battery capacity. But throw in an occasional sunless day, put blocking diodes in the circuit, and let the bilge pump run once in a while, and five watts will be about right. A small amount of extra capacity won't damage the batteries as long as you maintain the water level in them.

Whatever size panel you select, it should have at least 33 cells. Count them. Panels with fewer than 33 cells will have inadequate voltage to fully charge the battery. This assumes crystalline panels, which deliver the most output from the smallest package, but if you sail where overcast days outnumber sunny ones, you might consider a thin-film panel, as this type can have better low light output.

Fireballsocal

Rancho Cucamonga Ca.

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Posted: 05/19/17 06:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been using a battery tender brand 5 watt panel maintainer for my dirtbike for the last year and am very happy with it. Even with a layer of dust, it will keep the battery maintained at full charge.

D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 05/19/17 07:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the 15 watt BatteryMinder by Deltran and it will keep the battery charge up but it is marginal at best about recharging the batteries. I use it on the house batteries in my rig and there is also a five watt that was included in the rig's design. Even Winnie says it will not fully maintain the batteries.

I have very careful in eliminating all parasitic charges in my rig. That is for the chassis and the house batteries.

Deltrans are very(or were) for maintaining trailer batteries that are removed for the winter and taken home. Their products are great but they are expensive.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
95 Suzuki Sidekick 4X4
Stowmaster 5000


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 05/19/17 07:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.solarblvd.com/product-catego........solar-panels-systems/12-volt-solar-kits/

Do use a charge controller.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 05/19/17 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


X2

Home Depot sells a 50w module for $73. For $22 more, you can double that to 100W. I'd suggest to start at 50W, buy a cheap charge controller with adjustable voltage, and monitor your batteries. I think you'll find that maintaining with a solar panel will save on your battery expense to "break even" within 5 yrs.

The smaller modules are easier to deploy and that may mean a lot in a boat, depending on size of boat, but the > 50W modules will get a charge into the battery quicker and that means extended battery life.


'03 F-250 4x4 CC
'71 Starcraft Wanderstar -- The Cowboy/Hilton

path1

Varies with weather

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Posted: 05/19/17 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be careful of what size you get. My class C came with a 5 watt...useless.

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