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Solar Trickle Charger

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by pb2themax, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Feb 5, 2008 at 11:26 PM
    #1
    pb2themax

    pb2themax [OP] Mod Master

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    This is kinda goofy, but I was itching to build something this evening. Plus I like messing with solar panels. They produce free electricity. Cooooool.

    I got this idea from here. http://www.break.com/index/how-to-build-a-solar-powered-usb-charger.html

    I got two solar panels from some old garden lights, and wired them together in series. Together they can put out about 14 volts.

    I used laminate sheets to seal it all together, like the stuff you use to laminate membership cards and stuff like that. You can't stick ridgid solar panels through a laminating machine, so I got some bubbles when I heated up the laminate with a heat gun. The bubbles don't affect the capability of the solar panels though.

    I cut off the end of a cell phone charger and soldered the wires to the solar panels. Then I took the circuit board out of the inside of the cell phone charger so that the 14 volts would go straight to the contactors on the cig plug.

    Then as long as you have done the Cig Outlet Always On Mod then these solar panels will send voltage to the trucks battery through the cig outlet wiring.

    It actually works, I think. When I plugged it into the cig outlet the voltage on my trucks battery went from 12.57 to 12.59 within a few seconds. These don't put out much current, but if you left your vehicle parked outside at an airport or something for a week then it would probably add up and make a difference in the state of your battery. It should be able to more than make up for the power that your trucks security system is sucking from the battery.

    I've got to do some testing to see if this thing was a waste of time or not. I'll leave it on my dash board while my truck is parked at work, and I'll test the battery before and after I use the solar panel charger.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It easily lights up this 194 LED bulb.
    [​IMG]

    I glued some vinyl on the back to make it look nice and keep from scratching up my dash. It folds in half like a big wallet.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feb 5, 2008 at 11:46 PM
    #2
    45longcolt

    45longcolt Well-Known Member

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    I never saw where you had installed a blocking diode in the system? You need one on there to prevent the battery voltage from heating up the panels when the sun is not out. Maybe there is one installed already in the lamp panels themselves? A (1) amp diode from Radio shack in line will take care of that. So don't leave it plugged in, in the dark just yet. :)
     
  3. Feb 6, 2008 at 6:25 AM
    #3
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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  4. Feb 6, 2008 at 6:36 AM
    #4
    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    damn PB.... i wish i lived near you. i'd have my truck in your garage every day...
     
  5. Feb 6, 2008 at 7:13 AM
    #5
    Roland

    Roland My other ride has sails

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    I second the motion. Solar panels NEED a diode. Without it a solar panel draws more current then it produces. That little panel won't draw much but in marine/RV applications the panels without diodes in the circuit are often big enough to cause interesting problems.
     
  6. Feb 6, 2008 at 9:51 AM
    #6
    dbbd1

    dbbd1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that diode is important, otherwise the battery will drain down when the sun goes down. Harbor Fright sells a similiar item, usually on sale for about 12.00. I love these things.
     
  7. Feb 6, 2008 at 5:18 PM
    #7
    mvega1969

    mvega1969 Well-Known Member

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    ... and then kiss you, hug you, cross our hands... and know lets... mmm!

    Ohhh! that is why they call themselves Alliance...
     
  8. Feb 6, 2008 at 5:24 PM
    #8
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    Harbor freight has sales?!?
     
  9. Feb 6, 2008 at 5:28 PM
    #9
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to think you are the real McGyver !
     
  10. Feb 7, 2008 at 8:50 AM
    #10
    nd

    nd Radical Town. It's a hell of a place!

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    I would do all that to PB's truck but not PB himself
     
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