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5W solar charger to keep the 12V battery fully charged


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   webcontrol

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:30 PM

I noticed the 12V socket near the rear gate is always on. So I brought a 5W solar car charger and plugged into that. The 5W solar panel can be slide on the rear side glass above the cargo area.  I hope this will not only keep battery fully charged, also reduce the frequency using EV batter charge the 12V battery. 

 

I have a van parked outside not driving most the year, a solar charger can keep its battery always full without any damage to the battery.


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#2 OFFLINE   Zathrus

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

What model/make solar charger do you have?

Does unit have to be unplugged at night (or when in garage) so it does not act as a drain on the battery, or does it automatically shutoff in low light conditions?



#3 OFFLINE   ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 06:22 PM

I noticed the 12V socket near the rear gate is always on. So I brought a 5W solar car charger and plugged into that. The 5W solar panel can be slide on the rear side glass above the cargo area.  I hope this will not only keep battery fully charged, also reduce the frequency using EV batter charge the 12V battery. 

 

I have a van parked outside not driving most the year, a solar charger can keep its battery always full without any damage to the battery.

This is for the Hybrid, not the Energi, right? You are saying that the panel doesn't fall off of the glass? How do you connect the panel to the interior while the C-MAX is closed up, or are you always leaving it open?



#4 OFFLINE   joe

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:19 AM

Webcontrol - This like a cool idea.  Please describe the solar charger and where you bought it.

Thanks



#5 OFFLINE   webcontrol

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 05:58 AM

I just brought a 5W solar panel on eBay, like eBay item number 281152266458, it has a diode to block back flow current during night. With a cigarette plug, I just plug it in the rear 12V plug in the cargo area.  Then place this panel at the rear side window by turn it slightly, the window frame catch the solar panel and stay there no problem.

When I park my car, I pick a location let solar panel facing sun.  I think that will make battery last longer.



#6 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 07:48 AM

Does this work on hybrid models not energi models?  If so I'd be interested in trying this.



#7 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:41 PM

While this sounds like a great idea, there's one serious flaw to using a voltage source as a battery charger/maintainer - overcharging kills a battery better than depletion. Look at the chargers' specs... this one makes 2.4W, but at 17.5V...

 

There are a lot of lead acid battery links out there; here one good one as it goes through the stages of charging. In this case, we're discussing "topping" or "float" stages. Based on this I'll make a recommendation:

 

For short term use, this sounds prudent (from the link):

Not all chargers feature float charge. If your charger stays on topping charge and does not drop below 2.30V/cell, remove the charge after 48 hours of charge.

 

For long-term use, get a voltage controller:

http://www.homedepot..._-202218721-_-N

or a solar battery maintainer

http://batterytender...ucts/solar.html

 

Have fun,

Frank



#8 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

While this sounds like a great idea, there's one serious flaw to using a voltage source as a battery charger/maintainer - overcharging kills a battery better than depletion. Look at the chargers' specs... this one makes 2.4W, but at 17.5V...

 

There are a lot of lead acid battery links out there; here one good one as it goes through the stages of charging. In this case, we're discussing "topping" or "float" stages. Based on this I'll make a recommendation:

 

For short term use, this sounds prudent (from the link):

Not all chargers feature float charge. If your charger stays on topping charge and does not drop below 2.30V/cell, remove the charge after 48 hours of charge.

 

For long-term use, get a voltage controller:

http://www.homedepot..._-202218721-_-N

or a solar battery maintainer

http://batterytender...ucts/solar.html

 

Have fun,

Frank

good info Frank for anyone considering this, thanks



#9 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 07:46 PM

Below is an excerpt I cut from the story Frank's link connects to.

 

Watering is the single most important step in maintaining a flooded lead acid battery, a requirement that is all to often neglected. The frequency of watering depends on usage, charge method and operating temperature. A new battery should be checked every few weeks to determine the watering requirement. This prevents the electrolyte from falling below the plates. Avoid exposed plates at all times, as this will sustain damage, leading to reduced capacity and lower performance.

Exposed plates will sustain damage, leading to reduced capacity and lower performance. If the plates are exposed, immediately fill the battery with distilled or de-ionized water to cover the plates, and then apply a charge. Do not fill to the correct level before charging as this could cause an overflow during charging. Always top up to the desired level after charging. Never add electrolyte as this upsets the specific gravity and induces rapid corrosion. Watering systems eliminate low electrolyte levels by automatically adding the right amount of water.

 

I'm wondering how we as owners can be sure the above is not happening to our batteries?  I must admit I have not tried to view our HV batteries if we even can to know for sure. 



#10 OFFLINE   JAZ

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:54 PM

mtb, the HV batteries do NOT want to have any water added to (or on) them...your article pertains to lead acid batteries, i.e., the 12v battery.



#11 OFFLINE   webcontrol

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 03:34 AM

I have a Toyota van that not driving almost all year. I purchased a solar charger from VW dealer, which is a 5W solar panel with a diode, plug that into the OBD connector. I have that for two years and have no problem with the battery.  I can start the car instantly even parked few months.  Go check that eBay item # 281241947553

 

Actually, if car dealers have their car on their parking lot charged with this kind of charger, I think it is safe.  For 5W solar panel behind glass, that is probably only producing 3W power. And that is like 300mA.  Even 5W full power, that is less than 500mA current.  I don't think that will kill the battery, considering C-MAX power is not really disconnected from battery even in totally parked key removed.  Battery could die early for never fully charged, which I suspect is the main cause for most battery problems reported on this forum.


Edited by webcontrol, 11 March 2014 - 05:43 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 05:29 AM

mtb, the HV batteries do NOT want to have any water added to (or on) them...your article pertains to lead acid batteries, i.e., the 12v battery.

thats right the HV batteries are Li-Ion rechargables and are maintenance free.  I guess the solar panel would work well with the 12v battery?



#13 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 03:00 PM

You'll only be charging the lead acid, for sure, and most lead acid batteries these days are "maintenance free" meaning there's no need to check water levels. My links were as much industrial as automotive.

Frank



#14 OFFLINE   webcontrol

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:20 PM

Since I put this little solar charger on, it seems to me the inverter that charging 12V battery started much less frequently.






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