Solar panel / Battery charging info

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 16:43
ThreadID: 106541 Views:2004 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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I have recently purchased a caravan that has 2 Uni-Solar 68w panels on the roof with a single RITAR 12/100 AGM battery charged via a Plasmatron ICS PL-20 solar controller. I also have a Projecta Intelli Charger for mains charging when available.
What I would like to know is can I add a 2nd battery by connecting in parallel and if the current controller etc is suitable.
At this stage I do not have a 12/2450 inverter but I am thinking that I will probably find that I need one soon.
We are planning on a long trip soon and I am hoping to hit the road with all issues covered. I realise that wont happen as Murphy will be packed up in the back corner somewhere to provide those exciting moments that we all love especially when we are miles from anywhere
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Reply By: John and Regina M - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 16:46

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 16:46
Yes u can.
AnswerID: 527640

Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 17:04

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 17:04
No problem, perhaps have the existing battery load tested as you may need to replace it while you are busy. Try match them if possible.

We have a newsletter here on how to join batteries.

Note: Perhaps also increase the solar capacity if you have space on the roof.

Enjoy the new van.


Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 527641

Follow Up By: Member - BindoonBlu (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 18:10

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 18:10
Tks Derek

I also have a portable solar panel with its associated controller and I will look at connecting that across the batteries when I have heavy usage etc.
I need to research any possible problem's I may encounter with the 2 solar setups and the separate controllers. The portables are 120 watt that we use on the vehicle to keep the deep cycle in that charged to run the Engel when parked up.
FollowupID: 810078

Follow Up By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 18:45

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 18:45
No problem, email me and I will talk you through how to work both panels on one regulator. You can run approx. 240W on the 20A reg you have in the van.


FollowupID: 810082

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 19:46

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 19:46

"At this stage I do not have a 12/2450 inverter" I guess you mean 12/240 (I have finger troubles too!)

An inverter has its uses, but I'd suggest look at options that will allow you to do without one. If you must use an inverter, be aware of the pitfalls associated with non-sinewave ones - much cheaper than pure sine wave types but not as generally applicable. 12V power supplies are readily available for most of the gear we carry and save the inefficiencies in going up to 240V then coming down again. 12V chargers can be had for most Laptops, camera, torches, radios,....... . The things that aren't so easy are usually the higher powered gear that will embarrass your batteries anyway.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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