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Old 08-11-2022, 06:54 PM   #1
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Solar power for battery maintenance

Wondering if any suggestions for solar battery maintenance while it is in storage for the winter to keep batteries from going dead thank you.
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Old 08-11-2022, 07:59 PM   #2
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It's really hard to be specific. A single 60-100 watt panel should be plenty to keep your batteries charged IF you remove all loads which doesn't always happen when you throw the salesman switch. If you install a true disconnect switch your batteries will be fine for months as long as they start their storage time fully charged. Most flooded cell batteries have a self discharge rate of 3% a month. Just about any tickle charge should handle that. It's phantom loads that will drain a battery. Things like propane or carbon monoxide detectors, radio memory backups, some engine or transmission controllers, or 12v items that aren't really off when turned off. Usually these add up to a few amps. A 100 watt panel will supply up to 8 amps on the best days. Less when winter clouds are around.

I had problems with dead batteries after a few months in storage until I installed two disconnects. After that the batteries were fine. It's started right up in the spring. That's without anything trickle charging. A free way to do this is to pull the negative battery cable(s) after parking it.
Tom and Pris M. along with Buddy the 18 year old Siamese cat
1998 Safari Serengeti 3706, 300HP Cat 3126 Allison 3060, 900 watts of Solar.
Dragging four telescopes around the US in search of dark skies.
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Old 08-11-2022, 08:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Luv2roadtrip View Post
Wondering if any suggestions for solar battery maintenance while it is in storage for the winter to keep batteries from going dead thank you.
From my experience with a sample size of 1, being me....
I have a small, 10watt I think, solar panel that came factory installed on my 2002 winnebago adventurer. It charges my two house batteries that came with the coach when we bought it a few years ago.

Over the last 3 NY winters I have never had to pull the two house batteries. The solar charger has done a good enough job to keep them charged. I pull my chassis (engine) battery each winter and put it on a trickle charger/maintainer at home. But anytime I stop over during the winter and check my rig my house batteries are always fully charged and working fine.
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32v with lots of upgrades....
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Old 08-12-2022, 08:21 AM   #4
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A 50 watt panel keeps my batteries charged up throughout the winter. I mount it almost vertical eon the south facing bumper to keep the snow off. The Precision Circuits BIM 160 also connects the house and chassis batteries to keep it charged.

The solar controller is wired directly to the house batteries so I keep the battery disconnect switch off so I don’t have to deal with parasitic loads.

Works great.

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Old 08-12-2022, 08:42 AM   #5
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Monaco offered the solar option on some of their rigs. The packaged consisted of one 85 watt panel, a 30 amp solar controller, that went to both the house and the chassis batteries separately, the controller sent more power to the house. House has a 25 amp fuse, chassis 5 amp.

If you shut off both disconnects the solar would probably keep up with the small parasitic draw of a stored battery but don't count on more then that.
Jim J
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battery, maintenance, power, solar

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