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Thread: Solar Panel experts needed

  1. #1
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    Default Solar Panel experts needed

    OK Kids, I have a small problem, on the house boat we have a solar system setup to charge the battery bank for all the DC and AC electrical junk.

    It's working fine, the problem I am running into is the battery for the stand by generator, (used on real cloudy days, or big party times) when the generator has not been used for some time it's starting battery goes flat, I do have a portable jump starter for this problem but the battery is very hard to get to.(the generator is in a sound proof enclosure)


    To and fix this dilemma I tapped into the down leads for the solar panels and used a second solar charger, this worked for a time but one day I tried to start the generator,(scheduled monthly test) it didn't start, I go and look, and found that the starting battery (a small one) was bloated up like a football, I disconnected it (big job) I then tested things out, it looked like the solar charger went fubar, and was putting out +17.5 VDC on the charging side, it should have been 13.5 VDC.

    So before I go out and spend some more money on another solar charger am I doing this right?? Is the fact that the generators charging circuit affecting things?? Is there a charger that will handle this setup, with out affecting the battery??

    I cant find anything on this at most web sites selling these things.

    Any one have any info??

    Terry

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    How close are the solar powered batteries to the back-up generators battery?Are the solar batteries the 12volt type?

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    Not sure how your battery is connected but the generator engine should only charge starting battery not solar panels.

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    Your gen battery should not have to be connected to solar. The gen battery is charged during your monthly test. I would hook up a set of unconnected jumper wires to gen for times when gen battery dies, or house needs boost. get a large deep cycle battery for gen,that can be fed back to house system, as emergency, when out of gas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Noof View Post
    How close are the solar powered batteries to the back-up generators battery?Are the solar batteries the 12volt type?

    The main battery's are down in the flotation pods, and about 15 to 20 feet away, the generator is up on the second deck, the battery's are the AGM 12 volt type used for solar systems.
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    The generator battery is just big enough to start the generators engine, it is a SLA type, and enclosed in the generators housing, the generator would charge it's own battery but for some reason it goes dead within a month, (or so) I try and start the generator at least every month if I can get out to the house boat,(have to use a small boat to go out to the mooring ball) but during the winter I don't get out there that much.

    This is why I need to have a second source for the battery charging, as it's a big pain in the back side to get to the generators battery terminals to jump start it, I have one of those battery pack jump starters (small one) but again is very hard to get to the battery, as I have to remove a section of the sound proof wall, and remove a metal panel from the generator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terryl View Post
    The generator battery is just big enough to start the generators engine, it is a SLA type, and enclosed in the generators housing, the generator would charge it's own battery but for some reason it goes dead within a month, (or so) I try and start the generator at least every month if I can get out to the house boat,(have to use a small boat to go out to the mooring ball) but during the winter I don't get out there that much.

    This is why I need to have a second source for the battery charging, as it's a big pain in the back side to get to the generators battery terminals to jump start it, I have one of those battery pack jump starters (small one) but again is very hard to get to the battery, as I have to remove a section of the sound proof wall, and remove a metal panel from the generator.
    Check to make sure that the genset is in fact charging the battery at all (13.0v to 14.3v of clean ripple free dc is good).If it is outputing to the battery properly,fully trickle charge the battery & load test it against the specs written on the battery.If the battery tests good, look for a parasitic drain on the genset end.If there is a parasitic draw, the rectifier in the battery charge circuit will most likely culprit.
    test...test...test...is better than guess...guess...guess...lol

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    Is there a way you could hook up one of those Battery Tender Units (cycles the Battery for longer Life) to keep the
    Genset Battery charged etc. Something like this or a solar one

    hxxps://www.amazon.ca/Automotive-Battery-Charger-Maintainer-Motorcycle/dp/B083FG2742/ref=sr_1_8?crid=V2IUYI972VN4&dchild=1&keywords=bat tery+maintainer+12v+automotive&qid=1623958621&spre fix=battery+mai%2Caps%2C218&sr=8-8
    Last edited by auggie; 06-17-2021 at 07:42 PM.

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    YOu may have a slow drain on the battery. It should not be going dead in a 30 or 60 day cycle. I would look for the problem first, slow drain on battery or bad battery and start there. You shouldn't need an additional panel to charge it. Seems like there is another problem. Is there a bunch of equipment on the boat that would draw a small charge for memory purposes so they really never shut down and it's pulling off the battery?

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    Quote Originally Posted by auggie View Post
    Is there a way you could hook up one of those Battery Tender Units (cycles the Battery for longer Life) to keep the
    Genset Battery charged etc. Something like this or a solar one

    hxxps://www.amazon.ca/Automotive-Battery-Charger-Maintainer-Motorcycle/dp/B083FG2742/ref=sr_1_8?crid=V2IUYI972VN4&dchild=1&keywords=bat tery+maintainer+12v+automotive&qid=1623958621&spre fix=battery+mai%2Caps%2C218&sr=8-8
    Sorry Augie it would be a good idea, but it would have to be plugged into an AC outlet, that power source is only on when someone is on the boat.

    And I think Loctite had the answer, get a bigger battery for the generator, I have a 50 amp hour AGM starting battery that would work just fine, I can mount it to the side of the generator in it's enclosure.(gen battery is only 10 amp hour)
    ♫♫♫ I知 a lumberjack and I知 OK ♫♫♫ I drink all night and sleep all day. ♫♫♫



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  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pennywise View Post
    YOu may have a slow drain on the battery. It should not be going dead in a 30 or 60 day cycle. I would look for the problem first, slow drain on battery or bad battery and start there. You shouldn't need an additional panel to charge it. Seems like there is another problem. Is there a bunch of equipment on the boat that would draw a small charge for memory purposes so they really never shut down and it's pulling off the battery?

    This is the starting battery for the standby generator, not the main battery's, those get charged every day on their own solar charging system.
    ♫♫♫ I知 a lumberjack and I知 OK ♫♫♫ I drink all night and sleep all day. ♫♫♫



    Coming soon to a crop circle near you.....

    There is a 66 and third % chance that I'm on the right planet...

    "I'm happier then a Jackalope in a balloon factory"

    "First rule of testing satellites"
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    "Second rule of testing satellites"
    "If you did mess with it, and now it doesn't work, can you blame someone else?"

    "Third rule of testing satellites"
    "If you did mess with it, and it doesn't work now, and you can't blame someone else"
    "Can you HIDE it"?

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