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Old 05-20-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Is this safe?

I have a 60 Converter (Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 60 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard: Automotive)
But have a solar panel sitting around that I want to use.

QUESTION:
Can I hook a small charge controller (like this: Amazon.com: Sunforce 7 Amp Charge Controller: Automotive) straight from the solar panel to the batteries while also having the converter hooked up to the batteries? Or will this blow up my trailer?
Thanks!
Eric
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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I have a similar setup, I use a 15 watt panel for preventing battery drain while in storage. I can think of no reason that there would be an issue with what you describe, as long as everything is wired properly.

I must say, I have never had both the converter AND the panel providing power at the same time....but I still can think of no issue.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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The solar panel won't look any different than the battery to the converter. You should be fine.
Keep in mind, without a controller on the solar panel there won't be any regulation. I doubt if a panel that size could over charge your battery.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Eric,
You don't say the size of your panel, but my 15 watt realistically and actually puts out about 750mA (net, per my TriMetric 2025RV) during the northern spring - fall for about 7 hours a day average. This is enough to keep batts charged in storage, but will never provide an overcharge, between low current flow, nighttime parasitic loads and cloudy days.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The solar panel won't look any different than the battery to the converter. You should be fine.
Keep in mind, without a controller on the solar panel there won't be any regulation. I doubt if a panel that size could over charge your battery.
Thanks all.
I would be using that small controller from the solar panel. Basically there would be two systems feeding into the batteries separately: the converter would be charging the batts when on shore power and the solar panel would be feeding power through a separate controller into the batts at the same time.
I just wanted to make it maintenance free if possible, leaving them all hooked up at the same time.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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You will be fine with that setup. BUT, what is the panel size? Of course that controller is limited to 7 amps (It is the same one I have), but it is NOT an MPPT controller. That won't matter, IMO, if you are using a very low wattage panel.

I am NOT a solar expert, but have read just about all there is here on the forum. I am not sure if 5 - 7 amps with this non-MPPT controller would potentially harm the batteries, but I would find out.

Again, if you have a 15 watter...or even a 25 watter, I wouldn't be too nervous.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
You will be fine with that setup. BUT, what is the panel size? Of course that controller is limited to 7 amps (It is the same one I have), but it is NOT an MPPT controller. That won't matter, IMO, if you are using a very low wattage panel.

I am NOT a solar expert, but have read just about all there is here on the forum. I am not sure if 5 - 7 amps with this non-MPPT controller would potentially harm the batteries, but I would find out.

Again, if you have a 15 watter...or even a 25 watter, I wouldn't be too nervous.
Thanks! I will do due diligence for sure. I'll check tomorrow, but I think it's a 50 watt panel. I did not buy that controller yet, so I could get something like this:

MPPT 10 Amp Solar Power Charge Controller, 160 Watt @ 12V & 320 - Solar Power Panels

instead. Would that be better and take all the worry out of it?
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Boy, maybe some of the solar experts will chime in here, but I THINK with a 50 watt panel, I would advise an MPPT controller.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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Try commercial member Lewster, maybe by PM. He is one of the pros with solar.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric H View Post
I have a 60 Converter (Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 60 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard: Automotive)
But have a solar panel sitting around that I want to use.

QUESTION:
Can I hook a small charge controller (like this: Amazon.com: Sunforce 7 Amp Charge Controller: Automotive) straight from the solar panel to the batteries while also having the converter hooked up to the batteries? Or will this blow up my trailer?
Thanks!
Eric
Which ever is the more powerful wattage wise will charge the batteries.

When the converter is plugged in it will win. Without the converter plugged in the Solar Charger will win.
I have a 9960 Intellipower and a Morningstar TriStar controller with four panels on the top of my trailer totaling 52 + 52 + 80 + 80 = 264 Watts.
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