can i use a solar panel on a gel battery

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by dellybaby, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. dellybaby

    dellybaby Read Only Funster

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    Hi I have just bought 120w solar panel I was told by maplins, I could use this on my gel battery but have since read on a thread I goggled that you can nott use a solar panel, or is it certain solar panels, Normally I find google helps but sometimes you get so many conflicting answers im now unsure. my battery is a exide g85 gel battery , so does anyone know if this is true thanks adele
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  3. dellybaby

    dellybaby Read Only Funster

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    solar regulator

    Hi I have a 10a 12v regulator I got in the solar panel kit
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/12v-120w-solar-panel-kit-623194 is this no good
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    good question, and one i dont know the answer to. :Sad:

    but i will say a Gell or AGM battery has a different charge regime to a standard lead acid battery.

    slightly higher voltage (14.5v+) is needed for Gell/AGM to be fully charged.

    someone who does know will be along to help.
     
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  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    There is no product information on the maplin supplied regulator in that link so I cannot confirm whether it is suitable or not
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Bulk charge tends to be the same across all battery types but Gel has a higher float charge by 0.5 volts over a vented battery or 0.3 volts higher than a sealed type.
     
  7. reader

    reader Funster

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    Do you rate the Steca regulators Techno ? I am replacing mine and was considering the PR1010
     
  8. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Not at Steca prices no.
    How much are you contemplating paying for it?
    Cheapest I can see on ebay is £78
    The 30 amp I posted earlier is cheaper Fangpusun make em anyway
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  10. dellybaby

    dellybaby Read Only Funster

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    Hi it says on the front solar input 10a max overcharge 14.0-14.5v. over discharge 11+ - 0.3v I am new to all this, so dont understand. I got sent this with my 120w panel kit, does this mean i have to use a 10a one or a 30 a like the link you sent. my battery is a exide g85 sealed.
     
  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    10 amp is suitable for that panel but there is no detail of the charging regime, I would suggest it's OK but you get what you pay for.
    Most of the time your battery will get a good charge from alternator or hook up so the solar is a bonus even if it doesn,t chart at optimum.
     
  12. tony_g

    tony_g Funster

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    Hmmm, I have just replaced my 4 stage battery charger and was advised to choose the same algorithm for an AGM battery as the one for lead acid. The alternative being the gel algorithm.
    Isn't an AGM battery, in effect, the same as a lead acid?
     
  13. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    My mppt regulator
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. dellybaby

    dellybaby Read Only Funster

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    hi I have bought the solar panels so i can stay longer when wild camping, when im at festivals, I will not have hook up or be moving the mh for at least 4 days, so you saying i need to buy a higher amp like 30 to use my panels for daily use, to re charge my battery. sorry for the questions, but im unsure thanks Adele
     
  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    NO the 30 amp is the current handling capacity, nothing to do with the charging voltages.
    Your panel wont produce anywhere near 10 amps so the unit you have is fine in terms of current carrying capacity but it doesn't charge at a rate specific to gel type batteries rather it must be assumed that it charges at a compromise in relation to the possible battery types
     
  16. Incamania

    Incamania Funster

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    Solar Panel to charge a Gel Battery

    Hi Dellybaby
    As you've bought your 'kit' from Maplin visit their site and if my memory serves me correctly you can post a 'help note' to their technical department and they will reply on that site.
    The other option is to ring Maplin ask for Tech Help and a Techman will answer your question there and then. I have done this in the past and found them very knowledgeable and helpful.
    ATB
    Incamania
    :thumb:
     
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  17. aba

    aba

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  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    That's very good it confirms the higher float charge requirement :thumb:
     
  19. maz

    maz Funster

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    General rule seems to be that if the blurb about a solar regulator doesn't specifically state that it has a setting for gel batteries then it probably won't work properly with them. But as others have said, ring Maplins and check the spec.

    I had a problem when a dealer fitted solar panels and a regulator that wasn't suitable for gel batteries to my gel battery equipped van. Batteries just would not charge properly. Got round it by changing the batteries to normal lead acid which I prefer anyway. If your regulator turns out to be non-gel and your battery is on the old side, maybe swap it for the wet type as a way round the problem?
     
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