Advice Wanted on solar power

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by motorhomemania, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. motorhomemania

    motorhomemania Read Only Funster

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    Hi could anyone give advice on the following please:
    My motorhome is stored approx 3 miles away from my home with no access to electricity. The battery is constantly losing .03 amps.
    After 3 wks I need to bring Motorhome to home to charge batteries because of loss of charge. Any tips on what type of 12v panel would be suitable for trickle charge to keep batteries topped up?? Or any other tips appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Hi why not try sending Mark C.L.S a pm, he fits and sells them.
     
  3. cater_racer

    cater_racer Read Only Funster

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    A simple 12 Watt one from Maplin will do the trick, I leave one on the dashboard top plugged into the cigar lighter (Check your cigar lighter is still live when the ignition is off, if not then you will need to clip it to the battery)

    That will put in at least as much as you're loosing even when overcast.
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Presumably the power drain is from an alarm system ? If so and your not worried about it another option is to disconnect the neg lead on the battery .. a fully charged battery will stay healthy for several months.

    jim
     
  5. RichardnGill

    RichardnGill Read Only Funster

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    We had the same problem and we went for a 85 w solar pannel which always has the batterys fully charged even after 3/4 weeks of not useing the van.

    We can also do 4 nights away without EHU even with the kids watching the TV alot now, before the Solar we would be out of power after 2 nights even with 2* 110 AH batts.

    Mark at CLS to fits ours and he did a good job for a reasonable price.


    Richard...
     
  6. GEOFFs125

    GEOFFs125 Read Only Funster

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    A simple and cheap solution I use to overcome a similar problem was to fit this easy to use battery isolater switch:

    [​IMG]

    This connects to the negative terminal on your battery, can be used on the vehicle or house batteries. Got it from ebay for around £4.

    Geoff
     
  7. smifee

    smifee Read Only Funster

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    Hi motorhomemania

    If you always use campsites and have hookup the get a small panel.

    If you use aires and/or wildcamp why not fit larger panel/s?

    I wild camp because I prefer it. The money I save is coincidental but if you reckon on a saving of £10 a night you can work out how long before the panels pay for themselves.
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    small wattage panels arent really worth buying .divide the wattage by 12 very roughly gives the max amp unput in the middle of summer on the brightest day at mid day. they put nothing in at night . i would say work on 8 hrs at half power input in summer ,in winter a tenth of the max is doing ok. then work out what you take out . this time of year its really hard to get free leccy. i use three 80wt but if stay parked for a week will definately run out of power. i do charge through a 24 to 12 volt charger at 20 amp max with float facility. so i cope. mostly use power to work compressor fridge.
     
  9. Jethro Smythe

    Jethro Smythe Read Only Funster

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    A friend of mine uses one of the Maplin panels you mentioned to keep his battery topped up when the vehicle is not in use, and has found it to work really well.

    Even on an overcast day he still finds that the panel produces more than enough charge current to keep the battery in good shape.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    these may work fine to keep your fully charged battery topped up but a few days without good sun and it hasnt a chance.....on a good day it will only put out less than 1 amp...probably nearer to 1/3amp.... so will never recharge a battery that has a constant 30Ma drain on it.
     
  11. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    at this time of the year the output from my 50W can be as low as 100milliAmp. My van has no constant loads apart from the Solar controller. 50W keeps the batteries in good order.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  12. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    With solar I think you should spend as much as you can afford and as big as will fit.
    I have 2x110w panels and do not need EHU in summer and in winter my battery is kept topped up.
     
  13. Planetgen

    Planetgen Read Only Funster

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    wait until January and you could win a fully fitted 90 watt system. Planet Solar are doing the main comp in MMM.
     
  14. Blisters

    Blisters Read Only Funster

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    We have a 30 watt roof mounted solar panel, and 2 x 110amp leisure batteries and of course a battery for the engine

    We find this keeps our batteries topped up nicely
     
  15. clwyd

    clwyd Read Only Funster

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    Solar chargers

    There are some very useful posts here, from a portable to large units all being viable. I suggest 45w minimum for a fixed one (note that a regulator is also needed).

    The main battery should not run down even with a normal security system - mine lasts months (and has done so for years), but should really be charged every month. After 9 years I finally replaced it because I was offered one at a good price. It still works as an extra "second" one. Running down suggests a fault to me, but may be tricky to find!
    Derek
     
  16. clwyd

    clwyd Read Only Funster

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    Large Solar Panels - source & cost - jezport

    How much would 2 x 110W cost? I have been unable to see any 50w for less than a few hundred before installation - my current one was a mere £130 or so but can't find any like this now.
    NuVenture at Wigan were talking to me about new flexible stick on ones - only OK if you have a large flat surface.
    Derek
     
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