Solar and hookup

Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Solar and hookup

Post by chrisk on Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:10 pm

i have a solar panel don’t know size but it’s about 4ft by 2ft. I have been connecting to hookup at home every couple of weeks then off for a week or two, checked last night both battery’s 13.7v is it best to hookup all the time through winter as I’m unsure that the solar panel will not keep the battery’s topped up with dull days.
chrisk
chrisk
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 573
Joined : 2017-06-03
Member Age : 69
Location : kent
Auto-Sleeper : Berkshire
Vehicle Year : 2009

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paulmold on Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:28 pm

I've had my 80w panel for about 2 1/2 years and have never needed to hook up at home , summer or winter, and both batteries always read 13.7v.

_________________
If life just doesn't add up, start subtracting
Paulmold
Paulmold
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 15893
Joined : 2011-02-21
Member Age : 68
Location : Mold, North Wales
Auto-Sleeper : Sussex Duo
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by meanchris on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:20 pm

A 4ft by 2ft panel should be 100W or more; as long as your setup is able to charge both batteries from one panel it probably won't need hook up, as Paul suggests.
Our previous Exec had a similar sized panel and I never connected it to EHU during the winter, with no problems.
avatar
meanchris
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 2381
Joined : 2013-08-10
Member Age : 65
Location : North West
Auto-Sleeper : None
Vehicle Year : N/A

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by chrisk on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks guys I’ll disconnect it see what battery are in a week or two. The solar control does have batt 1 and 2   That flash together so I’m sure that both battery’s are getting charged.
chrisk
chrisk
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 573
Joined : 2017-06-03
Member Age : 69
Location : kent
Auto-Sleeper : Berkshire
Vehicle Year : 2009

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by bolero boy on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:30 pm

Paulmold wrote:I've had my 80w panel for about 2 1/2 years and have never needed to hook up at home , summer or winter, and both batteries always read 13.7v.
Paul, this reading is not the actual fully charged value of your batteries, it is the charge current from the solar panel, limited to this value by the regulator.

if you want to find the real held voltage in your batreries, you need to remove all input (ehu or solar) and all output drain, and then let the batteries rest for a good while (couple of hours) and then measure with a voltmeter..

Chris, if you put a voltmeter across (in turn) the leisure and then vehicle battery with the solar panel in daylight and the ehu disconnected. you should see 13.7v (the solar panel charge voltage) just as Paul was seeing.

if you are not seeing this level at either (any) battery, then this particular battery is not receiving a charge from the solar panel...
bolero boy
bolero boy
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 609
Joined : 2017-10-28
Location : somerset
Auto-Sleeper : Carthago Compactline
Vehicle Year : 2017

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Spospe on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:40 pm

The output from a solar panel in the UK in winter is quite low, I have measured my 100 watt panel on midwinter's day as giving just over 600 m/a in the sun at noon. This equates to a daily charge of circa 3 a/h: sufficient to keep the batteries topped up and run the alarm, but only just. My outfit is parked facing south and the panel can see the sun for about 6 hours on midwinter's day (provided that the sun is shining), when the sky is cloudy the daily charge is going to be less.

People who say that their panel keeps the battery(ies) topped-up may be right, but my guess (and it is only a guess) is that in fact the battery(ies) will be showing some discharge during the dullest of the short winter days.

Provided the 'van starts and the habitation (leisure) battery is showing a good voltage then you should be quite relaxed about things, but do check how much sun your panel can actually see.


Last edited by Spospe on Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
Spospe
Spospe
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1059
Joined : 2013-11-17
Member Age : 75
Location : South Manchester
Auto-Sleeper : Warwick Duo
Vehicle Year : 2014

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:48 pm

Well, only yesterday had to call AA breakdown as starter battery flat despite 80w solar panel (long on going saga). Presently on trickle charge at storage facility. Hopefully thereafter, will switch off EC500 PSU so only the leisure battery receives solar charge (somewhat fickle intelligent charging that seems to ignore vehicle battery on gloomy days) and directly connect a 6w panel positioned on the dashboard set at an angle to receive what little sunshine there is. This method has been ok'd by mojo and spanner on another thread as 'can't do any harm so give it a try'. Will report back later.
so_sad

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paulmold on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:52 pm

I've often taken a reading at night when panels are not giving out anything and batteries read 12.7. Never fail to start engine. My regulator does not have a digital display so I don't know the output and there wouldn't be much I could do about it if I did. It's not a dual regulator either, I have a battery-master fitted.

