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Old 10-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Solar charging panel

I have a solar charging panel that upon measuring is putting out 12 volts. Can I just attach some alligator clips to the wire and then clip them to my battery to keep it topped off over the winter? Thanks everyone.

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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They usually put out more like 14 volts in direct sunlight for proper battery charging, but yes, you can connect with battery clips - but it's a good idea to verify the panel includes a blocking diode to prevent panel damage in case the battery connections are reversed accidentally. IF the panel puts out current much over 2 amps or so, there's also the possibility of battery overcharging if left unattended or monitored for extended periods...

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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How many amps is it putting out. I just keep my rig plugged in all winter, as it is inside and can't get any sunlight. We also leave the ice box on year round so it's always ready to go. 5 to 20 amps may keep the batteries up if everything in the coach is off. Throw that master switch and it kills everything. If you can even plug in to a 15 amp service it will keep you charged up. Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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You must have voltage greater than the battery for it to do any charging and it must be high enough current for the battery to reach full charge or to even counter parasitic drain or self discharge.
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