Solar panel regulator

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1602 Views:1645 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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I have just been given a 37w solar panel measuring 440x 950 which is putting out 20v. No doubt I am going to have to regulate this down to somewhere near 12v to charge my camping battery. Firstly, will I need to do this? Can I buy a suitable regulator to do this? Does Trickey Dicky or similar sell these things. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Justin - Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00
Yuor 12 volt battery will adequately act as the regulator.
The only concern would be of over charging the battery by leavig the panel attached to the battery for ay and not drawing off any charge.

I have 2 panels you mention connected directly to my aux battery that powers my 39 litre engels. I've used it for 4 -5 days in one spot with no problems.
AnswerID: 5226

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00
The regulator only comes into play once your batteries near full charge. If there is a chance that your batteries may ever become fully charged from your panels then you need a regulator. If on the other hand you are drawing more out of your battery than the panel will put in (ie you only use the panel to delay your battery going flat), then you can most likely just hook the panel directly to the battery as described above.
AnswerID: 5231

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
derek i have similar panels
an auto electrician told me the following:
to get amp charge from panels divide watts by 12 (ie 12volt battery) 37watts = 3amp charge. if battery is 50 amp hours, 50 divided by 3 is 16-17 hours running or to charge at 3 amps.
he also said i do not need a regulator but simply put an inline diode in the positive wire to stop the charge going back to the panel once the battery is fully charged.
i had difficulty understanding all the techinal stuff about panels and wanted some simple explanation so i hope this is helpful
Ray
AnswerID: 5246

Follow Up By: Derek - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002 at 00:00
Justin, Nigel and Ray. Thanks for all your advice. The battery being charged will run 2 fluros at night then be recharged the next day and my concern is that it will then continue to charge in my absence from the campsite, possibly overcharging and even boiling dry or exploding. What thoughts do any of you have on this?
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FollowupID: 2271

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
If the only load your battery will supply is 2 fluoros, then you will definately risk overcharging it without a regulator.

You can get away without a regulator only when you draw more out than the panel can put it.

Make sure you get a regulartor that can handle 3 amps or more. The top of the range for your requirements would be the Plasmatronics (an Australian Company) PR1210 for around $76.
AnswerID: 5292

Follow Up By: Derek - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Nigel. This is the info I was after. My first post wasn't as clear as it should have been. Again, many thanks!
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FollowupID: 2287

Reply By: Peter - Thursday, Aug 15, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Aug 15, 2002 at 00:00
I have just put a Plasmatronics PR1210 in my solar panels.
It fits perfectly in the connection box onback of panel. I also mounted a low voltage socket on this box. This means i run the lead from the car and just plug into panel.
AnswerID: 5724

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