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Thread: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bath, Maine
    Posts
    733

    Default Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    I need a basic solar setup to keep AGM batteries maintained while on a mooring. I'm bleary-eyed looking at Amazon etc. Anyone have a specific recommendation? Thanks. Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Reedville, VA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I just bought this one from Amazon. Before that I had a smaller Gann (sp?) 10 watt charger that was about 9 years old. I think the controller that comes with this new one is pretty slick and the overall price was only a little more than the Gann charger. It may be too much for your needs, but I was happy with it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    I have a Sun Saver 6. It's quite sophisticated but only cost around $80 AU.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MPPT30A-Sola...-/352016294681

    I bought this unit 2 years ago - the 30 amp version - when I was planning to have 250 watts of solar panel. That plan was scrapped in favour of a single 100 watt panel, so the 30 amps is way overkill. However, the 30 amp controller with the 100 watt panel keeps both my house and engine batteries at near 100% all the time. I'm in Toronto and we likely get about the same amount of sun as you do. The secret is the MPPT technology. Very efficient.

    Norm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    I second the Morningstar/Sun Saver line. I went with the Sun Save Duo as it is designed to charge 2 separate battery banks (e.g., house and start) and allows you to set preferences for which is charged preferentially. So in my instance I have it set to always charge start battery first and then when that is topped off, switch the current to the house. It also comes with a remote meter option so it is easy to check solar panel performance and state of charge etc. I've only had it about a month but so far it has been "set it and forget it". But I'm not using AGMs, so check to verify that it has a charge profile designed for them.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bath, Maine
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    Good info - thanks, everybody. Another question, though: If my house battery (group 27) and my starter battery (group 24) are connected to each other (short black cable connects the negative terminals of the two batteries to each other), then will charging one battery automatically charge the other? Or will I need to connect solar to each battery separately? Sorry, I'm a total loser when it comes to electrical stuff.

    Ben
    Last edited by Bark; 06-27-2017 at 09:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Solar Battery Charger Recommendations

    I'd highly recommend getting a copy of one or more of Don Casey's boat maintenance books and reading about electrical issues. I am certainly no expert but from what I have gleaned the simple answer is it depends on what the rest of your circuit is like. In general most folks want some way to choose whether to isolate or combine the house and start batteries. With my charger and a battery isolation switch, I run one pos/neg set from the solar panel to the charger and then 2 sets of pos/neg from the charger to the batteries, one to each. Make sure to put fuses on the battery cables as close to the batteries as possible. A Blue Sea battery fuse block is a very simple way to accomplish this. They make nice battery switches too and their tech support is very helpful.

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