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Old 07-11-2014, 10:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
84F ). As for the 40 watt solar panel, it had full sun most of the day ( I kept moving it around ). We used minimal power, charging laptop and cell phones and some LED light. Never got the battery above 12.44 after full day charging.
Left camp this morning with battery at 12.37. On arrival ( no rest, but unhooked from tow ) it read 12.82. I suspect I need to replace battery, or carry my genset as backup.
I've read all the posts about optimum battery voltage and don't understand most of it. I only have anecdotal experience: The bank of six 6-volt batteries at my cabin top out after several hours of charging at about 14.4 volts but immediately drop to 13.7 volts when the generator is turned off. The voltage then drops precipitously to consistently run at 12.0-12.2 volts during the day (and lower) until I charge them again at night. I've gotten years and years and years of service out of them. The current set is on it's sixth year.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:41 PM   #22
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A suggestion for gbaglo:

With your 40 watt panel it is almost impossible to overcharge a normal 12V battery. And, using a charge controller, you might loose 10 or 20 precious watts in the controller itself. So consider removing the controller from the system - if you have one - and charging the battery directly from the panel, using as short and fat a wire as is reasonable. It is possible that you are just not providing enough power to the depleted battery to offset the draw from the laptop & cell chargers, led lights, and the ever-present power "vampires" (anything with a glowing dial, CO monitor, etc.).
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:57 PM   #23
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I went through the controller, direct to the battery terminals. Almost directly, in that the panel came with various connectors so I had it running through a DC power outlet to a DC power inlet. Thought about just bypassing that, since it wasn't needed.
I wasn't expecting it to do a sterling job, being only 40 watts.
The thing is, I'm not sure how capable the battery is of taking a charge. I'm going to check the cells tomorrow. Next trip is into the bush, so I will bring my generator.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I think 12.48 was about the best I got.
If that's the case then you have a problem. I don't know what controller or regulator you have on your solar cell but you should see high 13's or low 14's in bright sun.

If I had this situation I'd bypass the controller and put the cell output directly into the battery and observe the voltage. I'd also measure the cell output directly and see if there's any output. It should be much higher than 12 volts.

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Old 07-12-2014, 12:10 AM   #25
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Will do as you suggest.
Meantime, here's an excuse to show a pic of the site we were in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MoonS 2 2014 W.jpg (255.6 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg MoonS 2014.jpg (403.4 KB, 34 views)
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