OT - Solar Battery Maintainer

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: OT - Solar Battery Maintainer
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 04:29 pm:

I guess I could cheat, and say that this might not be "OT", because I'm installing a solar collector battery maintainer on my new enclosed car-hauler trailer, which I used exclusively to haul Model T Fords, however, there are those would surely consider this "OT".

Anyway, I decided to post this as it may be of interest to some "T guys", plus, I have a question:

A fellow member of our club turned me onto these little solar panels that are designed to prevent a dead battery on a stored vehicle which is left standing unused for long periods of time. Enter my car-hauler trailer. The question is, can this little 10 inch x 10 inch solar panel "overcharge" my 12 volt deep cycle trailer battery if left connected for weeks at a time?

Thanks for any response from anyone who knows and/or has had experience with these little solar panels designed to keep a battery charged,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James G Fisher III Peachtree City, GA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 04:44 pm:

For a small amount you can get a charge controller to keep from over charging and boiling the acid out. I use them on solar water pumps. Usually cost less than 30.00


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eck Sheppard on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 04:47 pm:

I had one from HF on a 12V car one time that was used very little and it did not seem to do a lot and had to charge the battery every so often to keep it up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 05:41 pm:

James - I'm a bit embarrassed! At your suggestion, I brought up the web site of the company that made my 2.5 watt solar battery maintainer (NOCO) and they have the "charge controller" that you suggested! It is designed to simply snap into the line from the solar charger to the battery and it only costs $13.95! All I had to do was read further into NOCO's website,.....thank you James!

Eck - For what it's worth, I have found that I do well to avoid purchasing anything electrical from HF as I learned that the hard way years ago! On the other hand, this NOCO solar battery maintainer only cost me $24.95, and, as mentioned above, their "charge controller" (which is designed for use with my NOCO solar charger) is only $13.95!

I certainly haven't invested much, and I don't see how HF could sell such equipment much cheaper, and I believe that from what I have seen, NOCO builds some pretty nice equipment!

Thank you both for the response,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 05:44 pm:

James - I'm a bit embarrassed! At your suggestion, I brought up the web site of the company that made my 2.5 watt solar battery maintainer (NOCO) and they have the "charge controller" that you suggested! It is designed to simply snap into the line from the solar charger to the battery and it only costs $13.95! All I had to do was read further into NOCO's website,.....thank you James!

Eck - For what it's worth, I have found that I do well to avoid purchasing anything electrical from HF as I learned that the hard way years ago! On the other hand, this NOCO solar battery maintainer only cost me $24.95, and, as mentioned above, their "charge controller" (which is designed for use with my NOCO solar charger) is only $13.95!

I certainly haven't invested much, and I don't see how HF could sell such equipment much cheaper, and I believe that from what I have seen, NOCO builds some pretty nice equipment!

Thank you both for the response,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 05:47 pm:

Oops! Did it again! Thought this didn't go, but I guess there's a delay of a few minutes or so in the posting process! Sorry....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 07:00 pm:

I tried a couple of different ones on our 5th wheel. The problem I had was the solar charging assembly (I don't know if it was the panel or circuits) both went bad sometime after the one year point, and since I wasn't checking it regularly my batteries ended up dead too. I no longer have that trailer but I do have my car hauler with a dedicated marine battery for a winch. I now use a 'Battery Tender' and no longer have any issues. I do have to keep it plugged in, but with the trailer location I can do that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Davis on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 07:28 pm:

Harold, For what its worth dept, I think you will need a larger solar panel than a 2.5 watt to insure the battery is kept topped off, I have a small Mighty mule gate opener with a lawn mower battery and they recommend a minimum of a 5 watt for My area and a 10 watt or larger for Your area, I assume there is no load on Your battery when parked, But with a deep Cycle battery, a larger panel would give you a margin of safety, especially if you decide to put a alarm system on the trailer, which runs off 12 volts, Chamberlain makes a PIR sensor alarm with a radio transmitter and receiver, runs off 4 AA batteries which last about two years and has about a 1/2 mile range, it will accommodate up to four Sensors and makes a loud beep for the number of the sensor activated,1-4, I have one on my distant gate and one on the front and back of a distant equipment building, would be ideal for letting you know when someone is messing around or in your trailer or T barn, on line they sell for $30 to $40 bucks, also Costco sells a three light motion sensing solar light with about 2000 LM very bright, comes with solar cell and rechargeable battery for about $35, bucks, You can parallel additional Solar panels with your existing panel to provide more wattage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Davis on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 07:43 pm:

Question what company is HF.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eck Sheppard on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 07:56 pm:

HF = Harbor Freight Sounds like the solar cell you are looking is a nicer unit. I'm cautious in what I get at HF some good some not so depending on job and how often I do it. I use a battery tender on my T but she stays in the shop. Since my battery only had a 3 month warrenty I figure it will help prolong its life. Also use battery tenders on lawn equipment and batterys held up a long time. However your Idea will be nice if it will work and not near a plug in.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eyssen - Abilene TX on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 08:40 pm:

I acknowledge that I am electrically challenged, and with that admission, I have a question for those who are not. My 14, that I did not restore, has a mag, but it does not work. I have not really "thrown the juice" to it to see if I can charge the magnets, relying only on the 6 volt battery to use the starter and keep the distributor firing the plugs. Even after the multi-day tours, the battery shows almost full charge when I get home.
In an abundance of caution, I purchased the small HF battery charger and a dc to dc converter. Severing the LED bulb of the charger and placing the charger in bright sunlight I can dial the converter in to 7 volt.
My question is: Am I really adding any juice to the battery by using this small charger which is rated at 1.5 watts. (I place it on top of my tool box and connect it to the battery as I drive the tours).
Any thoughts are appreciated, for as stated, at this time I am not going to delve into the mag.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 09:39 pm:

During my move to WY, I brought my jeep out and put it on a charger probably identical to what you describe. 18 months later when we finally got here for good, the jeep fired right up.

In my 2 car trailer, I had a window installed as part of the build. I found that handy to place another charger in it and keep the battery up on the power winch. 14 months and the winch operates like new.

I love them.


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