solar regulator

idiomatically

Well-Known Member
Got nothing to do with a perfect world, it's reality. If you hit a Deep Cycle AGM with 15.2 - 16v you will kill it pure and simple (unless maybe Spiral type), they are not calcium batteries and they are not prone to sulfation at all mate.

A VSR w/ a good MPPT Regulator on your Solar panels are 100% all you need, and in most cases better then a DCDC and a 3rd of the cost. Nothing you can say will alter that fact. I have been using VSR's for decades. The 3 batteries in my PK Wildtrak have been running with this setup since I got it in 2009 and they are still good and the 2 in my PX Mk2 Wildtrak are perfectly fine even with heavy heavy use since I installed them in 2016 so I will happily take that snowflakes chance. I run a drawer fridge all the time too and I have a big ole Engel when I go away on top.

People get into drama's when they simply use the wrong cable gauge for their cable runs. Glad you like your setup, but I particularly dislike it when people start stating their opinions as facts when the science and the evidence simply doesn't support it. Let's just agree there are more than one way to do this and they can all work if thought out, planned and executed correctly.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/37_53/features/Fighting-Sulfation-in-AGMs_11691-1.html

Tink, yes, and if you never deep cycle a deep cycle battery, and always recharge immediately and fully, that's fine - I've never been able to.

But in case you aren't perfect either, optima chargers have a de-sulphate and condition mode to help you get it back on the alternator and fighting fit again :) As do pretty much all modern chargers with AGM mode, including DC chargers.......

Running boats and battery banks much larger than my pissy vehicular one, we have these conversations over there too and a lot more to lose. Everything always goes better with a multi stage tickle up.

I'm out. Have a great weekend. I'm going to park the ute out of the sun in a high rise down the coast and leave the fridge run all weekend.......
 

Lewy_88

Active Member
I guess you have a dual battery set up ? I purchased a DC/DC charger with solar connection (Thunder brand on flea-bay). Fitted it myself, so it eliminated the controller and the dual battery controller. Best thing I ever done, I run two fridges and use a 250 watt solar panel off a 130 amp Battery
@Gaza How has the Thunder DC-DC Charger been going for you? I was looking at it earlier.
 

Gaza

Member
thanks reply ....I have a few different portable/removable panels with a projector reg & i use them for different things like just charging up battery's camper /vehicle /farm stuff , not really looking dual bat setup exactly but wud b interested in people different setups .
how does the thunder quality rank .... cheers
The Thunder brand I have been told are a rebranded Projector so the quality is good ….so far mine has not faulted
 

sparksy

New Member
Ive fitted a 20A Thunder. Seems to work well but you would have no idea whats happening regarding solar charging. The display for battery is a half arsed bar graph and the % display is apparently ( from manual) " The percentage display shows the stage at what the DC-DC battery charger is in, not the percentage of the battery charge, at 80% the battery is fully charged. ". What use that is who knows, would have been better to show battery voltage % to full and use the bar graph to show the stage of charging.
As far as what AHrs, amps in, battery voltage,solar volts etc you wont know. Ive fitted extra displays to get this info.
Have a look at the manual. Thunder 20A manual .
 
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sparksy

New Member
@sparksy that's why your better off paying a bit more and buying something like the Victron then you know exactly what's going on... ALTHOUGH a watt meter would give some info also...
Only paid $100 for it so am giving it a try. Im still not convinced regarding the benifits of a dcdc. Im running 25mm2 twin cables from aux battery to camper ( redarc VDR does aux ) so with almost no voltdrop I still feel that the camper batteries would be charged at faster rate (>20A ) by direct connection. Ive fitted a battery capacity meter ( coulomb meter ) to monitor AHr capacity and charge amps in and out.
Will give it a go ( only been in a few weeks ) then on next trip away will try with and without it to see whats best.
My gut feeling is it will end up on gumtree .
 

Lewy_88

Active Member
Only paid $100 for it so am giving it a try. Im still not convinced regarding the benifits of a dcdc. Im running 25mm2 twin cables from aux battery to camper ( redarc VDR does aux ) so with almost no voltdrop I still feel that the camper batteries would be charged at faster rate (>20A ) by direct connection. Ive fitted a battery capacity meter ( coulomb meter ) to monitor AHr capacity and charge amps in and out.
Will give it a go ( only been in a few weeks ) then on next trip away will try with and without it to see whats best.
My gut feeling is it will end up on gumtree .
Thanks for the info. I ordered one. I am not too fussed with all of the data, I have a voltage meter on my AUX batt, that'll do me. I figure the multi stage charging will be better for my battery than the current 'isolator' setup where it gets a constant 14.7v. And the MPPT solar controller component will be better than my current PWM controller. Almost went for the CTEK though.
 
Does anyone have a good link to describe all the things mentioned here?

I have been thinking about a 2nd battery setup but its like a tidal wave of information thats hard to pick through.

I dont camp a lot but would like to do more.

I like to try out new things for me, so rather than buy a battery tray I want to buy a welder and make my own, (or neither as I have the Ute tray and dont need the second battery permanent perhaps a mobile box will be fine).

