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Old 01-31-2019, 09:32 PM   #1
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Help with Solar Battery Charger

I have a problem with my battery going dead after 3 days of running my fridge controller and the usual sensors and such for safety IE Smoke detector etc.
(Fridge on propane)
I have decided to get this from amazon. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01G53TU2O/...v_ov_lig_dp_it

Could I get some input as to what else I might need to hook this up and make sure the battery does not overcharge. The trailer would sit in an unpowered storage lot for up to a week. It is painful to empty and than refill the fridge every week.
The battery is new and i have had it to Battery World for testing and all is good in that department.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Also any suggestions that would not cost an arm and leg to a retired couple on a fixed income would be appreciated.
Thank you
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Lambert View Post
I have a problem with my battery going dead after 3 days of running my fridge controller and the usual sensors and such for safety IE Smoke detector etc.
(Fridge on propane)
I have decided to get this from amazon. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01G53TU2O/...v_ov_lig_dp_it

Could I get some input as to what else I might need to hook this up and make sure the battery does not overcharge. The trailer would sit in an unpowered storage lot for up to a week. It is painful to empty and than refill the fridge every week.
The battery is new and i have had it to Battery World for testing and all is good in that department.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Also any suggestions that would not cost an arm and leg to a retired couple on a fixed income would be appreciated.
Thank you
10 watts won't do much. Look for 100 watts and a cheap PWM controller, should supply enough to keep your fridge and detectors going. With a controller cannot overcharge.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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The device requires a charge controller to charge a lead/acid battery.


10 Watts is probably not enough. 10 watts will supply less than 1 amp charge during peak sun light. Your parasitic load is probably greater the .25 amps 24 hours a day.
Parasitic load: .25 A * 24 hr = 6 amp/hrs
Solar charge: 10 W / 12 Volts * 6 hrs = 5 amp/hrs.
You will need at least double that number of watts possibly more.


If your battery is going flat after 3 days, either you are not fully charging it or the parasitic draw is much greater.
Can you measure the current with a multimeter?
Disconnect the negative lead to the battery. Connect the multimeter between the battery and the negative lead. Read the current.
Current * 24 is your parasitic load.
For a chronically sunny region use 6 hrs for charging time. For chronically cloudy I cannot guess.
30 watts / 12 volts * 6 hrs of peak charge per day = 15 A solar charge per day. It must be higher than the parasitic load.


Just buy a 100 watt panel and be done with it. You can use it to charge when camping as well.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:59 PM   #4
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If your battery is going dead in 3 days , you are using over 1 amp/hr of power assuming a 90 ah battery . Even a 100 watt solar panel will be marginal for keeping your battery charged. A 100 w panel will charge at around 5 amps , so for 6 hrs of full sun you will get 30 ah of charging. To properly charge a battery you need to put in another 15 to 25% charging . If you get a cloudy day your battery will not recover. With 2 - 100w solar panels and a charge controller , you should good. The 10 w panel will keep the battery charged with no loads connected.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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Couple other options are-

Find out what is drawing so much...cut down the parasitic draw on your batt.

Get a second battery.

We have two batteries (lead acid, 100 amp hours each) and we can run the fridge, alarms, lights, a bit of TV, propane heater, water pump, fans, charge phones, etc....normal living stuff for 3 days before we need to charge up the batteries.

I've thought about getting solar, but with 3 days of normal use between running the generator or plugging into shore power, for our purposes, it does not justify the cost of a solar set up.

The second battery was much less expensive, and meets our needs.

If I did not have a generator, then I would look at other options...but pencil to paper, would probably come out to getting a generator rather than a solar set up....reason being...come summertime A/C is needed/wanted and the solar and batteries and inverter for that is many multiples of an inverter/generator in cost.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KM Rolling View Post
Couple other options are-

Find out what is drawing so much...cut down the parasitic draw on your batt.

Get a second battery.

We have two batteries (lead acid, 100 amp hours each) and we can run the fridge, alarms, lights, a bit of TV, propane heater, water pump, fans, charge phones, etc....normal living stuff for 3 days before we need to charge up the batteries.

I've thought about getting solar, but with 3 days of normal use between running the generator or plugging into shore power, for our purposes, it does not justify the cost of a solar set up.

The second battery was much less expensive, and meets our needs.

If I did not have a generator, then I would look at other options...but pencil to paper, would probably come out to getting a generator rather than a solar set up....reason being...come summertime A/C is needed/wanted and the solar and batteries and inverter for that is many multiples of an inverter/generator in cost.
Thank you for your reply. I have a Honda 3500 watt generator. What I am looking for is to keep the battery up enough between trips.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:45 PM   #7
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I would like to thank everybody who contributed to my thread.
Here is what I am going to do once the weather permits. I am going to take all the suggestions and read them over.

I can see I have to determine the load first. And them go from there!
As one person stated the cost has to be worth it or I might just go back to emptying the fridge.
I tried to disconnect the other sensors to get rid of some power draw. But there is no way to prevent the Alarms and Radio Standby power from staying on. I have tried everything other than physically removing them.
Removing fuses did not work. Seems like a fail safe system that tampering won't be tolerated.
Anyway I know have lots of food for thought.
I have a 3500 Honda Gen set but even it won't run for any more than 10 hours let alone days

Thank you all for contributing.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:19 PM   #8
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Hi Ted,

Go down to the nearest Harbor Fright and pick this system up:

https://www.harborfreight.com/100-wa...kit-63585.html

I've had one of these for almost 3 years along with 2 coach batteries and have not had one single issue and it will charge even on a cloudy day. Not as much of course with clouds but it does charge.

It's a great system for the money!!!!

As others have stated, a 10 watt is basically a maintainer and would not even begin to keep up with your usage.

They also usually run specials on this system at $150 or $160. You can also get the 3 year extended warranty for $40. I got that and it will cover damage to any part of the system.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:37 PM   #9
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https://www.amazon.com/LightCatcher-...keywords=100+w
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:35 PM   #10
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Good for maintaining during storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcussen View Post
I think this system would work fine to maintain your batteries while on the storage lot.
I read the Harbor Freight customer reviews. It is in expensive. It is a little fragile. The frame may need some reinforcing. The controller is limited. People who did not measure the controller output thought it was very good. People who measure the output were disappointed.
There may be more than one controller. One may be better than the other. The controller output was measured by one buyer at 13.4 volts. Connecting the panels directly to the batteries greatly increased the charge rate (not good for unattended use).
13.4 volts is low for fast charging a battery, but it is good for maintaining long term. No one reported being able to change the controller programing for charge or maintain.
A better controller would display output watts, volts, and current. It would automatically switch to 13.2 volt maintenance voltage and increase to 14.4 volts when the battery is low. One buyer substituted a better controller and got much better battery charging.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:24 PM   #11
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This is what installed, the price isnít bad... basic set up, nothing fancy.


WindyNation 300 Watt 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panel Complete Kit with LCD PWM Solar Charge Controller.
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