_________________
If life just doesn't add up, start subtracting
Paulmold
Paulmold
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 15893
Joined : 2011-02-21
Member Age : 68
Location : Mold, North Wales
Auto-Sleeper : Sussex Duo
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by chrisk on Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:16 am

Food for thought here.
chrisk
chrisk
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 573
Joined : 2017-06-03
Member Age : 69
Location : kent
Auto-Sleeper : Berkshire
Vehicle Year : 2009

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by bolero boy on Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:46 am

Paramedic wrote:Well, only yesterday had to call AA breakdown as starter battery flat despite 80w solar panel (long on going saga). Presently on trickle charge at storage facility. Hopefully thereafter, will switch off EC500 PSU so only the leisure battery receives solar charge (somewhat fickle intelligent charging that seems to ignore vehicle battery on gloomy days) and directly connect a 6w panel positioned on the dashboard set at an angle to receive what little sunshine there is. This method has been ok'd by mojo and spanner on another thread as 'can't do any harm so give it a try'. Will report back later.
so_sad
Paramedic, the Sargent PSUs are user configurable in that the options for 'solar' can be set to (from memory) leisure, vehicle or smart.
it may be worth checking how yours is set....if set to leisure, this may be the reason the vegicle battery is going flat....unless there is a large parasitic draw that you dont know of.
might be worth just putting a voltmeter across the vehicle batrery terminals when the sun is out, and you should see a raised charge level of 14+ volts.
bolero boy
bolero boy
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 609
Joined : 2017-10-28
Location : somerset
Auto-Sleeper : Carthago Compactline
Vehicle Year : 2017

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Peter Brown on Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:09 pm

bolero boy wrote:
Paramedic wrote:Well, only yesterday had to call AA breakdown as starter battery flat despite 80w solar panel (long on going saga). Presently on trickle charge at storage facility. Hopefully thereafter, will switch off EC500 PSU so only the leisure battery receives solar charge (somewhat fickle intelligent charging that seems to ignore vehicle battery on gloomy days) and directly connect a 6w panel positioned on the dashboard set at an angle to receive what little sunshine there is. This method has been ok'd by mojo and spanner on another thread as 'can't do any harm so give it a try'. Will report back later.
so_sad
Paramedic, the Sargent PSUs are user configurable in that the options for 'solar' can be set to (from memory) leisure, vehicle or smart.
it may be worth checking how yours is set....if set to leisure, this may be the reason the vegicle battery is going flat....unless there is a large parasitic draw that you dont know of.
might be worth just putting a voltmeter across the vehicle batrery terminals when the sun is out, and you should see a raised charge level of 14+ volts.

There have been several discussions on this EC500 problem over the last 18 months. When the EC500 is switched on, the energy consumed by the smart charging circuitry exceeds that available form an 80W solar panel at this time of year so within two weeks the batteries are flat. A member has recently posted details of a work around whereby the solar panel is, by switch circuitry, disconnected from the EC500 and connected to a battery mate.

_________________
Peter #1
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5337
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:35 am

bolero boy wrote:
Paramedic wrote:Well, only yesterday had to call AA breakdown as starter battery flat despite 80w solar panel (long on going saga). Presently on trickle charge at storage facility. Hopefully thereafter, will switch off EC500 PSU so only the leisure battery receives solar charge (somewhat fickle intelligent charging that seems to ignore vehicle battery on gloomy days) and directly connect a 6w panel positioned on the dashboard set at an angle to receive what little sunshine there is. This method has been ok'd by mojo and spanner on another thread as 'can't do any harm so give it a try'. Will report back later.
so_sad
Paramedic, the Sargent PSUs are user configurable in that the options for 'solar' can be set to (from memory) leisure, vehicle or smart.
it may be worth checking how yours is set....if set to leisure, this may be the reason the vegicle battery is going flat....unless there is a large parasitic draw that you dont know of.
might be worth just putting a voltmeter across the vehicle batrery terminals when the sun is out, and you should see a raised charge level of 14+ volts.
Visited the van yesterday, looked promising, triple charger indicated batt charged and holding. Switched PSU back on and control panel displaying 'V' batt at 12.7v which (again surprisingly) was receiving 0.1 amp from solar panel (van temporary parked in shade). Turned ignition, everything lit up...........click click click. May have been successful with jump start but didn't bother so further spend on another battery after only ten months. so_sad

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by -mojo- on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:42 am

Paramedic wrote:Turned ignition, everything lit up...........click click click.

