Solar panels................

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:06
ThreadID: 29294 Views:2874 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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Good evening peoples,

I have just purchased my neighbors entire off-road/camping equipment.

Circumstances surrounding this is not relevant to this forum...however,

I am now the 'proud' owner of a Solarex 80w solar panel, great except that I know not what to do with it..

It has been stored in a purpose made ply-wood cabinet and is as new.

Trouble is no instructions, it has a positive and negative lead coming from the back with alligator clips...'tas all.

Question is, to those learned persons, how do I best utilise this to charge the battery that feeds the fridge? There has got to be an add on or two,,

Treat me gently, 'cos I know diddly about these things, have looked at their site but am still none the wiser.

Another question....among this big heap of goodies were a few jerry cans (plastic) that are full of is maybe 6 - 9 months old, how long can diesel be kept in jerry cans and still retain optimum quality.......or do I pour it on the big ants in the back yard??

Michael B (SA)
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:20

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:20
just hook the panel straight to the battery observing positive and negative of course. Unless it is permanently connected there is no need for regulators or the like.
The diesel should be fine, if it is going in a late model (read fussy) vehicle you may want to chuck some diesel injector cleaner in as well, most older vehicles will have no prob especially if you only put one jerry in and top up with fresh.
AnswerID: 146236

Follow Up By: samsgoneagain - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:29

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:29
just tip the fuel out. not woth the risk it may have water or petrol in it. and remember that diesel disolves rubber and some plastics over time
FollowupID: 399779

Follow Up By: Michael B - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:33

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:33
Thanks guys,

But that is 6 of one and half a dozen of the other!!!


Might just go with the gut and kill some weeds!!

FollowupID: 399781

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:18

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:18
pffft diesal will be fine I have a few times used fuel stored for 6 months pluss
FollowupID: 399805

Follow Up By: Member - Ed. C.- Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:53

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:53
Provided the lids have been screwed down firmly, & the jerries stored out of the weather, the diesel should be fine...
(If ya don't want it, I'll have it!!!)....

If you're worried about it, I'd do as Peter2 suggests.. use one jerry at a time per tankful, and use a biocidal additive to kill any bugs which MAY (or may not) be present... The biocide is not a bad idea in any case, IMO.....

One other precaution I would take, is to decant the fuel into a known *clean* container through a funnel w/- a fine gauze strainer... What you see in the strainer (after decanting) will give a pretty good indication if there's any "wogs" in the fuel...
Like I said before... If ya don't want it, I'll have it!!

Regards, Ed. C.

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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FollowupID: 399806

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:24

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:24
Yo Michael B,

Have a squizz at the link and you should be right...

AnswerID: 146237

Reply By: Michael B - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:38

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:38
Tks Crazy,,,

Good site but to a cretin like me, not enough basics, LOL

How do I know how much 'stuff' is being put into the battery and how do I know when it is fullup??

AnswerID: 146239

Reply By: Lunar - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:10

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:10
Hi Michael,

There are lots of different opinions on this, and a ot of very knowledgable peeps on this forum, but you will get different advice and it is hard to work out the best thing to do. Collyn Rivers has a very good book on Solar in camping applications and I'm largely following his advice.

Aftera LOT of research and reading I have come to the conclusion a Solar Regulator is a good idea as a decent one will tell you how much power u are getting from the Solar panel, how much is being drawn from your battery, and the state of charge of the battery. You don't want to cycle your battery (i.e get below 50% capacity) at any stage as this shortens all batteries life spans, so having the metering is the go, I got this one.

20 Amps is heaps more than what I will need but it has the readouts and logging which I want. It will also help protect the battery.

So basically you wire up the cell to the controller and the controller to the Battery, and make sure you use good cabeling so you don't get voltage drop along the wire. What type opf battery are you using, again, after a lot of research I'm going for the Fullriver 120 AmpHour from Fridge and Solar as I live on the Coast, at 300 bucks, I want mine to last as long as possible :). One thing I'm not sure on is if I need a fuse incase somethings shorts, haven't got that far yet :)

Hope that wht's your appetite, but like I said, I'm a n00b at this but the big guns will be along shortly :)
AnswerID: 146250

Reply By: Michael B - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:38

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:38
Tks Lunar,

I guess it takes a while to gather all the info required, your input is invaluable 'cos it gives me a base to start from.

Thank you for your time,

Michael B (SA)
AnswerID: 146255

Reply By: Peter - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:00

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:00
You will get lots of different answers and suggestions. Try this site to see if it helps at all:
AnswerID: 146257

Reply By: Lunar - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:03

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:03
A good place to start schooling up is take this link to get some info,

You can get it by taking the Electrics Link under topic search on the left hand side of this page, the Solar link is down the bottom...have fun, and make a cup of coffee, ya gonna need it :)
AnswerID: 146258

Reply By: Lunar - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:50

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:50
That link Peter gave is a bloody good link!!
AnswerID: 146264

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne M (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:20

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:20
I fully agree, as I purchased a steca regulator off them recently, ordered Wednesday arrived my place in W.A Friday.
FollowupID: 399836

Reply By: Michael B - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 15:23

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 15:23
Thank you to all those who took the trouble to reply.

Some very good info and really appreciated.

Seems like a regulator is needed, so more homework. sigh....

-and I reckon I'll use the fuel, sorry Ed......

Michael B (SA)

AnswerID: 146315

Reply By: bogger - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 17:12

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 17:12
Take some good advise and get a regulator. Put the solar panel out in the sun and place a multimeter across the alligator clips, it is not uncommon to get 20 volts across the terminals. The regulator will bring the voltage back to the high 12 to the mid 13 volts.

Throw that diesel out, it's ok to use in a chinese engine that you use a young bamboo shoot to clean the injectors, but I wouldn't use it in my engine.

Cheers have a good one.
AnswerID: 146320

Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 16:25

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 16:25
I use a Solarex 80 Watt solar panel... and Steca solar regulator all direct wired to a Deep Cycle battery system....

I would cut off the "aligata clips" yesterday if not even sooner... and hard wire the system into place correctly, using a decent fuse system and correct sized cable.
They work fantastic.

and if you don't know what to do with it, send it to me and I will use it on your behalf L0L
so what is the reason of the plywood case???
storage when NOT in use or in use ??
AnswerID: 146599

Reply By: Michael B - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:25

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 17:25

Good afternoon,

I have done some more homework and now have a Plasmatronic charge controller.

Was talking to a customer about the solar panel etc and he offered me this controller that he no longer used......this has been a good exercise thus far, lol.

Intend to hard wire the controller permanently into the back of the truck and conect to panel and battery.

Reason for the case, the guy next door was quite fastidious and only bought good quality gear and tended to look after same. He used to carry the panel in the case when he was travelling (laid it on the bed in his off-road caravan).

Have a good 'un and thanks for your input.


Michael B (SA)

AnswerID: 146613

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