Do I need new leisure batteries?

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Irishrover, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

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    Guys, I'm going to be installing 100watt x2 solar panels on camper next week. Have all the bits ready to do the job. I currently have 2 leisure batteries installed which are charged from the vans alternator or when on electric hook-up. My question is.....Do I connect panels via my mppt controller to my existing leisure batteries whilst they also get charged from the alternator( will it cause a conflict?) or do I dis-connect them and feed solar only charge? OR...do I leave as is and buy 2 new leisure batteries for solar charge only? Cheers for any replies....

    John Daly.
     
  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    On my system, the solar panels and the vehicle alternator charge my two leisure and one engine batteries.

    When hooked up the leisure batteries are charged by the internal charger.

    JJ :cool:
     
  3. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    An expert will be along shortly, but as I see it, if you're driving and the alternator is feeding in power, the mppt unit senses the higher battery voltage (14.5 ?) so knows not to send solar power through the system, and vice versa.
     
  4. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    What you propose will be fine.. my camper has run with multiple charging sours es to all batteries ie alternator solar mains and never been an issue...
    The charging source with the highest voltage will do the job..
    As long as van has no complicated electronic management system..
    Andy
     
  5. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

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    Thanks JJ....So I can just hook up my solar panels to my current set up then....Cheers for that(y)
     
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  6. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

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    Ok...I was worried about conflicting charges but that explains it...cheers Jock(y)
     
  7. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Andy, Like I mentioned, was concerned about conflicting charge systems but looks like all good to go(y)
     
  8. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    So! Would I be right in thinking if two live charging systems were connected to the leisure batteries ( To be precise, one installed Solar panel connected to the onboard system and one stand alone solar panel (on occasion) connected directly to one of the leisure batteries via its own controller)). The system will sense which is providing the highest input and switch the other supply off untill a big enough draw is put on the leisure batteries to allow both feeds to charge the batteries. Hope this makes sense.
     
  9. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    I am going to take my pre-existing panel and disconnect it from the Sargent unit and connect it in parallel to one of my new panels and both will then charge at the same time through the new controller. The new controller is much more informative giving battery status, watts going in and amps charging plus any direct load if i've got any which I don't at present. On my AutoTrail there is also voltage loss as the control panel always shows less volts/amps than my gauges close to the batteries.
     
  10. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    I thought about adding a second SP to my Sargent system but the Sargent factory fitted controller is limited to 10 Amps. I emailed Sargent a few times to ascertain what would happen if a tad more current went into the controler, would it accept it, blow a fuse, trip until the current was reduced to 10 amps or what. However, no reply. So purchased a stand alone folding SP with its own controller and can feed this directly into the leisure batteries without effecting the Sargent system. I would have preferred the second one permanitly fixed and fed into the Sargent controller as the control panel above the door provides numerous readouts for the SP.
    Will you separate controller be conector to the Sargent system or total independent of it.
     
  11. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Independent - See those recommended by Techno! About £80 on Ebay for the 30 amp version and will manage 300 watts of solar panels.
     
  12. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    Hi Phil I believe that would be the case...
    I have an 80 watt portable that I can connect along with the fixed 100w..through a small mppt controller. .
    In my case the portable panel has its own pwm controller and never contributes but tbh it's seldom connected now so that's just my limited experience... The unit with the most efficient controller I think will do the charging or if the alternator is providing it's voltage the controllers will see that and shut down..as mentioned above..
    As I said above I have multiple charging sources connected and leisure and start are also connected via a dual sensing 120A voltage sensing relay and I've never had any issues... as long as one battery bank either start or leisure have a charging source the other bank gets charged as well until the voltage on either bank drops below a predetermined voltage ...then the relay isolated each bank..
    Ta Andy.
     
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