Which charging source is better





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  1. #1
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    Default Which charging source is better

    I have been thinking for a while about this and now that we have some time on our hands I would like to possibly resolve my thoughts.

    On our overland setup we have one auxiliary deep cycle battery mounted in the back of the bakkie to run the fridge etc.
    when driving the battery is connected with 16mm2 cable directly to the crank battery for charging.

    However once at camp we connect the battery up to our solar panels and continue as such.

    But I have a spare 110watt panel at home and am thinking of mounting this on the roof of the bakkie for charging while driving - therefore eliminating the need of connecting the two batteries together.
    The solar panel will obviously run through the charge controller.

    Which solution will give a better charge to the battery?

    Vehicle is an older Hilux (therefore no smart alternators etc)
    Type of trips where this would be used would be game parks, exploring back roads etc - not necessarily open road speeds constantly.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    http://www.wrnd.co.za/index.php?main...roducts_id=233

    Best bang for your buck! Visit 4x4direct.co.za to buy one....
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Thanks Malcolm,

    Agree that is a good option - however I am currently using a Steca charge controller and would rather void spending further cash.

    Hence I am considering the solar panel installation on the roof in lieu of connecting the two batteries together.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Sounds like you have no solanoid or something between the starting battery and aux battery and that you have to connect them manually each time, is this correct?

    If you don't want to spend any extra money and already have everything, then by all means put the solar panel on the roof to charge the aux battery, but keep the option to connect the aux battery to the starting battery like you currently do in case of a rainy day.

    If you are willing to spend some money, get a DC-DC charger with built in solar controller like the WRND then you can charge from the alternator or solar and it will automatically switch between the 2.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingetrap View Post
    Which solution will give a better charge to the battery?
    Meaning alternator or solar? Use both. When driving charge from the alternator, just disconnect when stationery and connect the solar.

    You can use DC to DC charger that does both, or just get a solenoid to connect the aux battery from the alternator. (connect the control wire to the wiper motor wiring, check which wire has power when the ignition is on), and use the Steca controller also.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    [QUOTE=bigboy529;4355919]Sounds like you have no solanoid or something between the starting battery and aux battery and that you have to connect them manually each time, is this correct?

    correct - manual connection with a BH Plug

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Meaning alternator or solar? Use both. When driving charge from the alternator, just disconnect when stationery and connect the solar.

    You can use DC to DC charger that does both, or just get a solenoid to connect the aux battery from the alternator. (connect the control wire to the wiper motor wiring, check which wire has power when the ignition is on), and use the Steca controller also.
    I use solar once at a camp site - that is all set up with movable panels.....

    just trying to confirm whether the alternator charge is more or less efficient than a solar panels (obviously on sunny days)

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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingetrap View Post
    I use solar once at a camp site - that is all set up with movable panels.....

    just trying to confirm whether the alternator charge is more or less efficient than a solar panels (obviously on sunny days)
    110 watt solar will give you 110/18x6 Ah max (36 Ah) , alternator will give more than that in 1 hour. Better to start with fully charged battery when arrived at the camp site else the solar may never get the battery full.
    Johan Kriel

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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingetrap View Post
    I use solar once at a camp site - that is all set up with movable panels.....

    just trying to confirm whether the alternator charge is more or less efficient than a solar panels (obviously on sunny days)
    Not an expert but imho an alternator gives a solid charge to battery where as solar does not when charging. By this I mean at certain directions of travel you may get full or partial direct light on panels thus only partially charging.
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Keep your setup as is, or add the second panel to your camp setup, if the charge controller can handle it.

    The alternator will charge much quicker than the panel.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Add the PV panel and charge controller connected permanently to camper battery.

    Sounds like you have no solenoid or DC-DC charger between vehicle and trailer. Connect it when towing for extra charge as 110W is not a lot, but close to enough for most people.

    When standing for a long time and PV has sun. Your cranking battery will also get charged by the solar if connected as there's no charger/solenoid to stop this.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Which charging source is better

    Thanks for the information and response.

    For now I will be leaving my setup as is as it works well enough.

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