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Old 12-08-2016, 06:26 PM   #1
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External battery charger and solar controller

When we store our Escape I use a BatteryMinder external charger. (It helped keep the batteries on our former 17B performing like new for the 6 years we used it.) Our 17B did not have solar and when I had the BatteryMinder hooked up I used the battery disconnect switch to isolate the batteries from the built-in charger. Our upcoming 21 will have solar. For ease of hookup to the BatteryMinders in storage, I may have Escape install a Zamp Sidewall Port as it has the same connection as my BatteryMinder and it would make hookup very easy.

My question, since the trailer is stored indoors, no solar of any significance will be available. If the Zamp Port is wired directly to the batteries, will there be any problems with the solar controller being in the circuit? Would it need an additional cutoff switch to take the solar controller out of the circuit while using the BatteryMinder?
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:31 PM   #2
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I don't see a problem.

The solar controller will see the battery voltage (if the Battery Minder cycles off) or the float voltage applied by the Battery Minder (normally), which is well within the range of voltage normally seen by a solar controller. At the same time, the solar panels will provide no input to the solar charge controller while stored indoors, just as they always do at night. It seems the same to me as having the solar controller connected - at night - while the trailer is on shore power and the charger/converter is applying whatever voltage it thinks is appropriate.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:14 AM   #3
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Your rationale makes sense Brian. I mostly wonder if the frequency pulse method BatteryMinders use would have any detrimental effect on the solar controller?

I'm still trying to decide if I want to install the connection on the outside for ease of hookup and also eliminate the need to have the trailer also hooked to shore power, I could plug the BatteryMinder into an interior AC outlet in the trailer and use a quick connect inside the battery compartment. Since the battery disconnect switch isolates the batteries from the built- in charging system, I am assuming it would be ok to use the trailer's AC to power the BatteryMinder, as long as the disconnect switch was used,

I asked Escape about installing a second disconnect switch to also isolate the solar system, but that is not a mod they are willing to do.
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I mostly wonder if the frequency pulse method BatteryMinders use would have any detrimental effect on the solar controller?
Although the Battery Minder pulses in desulfation mode, and I haven't found a specific voltage in the Battery Minder website, they do say it is "not high voltage"; I can only assume that is a reasonable level which wouldn't be a problem for the controller. The pulses are presumably be at too high a frequency to be noticed by the solar charge controller for the purpose of control. I would give it a try.
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