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Thread: Using Solar Charger for Battery Maintain/Parasitic Drain

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Using Solar Charger for Battery Maintain/Parasitic Drain

    Is using a solar battery tender/charger (what is it really called) a viable long term option for a car that suffers from parasitic drains? If so:

    1. It's there any long term damage to the battery, or would getting a unit with "overcharge protection" take care of any dangers?

    2. I assume getting a 12 volt?

    3. What wattage? I see 5W, 15W, 30W etc....

    4. Do you still need a voltage regulator if using a unit that's 15W or less? Or should I just get one with the VR built in?

    5. Is getting the one that plugs into your cigarette lighter ok? I heard for some cars that can cause problems

    6. If the above is ok, I have a splitter in my cigarette lighter... I'm assuming this should not be used with a splitter, so I need to remove the splitter and plug it in every day I exit the car?

    7. Will this void the battery warranty?

    8. Are certain brands better than others, or have you used one that works well that you can post the model #

    Thanks!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    __________________________________________________ ____
    2003 ZHP 4dr | 145,000 miles (ACTUAL before RIP) | BBS 17"
    Hankook Ventus V12
    Front: 225/45ZR
    Rear: 255/40ZR-17 Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 XL
    [ Staggered on square (17x8.5 +38) ]

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Dathaeus View Post
    Is using a solar battery tender/charger (what is it really called) a viable long term option for a car that suffers from parasitic drains? If so:

    1. It's there any long term damage to the battery, or would getting a unit with "overcharge protection" take care of any dangers?

    2. I assume getting a 12 volt?

    3. What wattage? I see 5W, 15W, 30W etc....

    4. Do you still need a voltage regulator if using a unit that's 15W or less? Or should I just get one with the VR built in?

    5. Is getting the one that plugs into your cigarette lighter ok? I heard for some cars that can cause problems

    6. If the above is ok, I have a splitter in my cigarette lighter... I'm assuming this should not be used with a splitter, so I need to remove the splitter and plug it in every day I exit the car?

    7. Will this void the battery warranty?

    8. Are certain brands better than others, or have you used one that works well that you can post the model #

    Thanks!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    It's viable, but it's not the right option. Parasitic drains are typically low current. I used 2 Siemens solar panels wired in parallel back when I was experimenting with this idea. I think it was a total of 10 watts.

    1. Lead acid batteries are rugged, I don't believe you would need any overcharge protection as the panels would naturally lower the current as the battery voltage increases. Keep an eye on the battery voltage and you can gauge where it starts to equalize.

    2. You would need higher than 12v. I believe the open circuit voltage on my panels are 22 volts. As soon as a load is put on them, that voltage falls drastically. Also ANY amount of shading will cause the voltage to drop. I'll get some numbers for you as I still have the panels and a spare battery.

    3. Depends on the severity of your parasitic draw. I would try to measure that first.

    4. See answer 1.

    5. The E46 cigarette lighter is only connected to the battery when the key is in ACC or IGN (can't remember the German equivalent name lol) so that wouldn't work. You'd have to connect it to an always hot circuit.

    6. See 5.

    7. As long as you don't overcharge it, it won't.

    8. I personally go with name brands, as I trust them more than the generic panels.

    Hope this helps!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    -Corey

    2003 Blue ZHP Sedan @ 210k
    Dead due to damaged valve. We will save her soul for future use, but the body will go to car heaven...or another owner...who may or may not turn her into a race car...

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