Solar Panels & trickle charging

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:06
ThreadID: 67779 Views:2910 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
Hi everyone,
I would like to know if there is any problem using a Primus 80w solar panel to trickle charge my camper for extended periods?

Or is it best to purchase a dedicated 10w trickle charge panel for this purpose?

To explain, I have a window incorporated in the top of a custom camper trailer cover installed after the manufacturer offered it as an option. I intend to leave the solar panel connected to the camper either open totally (80w) or folded providing 40w of power. I kind of figured that if 80w was too much power being used to trickle charge, 40w may be ok.

Of course like all of these solar panels, the Primus has a regulator but it occurred to me that I simply don't know enough to make the correct call on this.

There is only one thing worse than going away with a flat battery & thats going away with a cooked one.

By the way thanks to those responsible for managing this site. You feel that the responses you get here are totally impartial & it does offer peace of mind when getting away from it all.

Brad
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:32

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:32
As long as the regulator is connected and working it should be ok.
The only problem might be if the battery is a wet cell and is in an enclosed space there might be a fume buildup. Gel and AGM batteries should be ok.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 359295

Reply By: Brad & Sam - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:34

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:34
Thanks Peter for you reply. I suspected it would be ok but you just don't always know until after the damage has been done.

The battery is a gel unit so that should be ok.

Brad
AnswerID: 359296

Reply By: Boobook2 - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 12:04

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 12:04
I understand that the regulator in the Primus is a pretty simple PWM unit without 3- 4 stage and trickle charging capability. I am pretty sure it is not really designed for constant set up top up use. I assume you mean top up use when in storage.
AnswerID: 359299

Follow Up By: Brad & Sam - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:11

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:11
Thanks for the feeback. I may have to consider buying a specific panel for this purpose designed for trickle charging. As the battery is a gel unit it may well be a problem.

Brad
0
FollowupID: 627283

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 12:52

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 12:52
Brad,
Depends on your battery - what float voltage is written on the side of yours? Many Gel batteries have a lowish float voltage of 13.5V which I expect is less than the regulated voltage of your solar setup. In which case, I wouldn't leave it connected for long periods of time.

Gel battery have a low self-discharge rate, so I'd store it disconnected and run an appropriate charger on it occasionally tokeep it in good shape.

Cheers
Phil
AnswerID: 359304

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 14:43

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 14:43
Rather than using a trickle charger, just connect your panel for a few days every month or so. Saves the cost of purchasing a trickle charger.

The other way would be to install a quality 3 stage charger in your van to power your system in caravan parks and leave that running at home.

PeterD
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 627269

Follow Up By: Brad & Sam - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:13

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:13
Thanks Phil I do have a Ctek charge fitted to the trailer. I might just stick with plugging it on one and a while.

0
FollowupID: 627284

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)