Solar Trickle Charge Ideas

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:34
ThreadID: 101329 Views:1551 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,

I have a business that runs a fleet of vehciles (mainly hiluxes and landcrusiers) in remote locations in WA. Sometimes, between jobs or on the off season these vehicles get left on site or at an airport and not driven for weeks, sometimes months on end. As a result we quite often have flat batteries which is inconvenient and not great for the batteries no doubt. We run dual batteries but more often than not both a flat particularly if left a couple of months.

I'm thinking about putting in solar trickle charger into each vehicle to keep a charge up to the primary battery. Hoping to get some ideas from you all around the following points;

- Panel options: size (considering 4w) and type
- Panel mounting: prefer a permanent mount either on the lightbar (mine spec), or internally, say on the dash somehow (velcro) or stuck to passenger windscreen??
- Regulator: been considering the monrningstar sunguard 4A 12v
- Wire, connectors, fuses: guage and ideas would be appreciated.

Hoping to get some good advice and experiences from anyone that has done the same. Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46
Try to source 4 - 5 W panels that only have 32 cells and not the usual 36 cells. These are safe to use without regulators.

If you mount them behind glass then their output will be considerably reduced. UV radiation contributes a considerable proportion of their output. Any glass that is not specifically manufactured to transmit UV will attenuate the UV section of the sun's energy. (The glass used in the covering on panels is a special type with minimum UV attenuation.)

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 14:13

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 14:13
is that the same for perspex ????
I have seen the glass cracked on panels and wondered if you can replace it with perspex..
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 22:58

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 22:58
Wikipedia claims it to have the same transmission as ordinary window glass.

"PMMA transmits up to 92% of visible light (3 mm thickness), and gives a reflection of about 4% from each of its surfaces on account of its refractive index (1.4914 at 587.6 nm). It filters ultraviolet (UV) light at wavelengths below about 300 nm (similar to ordinary window glass). Some manufacturers add coatings or additives to PMMA to improve absorption in the 300–400 nm range."
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Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 17:46

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 17:46
As said....a 5W panel maybe on a universal bracket so it can be easily attached to each car when being parked up.....and each car has an Anderson ( or similar ) plug permanately wired to the need for regs, gauges etc......( fused at the battery end of course )

Park the car up, grab the small solar panel, attach it to the bracket with say 2 clips, plug it into the Anderson plug and walk away... !!....................sounds simple and it is !!
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Reply By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 20:14

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 at 20:14
Hi Willl , Have you looked at thread 92958 with the same heading , might be worth a read !!!
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )
Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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