If the vehicle battery was 12.7V and everything lit up and stayed lit up but the starter did not turn the engine over, it's almost certainly not the battery at fault. If the battery is duff you should see the dash lights and anything else powered off the vehicle battery dim to virtually nothing as you turn the key to "Start".
-mojo-
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 4566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 19
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:45 pm

-mojo- wrote:
Paramedic wrote:Turned ignition, everything lit up...........click click click.

If the vehicle battery was 12.7V and everything lit up and stayed lit up but the starter did not turn the engine over, it's almost certainly not the battery at fault. If the battery is duff you should see the dash lights and anything else powered off the vehicle battery dim to virtually nothing as you turn the key to "Start".
Thanks mojo, have just downloaded AA report...'Started your vehicle, tested your battery charging system and tested for electrical drains. Your battery was found to be unserviceable and may require replacement. If you switch off the engine, it may not restart'........ We went for a 30 mile run and returned to storage facility whereby it was hooked up to the trickle charger for 36 hours. We will visit van tomorrow (sunny weather forecast) to see how it behaves but likely to buy new battery. Thereafter will do as you endorsed, isolate from PSU and connect to 6 watt solar propped up on the dashboard aimed towards any winter sunshine. Suck it and see so to speak.
timer

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by -mojo- on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:01 pm

Ah yes, that sounds knackered! Perhaps you've been unlucky and it was a bad battery from the factory - unlikely as it sounds, it's possible...
-mojo-
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 4566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 19
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 pm

Yes, so no mucking about will visit local ATS where is advertised a Platinum Battery 019 5 year/900A (SAE) at £139.99 being a bit more then the 80 quid paid previously. Recommended for Diesel and Start-Stop vehicles and 30% extra power (if you can believe that). Regards

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:39 pm

I don't know where the starter battery is located in the Peugeot, but if the -ve terminal is reasonably accessible, I would disconnect it when in store. You may lose the alarm but you will lose that anyway when the battery is flat.

Even though the starter battery in my Merc is under the floor, it only takes a couple of minutes to get at it and if I was storing the van, I would disconnect it.

_________________
Peter #1
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5337
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:05 pm

Yes, Peter much obliged and understand that any battery disconnected will naturally lose charge very gradual over time but much less so when at the mercy of our PSU (this you highlighted in a previous thread) that takes more power than the 80 watt solar panel can provide over winter months of gloom. So any small amount of charge from the 9 watt SP on the dash will hopefully offer a trickle to keep batt topped up so will keep an eye on how things work out. The starter battery like yours is easily accessible under cab floor but will make connections from under the bonnet on the jump start points. Regards

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by matchlessman on Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:46 pm

On a more general note, some charge controllers can charge vehicle and leisure batteries at the same time. The dual charge units are sometimes switchable to 50/50 from the normal 80/20? which is useful when the van is parked up rather than being used.
matchlessman
matchlessman
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 391
Joined : 2012-08-29
Member Age : 63
Location : Nottingham
Auto-Sleeper : Ex owner - Symbol ES
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:21 pm

Sourced a Yuasa 019 heavy duty battery from local auto shop for £126.00, connected it up, turned on ignition and..... nothing!! However, all doors activated by key fob together with indicator lights. Garage suggested lose connection? Only 30 minutes for AA to arrive who was a fellow motorhomer (Autocruise) quickly found the fault being lose fuse connection on positive side of battery. Van now parked back on sunny spot with the 6 amp solar panel on dashboard with the PSU isolated to only charge leisure batt. Fully understand that the 80 watt SP will readily provide a charge however small, but PSU favours 'L' more so than 'V'. Hey ho, just need to visit van more frequently to keep an eye on things. allthumbz


Last edited by Paramedic on Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Correct misspelling)

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by meanchris on Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:28 pm

