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Old 08-07-2022, 07:48 PM   #1
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Charging house batteries while in storage

Iíd like to use a solar panel to charge my 4 house batteries while being stored.
The solar panel has a positive and negative wire, each with an alligator clip.
If itís even possible, where do I attach the clips?
Or does each battery need its own solar charger?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogulite View Post
Iíd like to use a solar panel to charge my 4 house batteries while being stored.
The solar panel has a positive and negative wire, each with an alligator clip.
If itís even possible, where do I attach the clips?
Or does each battery need its own solar charger?

Thanks
Most if not all solar panels feed to a charge controller that in turn connects to the batteries. Unless your panel has this built into it, you will need a controller.

The controller tries to output regulated charging voltage. The panel alone will vary its output with sunlight, varying widely.

Your 4 house batteries are likely 6 volt deep cycles. they will be wired in series per pair, then in parallel across pairs. Ending up with 12 volt potential out of the pack. That is where you wire the charge controller to. It will feed 12 volts to all 4 batteries at once. When charging the actual voltage will be about 13.6 to 14.4 as the charge is "pushed" into the batteries.

Fully charged batteries should test at 6.3 volts each or 12.6 volts on the pack, after dissipating surface charge.
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Old 08-08-2022, 12:53 PM   #3
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How many watts is it. I suspect your panel may not be up to the task of keeping these batteries properly charged. Sounds like 12v uncontrolled panel . What is pv voltage of panel. It may work on a single 45lb auto battery but not on nearly 400lbs of batts, because of the lack of extra output voltage, if necessary charge amps are too high. A 100watt panel with higher PV voltage and a solar control is more up to task through winter 50 watt minimum. With some shopping you may get a deal on 300ish watt panel for $150 . At this level of solar power there are very decent inexpensive charge controllers even dual bank controllers for about $40-50.
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Old 08-08-2022, 03:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

So it sounds like this one isnít going to work? It says itís a 15 watt charger.

As far as connecting the leads when I get a more powerful panel, it seems like I want to connect to where the leads from the motorhome are connected to the batteries. Is that correct?
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

So it sounds like this one isnít going to work? It says itís a 15 watt charger.

As far as connecting the leads when I get a more powerful panel, it seems like I want to connect to where the leads from the motorhome are connected to the batteries. Is that correct?
The panel kit you pictured would only have value being used on a single car battery, with full direct sunlight and little to no parasitic draw. Like a parked car with nothing more than a clock keeping time. Notice the package reads controller built in.

Your battery pack would need a few hundred watts of solar in good sunlight. Would need a charge controller sized to the solar you have. The controller would be wired to the battery pack where it leaves the whole pack in parallel.
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Old 08-08-2022, 05:14 PM   #6
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I would forgo the solar charger idea and instead disconnect the negative battery cables and forget about battery charging during storage.
If your batteries are not faulty they will last for at least 6 months while the negative cables are detached.
Just remember to take a picture of the battery cable routing before removing anything.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogulite View Post
Iíd like to use a solar panel to charge my 4 house batteries while being stored.
The solar panel has a positive and negative wire, each with an alligator clip.
If itís even possible, where do I attach the clips?
Or does each battery need its own solar charger?

Thanks
I use one of these for each of my boat batteries during the winter in the PNW. Works fine.

https://www.harborfreight.com/15-wat...ger-62449.html


My MH has a 40 watt factory installed solar for maintaining batteries while in storage. Since I am full time, I have only left it for one week. Maintained fine with the frig on propane.

If I was to leave it longer, I would clean out the frig and use the battery disconect switch.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:43 PM   #8
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I would forgo the solar charger idea and instead disconnect the negative battery cables and forget about battery charging during storage.
If your batteries are not faulty they will last for at least 6 months while the negative cables are detached.
Just remember to take a picture of the battery cable routing before removing anything.
That sounds like a better option for sure. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:20 PM   #9
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My old gal has two OEM 45watt panels and very basic pwm controller ,my guess I'm at about 70% of original output now. Probably about grand in 1995. I moved to output house batts as I have 1000 amp chassis manual disconnect. If not topped off and partial shade throughout the day it can get ahead of draw with salesman switch off LP detector on. It's nice to know in a few days I can gain some juice instead of loose.
But I nearly always boondock and use generator power.
I have plans to add at least 600 watts solar after doing a full saw and painting FG roof.
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Old 08-09-2022, 12:50 AM   #10
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Any panel over 20 watts needs to have a charge controller.
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Old 08-09-2022, 11:03 AM   #11
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Where I keep my RV there is no electrical service. So I had an extra 200 watt panel and a charge controller. I mounted the panel on the south side of the building. I bought about 50 feet of cable for the panel and attached it to the charge controller which is mounted on a wood post inside the shed. Then I took a heavy duty outdoor extension cord and cut it so I left about 2 feet on the female end. This plugs into the charge controller output. The other longer end I attached alligator clamps that go to the batteries(4 six volt batteries) Then to charge I simply plug them into each other.
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