Battery Charging Away from Home

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of saturnv saturnv 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #77635
    Profile photo of saturnv
    saturnv
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    Bought myself a great Xmas pressie at Maplin yesterday. An alternative method of keeping bike batteries topped up at my rented garage (which doesn’t have mains power unfortunately).

    I tried the smaller (4W) solar panels first but wasn’t happy they had sufficient power output so exchanged for the 13W ones which work great – tested today in full sunlight but they also work when the sky is overcast, providing there’s enough ambient light of course.

    The Charge Regulator box was included in the price and is claimed to prevent overcharging – it was limiting the max voltage to the battery to around 14.8V today so appeared to be working, given that the solar panel output can be up to around 19V…

    The first picture shows an easy point of connection to the battery without having to remove the seat – the red & green cables on the R/R plug come directly from the battery so I’ve crimped flat terminals onto the cables from the charge controller box.

    #77648
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    nueyf4i
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    looks pricey,how much did that set you back?

    #77649
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    saturnv
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    Not really – that kit including the solar ‘briefcase’ (solar panel has hinge in the middle and carrying handle) the 4A charge controller and all cables cost £59.99 from Maplin (our UK highstreet electronics & gadget store). They come from China (doesn’t everything nowadays?!) so you must be able to get cheaper in US on Ebay or direct from manufacturer. Try Googling ‘Topray Solar’.

    This setup works fine for charging the CBR batteries but if I haven’t tried on the car yet. They claim it’s ok for up to 40Ah lead acid batteries though. Hmm. Not sure but if you had any bigger I guess it wouldn’t fit under the windscreen as this one does!

    #77653
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    nueyf4i
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    EBAY has it listed with a buy it now price of $200(£161.95), and that is for a used one. . . lucky for me I have access to outlets to run my $37(£29.96)battery tenders on my ST and F4i. . . if I didn’t I think I would just start them up every couple of weeks and run for a bit to keep the charge up

    #77654
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    saturnv
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    Wow that’s a crazy price! Can’t understand that cos I thought everything was cheaper in America than Britain normally.. Unless it’s a much more powerful model maybe?

    I only got this one because it’s around the same price that a new battery would cost me so figured if it could extend the working life of 2 or 3 batteries for a year or two then it’s paid for itself lol.

    Yes having power in your garage is the ideal situation really – one day when I win the lottery and buy that big house in the country with the double garage all my problems will be over!! Dream on..

    #77680
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    fishfryer
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    Very interesting, nice job. It looks pretty slick.

    A real convoluted addition could be an inverter to a battery tender then tender to bike. That would redundantly ensure no overcharging the battery. Not sure if the solar can power the inverter/ tender addition.

    Here is a silly question… when it is dark, and no volts are being shoved into the regulator then battery, will the battery then somehow back flow into the regulator and discharge? It sounds unlikely, but I remember in the old days, cars had regulators and generators, sometimes the regulator would backfeed due to a bad diode or something. Maybe just confirm there is a diode in the regulator?

    #77681
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    saturnv
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    @fishfryer Not a silly question, a valid one… Yes there’s a diode on the output to prevent current discharge from the battery back to the panel. Also the charge controller box has overcharge protection so when the battery voltage reaches about 14.5V a red LED flashes which means that charging is disabled until the voltage drops under that level again. This means you can leave it connected all day ( and all night) if you want, but in practice that’s never gonna happen for my situation. I’m also thinking of using it in my 2nd car which doesn’t get used much during wintertime. May post a YouTube video so will share the link if I do :-D

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