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Peugeot Boxer Solar Battery Charger Empty Peugeot Boxer Solar Battery Charger

Post by stevebrookman on Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:56 pm

Hello all,

I've tried a search-but to no avail.

I've got a 2009 Cotswold and would like to add a dashboard solar panel to charge up the engine battery whilst charged. I have checked the 12 volt accessory sockets and these are live only with ignition on. I assume I will have to put a plug/socket connected to the battery. Anyone got any suggestions for a good solar panel or any other advice. The van has a big panel on the roof, but this is wired via a controller to the leisure battery-wonder if it could be switched to the van battery?

Regards

Steve
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Post by stevebrookman on Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:04 pm

Had a look and can see that a solar panel can be directly linked to the Ec power converter and will charge both batteries. Will have a look at rewiring the solar install. Again any advice greatly received.

Steve
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Post by Paulmold on Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:04 pm

As regards dashboard solar , look for the AA one, it plugs into obd socket.

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Post by Suppersready on Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:26 pm

I think a dash mounted panel will struggle in low light conditions, especially over winter.
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:05 pm

stevebrookman wrote:Had a look and can see that a solar panel can be directly linked to the Ec power converter and will charge both batteries. Will have a look at rewiring the solar install.

Steve - it depends which Sargent controller you have. Several models have the dual-channel solar controller built-in, but others (e.g. the EC155) do not. And some (e.g. the EC480/500) have power consumption issues that mean that you should think twice about connecting to the built-in one. But if you have an EC325 or EC 328 it should work well.

There are a couple of other relatively cheap solutions, of which the Battery Master (or equivalent) may be next best.
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Post by stevebrookman on Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks - I'll have a look at the install (motorhome in storage) in a day or so. May just rewire the system on it by installing a change over switch between leisure and vehicle battery so whilst in storage the solar control box is outputting to the engine battery and on site the leisure battery. will have a look.

Kind regards

Steve
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Post by grahamandjenny on Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:20 pm

Just a thought Steve, The purpose of charging is to keep your battery in a healthy condition, if you simply switch over to the engine battery while in storage your leisure battery may suffer and is expensive to replace.
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Post by Mike187 on Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:10 pm

Steve,  I think you should have the EC325 and as Mojo said it has a dual battery solar controller built in that can handle a solar panel of up to 100 watts. You can get a connecting lead from Sargent that plugs into the EC325 and connects to the panel leads.

Mike

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Post by stevebrookman on Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:59 pm

Thanks both,

It does have the EC325 so will get the lead from Sargent. Just wonder why it wasn't wired this way in the first place-it has a control box connected to the leisure battery.

Regards

Steve
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Post by stevebrookman on Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:26 pm

Harness ordered, will connect to solar panel, plug in and report back!

Steve
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Post by Paramedic on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:16 pm

Paulmold wrote:As regards dashboard solar , look for the AA one, it plugs into obd socket.
Indeed the little 2.4W AA solar charger saved our starter battery last winter. Placed on the dash to receive the maximum amount of light available from dawn to dusk and plugged into the EOBD point. Provides maintenance charge of 12.4 volts and PSU is switched off so leisure battery only receives power from roof mounted 80W SP.

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Post by stevebrookman on Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:45 pm

Update.

Wired it in,

Display kept flashing up (not backlit) "System disabled-engine started" so disconnected-will contact Sargent.

Steve
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Post by bolero boy on Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:02 pm

you could bypass the Sargent ECU and connect the panel to a twin channel regulator. one set of cables to the leisure battery and one to the cab battery. regulator can then be set up to distribute desired level of charge to each battery

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Post by stevebrookman on Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:46 pm

bolero boy wrote:you could bypass the Sargent ECU and connect the panel to a twin channel regulator. one set of cables to the leisure battery and one to the cab battery. regulator can then be set up to distribute desired level of charge to each battery
Thanks Bolero Boy-may do that.

Regards

Stve
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Post by stevebrookman on Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:48 am

Update.

Emailed Sargents technical helpline and had a very quick response.

They said there was a likely problem with the control unit or less likely the Ec325 PSU itself.

I will take Boleros advice and fit a dual charging system.

I'll have a look at this Sunworks model.

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Also trialling the AA solar panel to see if this maintains battery voltage - I've used a similar one on my Range Rover and it worked well.

Will update on any more changes.

Regards

Steve
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Post by -mojo- on Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:03 pm

I know it's difficult to tell which, but I'd be ~tempted~ to try replacing the EPIPDB-COM solar controller inside the EC325, as you can get them for about £30 now.

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In fact I wouldn't be too surprised to find that the cause is a mis-wire inside the EC325 with those symptoms, but I should add that is pure guesswork. And if the fault is with the EC325 itself rather than the solar controller it may be better to find that out now!

If you're going to open up the Sargent unit, it may also be worth considering getting the MT1 remote display, as that's not hugely expensive now.

[I should add that I don't know from personal experience that Sargent used the EPIPDB-COM controller in the EC325 - there is one inside my EC328 but I've never actually checked an EC325.]
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Post by stevebrookman on Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:09 pm

Thanks Mojo,

I'll have a look,

I like the look of the EPIPDB controller and remote display.

Regards

Steve

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Post by -mojo- on Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:30 pm

It's a difficult one - I've been tempted myself to consider bypassing the built-in solar controller on my EC328 and replacing it with something more recent, but there is some logic to keeping it: It's actually a very old unit (I reckon maybe an 8 year old design?) but they are still selling them and people still seem to use them, so to my way of thinking there can't be much wrong with them.

I suspect an MPPT-based controller would get a few percent more out of my panel, but when I was away in Scotland last week it was regularly putting over 5 Amps into the batteries in September sun, so it's doing OK.

If you go with the MT1 remote display, be aware that you will need to drill either a fairly large hole in the (hidden) underside of the casing (because the interconnect cable is pre-terminated with an RJ45 plug) or make a slot for the cable to pass through. The cable carries power as well as the usage data, so it needs no other external power supply. I bought mine from China for about £25, shipped.
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Post by stevebrookman on Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:53 pm

I like the look of the old unit so if I do buy one-I won't bother swapping it with the onein the EC325-I'll replace the controller for the leisure battery (only one channel) and run a wire to the engine battery-simpler that taking the EC325 out.

Reagrds

Steve
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