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Old 11-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Lakeland , Florida
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Solar Panels and Battery Disconnect

Hope all had a Rememberable Thanksgiving,

Can anyone help with this issue;

Just had our 2013 30' with Solar Panels w/Glassmat Batteries Winterized and stored for the winter.

To lessen the parasitic drain on the batteries, I switched the "Battery Disconnect" switch to "OFF."

My question is, with the switch in the off position, will the Solar Panels still charge the batteries or will I have to switch the Battery Disconnect switch back to the "ON" position.

Thanks
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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My solar controller (aftermarket installation) is wired directly to the batteries, so the charging continues when I switch the battery disconnect from "use" to "store". I do this routinely when on extended shore power to maintain my batteries with my three stage MPPT controller rather than with the single stage Parallax charger. You should be able to verify your charging by observing your controller or using a voltmeter at the batteries.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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On the 2012 models the solar charger is connected to the batteries at all times.
Therefore you can put the switch in the "disconnect" position and still maintain your batteries. Note though that there are several power consumers in the trailer that are always on including the solar charge controller and one of the gas detectors so unless it is really sunny I would at least keep an eye on things occasionally.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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That's one of the things I like about the solar option.

Solar does charge the batteries in the off position, so when stored (with sunlight) the batteries stay charged without need to plug in.

Also during campground stays with external power, you can put the switch in off and isolate the batteries from the converter, while solar maintains the batteries.

doug k
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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This is good news and it makes sense. It is also good to know the options that are available when you have solar. Thanks to everyone in putting my mind at ease. Until the the next lesson...
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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I agree that in most cases, connecting the solar controller directly to the batteries is preferable, so that the solar can float the batteries while in storage. However, in my installation, I chose to tie the solar controller to the house side of the disconnect switch, as my Airstream is stored under a roof. This way, the quiescent current (0.25 amp) consumed by the controller does not draw on the batteries.

Just something to keep in mind if you store indoors.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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You were right. Got a chance to take out the airstream this week-end. The batteries had a 100% charge. If you remember, I turn the battery disconnect switch to off to stop the parasitic drain.

Now, I know that my solar panels are connected directly to my batteries.

It would be nice, If I had know to ask these kinds of questions at the dealership.

That's what I like about this forum. You not only get answers, but you learn to think AS.

Thanks.
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