Solar charging, how to?





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  1. #1
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    Default Solar charging, how to?

    Hey guys,

    I have a trailer used for bikes and camping all in one. It has a 12V deep cycle 120ah battery in. This basically just runs some outside LED light strips. 2 x inside led truck lamps for (clear) when in transport a cheapie R1500 cooler box / fridge and I have also put a cigarette lighter socket for the odd charge here and there.

    I currently put a optimate charger on once in a blue moon, its only rated for 50ah but seems to do the trick.

    I am keen to put solar panels on the roof to charge the battery permanently.

    What do I need and where do I get the bits I need?

    Thanks in advance.

    Photo of the trailer if that helps at all?

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Solar panels and a controller and bobs your uncle. Make sure itís an mppt controller and itís all good. Solar is actually very easy to set up and not that expensive

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Google 4x4Direct.co.za
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    120-150 w solar panel
    15-20 W PWM controller
    Decent wires

    https://4x4direct.co.za/fixed-solar-...l-18-volt.html

    https://www.acdc.co.za/pages/product...al?SLC-NR2420A

    https://4x4direct.co.za/regulators/9...242001209.html

    Next to ACDC Alberton there is a solar shop, I got decent solar wire from them, reasonably priced.
    Last edited by Stranger; 2019/05/30 at 09:21 AM.
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    1 x 120w Solar panel, 1 x 20a pwm solar charge controller, 2 x MC4 connectors and a couple of meters of wire and you're done. R2k.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    120-150 w solar panel
    15-20 W PWM controller
    Decent wires

    https://4x4direct.co.za/fixed-solar-...l-18-volt.html

    https://www.acdc.co.za/pages/product...al?SLC-NR2420A

    https://4x4direct.co.za/regulators/9...242001209.html

    Next to ACDC Alberton there is a solar shop, I got decent solar wire from them, reasonably priced.
    Thanks everyone.

    Does 4x4 direct have the wire and the connectors mentioned as well? So much easier getting everything at one spot. As long as pricing is right of course.

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozosborne View Post
    Thanks everyone.

    Does 4x4 direct have the wire and the connectors mentioned as well? So much easier getting everything at one spot. As long as pricing is right of course.
    They've got everything you need and their price and service is good.

    https://4x4direct.co.za/559-cables

    https://4x4direct.co.za/556-brad-harrison

    https://4x4direct.co.za/554-power-plugs

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?


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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gothan View Post
    Solar panels and a controller and bobs your uncle. Make sure itís an mppt controller and itís all good. Solar is actually very easy to set up and not that expensive
    Excuse my complete ignorance on this subject, but what is the difference between an MPPT controler and a PWM controler?
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post
    Excuse my complete ignorance on this subject, but what is the difference between an MPPT controler and a PWM controler?
    Maybe this helps...
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    In short the PWM switches on and off to provide an average voltage around the level you need to charge the battery. It wastes up to 30% of the energy if the panel has a higher voltage than the battery. On the other side the MPPT would convert the voltage above the bat volts to current to charge quicker.
    This is the reason why MPPT is 4 times the price. MPPT have models that can accept voltages higher than the normal limit of 50V the PWM has and one can thus use panels in series for lower current and volt drop on the controller input side.

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    I can recommend Bushpower for excellent service
    and quality equipment.

    They will make cables up for you and provide excellent advice.

    https://www.bushpower.co.za

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  18. #13
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    I have ordered the panel and the controller so long. I dont think I need any fancy connectors or wire? Or is there some difference between electrical and solar wire?

  19. #14
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Jip, DC wiring is different in makeup compared to AC wire.

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozosborne View Post
    I have ordered the panel and the controller so long. I dont think I need any fancy connectors or wire? Or is there some difference between electrical and solar wire?
    Look for double insulated, multi core wire. Do not use single core wire of any kind. Check the amp rating if possible, for your installation 25 amp and above would be good. A single panel would deliver 7 amps plus minus but you may want to add more later and need redundancy.
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  21. #16
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Thanks

  22. #17
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Ordered the panel and controller yesterday and it has been delivered already. Great service!!!

    Now to do the installation. I see the solar panel has some strange plugs on its wires. Im assuming that shop by ac dc will have the plugs? What are they called?

  23. #18
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Those are MC4 connectors, you can get from ACDC or you can cut them off and replace with Brad Harris.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/MC4-solar-connectors/
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  25. #19
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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozosborne View Post
    Ordered the panel and controller yesterday and it has been delivered already. Great service!!!

    Now to do the installation. I see the solar panel has some strange plugs on its wires. Im assuming that shop by ac dc will have the plugs? What are they called?
    I cut mine off and just connected a BH to it

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    Default Re: Solar charging, how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gothan View Post
    Solar panels and a controller and bobs your uncle. Make sure itís an mppt controller and itís all good. Solar is actually very easy to set up and not that expensive
    For the application it will be a waste of money to go buy a MPPT controller. Bob my uncle says get a PWM controller...
    If Force is not the solution, not enough of it was applied....

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