Solar Battery Maintainer

aws

Messages
44
Location
Hamilton Canada
Sorry if this has been asked before tried to do a search and was not to successful. I'm looking for a good solar battery maintainer any suggestions, I live in southern Ontario so kind of limits the options. I've checked on Amazon.ca and there was one for about $60 bucks but said it's operating range was 0-60 degrees so not good for the winter. Have seen the ones that you mount to the vehicle and plug in to a a/c outlet but was hoping for a solar one. Any ideas ?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,293
Location
New Jersey
First off, does your car charge thru the cigarette plug? The panels in these things aren't good/efficient. 5W at 12v is tiny current. And it's intermittent at the best conditions and irrelevant at night and any time but the best hours of a sunny day. No way to get a good plug in unit?
 
Messages
25,985
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: aws
Sorry if this has been asked before tried to do a search and was not to successful. I'm looking for a good solar battery maintainer any suggestions, I live in southern Ontario so kind of limits the options. I've checked on Amazon.ca and there was one for about $60 bucks but said it's operating range was 0-60 degrees so not good for the winter. Have seen the ones that you mount to the vehicle and plug in to a a/c outlet but was hoping for a solar one. Any ideas ?
Make sure it has a controller.
 
Messages
5,022
Location
Southeast
solar panels tend to work better cold, as they increase internal resistance with rising temps. the "black glass" type are the least efficient. a 5W would probably be the bare minimum to make a difference. It's small enough that it wouldn't need a regulator, but would need a blocking diode to ensure the battery didn't drain through it while dark. another mod is to replace the existing blocking diode with a schottky diode, which has lower forward voltage drop, which will squeeze just a bit more juice out of the PV panel. The 12" x 12" panels used for solar attic fans pack a good bit more power in an equivalent size. NOTE--- solar panels also want to see non-visible light. if it's inside the vehicle, some light is blocked, and the panel will not perform as well. panels encased in glass use a low-lead glass, if it is a quality unit. Consider spending on a panel for attic fans at lowes or HD. add a diode to that. THEN monitor your daily voltages for a week and determine if you need to add a charge controller (not expensive thru harbor freight).
 
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