Making Use Of The Extra Solar Power.

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 00:41
ThreadID: 88654 Views:2158 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Oh there everyone,

My question is a technical one. We have a van with 4 135w solar panels and 3 120ah batteries. By mid morning to lunchtime the batteries are fully charged and want to use the extra power going to waste to charge the deep cycle second battery in the vehicle when we are free camping. The Engel runs in the car and it would be nice to charge the car so we can leave the Engel on.

My question is how do I do this? Do I just run additional cable and second anderson plug to the second battery? I have 13 v on the caravan side of the Andersen plug during the daylight. No voltage on the car side of the Anderson plug, there is a relay isolating the battery from the plug on the car and is activated with ignition on.

Any help and advice on this would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 07:56

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 07:56
Sounds like you have a simple straightforward setup and can just run an additional cable as you describe , or alternately just run a second cable from the fridge back to the van supply (thats what I would do ,with a switch to select fridge power source).
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 463405

Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 08:51

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 08:51

this might be a simple matter of energising the isolation relay/solenoid which should make a connection between your car battery/ies and the plug in the rear. You then just plug in the van.
If it's a voltage sensitive relay, you could connect the sense wire to the output side and whenever the batteries in the van reach >13.4V the switch cuts in and charging of the aux battery begins.

Just keep in mind, if it's not a voltage sensitive relay, and you energise it, and there's no second isolation switch between starter and aux battery, and you manage to flatten the van batteries, the starter battery will also be flat.

cheers, Peter
AnswerID: 463408

Reply By: William W. Wakefield - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:05

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:05
get quality professional advice
AnswerID: 463413

Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:49

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:49
Hi ptnuste

An easy way to solve your problem would be to replace your existing relay with a Redarc SBI-12D, These are like the normal voltage sensing relay but have dual voltage sensors.
The relay works as normal to charge your van battery when traveling but when stopped it will sense the voltage from your vans battery and when this reaches 13.2v will switch on to charge your vehicles secondary battery battery.
Coddiwomple (v.) To travel purposefully towards a vague destination.

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AnswerID: 463438

Reply By: dublediff - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 19:19

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 19:19
I'd just connect up to the grid and get 60c a kw back from the lying thieves....ha ha.

Must be a great thought not having to worry about the beer getting hot.
AnswerID: 463456

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