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Old 05-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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external solar panel

Unfortunatly I have to park my coach in RV storage with no shore power and i'm always concerned about my batteries. I've got an external solar panel (40w) and wondering if it is working properly. It produces 20v up to the controller in bright sun. Then the controller puts out around 13.9v...all is good.

My question is as dark approaches and the voltage drops from the panel below say 13v, the controller then continues to decline as well and doesn't ever "cut off" to the output side. In darkness it still trys to put out a few volts...would this hurt or discharge the batteries?

It's a brand new controller and I actually have another one and it does the same thing so I'm unlucky at buying controllers or don't understand what is happening.

I've got brand new house batteries so don't want to damage them!

Thanks!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:43 PM   #2
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Most solar panel charging systems - and I say most, are configured with a diode. A diode is essentially a one-way valve for power. They will bleed a very very small amount of power back, but it's so low you don't have to worry about it.

The low voltage output in an of itself isn't enough to worry about. It doesn't prove or disprove anything.

Worried about it? Disconnect one side, plug it into an amp meter when it's shaded. Report back..
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'll give it a try and revert back!
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Call the company that made the controller and ask them. I am 99.99999% sure that CB1000rider is correct and there is a diode in the output of the controller. I never disconnect mine and have had zero problems.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #5
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Why not just disconnect the batteries after they are charged up and you're parked in storage? Should be healthy and happy for several months. No charging needed.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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Thanks Jim, I think that is what i'm going to do. then go out and run the gen for awhile..watch a movie and let them charge
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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I think you are worrying for nothing, unless your batteries are discharged after storage you don't have a problem.

On my coach I cut off the batteries, but the solar charger remains connected. Never had a problem.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by distaff View Post
I think you are worrying for nothing, unless your batteries are discharged after storage you don't have a problem.

On my coach I cut off the batteries, but the solar charger remains connected. Never had a problem.

If this is how yours are wired, that would be the best idea... But you'd need to know how yours are wired.
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