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Old 12-04-2008, 08:24   #1
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Brunton 26w Solar - Regulator Needed?

I have (2) 100 amp hour batteries and am planning on purchasing the Brunton 26W Foldable Solar panel. http://www.brunton.com/manuals/curre...s26_manual.pdf

Do you think I need to buy the regulator/controller to prevent overcharging. I live in Wisconsin.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:22   #2
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Nope. Just let it trickle charge the batteries. It will just about equal their self discharge on sunny days.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:53   #3
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My batteries are AGMs so discharge is less. The vendors all tell me to buy the controller. Sounds like it will be fine.

Thanks for your help.

Bob
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:00   #4
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rdub...there is NO actual charging voltage given on the spec sheets AND the company recommends a controller for use in charging car batteries. I would call them to insure that max voltage never exceeds 14.5V or use a controller as they suggest.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:54   #5
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Thanks, I am new to this forum and am very grateful for the help.

Bob
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Old 17-06-2008, 19:14   #6
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I'm sure the open circuit voltage will excede 17 or more volts. This is no problem as the panel is a low output panel, and when hooked to a battery, it will noy overcharge the batteries. I have used a 85 watt panel and 2- 15 watt panels to charge 2-6 volt colf cart batteries, without a charge controller. No problem. And this is continous use.

Can't remember where, but I read a while ago that if you panels are below a certain percentage of the battery bank, a controller is not needed.
Also I found that by not using diodes to prevent discharge at nite, you come out ahead, as the diodes cut the charging voltage by about .6 volts. That .6 volts makes up for the slight discharge at nite.

Getting the boat back in shape for more cruising, this time we will be using 200 watts of panels, and have a controller for them.

As a note, with the solar panels, or a wind gen, be sure not to shut off you battery switch, if the charger is not hooked up to the battery side of the switch. Mucho voltage, when not regulated by battery voltage = bye bye electronics!

When I first hooked up a used wind generator to test it, we hung it over the fore deck, an plugged it into a cabin light socket. The voltmeter showed it was charging.
The wind picked up and I decided to turn it out of the wind to stop it and tie the blade off. I turned it 180 degrees from the wind, and it kept turning! We figured the battery was motoring the generator. (A wind gen. is just a mtor) So we turned off the cabin light circuit switch. MISTAKE! The cabin lights turned into super novas!
Without the battery in the circuit the voltage was over 18 volts. We didn't have the generator turn out of the wind when we did it.
A diode in the circuit was what it needed. Lesson learned.
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