Solar trickle charging


ryan

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dirtsquirt

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Anyone done it?

I don't drive the jeep, and when i do it's usually just for short jaunts. These habits killed a few batteries in my old vehicle. I've changed the way I drive, but I'd like the insurance against it.

Looking at a setup like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50012-Solar-Battery-Maintainer/dp/B0006JO0KG/ref=pd_sbs_auto_img_2

Is a charge controller recommended?

Thanks
I know those do work well, i have one on my boat. my buddies use them for their holiday trailers. and we have some at work for our road hazzard marker lights.
 

du510

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I know those do work well, i have one on my boat. my buddies use them for their holiday trailers. and we have some at work for our road hazzard marker lights.
& you plug it right into the cigarette charger? seems too easy.
 

RobbieD

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I've wondered about those things, too, but just ain't had the time to look into it. Considering it for the spare truck / trash hauler (the '84), that only gets driven occasionally.
 

rickcdewitt

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Anyone done it?

I don't drive the jeep, and when i do it's usually just for short jaunts. These habits killed a few batteries in my old vehicle. I've changed the way I drive, but I'd like the insurance against it.

Looking at a setup like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50012-Solar-Battery-Maintainer/dp/B0006JO0KG/ref=pd_sbs_auto_img_2

Is a charge controller recommended?

Thanks
i've used one on camp trailer for a few years without issue,but i did go check the charge level now and then.if you leave your jeep parked all the time keep the gas tank full also to limit condensation and change the oil at least every year.
 

ryan

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i've used one on camp trailer for a few years without issue,but i did go check the charge level now and then.if you leave your jeep parked all the time keep the gas tank full also to limit condensation and change the oil at least every year.
yeah thinking of getting the charge controller to go with it
 

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I've never used one myself, but there's no reason it shouldn't work well.
You only need maybe 50-100mA of current to maintain a battery from self-discharging, and those things are easily capable of that amount of current.

yes, definitely get the charge controller. Without it, it could shorten the battery's life through overcharging (even with it's small current).
 

ryan

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yes, definitely get the charge controller. Without it, it could shorten the battery's life through overcharging (even with it's small current).
thanks - this is what i assumed. i'm surprised - none of the installations i've seen on the internet have used one, and the manufacturer doesn't even suggest it except for their largest panel.

the materials on the manufacturer's website are poor at best though. i will have to get the 5 watt panel instead because the smaller trickle charger isnt weatherproof, and that won't work for my jeep.

i'll order it and see what it's like. next i'll convert to propane or some other alternative fuel and then have some kind of crusty hippie jeep
 

ryan

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Picked up a 5watt panel and the charge controller

also picked up a few other goodies from 12voltguy

now i just need to not suck at electric!

edit - here's my plan

1. Set up the panel permanently on the hood
2. Set up toggle between panel and controller to kill the panel before starting the jeep
3. Wire up controller to battery permanently
4. Install toggle where left speaker used to be
5. Install ignition kill on same panel. Not gonna hide it - guess it could be defeated, but I'm not looking for 100% protection, just something better than now where you can start without a key

Concern is toggle - can't run the vehicle with the panel on - any potential for damage there? This project will probably reveal my weaknesses with wiring :D
 

RobbieD

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Hey Ryan- it would be pretty simple to wire in a relay, instead of your toggle switch, to automatically turn off the solar controller whenever the ignition is on.
 

ryan

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i think that's a really good idea - mostly i just doubt my skills. if i screw up i'd rather it be a stand alone system rather than the trickle charger and the ignition
 


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