Charging conflict?

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by jac-in-a-box, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Following the good advice offered by those "in the know" on here, I've got my panels fitted and producing lots of lovely volts and amps...well, it does when we see the sun!

    Just so we know what I'm on about and before I ask the question...'05 Autotrail Dakota, Sargent charging system for leisure batteries - though I suspect the charger is duff and I've always used a pair of CTEK chargers for looking after vehicle and leisure batteries when on hook-up on sites and at home.
    2 x 150w panels with an MPPT charger and NOT connected through the Sargent charging system. There is also a Sterling battery maintainer fitted between leisure and vehicle battery...it all works as I expected if not better.

    My question is this, with the m'home on the road and engine running the alternator is supplying the vehicle and leisure batteries. Is there not a conflict of charging systems with the solar working at the same time?
    I've taken to removing the fuses between the panels and controller along with the fuse for the Sterling battery maintainer when the engine is running...do I need to, or am I over-thinking this and looking for a problem that doesn't exist?!
    In any event I'm a little curious:)

    David
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Yes.

    You'll just screw things up by interfering.
     
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  3. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Mine works when plugged in,solar on and then I've started engine without any problems.
     
  4. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    I'm guessing the solar controller will only charge when the battery voltage is below the charge threshold, so with the engine running the alternator will raise the battery voltage above the threshold and the solar regulator will treat the batteries as fully charged and switch off.
    Just as a post script, do you run your panels series or parallel ?
     
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  5. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Sounds a good and most likely explanation...everyday's a learning day, thanks!

    As for the panels, both in parallel

    David​
     
  6. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    producingNot a problem :)
    Just another four eggs.

    The reason I asked about the panels is as you said about the amount of sun,
    I found that with the MPPT by running my panels in series I'm getting much better results.
    When in parallel you double the current and when in series you double the voltage, so say on a sunny day you could be producing 60 odd volts, The MPPT will Waste/cut down this to the required voltage to charge the batteries,
    On an overcast day the voltage produced will be reduced but may still be more than required to charge the batteries, all be it at a lower current, as producing double the voltage they were producing in parallel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  7. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your thoughts Steve. Certainly don't have any charging issues even on dull and overcast days - been plenty of those here!

    As the days shorten, It may be a different story. If it is I'll try the series connection.

    David
     
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