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Old 03-19-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
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Solar Panel Charging My Battery ???

I've got a small, maybe 8x18, solar panel on my roof that I guess is suppose to put a trickle charge into my batteries. If this is true how do I measure this trickle? And is my chassis or house batteries getting trickled?
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmason View Post
I've got a small, maybe 8x18, solar panel on my roof that I guess is suppose to put a trickle charge into my batteries. If this is true how do I measure this trickle? And is my chassis or house batteries getting trickled?
There might be an LED that indicates a charge status and I believe that your cell is charging your coach batteries.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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The solar panels that provide a trickle charge usually charge the chassis battery(ies) to keep it (them) from being discharged during storage. Unlike the house batteries that usually have a disconnect switch, the chassis battery(ies) are constantly subjected to small loads from things like the computers and control modules that store information for the engine, transmission, etc.).
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #4
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paz,
Your reply brings another question. If I have my house battery main disconnect switch in the off position does the solar panel still provide a charge?
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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My coach is older but there is a green LED in the battery compartment that is on when the sun is up. It only charges the house battery bank and works when the batteries are turned off or on. On sunny days it will show a good charge even with the switch in the on position.

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Old 03-24-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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on my 99 pace arrow, the rooftop charge panel runs into the rv custom products black box under the hood. It's connected to the shassis battery, before the disconnect switch.

It is supposed to put a charge into the chassis battery even when the disconnect is tripped. My battery goes dead in extended storage anyway.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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Get a volt meter and test. Disconnect the house and chassis batteries and don't have the 110v AC supply connected. Test for solar panel output voltage at the respective battery leads with the battery disconnect switch on and off. Test at the solar fuse or circuit breaker. You should see at least 14 volts (if you have a controller) or 18 or more volts if no controller. Small panels most often don't have a controller.
In my opinion, those small 10 watt and less panels may produce enough current on a clear day at the equator during the equinox to keep a battery charged, but good luck otherwise. I have found my 50 watt panel is adequate with the low winter sun in Colorado.
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