Solar panel for battery saver

Submitted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:06
ThreadID: 102172 Views:1550 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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I was looking at a 5watt or 10watt solar panel from BitDeals to leave connected to the boat battery to maintain it. I know you can get the little units from Repco etc with the ciggy plug on it but thought for he same money may as well get a real panel that is a more powerful

My question is would it be ok to connect one of these directly to a 70a/h battery without a regulator to maintain it or am I better to buy the Repco type unit?

Thanks in advance for your replies

Alby
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Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 18:35

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 18:35
Hi, I have a couple of the 5 watt ones I leave connected to the rideon & battery for the sounder & radio in the boat.Also a 10 watt one for the battery on the electric fence. None have obvious regulators but could be built in. Work best when battery is fully charged & near new.The 5 watt ones came with both a ciggy plug & clips to go direct to the battery. THe 10 watt works the best but was 3 times the price of the others. Need full sun for as much of the day as possible.
Left connected permanently & haven't ruined a battery yet. That said I don't .connect to new or expensive batteries but to ones that have done service elsewhere. Bill
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 21:51

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 21:51
Thanks for the reply, the price difference between a 5 and a 10 watt panel is less than $10 now so price is not an issue I was more concerned if it is suitable to do so
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 19:41

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 19:41
You have to work on how much current your boat draws on standby and calculate panel size to suit..... base panel size on 4 hrs per day max sunlight.

So is you have a radio that draws 200ma per hour; over a day that would be 4.8 amps over a 24 hour period and if your solar panels are only going to put back 3 amps a day you battery over time will run flat.

Any solar panel is better with a regulator.
AnswerID: 510911

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 21:56

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 21:56
Thanks for the reply.Th ere is no load on the battery when in storage, all the electronics are shut own
The price between a 5 and 10 watt is be negligible so price is not the issue, the concern is whether I will damage the battery from an unregulated supply or overcharge it. The battery is an n70 wet cell
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 08:31

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 08:31
Your 10w solar panel will put out about 0.8amps in ideal conditions ..... more like 0.4-0.5 in average conditions, 0.8amps will not destroy your battery but like all things it would work a bit better with a reg........ if the panel was a fair bit larger then yes a reg is needed.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 10:28

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 10:28
Thanks for your advice, I will run with the 10w panel then.
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Reply By: Honky - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 11:10

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 11:10
I have always wondered how the cigerette plug solar panels work if you have the engine turned off??

Honky
AnswerID: 510951

Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:49

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:49
Hi Alby,
I have a 2 watt and it is split into two ciggy plugs which are attached to both batteries in the boat.
I have used it for 5 years so far and both batteries are OK and ready to go.

I have not worried about putting the batteries away fully charged, just how they finish at the end of the fishing day.

The solar panel is on top of a carport that gets full sun all day.

Seems to be the best solution to keeping boat batteries charged.

bill
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:13

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:13
Thanks bill, that is the sort of thing I am wanting to do except with an Anderson plug wired direct to the battery, come back from fishing and just plug it in.

If you got to use your boat as much as you wanted to you would not need to do this
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