using existing split charge system with solar

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by ultima, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. ultima

    ultima Funster

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    I have a split charge system on van and am about to fit 80w solar /regulator panel to charge LB"s(2x110a)-will it be OK to leave as it is or do I need to disable split charge?The kit consists of 80w mono panel and 10a pwm reg -is it big enough to handle 2x110a lb"s?
     
  2. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    The split charge system is presumably designed to harness some of your alternator power by diverting some of its charge from the cab battery to the hab batteries so its only working when the engine is on.

    The solar is just a different charging source and should be OK subject to the sophistication of the PWM regulator. If its a decent regulator it should prevent the batteries being overcharged. After all its role in life is to regulate the charge going to the batteries. If it is possible make sure you set the regulator to suit your type of batteries i.e. wet, sealed, AGM, GEL etc. It should also be able to protect itself from when the split charge relay is working. Have a read of the manual and you might be reassured.
     
  3. ultima

    ultima Funster

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    Thanks-panel has arrived (80w mono) came with "cheap" PWM 10a controller .Is it big enough to charge my battery bank of 2x110a batteries as I will change it if not before I fit it next week?
     
  4. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Personally I didn't find an 80 watt panel adequate to charge my hab batteries especially in the UK though it was better abroad. Only you can tell if the regulator is man enough to charge the batteries as most chargers/regulators have a limit as to what they can charge which should be stated in the instruction book/specifications.

    My new solar controllers are 30amp regulators and can handle 300 watts of solar panels each.
     
  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I am sorry but don't really understand the comments about the split charge BUT as far as the panel and regulator are concerned I would be tempted to go for a decent MPPT regulator rather than a cheepo chucked in with he panel go for one that can handle about 300 watts and then you can add too it if required.

    Martin
     
  6. ultima

    ultima Funster

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    80w will be plenty for me as all 12v/led just bothered about if 10a controller will be big enough to charge my 230a battery bank-if so will get decent MPPT 10a or bigger if needed.
     
  7. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    The 10 amp regulator rating refers to the amount of current it can handle from the solar panel, an 80w panel produces around 5 - 5 amps max. Changing it for a MPPT regulator will give more output in low sun conditions, with an 80 watt panel you should be OK from May until September. We have 2 x 100 watt panels still not enough for the winter here but Feb/March in Portugal & Spain can get up to 100 watts around midday, thinking about fitting a 3rd panel.
    Don't worry about the split charge relay as when the alternator is running the solar regulator will see the higher voltage across the batteries and will shut down.
     
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  8. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    80W works for us in a MH that's all 12v with LED lights BUT we don't use the system over winter.

    I've added my own detachable split relay charger that works in the opposite direction to normal when the MH is in storage. That way the solar panel keeps the leisure battery topped up, and any surplus charge trickles into the cab battery to stop it from going flat. I made it from components I bought off eBay for about £15 plus some suitably sized cable. I only connect it when the MH is stationary with the engine off, for obvious reasons. It gets the battery through to about November, but from then until Feb I have to drive the MH around every four weeks to stop the cab battery going flat, as the sun is too low and/or weak to do the job.
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    The controller/regulator is more than up to controlling your charge current but an 80w panel will only give around 4 to5 amps at very best at mid day in summer.
    It will charge your 220ah battery bank but it could take days doing so.
    Changing the regulator on its own won't increase the charge current, only more or bigger panels can do that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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