Charging 2nd battery with solar - help please!

I have a 105Ah aux battery which is charged from my BT50 via a Redarc 1240. I have a Waeco CF50 connected to this battery and an Anderson plug which terminates at the drawbar & is used for my compressor etc.
I have purchased a Waeco CFX28 which I would also like to plug into the Anderson plug at times when camping. I would also like to be able to put some charge into the aux battery via my 120W solar panel.
If I had a Y set up of 3 Anderson plugs - 1 to plug into the drawbar, 1 to connect the CFX28 and 1 to connect the solar panels would I be able to run the fridge and put charge into the aux battery simultaneously?
A mate says it works for him but I have my doubts - anyone out there who can give a definitive answer please?
Cheers
Trevor
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:24

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:24
The Redarc 1240 is designed to take input from solar panels so this is the best place to connect solar panels.
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Follow Up By: tg123 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:52

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:52
Thanks Chris. I agree with you but unfortunately my Redarc is squirrelled away and it would mean removing my shelf system to access.
My preference in the short term at least is to do the Y thing -IF it would work!
Trevor
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:11

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:11
Is your solar panel a folding one, Trevor, with a built in reg, or a fixed one with no reg?

Can't see why it won't work, as long as you have a reg on the panel. Chris's suggestion would be the way to go, in long term, and maybe add another panel too, depending on type of camping you do.

Bob

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Follow Up By: tg123 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:22

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:22
Hi Bob!
Panel is folding with regulator built in.
I agree this wouldn't be ideal but if it gets me over the line as a quick fix then I'd be happy to give it a go
Trevor
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Follow Up By: Whirlwinder - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 14:45

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 14:45
Charging the battery via the Redarc is the best way to go. Your idea will work but it does not charge the battery correctly. I know, I have just changed from what you suggest to the right way via Redarc. Big difference in battery charge and life.
Ian
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Reply By: Glenn C5 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:37

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 11:37
http://www.campertrailers.org/wiring-parallel.jpg Have a look at this Trevor. It may help
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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:31

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:31
I'll work, no problems. Just that the regulator on the solar panels may not be quite as efficient as the RedArc.
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Follow Up By: tg123 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:40

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:40
Notso
Not too fussed about an efficiency loss - I know the panels don't/ won't generate enough to recharge the battery whilst running fridges but am hoping they'll reduce the battery discharge & hence give me a bit longer before I need to go for a drive to utilise the Redarc to top it up.
Cheers
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 22:31

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 22:31
Using a solar panel with regulator fitted which then goes to battery via redarc management system will cause issues with charging as both regulators will cancel each other out. Know this as folks attempted to plug their portable solar panel (80w foldup) into anderson plug on draw bar with no affect on battery levels whatsoever

Maybe be possible to fit a change over switch to manually select charging source ie solar panel or inbuilt system brother did fit a secondary line in directly to batteries for charging directly without going by redarc system but I have few concerns about this method as management system may not be able to register input from additional panel and possibly have over charge issues as a result.

The newer management system (even higher price) does allow power input from multiple sources be in 240 solar or 12v it will manage each one accordingly to give maximum inpout without damaging batteries



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Follow Up By: tg123 - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 08:23

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 08:23
Dean, thanks for your reply. I understand about the 2 regs thing - would obviously need to bypass reg on panels if going through the Redarc. As this set up would only be used whilst stationary charging from 2 sources will not be an issue.
Cheers
TG
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Reply By: Member - Tim S10 - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 22:50

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 22:50
My 120w solar panel pulls at least twice the power that my Engel uses (about 2,2 APH), which leaves plenty for charging phones etc and running the lights in my Jayco Hawk at night. You should not have a problem.
I have a 210Ah deep cycle battery permanently connected in the back of my Patrol and the solar panel connects to an external socket at the rear. When camping I can connect my camper to the socket/battery. When driving both batteries get charged and the fridge/freezer keeps cool.
This is definitely achievable. I have a friendly electrician!
cheers Tim
AnswerID: 597628

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 23:49

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 at 23:49
.
Yes Trevor, using an Anderson "Y" connector as you have described would work quite OK.
Of course, it would be better to go through the BCDC1240 but if that is difficult then charging direct from the solar panel to the battery is OK provided that it incorporates a suitable regulator. I assume the panel already has a regulator.
Having the fridge connected and running at the same time is not a problem. When the solar panel can provide power, whatever is not needed by the fridge will charge the battery. When the solar is not able to supply power, the fridge will draw from the battery. It will work just fine.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: tg123 - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 08:16

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 08:16
Thank you Allan for your reassuring reply. Looks like it's a goer! Just need to be careful that solar is connected last and disconnected first to avoid possibility of accidentally taking the battery out of play and having the solar directly feeding the fridge!
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