Paramedic wrote:Sourced a Yuasa 019 heavy duty battery from local auto shop for £126.00, connected it up, turned on ignition and..... nothing!! However, all doors activated by key fob together with indicator lights. Garage suggested lose connection? Only 30 minutes for AA to arrive who was a fellow motorhomer (Autocruise) quickly found the fault being lose fuse connection on positive side of battery. Van now parked back on sunny spot with the 6 amp solar panel on dashboard with the PSU isolated to only charge leisure batt. Fully understand that the 80 watt SP will readily provide a charge however small, but PSU favours 'L' more so than 'V'. Hey ho, just need to visit van more frequently to keep an eye on things. allthumbz

So, basically, mojo's and I suspect a few of our suspicions were correct in that:

Paramedic wrote:
Thanks mojo, have just downloaded AA report...'Started your vehicle, tested your battery charging system and tested for electrical drains. Your battery was found to be unserviceable and may require replacement. If you switch off the engine, it may not restart'........ We went for a 30 mile run and returned to storage facility whereby it was hooked up to the trickle charger for 36 hours. We will visit van tomorrow (sunny weather forecast) to see how it behaves but likely to buy new battery. Thereafter will do as you endorsed, isolate from PSU and connect to 6 watt solar propped up on the dashboard aimed towards any winter sunshine. Suck it and see so to speak.
timer

The AA man was probably talking rubbish and it was a poor engine battery connection all along. Whistle1
avatar
meanchris
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 2381
Joined : 2013-08-10
Member Age : 65
Location : North West
Auto-Sleeper : None
Vehicle Year : N/A

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by rgermain on Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:31 pm

Having the same type of problems with Leisure battery going flat, now replaced with a brand new one and A/S refusing a claim after 20 months!, I am confused about charging. I have a 120w panel through the EC500 which works well in the summer, so my question is where does the smart charger draw it's power from? I thought it was from the leisure battery.

Is it best to turn the EC500 off, thus only directing charge to the leisure and using a trickle charger on the vehicle battery at this time of year? I know this subject has been covered so many times before, but I think there are many of us who still are confused as the best way to go judging by the questions still being raised.

Never had any problems with our Topaz.
rgermain
rgermain
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1083
Joined : 2013-11-21
Member Age : 72
Location : Havant
Auto-Sleeper : Warwick duo
Vehicle Year : 2015

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:10 pm

rgermain wrote:Having the same type of problems with Leisure battery going flat, now replaced with a brand new one and A/S refusing a claim after 20 months!, I am confused about charging. I have a 120w panel through the EC500 which works well in the summer, so my question is where does the smart charger draw it's power from? I thought it was from the leisure battery.

Is it best to turn the EC500 off, thus only directing charge to the leisure and using a trickle charger on the vehicle battery at this time of year? I know this subject has been covered so many times before, but I think there are many of us who still are confused as the best way to go judging by the questions still being raised.

Never had any problems with our Topaz.

If you can plug into a hookup this time of year do so, leave the EC500 switched on and it will look after itself although I would personally recommend switching the charger off for one day a week.

If not, the power for the charger comes from the solar panel if it can give any. If not, the activity of the smart charge circuitry discharges the leisure battery and the alarm, tracker etc discharges the starter battery.

_________________
Peter #1
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5337
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by rgermain on Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:26 pm

Thank you Peter. I thought that was how it worked, I have no problem with charging on hookup, as the van is in our drive.

Think I will go and get a plug in timer and set it as you say and let it get on with things, just keeping an eye on the batteries to see how they are going. We do tend to use the van once a week for a 5 mile drive to the Beach and if lucky a fish and chip lunch!

Richard
rgermain
rgermain
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1083
Joined : 2013-11-21
Member Age : 72
Location : Havant
Auto-Sleeper : Warwick duo
Vehicle Year : 2015

Back to top Go down

Solar and hookup Empty Re: Solar and hookup

Post by Paramedic on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:03 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
If not, the power for the charger comes from the solar panel if it can give any.  If not, the activity of the smart charge circuitry discharges the leisure battery and the alarm, tracker etc discharges the starter battery.
Thanks Peter, very concise and something else to keep in mind for the long-term. Regards

_________________
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king
Paramedic
Paramedic
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1663
Joined : 2016-01-27
Member Age : 72
Location : Chichester West Sussex
Auto-Sleeper : Broadway FB
Vehicle Year : 2013

Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum