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New in stock - solar battery conditioners

Discussion in 'Autocare, Detailing, Valet, Product reviews' started by Morethanpolish, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Morethanpolish

    Morethanpolish Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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  2. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Great price and a great unit - had a similar on my Smart and it really kept the battery topped up.
     
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  3. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    1/6A is hardly anything. I've always been sceptical of how much use these are.
     
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  4. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    It was the only option for my smart - from being sluggish it really brought it back up - did the same for my VW Caravelle when that started to show signs of slow starting.
     
  5. sonic

    sonic Senior Member

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    Thats 16mA almost nothing.
     
  6. Tony Dyson

    Tony Dyson Senior Member

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    You've both got your maths slightly adrift on this one unfortunately, if it were pushing out 12v the output would be 0.166 of an Amp or 166 mA, the output is however 15.6v as it needs to be greater than 12v to charge the battery which extrapolates to 0.128 of an Amp or 128 mA and that's in full sunlight!. So attempting to trickle charge a battery with a drain greater than 128 mA would be a waste of time, I would be looking for at least a 5W output for a single small car battery.
     
  7. OP
    Morethanpolish

    Morethanpolish Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    The point of these units is that they are a maintainer rather than full charger - designed to be put in your vehicle at the point its starting to be unused, rather than a few weeks later when the battery is dead.
     
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  8. umblecumbuz

    umblecumbuz Senior Member

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    Agree with Tony Dyson, the input is marginal at best - far rather invest in a C-tek, or keep a capacitor-pack handy in the event of a non-starting car due to low battery output.
     
  9. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    I have 210W of solar on my boat and during an overcast winters day im lucky to get between 0.5A and 1A , and that's using a mppt charge controller converting the full 21v to current @ 12v. The cheap charge controllers just Block everything above the required 12v so even less output.
    A 100A solar panel at 12v realistically will give around 5.5A on a summers day , not 8A as maths would suggest.
    A 2w panel will give next to nothing on a summers day and zero on a overcast day as the voltage will not be even close to its 15.6v output
     
  10. sonic

    sonic Senior Member

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    Wattage remains the same, as volts increase current reduces. What about the loss in the circuit.
     
  11. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    We had a Solar Frontier 170W on the boat. Uses thin film technology as opposed to mono/polycrystalline and was optimised for low light. Output from a single panel is 110v OC so you need to be a bit careful with them. At dusk in summer it was still pushing 1/2A out of the MPPT controller. Also less affected by shade (power output falls linearly with shade coverage).
     
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  12. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    Interesting ! Prompted me to look into this further as my big question would be as to why thin film if so good is also quite rare.
    So it appears to be down to a size thing, ie a thin film panel needs to be nearly 4 times the size of a mono panel for the same output. They also fare less well when they get hot. At 20c the panel itself may be around 70c so a large reduction in output for all panels, some much worse than others.
    Was a hard one to read about as most items were many years old but panel technology has come on since then.
    Even youtube comparisons were many years old..
    Lastly the much higher voltage on a boat is not a great idea due to risk of cable damage and then electrocution whereas a stable setup on land with so much more space would certainly lend itself more to thin film especially as its cheaper.
     
  13. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Yes efficiency is an small issue but not as bad as you have been led to believe. The panel we had is around 12-15% efficiency against the best current efficiencies of 20-25% (for retail panels). E ran the cables into the boat through a waterproof gland located under the panel with the MPPT controller mounted directly below that. Total 110v run was under 2 ft.
    For us (with a river boat) it worked very well providing enough electricity to run the engine, charge the batteries and run a fridge on a 2 week trip. We had alternator failure on the second day so relied entirely on the panel.
     
  14. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    Mines a blue water sailing yacht so its always possible for any and everything to get ripped off the deck at some point by a huge wave and the cable run to the controller is probably getting on for 5 metres, plus with a steel frame stray currents are not my friend.
    Will certainly be keeping an eye on the progress of thin film though as the inferior poly soon caught up with mono in terms of output.
    On an average summers day im generating around 15 amps @12v with solar and wind.. Solar is superior in the summer but wind comes into its own in the winter or on very cloudy rainy days.
     

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