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Author Topic:   Using Solar Panel To Charge Battery
lucas123 posted 09-06-2010 05:13 AM ET (US)   Profile for lucas123   Send Email to lucas123  
Hi everybody. Is it ok if I use a solar panel regulator for charging the battery? Has anybody done this before?

[ASIDE:] My [Yamaha] outboard gives me 14- to 16-volts after the regulator. Most probably the regulator has a problem because the connection to the battery is tight and my loads are connected directly to the battery, which is five months old. Thanks

Jefecinco posted 09-06-2010 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Outboard engine charging voltage above 14 volts is not unusual. A voltage of 14.3 or 14.4 is desirable. I'd think a 16 volt charging voltage could be a problem.

Is your battery being over charged? Does it get excessively warm? Are you having to replenish the water more often than usual? Has your battery been tested?

Some charging systems on smaller outboard motors deliver higher than usual charging voltages. This can sometimes be dealt with by adding an additional electrical load on the system.

Solar panels can be used for battery charging. Kits for the purpose are available. A member will surely chime in with details on available systems. I claim ignorance on such systems but a possible problem would likely be the inability for such a system to keep up with the engine's ignition, injection, and ECU demands while underway. I believe most solar systems are for charging the batteries while moored or underway under sail.

Assuming there is a problem with the charging system on your engine it would almost certainly be less costly to fix the problem than to install a solar battery charging system.

Check for an article in the Reference Section.


jimh posted 09-06-2010 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Unless you have a rather substantially large solar panel, I doubt that the charging current available from it will be larger than a small fraction of the charging current available from the outboard motor. I do not see a problem in charging the battery from a solar panel, as long as the solar panel you use is appropriate for the battery. The term "solar panel" does not really define much of anything in terms of voltage and current output, so it would be helpful if you gave specific information about the solar panel.
lucas123 posted 09-07-2010 02:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for lucas123  Send Email to lucas123     
Thank you all for sharing your knolege on this.
As my English are too bad most probably I did not make clear what I want to do. I want to connect a solar panel controller (charger) in series after the rectifier (not a solar panel)rated at the same power.The questio is how "dirty" the power from the rectifier is (maybe there is a problem with the electronic circuit at the solar pamel controller).
As for the battery, cabling etc ,they all have been re-checked and there is no problem.The good thing is that I discovered the problem soon and the bad thing is that I discovered it because my Raymarine wind meter was damaged because of this.
Please leave your comments regarding the use of a solar panel charger in series with the rectifier.
Thank you all
jimh posted 09-07-2010 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To connect two sources of charging current to a single load, you should wire each source of charging current to the load, putting them in parallel. Whether or not the outboard motor charging circuit can tolerate operating in parallel with another source of charging current depends on the design of the charging circuit in the motor; some do not like to operate in parallel with other charging current sources. Whether or not the solar panel will tolerate operating in parallel with another source of charging current also depends on its design. You cannot make any sort of reasonable blanket statement regarding how this might or might not work.
lucas123 posted 09-08-2010 02:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for lucas123  Send Email to lucas123     
I'm thinking for a seperate charger controller.I've never seen the wave form of an alternator how it looks like at an osciloscope but most likely a 50000mf/50v will give me a smooth wave form to drive the solar panel charger.

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