AGM Battery charging

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 21:26
ThreadID: 104706 Views:1773 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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I got an AFM battery in my SUV that can be charged either by the car alternator (piranha unit) or by solar panel changing manually Anderson connectors.
I would like to leave both systems connected so the charging switches to solar when the car is off.
What gear can do this trick?
Thanks
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Reply By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 21:33

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 21:33
A CETEK d250s dual.
D250s Dual
Regards
Scott
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 07:22

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 07:22
Yep, the D250S dual will do the trick.
Both sources can be connected at the same time and the Ctek will determine which is the most suitable input.

Not only that, but the Ctek overcomes voltage drop in long cable runs and with the multi-stage charging capabilities, will give the best all round results to keep your AGM battery in tip top state.

Sound like a salesman don't I?
I'm not. Just a satisfied user of the D250S dual.

Kulkine Kampers have them at a very good price.

Bill


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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 08:31

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 08:31
Ditto, works great
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Follow Up By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 09:06

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 09:06
Its funny how I'm recommending the CTEK but I am using a projector dc/dc charger. Lol.
Scott
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 15:01

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 15:01
Forumites
Be careful with the CTek Dual. Works great (and I would recommend) if you have large solar panels.
But would not recommend if you only have a 50W panel on the roof; The CTek need a 'minimum amp' input (apologies if this is not the right terminology) for it to work, otherwise it cuts in-and-out.
Severla threads on Exploroz on this. Had the same problem until I increased my panel size
CJ
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 16:44

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 16:44
CSeaJay,

I do not subscribe to this theory based on my own experience.

I think previous quotes on this was based on watts, not amps.
I think the "minimum" subscribed to was 100 watts?
Not in my experience.
I have an 80 watt bi-fold panel and the input is constant given adequate sunlight. I have not experienced the D250S cutting in and out.

With the 80 watt panel supporting the 160Ah battery bank (2) via the Ctek, I observed 100% capacity at the end of each day, last week with the batteries running a 57 litre Engel upright fridge in the camper, plus the water pump and lights.

There must be other factors contributing to this "statement".
Maybe my setup is sound and all is good with cable size, etc.
The panels put in an unregulated supply which is then controlled by the Ctek's MPPT solar controller.

Works well with my 80 watt panels.


Bill


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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 17:56

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 17:56
Hi Bill
I am not surprised it works well with 80W. Hence me specifically referring to 50W.
I had a 50W and it would cut in and out. Had it back to the retail shop(Battery world) and had the tch guy look at it. Replaced there (temporary) with a different unit. Same Problem.
They then confirmed to me it requires more input. At home I added my 80W panel to the mix and it solved the problem. It may well be the 80W is sufficient on its own as experienced by you.
This problem and solution above have been experienced by others as well on this and other forums. (As noted I may be wrong with the term amps, but it did require more 'input' than what the 50W panel would provide)
Comment still stand - if the OP plans on using a small panel of 50W then be aware of this problem.
Cheers
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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 22:53

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 22:53
I have a solar panel and regulator, not MPPT, connected all the time to an AGM Aux battery. When the vehicle is running and I connect the alt via a constant solenoid/relay it also charges the AGM even though the solar is also connected.

That system has worked well for a long time ie, 6yrs.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 09:26

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 09:26
Ferrafilms,

From what you say I think you are connecting the solar panel directly to the battery without a solar regulator. If this is the case, you are running the risk of overcharging the battery which can damage it. (There may be a regulator on the panel itself, which isn't ideal but will do the job.)

Provided there is a solar regulator, it (and the panel that drives it) can be left permanently connected to the battery. The alternator will be switched in too by the piranha unit when charging is available from the alternator. The two, solar and alternator, will both contribute and there is no need to switch between them.

Cheers

John
J and V
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Follow Up By: ferrarofilms - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 11:25

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 11:25
The solar pannel is connected thru a MPPT regulator...so your second paragraph means that I do not need any extra unit to switch between the two charger options.
If the alternator is running, does the solar regulator stops current from the system going to the solar pannel?
Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 13:23

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 13:23
Yes Ferrarofilms. The solar regulator does not permit flow TO the solar panel from either battery or alternator. There is no need to provide any switching between battery and the solar regulator.

Worth noting that for optimum solar performance the regulator should be mounted close to the battery, not at the panel end of the wire.

Cheers

John
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