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Thread: Solar battery charger?

  1. #1
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    Solar battery charger?

    Anyone here use any sort of solar battery charger? Feedback?

    Anyone have any options for charging batteries when electrical is not available? Any options other than a generator?

    I thought some guys have a charger hooked up through their alternator on the big motor? Feedback? Can this replace electrical plug in?

    Thank you,
    Josh

  2. #2
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    Just got a charger ordered from minn kota. 20 amp 10 to each battery. Charges trolling battieries when big motor is running. Have a place on the lake no juice at the dock and got tired of taking the boat out every 2 days to charge the batteries. Dont know how well it works but has to be better than solar I had. Around 200.00 at cabelas.

  3. #3
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    I'm only guessing but I think

    Most fishing boats (especially with all the electronics we run) barely get enough running unless you are a troller to keep our starting battery fully charged (electronics running even while boat is not)

    Any amperage going to the trolling motor bateries would be at expense of starting battery ( amperage from motors alternator is fixed)

    Solar charger might help but most are small output

  4. #4
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    Solar chargers work but take a longgggggggg time, about 3 or 4 days of good sun light to recharge a deep cycle with any kind of a decent charge. With the price of gas you might be better off just bringing several charged up batteries along, instead of trying to recharge.

  5. #5
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    A friend of mine is an electrical engineer and I was quizzing him about this a while back.

    His take was that with the loads we put on our boat batteries, and the MINIMAL charging that the solar chargers are capable of....combined with the capacity of our big boat batteries, they're just not a viable option for what people think they should do for you.

    As said, get a bank charger and plug it in at the dock, or if that's not an option, get a couple backup batteries to bring on the trip.

    If I'm remembering right, he said that any "big" engine with an alternator should be smashing 20-40amps (hope I'm remembering correctly) back into your starting battery.....so if you do any running at all, or if you troll, your starting battery should be pretty much golden.


  6. #6
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    I know of a couple of people with solar chargers from this company.

    http://www.wirthco.com/battery-docto..._138-l-en.html

    As far as onboard chargers, they can help but it would be hard to get a low battery fully charged. Even if you figure that you can get the full 10 amp per bank out of your alternator, it would take 4-6 hours to charge a %75 discharged battery.

  7. #7
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    To add:

    The addition of an alternator based onboard system for the deep cycles will only devert amperage after the starting battery is fully charged. The output of Alternators on the big engine varies quite a bit from brand to brand with some really not able to provide much additional charginng capacity at all. In addition output goes up with RPM so trolling speeds generally provides little in the way of alternator output beyond what the boat needs to keep running.


    Solar is pretty much a keep your starting battery topped off while you are not there concept...unless you have a really big grid.

  8. #8
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    i i was wondering if anyone has thought of or tried a portable generator. you can get a smaller one relatively cheap. you could fire-up the generator and plug your on board charger into it.

    or am i missing something - its crossed my mind to pick up a small one for the home for emergencies and i was wondering if it could play a dual role!

    rnovak

  9. #9
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    This is kinda what I was affraid of, it does not sound like there are many good options to charge your trolling motor batteries without an electrical plug in.

    I have looked at the output o solar panels, and a couple quick calculations led me to believe it would not work.

    So the only option is to run a bank charger from an electrical plug, or to run a generator..

    Man, will someone please develop a charge system to charge trolling motor batteries that does not require plugging the boat in??

  10. #10
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    RE: Solar battery charger?

    I get a nice gift from my guys at work every Christmas, and two years ago I asked them to get me the little $99.00 gas generator on sale at Harbor Freight. It holds one gallon of gas and runs for about 7-8 hours, plenty good enough to top off over night. It's noisy, but if you want to spend $300.00, you can get a Honda that purrs like a kitten. You can also run it IN THE BOAT while you are fishing if you find yourself drained for some reason, even WHILE you are using the trolling motor depending on the charging system you plug into allowing both ends to function at once.

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