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Old     (corbin)      Join Date: Jul 2009       11-15-2009, 7:24 AM Reply   
Has anyone here put one of those small solar panels on thier tower and then run the charging wires down to the batteries? I've been told that having a battery tender pluged in when the boat is on a trailer but why not one of these? I have to keep my boat outside all the time so...
Old     (corbin)      Join Date: Jul 2009       11-15-2009, 7:29 AM Reply   
like this one
Old     (266crownlinebr)      Join Date: Apr 2007       11-15-2009, 11:58 AM Reply   
That one only has a 3 foot output cord to it. You can probably extend it without an issue. I have thought about putting one on my boat also, but haven't done enough research to really know what solar charger to use with my deep cycle batteries. Hopefully someone that has some good experience with this will post up.
Old     (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       11-15-2009, 1:21 PM Reply   
I have one like that I bought from Sam's Club a few years ago. We only use it when the boat is anchored and we are running the stereo without the engine on. It works great. We have 2 Optima batteries and we havn't killed them yet. We did run the batteries dry several times before getting the solar panel.
Old     (corbin)      Join Date: Jul 2009       11-15-2009, 2:05 PM Reply   
Bu Coo-
why do you only run it when the boat is anchored? Why not just have it wired to the batteries and forget it's there? Is there a possibility of over charging?

I have found some others with longer wire leads.. I just posted the first one I found.
Old     (leveraged)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-15-2009, 2:27 PM Reply   
the one you posted had reverse current protection as i imagine most would have that arent cheap chinese gear. so should be fail safe...not sure how the deep cycle goes with a solar charger tho. awesome idea, im gonna keep eye on this thread
Old     (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       11-15-2009, 2:44 PM Reply   
Nowhere to mount it to. The bimini on Malibu's towers goes over the tower. There really isn't a need to mount it anywhere anyways. I just pull it out and connect it while everyone is getting out of the boat and leave it laying on a seat in the sun. Mounting it just seems like alot of work for something that may not look too good once its done. i.e. color matching, etc.
Old     (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       11-15-2009, 2:47 PM Reply   
And obviously there is no reason to have it out when the boat is running.

(Message edited by brett564 on November 15, 2009)
Old     (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       11-15-2009, 3:05 PM Reply

I have a generic one like this, but this seems better and more durable. These go for around $85.00. Reference the overcharging question, this type is specifically a trickle recharger for boat and car batteries, which is the type of recharging which prevents overcharging.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       11-16-2009, 8:43 AM Reply   
2.5W = .21 amps at 12V so a 10 hour day of sun with that small panel would be equivalent to charging your battery for 1 hour with a 2 amp charger which is not much power to keep most of your electronics alive, but suppose something is better than nothing. The small panels are effective for keeping your battery fresh when you store it though. You would need to get a much bigger panel with a voltage regulator for any meaningful day use power and they are available and could be fabbed to fit on a tower. I have three solar panels for different applications and can say the larger ones really do crank some noticable power in a few hours.


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