solar info..

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by bilimanjaro, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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    morning all..
    new member here,,enjoying site..what I want to know is I have a 75watt solar panal which charges a leisure battery and engine battery..details,,
    Fox 350 12/24V Dual Battery Models
    The Fox 350 includes all the standard features with additional detailed information on the LCD display including battery state of charge percentage. This unit is ideal where 2 battery banks are installed and typically both require top up, particularly whilst unattended. The system’s built in logic charges battery 1 first and ensures it has remained at the final level of 3 stage charging for 1 hour before changing over to battery bank 2. There’s also even an emergency charge function that activates charge to battery 2 if it falls below 10.8V providing battery 1 has more than 11.5V.
    other details of fox 350..
    charging capability,, two separate battery banks..
    maximum solar array watt rating 240watt @12
    would this run another leisure battery,,or do I need another solar panal fitted,and if so can I join them together with one of those t connectors of ebay..
    thanks in advance....
     
  2. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    You can simply connect another leisure battery in parallel with the existing one.
     
  3. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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  4. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    You're existing set-up will be fine - simply parallel another leisure battery.
     
  5. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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    thanks ..
    it's just that I am not sure with it saying two battery banks,,etc..
    will it recognise if I connect another leisure battery to original..don't want to break anything....
    thanks again...
     
  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    However many batteries you parallel the controller will see it as one big battery so there are still only two battery banks.
     
  7. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Exactly wot he says :Smile:
     
  8. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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    thanks for replies..:thumb:
    another querie,,my solar panal is 75watt .......will it run two 100ah batteries,,my old leisure battery is two/three years old,,should I buy two new one's?? taking in that this system also charges engine battery,, or fit another solar panel say 80watt.. I wild camp most of the time..
    just juggling different idea's..
    thanks.. :thumb:
     
  9. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    A 75w panel will 'run' as many batteries in parallel as you care to connect. Whether you charge this bank of batteries with solar or EHU the larger the bank capacity the longer it will take to charge them.

    Think of the batteries as a water tank: as you use water from the tank you need to top it up. The more water you arrange to fill the tank the faster it will fill up to the point where the ball valve shuts off the water supply. If you arrange for more water to enter the tank you'll be able to take water more quickly without the level in the tank dropping too far. If you have a bigger tank you can use water for longer without any coming in to top it up. And if it runs out of water the faster you can fill it the better.

    So the simple answer is yes - your panel will be fine but more is better. The same applies to your batteries - 2 is good but more is better. The only way to decide on the best balance of battery size to panel output is to use the van.

    In my experience 2 x 100/110Ah batteries is easily adequate. 1 x 75/80W panel is the smallest worthwhile size and is worth upgrading to 2 x 80W. But that's just my experience / usage pattern / opinion.:Smile:
     
  10. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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    tonyidle.......many thanks...this is what it says about my regulator....Maximum Solar Array Watt Rating 260w@12v..
    Maximum load connection 12a..
    so can I add another 80watt solar panel to this regulator...if so do I join together the panels with a Y connector..
    thanks...
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  11. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Rated at 12A will be OK. 2x80w panels will not give more than 10A (and usually a lot less). The two panels should be wired in parallel, ensuring that the thickness of the cabling to the regulator is adequate.
     
  12. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We have 1 x 75w solar panel and 2 x 100amp leisure batteries and wild camp virtually all the time and haven't run out of power yet - last year we did nearly 7 weeks in Germany/France and then a month later 4 weeks in Ireland without a hiccup, so I would suggest a second (matched power) leisure battery is the way to go and see how you get on. You can always add another panel at a later date if you need it - until you start to use your van and see what your 'real' needs are it is guesswork.:Smile:
     
  13. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    What he says :Smile:
     
  14. bilimanjaro

    bilimanjaro Read Only Funster

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    many thanks all.............
    that info was worth the tenner subscription.. :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
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  15. carlosj

    carlosj Read Only Funster

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    Hi bilimanjaro, is there any way you can see on your FOX-350 device that it is charging both batteries automatically? I've been having issues with my vehicle battery which is in for checks at the moment :-(
    I have been guilty of not using the van for about a month, but in defense m'lud, I have a portable solar panel to trickle charge the vehicle battery as well as this solar regulator from the roof's solar panel. I'm thinking both or either of these should have stopped the battery draining right down.
    As far as I can make out from the manual, the charge order for batteries can be manually set, but only for 15 minutes, then it reverts back to automatic. The device recognises it has 2 batteries connected, but the vehicle battery still went.
    The last resort I have is to visit more frequently (not always possible) or to disconnect the negative/earth cables from the vehicle battery.
    Thanks for any advice!?
    :frowny:
     
  16. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Yes - The existing battery will be past it's best, fitting 2 of the same type and age is always recommended.
    I am not sure on your controller but as you say it is a 12/24 volt one make sure it is set for 12 volts. I have come across some which default to 24 volts and can fry the batteries. In these cases you need to connect the controller to the batteries, so it can sense the voltage and then to the panel. Not clever:rolleyes: Just check yours is manually switched.
     
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