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Date:         Mon, 17 Nov 2003 19:39:09 -0600
Reply-To:     tom ring <taring@TARING.ORG>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         tom ring <taring@TARING.ORG>
Organization: Tippen Ringware
Subject:      Re: Solar charger question
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

I have 2 15 watt panels on my van. I use a small simple charge controller to charge an 80 amp hour deep cycle. I have used it for a TV/VCR combo for about an hour a day, 100 watt ham radio transciever at about 5% duty cycle on transmit for 3 or 4 hours a day, and to run my laptop for about the same amount of time. I have never run for really long, or for more than 2 days in a row before the system could recharge to its hearts content. My camp lighting is hydrocarbon based, so no load from that. :)

I can for sure tell you, don't mount them toward the front of the poptop, no matter how much easier they may be to mount that way, they make the roof a lot heavier to put up, and especially to take down. Get the extra leverage by mounting them as far to the rear as possible.

Also, taking a deep cycle below 50% charge is not recommended for long life, so derate your battery system when you figure out your power budget. Unless of course you can afford the money to run the system deeper, like 75% or so, for fewer total cycles. Depends on how much you camp. If not often, I'd beat the battery up more, since it will degrade after a few years regardless.

I am starting the 3rd year on my current deep cycle, and it is still going strong, but I have 2 replacements that I got from our latest UPS service at work, so time to see how much I can hurt it before it dies. The shipment had the terminals of 5 on the pallet slightly bent during shipping, so I got 2 80 amp hour sealed glass mat float batteries for free. WooHoo!


On 17 Nov 2003 at 18:45, Felder wrote:

> Not to risk continuing the tesla/edison debates about solar chargers, > way back at the beginning someone mentioned several low-cost Harbor > Freight chargers. I went down to my local HF and saw only a $49.95 > charger. It seems that the chargers mentioned were less expensive. > > If they have a catalog number, could anyone tell me what it is? And if > I'm off on the source, can you point me to the inexpensive chargers? > > I'm looking for a way to offset the use of 12v lighting, fridge fans, > ventilation fans, radio, water pump while camping remotely. > > thanks, > > Jim >

------ Tom Ring K0TAR, ex-WA2PHW EN34hx 85 Westphalia GL Albert 96 Jetta GL The Intimidator

"It is better to go into a turn slow, and come out fast, than to go into a turn fast and come out dead." Stirling Moss

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