My Solar/Power dilemma !

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Chockswahay, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    We have had the van for over 2 1/2 years now and never needed extra power. However now we are back in Scotland the van will spend periods of up to 3 or 4 weeks sat on the drive. The problem is that over this amount of time the Alarm (I assume) slowly discharges the starter battery.

    I can not have a mains lead connected all the time (neighbours!) or sometimes the van is just too far away from mains power :(

    So my dilemma is how can I keep the battery from draining down yet still keep the alarm active?

    I do not really want to mess about with roof mounting solar panels (question posted separately). I have wondered about smaller 'portable' panels propped up on the dashboard, but I understand that this will reduce effectiveness by up to 70% (?)

    Also I believe I would need a Schaudt regulator to make it all work in harmony....

    Does anyone have any practical advice please?

    :)
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Scotland, low sun and not too much of it. So really you need as big a panel as possible. A small one in the window probably won't work even if you manage parking due south.

    Our 100W roof mounted one struggles in Cheshire winter.
     
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  3. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    That's what worries me! As it happens my usual parking does indeed face the sun but even then??????

    (Hmmm...... what about a big panel stuck on the windscreen with suckers?......LOL)
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    At a guess it would be at a very good angle, better than flat on the roof, measure up your screen. You'd probably need more than suckers, they are pretty heavy, a bit of 2x1 wood then.

    Quite a few FUNsters carry a big panel and set it up on the ground. Fine but risk of theft and the problem of storage, setting up.
     
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  5. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    Have you considered either?;

    Fitting a B2B charger to keep the leisure batteries topped up when driving, plus a battery master to keep the engine battery topped up from the leisure batteries

    OR

    Connecting the solar panel to the leisure battery and using a battery master to keep the engine battery topped up

    OR

    Both of the above - belt and braces
     
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  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    As Robert said..

    Battery Master.. easy to fit..

    Jim's shop or eddievanbitz.. about 60 quid.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Hi @Robert Clark

    The issues are with the EBL99 on my van so not (easily) do-able. To be honest I only want to reduce the rate of discharge for 'peace of mind' and convenience.
     
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  8. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Ideal but not thief proof, I have a 20w panel on the dash in a car and it keeps the battery topped up all the time, and its not pointing south(y)

    IMG_2318[1].JPG IMG_2319[1].JPG


    In fact south is about where my Hymer is in the first pic(y)
     
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  9. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    And no need for a reg on 20w (y)
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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  11. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Thanks chaps (y)
     
  12. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Nice! Do you plug it into the cigar socket?
     
  13. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Sorry only just seen this, no I have it clipped straight to the battery which is not disconnected;)
     
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  14. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    What issues with the EBL? No point reducing he rate of discharge as the quiescent drain will be what it is, unless something is faulty.

    Many people,stand in their Motorhomes and say "there's no holes in my roof, and I want to keep it that way" whilst stood under a massive Heki roof light lol

    Roofers are full of holes, just sealed that's all
     
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  15. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    My roof, my rules ;)
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    until they leak..:LOL:
     
  17. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    And the same set up works for us too, with our EBL4-105. (y)

    The only time we suffered a flat engine battery since adopting this set up some years ago, was when the solar panels were covered in snow and ice for a couple of weeks during a really harsh winter, but that was a one off.

    Cheers,

    Jock. :)
     
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  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Eddies battery master bottom right moving 1.1 amps to starter battery
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    Hi @chockswahay ... you may be sorted now with a solution but I've fitted a few battery master devices to vans ..The type in the link posted by @hilldweller above..
    There were no issues with the power management systems fitted in the vans (think they were Sargent control units ). The vans all had solar charging the leisure batteries and allow i think up to a one amp trickle to the start when the leisure voltage reaches a ptedetermined level.....
    Ta Andy
     
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  20. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    You have to be careful here
    The CBE CSB2 and the battery master work very differently
    If you don't have solar the former is useless and you need the battery master
     
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