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Old 12-04-2015, 10:55   #16
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
So in fact your experience is completely difference to the OP.


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Yes, but there are tons of variables including sun angle, strength of the solar panel, and how long the panel was attached to the battery(s).

What was the voltage over that period.

Also, I have two 12 volt batteries hooked up in parallel. He didn't say how many batteries I don't believe.

At one time, I had the batteries hooked up separately on the 1/2/both switch. During that time, one of the batteries wouldn't charge properly, and it was corrosion on the terminal connections.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:01   #17
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

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Yes, but there are tons of variables including sun angle, strength of the solar panel, and how long the panel was attached to the battery(s).

What was the voltage over that period.

Also, I have two 12 volt batteries hooked up in parallel. He didn't say how many batteries I don't believe.

At one time, I had the batteries hooked up separately on the 1/2/both switch. During that time one of the batteries wouldn't charge properly and it was invisible corrosion on the terminal connections.

What I meant was this statement by you
" I did that with my batteries for a couple months before I bought my $10.00 controller without problems"

Which suggests that in fact it was alright.

I would counter

1. The OP is using AGMs, which are more sensitive to overcharging

2. You didn't leave then connected

How do you know your batteries " are all right "

Just asking

Dave


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Old 12-04-2015, 11:27   #18
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
What I meant was this statement by you
" I did that with my batteries for a couple months before I bought my $10.00 controller without problems"

Which suggests that in fact it was alright.

I would counter

1. The OP is using AGMs, which are more sensitive to overcharging

2. You didn't leave then connected

How do you know your batteries " are all right "

Just asking

Dave


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My batteries have worked fine for the last couple years.

They accept a charge and power everything on my boat to include lights, GPS (2), depth, 850W inverter, autopilot, etc.

I charged them with my regular charger over the Winter when the boat was in the yard and that charger shut down at 100% which took about 10-15 minutes.

I usually have my multimeter attached with jumpers so I can watch the charge voltage when on the solar panel as it is now.

And the battery voltage on the panel inside the boat when the controller indicates a full charge also shows the batteries are at max charge/voltage.

When I had the corrosion though, one of the batteries would never show a full charge. I just loosen and retightened the connections after spraying on a little contact cleaner.
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Old 12-04-2015, 14:31   #19
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

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Hi folks,

Sorry if this topic has already been covered but here goes: I have a 100W Windynation Solar panel with an output of 21/22 V, yet I'm charging at a rate of .02V an hour, does this sound correct?


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Looks like you are not charging at all.

I was out at my boat today putting my sails back on and did a few quick checks.

I have clips on the leads coming out of my controller because after reading what all the CF'er's were paying for their controllers, I was somewhat worried about the $10.00 controllers I bought even though it doesn't take much more than a glorified zener diode circuit to build a controller.

With everything hooked up, I read 13.01 on the batteries and the controller connections. (I hooked up upon arrival)

As the batteries charged, the voltage topped out at around 14.5 or so depending on meter calibration.

With everything hooked up the voltage off my 100W solar panel on this beautiful sunny day was 13.01-14.5.

With the load (the batteries) unhooked, the voltage was 21.4!!

Either the battery has blown apart or he has corrosion or something isn't hooked up because the voltage is floating. There is no connection.
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Old 12-04-2015, 16:12   #20
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Please note that for solar power two methods of control are possible

(1) Is the power dump method where current is wasted heating up a heater when the batteries are fully charged. This method can also be used with wind turbines.

(2) Is the transistor switch. With this method the solar panel is disconnected from the batteries once the desired voltage is reached. This method is NOT SUITABLE for wind turbines as without any load they may over-speed and self destruct.

It is actually a good idea to use both methods of control in case of a malfunction. One case history involved solar panels and a charge controller which failed. The two deep cycle batteries had cost about 100 each but when the boat was visited after about ten days it was impossible to go below because of acid fumes. It was a case of leaving the washboards out until the wind had dispersed the fumes. The fumes had also damaged bedding and just about everything that acid can damage. Compensation for the destroyed batteries was obtained from the seller of the poor quality regulator but nothing could be obtained for cleaning and laundering everything contaminated by the fumes. The regulator was commercially made and not home-brewed but luckily - if a failure can be called lucky - it failed well inside the guarantee period.

Never underestimate what a solar panel can do, for example a few days of battery charging gave enough power to drive a 4 x 4 which was minus its cylinder head, up a ramp that was about four feet high. That's roughly eight foot-tons of energy just from sunshine!
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Old 25-04-2015, 13:51   #21
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Gents,

Wired the panel to the controller to the battery bus bar, everything works perfect, I Believe I have a wiring issue.


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Old 25-04-2015, 19:21   #22
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Or a fried battery


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Old 26-04-2015, 18:03   #23
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Ok, connected to the bus bar, the controller shows the artery is charged, if I disconnect the solar panel nothing works. So am I to assume the battery is flatlined?


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Old 26-04-2015, 18:11   #24
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Have you measured the sg of the questionable battery?
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Old 27-04-2015, 04:12   #25
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

What does SG stand for?


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Old 27-04-2015, 04:53   #26
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Specific Gravity. Normally of the electrolyte in a Lead Acid batt. But were yours not AGMs? If so you cannot normally do that. Again, what is the battery (Amp Hour capacity (should be on the label) or make/model. What is the voltage at the batts with no solar and no load after standing for 30 mins.
No one can tell you how long it should take to charge your batts from your panel without some details. Or did I miss where they were posted?
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Old 27-04-2015, 05:40   #27
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Well as it turns out the battery is an Everstart 27DC deep cycle with 750 CCA, not an AGM as originally reported.
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Old 27-04-2015, 06:59   #28
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

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Well as it turns out the battery is an Everstart 27DC deep cycle with 750 CCA, not an AGM as originally reported.
OK so its a car starting battery. If you remove the solar and all other charging sources from it what is the voltage reading if below 10 volts definitely time for a new battery. Get a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries you will be much happier in july .
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Old 27-04-2015, 14:21   #29
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

I would like to thank everyone that responded, sharing your knowledge certainly helped in the successful completion of this project.


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Old 27-04-2015, 15:25   #30
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Re: 100W Solar Charger is Slow

Not sure you have finished with this yet!
The battery specs are Everstart 27DC-6 Deep Cycle, 12V 115 AH.
There is NO POINT in replacing the battery until you know exactly what is happening. You may well end up with the same issues with a new battery, after a (possibly short) period.
What's the voltage after standing for 30 mins disconnected?
Or, get a hydrometer from a local auto parts store and measure the SG of the fluid in each cell.
Once that is done, you may top up the fluid with distilled water if required.

Then the battery likely needs to be fully charged. (if it will)

What are your charging sources (other than the solar panel).

You could always take the batt out, take it to a local Auto Electrician and have him charge it, then do a capacity test on it?

If not, we need to know what it's state of charge is, how many amps it will accept to charge (and at what voltage), and, more importantly, once it won't accept any more charge, how quickly the voltage drops off again, and to what.

Batteries are quite complex. There are quite a few reasons why it may not accept, or hold a charge. But in a very elementary sense, they are just electrical storage. They are not 100% efficient - ie you must put more in than you can get out.

So, you can choose to get it tested, or you can buy a multimeter (clamp type is best) and learn some stuff. Your call.
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