Kimberley camper solar

I am about to store my Kimberley in a shed with no power and will be using a solar panel to keep the batteries charged. My question is can I connect via a Anderson plug to the car charging Anderson plug at the draw bar or will I need a separate wire to the batteries .
thankyou peter r

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:12

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:12
Hi Peter,

If the Anderson plug connects directly to the battery then connect via the plug. But if it connects via a DC-DC charger in the camper then you may need to connect directly to the battery. If you are using a small "maintenance" solar panel then the losses through the charger may be too much for the solar panel to manage.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - peter r (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:36

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:36
Thanks Allan, I will try and follow the wiring,Kimberley don't use a DC dc charger but it would be a good idea .
peter r

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:43

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 08:43
If there is no charger then OK to simply connect to the Anderson plug Peter. If you have a multimeter then it may be prudent to measure the voltage at the battery terminals before and after connecting the solar panel (in full sunlight) to be reassured that it is providing charge. There should be a small rise in voltage when the panel is connected.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:30

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:30
Allan,

I apply a maintenance charge to the camper batteries by this method and I have installed a Ctek dc-dc charger in the camper.

To "fool" the dc charger into thinking it's receiving 12v power from the alternator, I need to switch the mode on the AC charger to supply mode otherwise this charger will not recognise a valid connection.

Otherwise the method works a treat with the dc charger supplying bulk charging if required, then changjng to maintenance mode to maintain a float charge.



Bill


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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:41

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:41
Yes Bill, but that is with an AC charger in "supply" mode. We were discussing using a solar panel which, depending on its rating may not be capable of driving via a dc-dc charger. And Peter has said that the camper does not have a dc-dc charger fitted.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:21

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:21
Yes, Gotcha. I guess I was slightly out of the context of the post.
My on-board charger also takes solar input so I don't need to connect via the cable input.

Bill


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Reply By: zigdog - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:09

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:09
Hi Peter,

You can as I have the same. The Anderson plug on the draw bar is direct wired to the batteries for drive time charging. Your solar panel can plug straight into it but you do need the solar regulator too (if you get the KK solar panels their pack comes with it and is ready to go)

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Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:20

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:20
Peter,

I hope there's going to be a solar regulator between the panel and the batteries.
What's the wattage of the solar panel and what type batteries?

cheers, Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:31

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:31
Hi Peter (Battery Value), What is your view of the small (100mA) chargers such as the Jayco MB-3501 for simply maintaining (not recharging) both flooded and AGM batteries?

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - peter r (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:32

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:32
I have a 40w panel with regulator. Exhide AGM 6x35ah the batteries may not be fully charged when it goes into storage as it will be stored on the same day as we use the camper ,that means the solar will need to charge the batteries untill i can get back to use it again. there is no 240v available . i think it will work .
thanks peter r

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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 11:06

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 11:06
Allan,

sorry I don't have one of these in my tool box and can't find their specs online either.
But if 100mA is all there is, then this is indeed only for maintaining full charge - as long as the battery bank is smaller than 100~150Ah.

And because it's a maintenance charger which stays connected to the battery for a long period of time, there'd better be temperature compensation of the float charging voltage.

It's also recommended to periodically discharge the battery to about 70~80% SOC, and recharge it with a multistage charger capable of supplying a beefy current.

There are good MPPT solar regulators to be had, for surprisingly little money which combine all these with proper multistage charging. And the charging current can reach up to 10 amps.

cheers, Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 12:18

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 12:18
Thanks Peter, The product I was referring to was the Jaycar MB-3501 or similar, 15v open circuit, 120mA max, no regulator.

I used one for a while and the battery never got over 12.8 volts. Now the Troopy electrics are too complex for this and anyway it gets a run every few days.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 13:10

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 13:10
no worries Allan,

just had a look at it online, and I don't recommend it.

Use it on a 100Ah AGM battery and it'll wreck it half way down its normal life span, or even earlier.

Reason for this is that most of the time, this unit outputs less than the specced max charging current.
And the moment you drive current through a VRLA battery, which is less than the steady state current necessary to maintain the float voltage of 13.6~13.8V, you actually discharge the negative electrodes - not kidding.

So you end up with a chronically undercharged battery and massive sulphation in the negative electrodes.

Your observation of the low 12.8V 'charging voltage' from this worthless piece of c... confirms this.

cheers, Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 15:49

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 15:49
Thanks Peter, There really is more to battery management than most people realise, including myself.

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Allan

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Reply By: Member - shane c5 - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:31

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:31
why bother going to that hassle. Simply disconnect the battery and let it stand, the battery will be fine for use next time. I do this with my kombi for up to seven months with no hassles
shane c5
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:45

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 09:45
I didn't know that the Kombi had a battery. I thought they were spring-wound. LOL

But perhaps Peter of Battery Value might comment on leaving a battery stand for seven months without maintenance charge?

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 11:10

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 11:10
A battery sitting there for 7 months without exercising it, or at least receiving periodic topups, or float charging, is bad news.

If there's no better way of looking after it when stored, then it needs to be cycled a few times to make it develop its full capacity again (a small fraction of it will be gone for good, just by letting it sit for that long, no matter what you do with it afterwards).

cheers, Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - shane c5 - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 19:21

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 19:21
Hey allan b, the spring broke so I installed not one, but two batteries. lol Interesting comment from peter though. so how often then would you float the batteries and I assume you are talking battery charger?
Also, if you only need to float it every now and then, then wouldn't this be better than pumping power into it all the time with a solar panel?
shane c5
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Reply By: GT Campers - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:19

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:19
Can you remove and store/maintain the batteries where there is 240V power? Will some lowlife steal your panel?
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Follow Up By: Member - peter r (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:43

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:43
YES the panel could be open to lowlife ,i will sit it up a pole .thats the best i can do about that ,if i had to take the batteries out i would bring the camper home ,but that takes away from the easy use of my camper at the site or go on the road a lot more .
thanks peter r

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Reply By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:59

Sunday, Apr 01, 2012 at 10:59
hi peter r
i use a 12watt solar panel connected through a solar contrller all year round on my camper deep cycle 105amp/hr battery
and never have a problem it is direct connected not through any other device except the solar contrlr and have been using this method for 4yrs now without any problems and the battery is always fully charged and everything is left swithed off on the camper during storge period to stop unnecessary drainageand or the risk of any electric faults while in storage
the solar panel is on the roof of an 11 foot high shed and out of the way from anyone

all you need to do is have a solar panel suitable for the size and number of batteries that your caravan or camper has in order to keep the charge up to them cheers
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