Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - edlithgow

Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger

Back in the UK for a few days. Local electronics store Maplins has nominally 1.5W photovoltaic battery chargers for 15 quid.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/solar-powered-12v-15w-battery-auto-trickle-charger-l58bf

Since my car sits idle a lot without convenient mains access that might be useful. Insolation can be quite high in Taiwan, plus the car is old low-tech so has little built-in parasitic drain.

Any experience or opinions?

I thought of making one from a junked solar charged sign-lamp a while ago with 2 6V panels in series, but the amperage output was tiny (about 10mA IIRC).

Do these things deteriorate with age?

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - galileo

Don't know about these but Copaslip lasts years, don't forget to stock up!

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - skidpan

I thought of making one from a junked solar charged sign-lamp a while ago with 2 6V panels in series, but the amperage output was tiny (about 10mA IIRC).

You can buy solar trickle charges form many internet sites. No need to re-invent the wheel.

But since you have spent the last few years developing a replacement for copaslip I suppose this should be expected.

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - bolt

I know a few people that tried them out, but they dont seem to last long and if you test them over the months the output gradualy drops, depends whether you want to risk it or not though £15 is not much for these

I`ve tried a few myself for charging mobiles when walking but even they do not have a very long life, so went for mini power pack, smaller than a solar charger but fit in pocket and charge/start a car without problems

I think these solar chargers have a way to go yet imo

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - edlithgow

I thought of making one from a junked solar charged sign-lamp a while ago with 2 6V panels in series, but the amperage output was tiny (about 10mA IIRC).

You can buy solar trickle charges form many internet sites. No need to re-invent the wheel.

But since you have spent the last few years developing a replacement for copaslip I suppose this should be expected.

If you've got the bits, as I had, why not try it? Didn't work very well, but then it seems that the bought ones don't always work well for very long either.

Re copaslip replacement, necessity is a muvva, but in this case a collateral benefit was an easy and essentially free rust treatment method, which I've found quite useful.

Of course hardly anyone (else) (at least in the First World) still runs rusty bangers, but if I'd thought of it in the 70's I think I could have reasonably expected a high rise council block in Barnsley to have been named after me.

Edited by edlithgow on 03/02/2017 at 20:07

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - Brit_in_Germany

Another solution would be a li-ion booster pack.

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - Wackyracer

I've had a Maplin 1.8w watt solar panel for about 10 years or more. The output is rather small and I disconnected it's built in LED as it was causing an intermittent output during overcast days.

Last year I bought a 20W solar panel for approx £20 from ebay and it gives a current of approx 1.5amps on a good day using a charging controller.

If you need advice, I bought mine from 'Friendly green giant' on ebay and they seemed quite a helpful bunch.

Edited by Wackyracer on 04/02/2017 at 09:51

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - edlithgow

Thanks. Seems a better deal than the Maplin one.

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - edlithgow

Ordered one but it didn't arrive before we were leaving so we cancelled, but GF got a Maplin's one for her dad.

It stopped working (probably as judged by the LED) after a couple of weeks and she's just given it to me to look at.

It produces about 2V in (slightly overcast) sunlight, no LED output, no detectable amperage.

The case appears to be plastic-welded so I probably can't dismantle it without breakage, but there probably won't be an opportunity to return it anyway (a drawback of buying stuff overseas) so that doesn't much matter.

What is likely to go wrong with these, and is any of it fixable?

Badly soldered connections, I suppose. Anything else?

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - edlithgow

Correction: The broken charger's packaging is branded Astro, so she probably got it in Japan

Any - Unregulated Solar Car Battery Charger - Wackyracer

What is likely to go wrong with these, and is any of it fixable?

Badly soldered connections, I suppose. Anything else?

Open it up and have a look if you like fiddling. Then you can disconnect the LED at the same time. There will be a rectifier diode (something like an IN4001) to prevent battery current flowing into the solar panel when there is no output from the solar panel.

 

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