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New Battery Charger and Solar Panel - 25 March 2020

posted 29 Mar 2020, 15:41 by Geoff Head   [ updated 29 Mar 2020, 15:52 ]
Prior to the 24 Hour Endurance Race the old 7 Amp Ctek battery charger suddenly stopped working. As it was out of warranty I purchased a new ProMariner 12 Amp charger from Burnsco using the vouchers we won in the race. The new charger is wired directly to the charger selector switch so that I can select House Battery 1 or 2 or both. Also by turning on the Start Battery and Emergency Switch I can charge all 3 batteries at once. The 12 Amp rating handles this no problems.

Also for some time the old Enertec 90W solar panel has been dying to the extent of only putting out about 0.1W on a sunny day so I purchased a new 100W Powertech panel from JayCar. Before installing
I measured the open-circuit output of the panel at home: 19 v at 5.4 amps. Partially shaded I was getting 4.9 A if the shade went down the side but down to 0.47 A if the shade was across the top.

On the last day before the COVID19 lock-down I installed the new panel. This time I got a Clear Acrylic Panel (PSP 1200 x 900 x 3mm) from Bunnings, cut it to size, and mounted the solar panel on top of this to give it better support. I then glued the acrylic panel on the cabin room with Sikaflex. Tied it down with rope for a few days while it dried. Added extra Sikaflex sealant around the termination block as well.

Great to see the solar panel putting out almost 3 amps at 14.8 volts into the two house batteries. This should keep the batteries in good condition until this whole lock-down situation ends.