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Old 21-09-2012, 02:40 PM
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graham.hobart (Graham stevens)
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solar charging deep cycle batteries etc

Hello all, I am getting things all organised for the finishing obs. I was keen to get advice about buying a solar panel or two to keep topping up my deep cycle battery.
I have seen camping type kits in Jaycar/ other auto stores and wondered if these would be any good?
At the moment the battery only runs a filter wheel/ dew heaters and some l.e.d.s. May be running a camera /lappie/mount only on trips away. Maybe running a fan in the obs in the Summer. Plus a primary mirror fan.
That is assuming we will get some solar light this Summer
Graz
NB I have a normal battery charger but wouldn't mind taking advantage of my free light.
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Old 21-09-2012, 02:48 PM
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sheeny (Al)
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To see my system:

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ht=Observatory

post 53.

My solar panel trickle charges the battery continuously. After each session I plug my AC battery charger in and run it till the lights say its fully charged then disconnect it. Most times it only takes a few minutes to top up (but it will take longer if you start running a lappy on it!).

Al.
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Old 21-09-2012, 03:15 PM
Chris.B (Christopher)
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The jaycar one is ok just a little on the expensive side.
There are plenty on ebay around the 100watt size. I'd just advise getting a good regulator and do a decent wiring job. It is not tricky.
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Old 21-09-2012, 03:56 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graham.hobart View Post
Hello all, I am getting things all organised for the finishing obs. I was keen to get advice about buying a solar panel or two to keep topping up my deep cycle battery.
I have seen camping type kits in Jaycar/ other auto stores and wondered if these would be any good?
At the moment the battery only runs a filter wheel/ dew heaters and some l.e.d.s. May be running a camera /lappie/mount only on trips away. Maybe running a fan in the obs in the Summer. Plus a primary mirror fan.
That is assuming we will get some solar light this Summer
Graz
NB I have a normal battery charger but wouldn't mind taking advantage of my free light.
Hi Graham,
at the risk of telling Granny how to suck eggs etc, I thought I might make sure you knew that it is dangerous to connect a solar panel of any size directly to a battery. Solar panels put out between 18-20 Volts DC and if directly connected to a battery, will quickly cook its cajones. You need a solar panel regulator of a suitable amperage matched to the size of the solar panel you are using.

Peter
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Old 21-09-2012, 04:28 PM
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MrB (Simon)
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From my time managing a Jaycar store, I can tell you that the camping type solar kits came with an integral regulator.
I left a few years ago tho, so models stocked have likely changed, best to ask the salesperson.
If they don't know, ask them to go through the user manual with you.
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Old 21-09-2012, 04:43 PM
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Larryp (Laurie)
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I have 3x20 watt solar panels mounted on my shed roof, feeding through a 16 amp solar panel regulator to a bank of 4x35amp/hour deep cycle batteries. these the feed a 500watt pure sine wave inverter for emegency use, and also a cigarette lighter socket to power my telescope.
Works like a charm, and the batteries are always fully charged.
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Old 21-09-2012, 08:21 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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What's the capacity of your deep cycle battery Graham?
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Old 21-09-2012, 08:49 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Graham, this ebay seller http://stores.ebay.com.au/Marsol-Ind...id=p4340.l2563 has panels and kits at good prices, solar capacity and prices have plummeted and places like Jaycar are way behind the curve. If solar is going to be your only charging option try to size your panel such that you are charging at the maximum allowable rate for the battery, otherwise leaving the battery in a semi discharged state could result in a sulphated battery.
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Old 21-09-2012, 09:03 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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+1 for Marsol. I've bought from them before.
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Old 22-09-2012, 11:11 AM
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graham.hobart (Graham stevens)
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solar charging deep cycle etc

That's why I ask you techno folks !
Man i was that close to just putting the leads from a Solar panel onto a battery.
Phew

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