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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Croix

Solar Battery Charger?

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Have been looking around at various solar battery chargers but have not been able to locate a good waterproof one. N. Tool+Equipment have a few that are reasonably priced($25-50) but not waterproof(is that going to be an issue?).

Has anyone found and/or used a waterproof one that is reasonably priced?

Thank you!!!

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Croix, I don't know about solar chargers, but check out a thing called Stay-n-Charge. Wired to your vehicle alternator and runs under the frame to the back where there's a plug. Then another pigtail for your trailer that plugs into your TM recptacle. Won't charge your deep cycles while on the water (though he does have another unit for that too that runs off your outboard), but pull the boat off, plug it in and run for 10-30 minutes and you're good to go again. $80. I used to haul a generator with to charge up on trips longer than a day or so, now won't need to. Putting it on next week.

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not to hijack the thread but Ive been looking also at the possibility of putting one on my fishouse, to charge the battery during the day on long weekend trips. anyone have experience with that?

on another note i've seen quite a few on boat lifts to charge the electric winch boat lifts.

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May I ask what is the purpose of the solar charger?

The answer might help avoid disappointment/dissatisfacton.

For me it eliminated the need to haul the batteries up to the house. No 110 at the dock.

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May I ask what is the purpose of the solar charger?

The answer might help avoid disappointment/dissatisfacton.

Good point, its use will be when on week long fishing trips when a electical outlet is not an option and I need to charge my trolling motor batteries.

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I have a panel on my boat lift and it works great for me. The key is there is a week or two between use. If I drained the batteries during the course of a couple of days, it would take the better part of a week to top them off again if not longer. It takes about a day or so to charge them on 110 when they are low. I think you will have a hard time finding what you are looking for. I guess if you rigged up the panel so it was charging while you where fishing it might do the trick. I am sure there is someone smarter than me that can figure out how much your trolling motor draws verses how much charging is coming in on a solar panel. That would be the key thing to figure out.

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I guess if you rigged up the panel so it was charging while you where fishing it might do the trick.

YEP! That is what I was thinking, with the solar panel hooked up to the battery it could slowly charge the battery over the course of the day.

Anyone have something similar to this rigged up on their boat?

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Not sure if they generate enough juice yet.... Probably would depend on how good of a one you buy, the weather, and how much you would use your trolling motor.

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I don't think you'll genarate enough power for your intended purpose. I can see the boat lift application working fish for two days and charge for 5 days.

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Just a little info to to help you make up your mind. Lets say you have a small trolling motor (30 lbs of thrust) and you are trying to save power and are running it at 2/3 power(20 lbs thrust). Your trolling motor will draw about 1.2 amps/lb thrust or 24 amps. In perfect sunny conditions a 2 square foot solar charger will output 1.2 amp @12v. So if your running your trolling motor generating 20 lbs thrust you are discharging 24 amps and charging with 1.2 amps. Your battery would last 5% longer. Using 50 lbs thrust it will only last 2% longer. This is based on you buying the $150 dollar charger from norther tool. It has 3 times the charging power of the $50 one. Not trying to burst your bubble just didn't want you to waste you money.

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JeffB basically hit the nail on the head.

Small solar panels are fine for keeping a battery topped up that doesn't get used too much. However, it will take a long time (as in several days depending on how low the battery is) to recharge drained trolling motor batteries unless you get large, expensive panels.

The 1.2 amp panel mentioned for ~$150 would take roughly 40 hours under good light conditions to fully recharge a typical trolling battery that was drained to about 50%.

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