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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:35 am   #1
Pete_kaye
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Default Solar 12v charger.

Recently stopped charging. Blue light does not flash and only 8ma máximum at 17v. There are 14 plastic plugs to drill out but what would I be looking for inside? Diodes? Has anyone else fixed one of these? I think leaving it on charge while running a small 3w fan may have been the cause!
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:50 am   #2
davidw
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I had a "Maplin" version of this. The connections to the glass panel failed on mine..
The "plastic plugs" are (were on mine) just covers over screws and could be popped out with a pointy tool!
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:51 am   #3
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

That must be the back of the unit. Isnt it?.

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Old 7th Oct 2022, 8:06 am   #4
Pete_kaye
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

Same one , I think. Here is the front.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 9:18 am   #5
Pete_kaye
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I’ve opened it up and there is a tiny board with a resistor (5k) and a diode. The 2output wires were still connected but broke soon after . Diode , LED and resistor seem good( 170 mv, 4K in circuit. What causes the LED to flash when charging?
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 10:18 am   #6
ex seismic
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

You used to be able to get LEDs with in-built flashers, is it one of those?
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 11:58 am   #7
Pete_kaye
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

Guess so . It used to flash only when enough light and just stay on otherwise. I have just discovered that the fuse has failed too. It is 250v 1a. Original sheet says 0.5a . I remember now fuse failing a few months ago too. Perhaps down to me for connecting fan while on charge. It is a 20mm fuse.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 5:15 pm   #8
Roger Ramjet
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I had a maplin one to trickle charge the battery on our Smart car but was never sure if it did the job so would be interested to know how you got on with yours Pete (when it was working).

On mine, the blue LED would flash whenever it was in good sunlight even without load connected.

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Old 7th Oct 2022, 6:12 pm   #9
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

The quality and output of panels varies a lot, as does the control. Low power panels don't need the control as the chance of them boiling a battery of significant capacity is pretty well nil.

I have a slightly better panel than the most basic but still no controller used. It's a help in replacing some of the charge due to quiescent load, but as it gets darker for longer certainly won't support that load completely. It just allows longer periods between looking after the battery properly. Another one of the same panels was used on something of my Dad's and helped to prevent the battery discharging to the extent where damage occurred. Although the battery got low enough, my Farnell 1kW PSU soon put charge back in after lockdown.

I have another application, again with quiescent loads. That has a 100W panel attached, and even though its placed horizontally and partially shaded, keeps the battery in top condition all year. That does have a proper charge controller to avoid overcharging.

So, solar chargers work to varying degrees. Power and regulation when needed is everything! At the end of the day, you need a panel that is capable of supporting the quiescent load you are managing, and providing enough spare to put back what is used when the sun isn't shining, plus any self discharge characteristics of the battery.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 6:55 pm   #10
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I have two of these chargers. The output lead has a tendency to pull away from the inside, breaking the connections to the panel. A basic solution is to gaffer tape the lead to the outside surface to act as a strain relief. The LED flashes when enough light hits the panel, under strong light, it glows continuously.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:10 pm   #11
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I also have one of these in the garage somewhere. There's not much in them, just a protection diode. They're designed to charge car batteries, and rely on the fact that lead-acid batteries are happy with a trickle charge even when fully charged. They're also not going subject the battery to a major charge current given UK weather.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:36 pm   #12
HamishBoxer
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I think the idea was to top up the car battery in the depths of Winter, sun dependent of course, not weather proof or mine certainly was not.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:47 pm   #13
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

I once bought something looking much the same from Maplin. Even on a sunny day, and aimed right at the Sun, it produced negligible power.

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Old 7th Oct 2022, 7:56 pm   #14
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

The idea with them was that you plugged them into the cigarette lighter and put them on top of the dashboard. They would then trickle charge the battery every day that the car was parked up and unused. This could actually be quite useful, as lots of cars had and have a small current drain.

As per forum policy and rules, strictly no automotive discussion please.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 9:11 pm   #15
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Default Re: Solar 12v charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
The idea with them was that you plugged them into the cigarette lighter and put them on top of the dashboard. They would then trickle charge the battery every day that the car was parked up and unused. This could actually be quite useful, as lots of cars had and have a small current drain.

As per forum policy and rules, strictly no automotive discussion please.
This is what my Uncle did everytime he went to Rome for a few months, he would leave the panel in the window and it kept his car battery charged.
He doesn't need the solar panel anymore, he's now a Priest.
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