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Old 11-14-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
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Solar panel battery charger.

Does anyone use these things or does anyone have any recommendation. Going to be living out of the back of my truck for a month on a road trip and would like to have something like this incase i run the battery dead overnight using my laptop or phone or other things.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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Interested also, bump
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
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I made a small one that put out 12V 500mW. I was using it for my UTV. Just 4 12V cells and a schottky diode. Easy and cheap to make, but I have also built solar powered cars...
If there is an 12V outlet that is always on, you can get the type that plugs into the cig lighter.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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I guess he means if he runs the battery over night and the n charge it the rolling morning

Subd interested of what you guys use
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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Truck batterys are not really designed for that kind of use/drain. You might damage your battery but putting it under that kind of stress. What you need is a deep cell/cycle battery that is designed for that kind of use(constant draining and recharging).
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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Even if you had a deep cycle/marine battery, If you drained it completely, you'd need a pretty big panel to recharge it in a timely manner.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Question

You can purchase a decent jump box for around $60.00. Plug it into your recepticle in the bed during the day to keep a peak charge on it. A lot of these units have a built in air compressor. You could purchase a tire plugging kit and along with the compressor fix flats if they occur while on your trip. Just an idea.,
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullaculla View Post
Even if you had a deep cycle/marine battery, If you drained it completely, you'd need a pretty big panel to recharge it in a timely manner.
yes, this too. A small portable solar panel is not likely to create a lot of charge power.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Saw a foldable solar panel just for this purpose... Was either in offroad or 4wd magazine. Can't seem to find it online right now though. Maybe when I'm back at my apartment I'll see if i still have it
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:52 AM   #10
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what are you going to be running off it? 12v accessories? cooler? inverter?

What kind of battery do you currently have?

I have a sears platinum marine 31M AGM - its a re-branded odyssey battery and holds 100 amp/hr of charge

This gets me easily 48 hours parked with ARB 50 qt cooler running an other small accessories.

Before looking at solar - I would look into a National Luna power Pack:

http://www.nationalluna.com/PPPack.htm

This can hold another 31m for you giving you a total of 150 amp/hr of use (assuming you are keeping you main battery at no less than 50%). This is a neat kit, has dual battery charge controller built in - portable also.

The alternative would be to not get the NLPP and get a panel. After you get a good battery the rule of thumb is get a panel rated at ~ the same wattage as your batteries amp/hr capacity. So for my with a 31m @ 100amp/hr I should get a 75-120 watt panel - hard panels are cheaper. You can get good 100watts for $200-300. A foldable 60watt panel will run you $600-$700 alone. (http://www.amazon.com/PowerFilm-F15-.../dp/B001QKWTJ8)

Then you need to get a nice charge controller so you don't fry your battery ($50 for cheapo and $200+ for nice ones that follow charge specs for AGM batteries) To do it right I would budget $600-$1000 for a panel, wiring and charge controller.

This is why the NLPP is a nice option $550 for the power pack and then another $250 for a battery and you can drop in an additional 100 amp/hr that will charge when you car is running.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #11
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curious..what is gonna put you in the wilderness for a month? work? play?

i would invest in a great generator. a honda EU1000 or 2000.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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I'm looking into a 250 watt, 12 volt unit. about 3'x5'. Pricey units, but it's hopefully coming to me no charge after being used on one of my projects for 6 months.

was going to get two, for a total of 500 watts, but another member on the design team has expressed interest in the second one.

I'm going to dual wire mine, with a switch on each circut. one hookup will be straight power to the batter. The second circut will run through a trickle charger, to just maintain. both will be on indevidual switches, so i can pick one or cut power from the panel all together.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aficianado View Post
curious..what is gonna put you in the wilderness for a month? work? play?

i would invest in a great generator. a honda EU1000 or 2000.
This too, Yes - I love my EU2000i. under 50lbs and quiet. but also $1000 bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post


I'm looking into a 250 watt, 12 volt unit. about 3'x5'. Pricey units, but it's hopefully coming to me no charge after being used on one of my projects for 6 months.

was going to get two, for a total of 500 watts, but another member on the design team has expressed interest in the second one.

I'm going to dual wire mine, with a switch on each circut. one hookup will be straight power to the batter. The second circut will run through a trickle charger, to just maintain. both will be on indevidual switches, so i can pick one or cut power from the panel all together.
wow - that's a lot of power for a truck battery don't you think? A good charge controller will charge and maintain for you automatically.

you can get tiny 100w for under $300:

Pmax = 100 watts @ maximum power
Vmpp = 17.7 volts @ maximum power point
Impp = 5.7 amps @ maximum power point
Voc = 21.2 volts @ open circuit
Isc = 6.10 amps @ short circuit
Length = 40.8" (1037mm) 3.4'
Width = 20.7" (527mm) 1.7'
Depth = 1.38" (35mm)
Weight = 14.5 lbs. (6.6kg)
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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it's only about 20 amps.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post
it's only about 20 amps.
that per hour. It really depends on what your using per day.

My arb uses less than 25 amp/hr a day.

if you have 250 watts and get 6 hours of good daylight that 1500 watts or or 125amp/hr

this is more energy than my battery capacity. I think this is why people use the rule of thumb to match your battery capacity and I dont know what your battery capacity is or your daily usage so maybe 250w is needed

If I run a 100w panel for 6 hours I get 600 watts or 50amp/hr back into my battery which is more than enough for daily juice since the ARB only takes 25 amp/hr per day. with 100w I could run my equipment indefinitely in theory.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
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It really depends on the scenario at the time. most of the time won't need that kind of power, but the one time i do, it'd be very nice to have.

with a set of jumpers, you could even run accessories from multiple vehicles off of it at once. I've run full size fridges off a 5000 w inverter hooked to the truck. it would be nice to not have the engie constantly on for that duration, as well as be able to recharge quicker. along with the panel, there would also be a second battery added in.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post
It really depends on the scenario at the time. most of the time won't need that kind of power, but the one time i do, it'd be very nice to have.

with a set of jumpers, you could even run accessories from multiple vehicles off of it at once. I've run full size fridges off a 5000 w inverter hooked to the truck. it would be nice to not have the engie constantly on for that duration, as well as be able to recharge quicker. along with the panel, there would also be a second battery added in.
wow you run some big stuff!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:23 AM   #19
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I agree with Aficianado, renting a quiet portable gas generator will be a whole lot less expensive and more reliable that trying to buy a solar/deep cell battery/inverter system for your dry ("off grid") camping, especially for one month. 5 watt solar panels and below are designed to maintain a full charged car or power sport (motorcycle) battery at 100% State-of-Charge to prevent sulfation. For more information on solar/deep cell battery/inverter system sizing, please see Sections 7.9 and 7.10 in the Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ on www.batteryfaq.org.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked 2007 View Post
wow you run some big stuff!
it also runs the small welder I take wheeling. VERY helpfull to have on the trails.
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