FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby KennethW » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:13 pm

afreegreek Yes a true deep cycle battery is best in a working solar system. But on a teardrop(unless full-timing) is only use a few times may be 4 month a year. The none use is hard on battery's. I would think it would be more cost effective to go with a marine battery knowing no battery will last long if not use all year long. Wouldn't a true deep cycle soffate to about the same rate?
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:21 pm

catinmoon wrote:I am a newbie to this so have a few "dumb" questions. I looked online for Class 27 batteries. Is this the same as a Marine battery? Or does Marine just mean Deep Cycle?


This is actually the "open a can of worms" type of question, so it's not dumb at all. :D

The class (or "group") number refers to an industry standard physical size and terminal post layout.

In general, and skipping the nit picky details, there are 3 major types of battery by usage: automotive, marine, and deep cycle. The group numbering is common across the 3 types. Auto excels in starting cars, but isn't good at long deep discharge. Marine batteries are heavier duty than auto batteries. They can be used for starting and deeper discharge than auto batteries. The best type for teardrop use are the deep cycle batteries. They have the heaviest lead plates, and tolerate deeper discharges than the other two. If a battery calls itself a "marine deep cycle," it's obfuscating and more likely to be like a marine battery than a deep cycle, IMHO.

Then there's the battery construction. Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) are the most durable, but require frequent regular maintenance of the acid level to achieve long life. Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) are maintenance free, but require an AGM-tailored charging system. They also cost extra. Worth it, in my opinion. There are other types of deep cycle batteries, but I choose to ignore them.

Not everyone here will agree with everything I just said. What's about to follow will be a debate about which what is better than the other. Don't let it confound you.

To KennethW's point, a "float" charger, or a "battery maintainer" charger should keep your battery in fine shape even with low usage. "Smart" chargers usually include the float/maintainer feature. I recommend the Smart charger, but they cost extra.

:beer:
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby dales133 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:46 pm

And thats all you need to know realy.
Nicely put capn
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby capnTelescope » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:54 pm

Thank you, Dale. Thankyouverymuch. :D

Professor Telescope has left the building.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby catinmoon » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:58 am

capnTelescope wrote:
catinmoon wrote:I am a newbie to this so have a few "dumb" questions. I looked online for Class 27 batteries. Is this the same as a Marine battery? Or does Marine just mean Deep Cycle?


This is actually the "open a can of worms" type of question, so it's not dumb at all. :D

;;;;comments deleted;;;;;;;;;;;;
Then there's the battery construction. Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) are the most durable, but require frequent regular maintenance of the acid level to achieve long life. Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) are maintenance free, but require an AGM-tailored charging system. They also cost extra. Worth it, in my opinion. There are other types of deep cycle batteries, but I choose to ignore them.

:beer:


Can you say more about what you mean by an "AGM-tailored charging system", please. Which components in particular would need to be AGM compatible?

I am looking for the most robust, maintenance free system. I'm not looking to cut costs at all costs, but don't want to throw $$ away either. thanks.

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:38 pm

catinmoon wrote:Can you say more about what you mean by an "AGM-tailored charging system", please. Which components in particular would need to be AGM compatible?

Not nearly as daunting as it sounds, Stephanie. AGM batteries need a higher charging voltage (by a fraction of a volt) than FLAs. When buying a charger or maintainer, you need to be sure it is compatible with AGMs. The specs will proudly say so. :)

Here's an example of an AGM-compatible maintainer: BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator System - Model# 1500 Note that the description proudly states it maintains AGM batteries.

Here's the on-board Smart Charger I use to charge while towing and maintain between trips: NOCO Genius G7200 12V/24V 7.2A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger.

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby dales133 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:37 pm

Not sure if you guys have Ctek chargers over there but they have a very good range of chargers including AGM specific charvers
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby afreegreek » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:54 pm

Last edited by afreegreek on Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:56 pm

Wow! That's a stout unit. :thumbsup: I'll bet it costs a pretty one. $> What's the MSRP?

P.S. Stephanie, this is much bigger than you're probably going to need.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby catinmoon » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:06 pm

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm learning a lot and now really need to think about what I might actually want to power. I should have paid more attention to the setup in my camper van when I had it. I did do a few very minor modifications, but that system was already set up. It was not a solar system, but 2 deep cycle batteries that were powered when the van ran. It also ran one of those refrig/freezer combos and a small water pump.

My teardrop currently is wired so I can just plug it into a power outlet, OR run a cord to the car battery (just to power the LED Lights). But I know I want to be able to get the computer running, and the lights, maybe a fan. I'm thinking a heater would be asking way too much from the solar system, unless there is some sort of passive heating device I haven't heard of. I do have a dog but he's not always that pleasant to have in the bed, especially on a camping trip!

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby MtnDon » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:46 pm

1250 model is about $350; there is a model 1230, 30 amps at about $200 IIRC These are very good chargers. They have true 3 stage charging, adjustable etc as mentioned. Also a smaller and a larger model. If I was looking for a new battery charger I would give lots of thought to one of these Samlex.
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby afreegreek » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:13 am

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby dales133 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:25 am

This is a good charger.
http://www.kulkyne.com/au/CTEK-D250S-Du ... vQodBfABIQ
I know alot of people that use them.
It isnt cheap but its small and relitivly lightweight.
There are several other models to choose from.
For most campers something like this is an ideal charger to charge from solar or alternator and works with any battery type.
Not looking for an arguement im just providing what the OP asked for.
What people recomened for charging batteries.
This is probably what ill go with on completion due to size,weight and recomendations from friends that have abused one traveling for a year with a family of 5 plus alot of other recomendations
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby lrrowe » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:05 am

Sure makes you wonder about that Sears type charger that I am sure many of us have on our work benches.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby dales133 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:55 am

lrrowe wrote:Sure makes you wonder about that Sears type charger that I am sure many of us have on our work benches.

Yea thats for sure.
Ive got a couple of crappy ones.
They work but thats about all i can say about them
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