Having seen some youtube video on flexible panels there are some sub $100 ones that are good, I dont need flexible ones as I have a spare ARB fiberglass roof over the UTE tray that cannot take a tent so I can put even 2nd hand house ones on there!

I hear the DCDC charger, does that take overflow from the alternator and a solar panel or do I need one of those redarc dual battery switches??

Then the MPPT thing - what is that and what does it replace?

If I was looking at say a bush craft build (with decent 2nd battery I dont want to ruin) that might be used 4 times a year for a few days at max to run a fridge and LED lighting, what is the cheapest way to do it?
 

nick boab

Member
Does anyone have a good link to describe all the things mentioned here?

I have been thinking about a 2nd battery setup but its like a tidal wave of information thats hard to pick through.

I dont camp a lot but would like to do more.

I like to try out new things for me, so rather than buy a battery tray I want to buy a welder and make my own, (or neither as I have the Ute tray and dont need the second battery permanent perhaps a mobile box will be fine).
Having seen some youtube video on flexible panels there are some sub $100 ones that are good, I dont need flexible ones as I have a spare ARB fiberglass roof over the UTE tray that cannot take a tent so I can put even 2nd hand house ones on there!
I hear the DCDC charger, does that take overflow from the alternator and a solar panel or do I need one of those redarc dual battery switches??
Then the MPPT thing - what is that and what does it replace?
If I was looking at say a bush craft build (with decent 2nd battery I dont want to ruin) that might be used 4 times a year for a few days at max to run a fridge and LED lighting, what is the cheapest way to do it?
SirDrin you might be interested in a battery box you can remove after you return home , where you can put battery on trickle charge to keep in good condition rather than have all this gear permanently mounted in vehicle . plus a solar blanket or what ever you think ,( keep in mind the weight ! ) say from super cheap etc.... when on special ??
MPPT is a voltage regulator to stop overcharging battery from car or solar .it is the better type of reg to use .
IMO dcdc chargers are not a must have thing , more for diehards LOL ;)
do your research carefully there is a lot of stuff out there , some good & not so good . Cheers :)
 

Lewy_88

Active Member
I'd grab the XCell 75ah AGM battery on ebay, it's the cheapest I have seen. Grab the 4wd supacentre battery box for $80. Then grab a thunder dcdc charger to charge from your alternator while driving and your solar panels when you are parked.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
I wonder what you guys think.

I have a small panel and MPPT on the 4wd, which pretty much keeps my 75L DZ Fridge / System fed all day long, which is great.

One thing I have noticed is that it very frequently re-enters an bulk > absorption charging mode when it sees the voltage drop due to the Fridge compressor kicking in (the fridge is not wired into the "load" terminals).

I know there's a design flaw in the way I've done things in so much as my MPPT can't differentiate between battery or load, but i wonder, am I likely doing any damage by re-entering a charge mode a half-dozen times or more during the day?

It doesn't seem to re-enter for long ... i suspect the fridge only cycles on for a few minutes, reaches temp and pulls out - then the MPPT shortly after flicks back to float too. If / When the battery is actually down on charge, it will stay in bulk / absorption (of course).

I'm not overly worried, but chewing the fat ...
re-entering-absorption.jpg
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
My system has a non critical users feed which isolates them from the charge profile for a perfect charge. That feed also has a battery protect function which disconnects those users early. This is not in keeping with my mantra of ‘cold beer is of paramount importance’ so I bypass all that crap and run the fridge off the battery posts direct. You have an important decision to make...
 
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mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
Interesting

I have actually been impressed how "smart" my victron controller is, float current just goes up when the fridge kicks on etc
Only ever draws as much as is needed from the panels once its fully charged (which is super quick)
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Why not? Seems it should be the default setup for everyone.
lazyness ... my system was setup well before i decided to add solar as an afterhought ... so i just tapped solar into the overall circuit , rather than bringing the 4 aux sockets (2 anderson, 2 ciggy lighter in 3 locations) back to the solar.

Next car will obviously Ill setup better!
 

darb

Well-Known Member
I wonder what you guys think.

I have a small panel and MPPT on the 4wd, which pretty much keeps my 75L DZ Fridge / System fed all day long, which is great.

One thing I have noticed is that it very frequently re-enters an bulk > absorption charging mode when it sees the voltage drop due to the Fridge compressor kicking in (the fridge is not wired into the "load" terminals).

I know there's a design flaw in the way I've done things in so much as my MPPT can't differentiate between battery or load, but i wonder, am I likely doing any damage by re-entering a charge mode a half-dozen times or more during the day?

It doesn't seem to re-enter for long ... i suspect the fridge only cycles on for a few minutes, reaches temp and pulls out - then the MPPT shortly after flicks back to float too. If / When the battery is actually down on charge, it will stay in bulk / absorption (of course).

I'm not overly worried, but chewing the fat ...
View attachment 62765
An update to this ... now that we're entering summer soltice and the sun is up for longer and is higher in the sky, my solar produces more ... so it is now staying on float almost all day long even whe the fridge demands ... so obviously it was only dipping back down when it was cloudy and winter solstices
 
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