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  #1  
Old 04-13-2007
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Solar charge controller

Can anyone recommend a simple solar charge controller for a small solar panel? The panel I have is for topping off the batteries while not in use. As it is, the panel just has two wires with alligator clips and nothing else. I'm guessing I need some sort of regulator to prevent overcharging, a fuse to prevent shorts, and a diode. The panel is not mounted but just sits in the cockpit. I have two batteries....
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Old 04-13-2007
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Jotun,

What is the output of the panels?

- CD
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The NC25A is a pretty good, inexpensive charge controller and will handle up to 25Amps.

While not an MPPT-type controller, its also nowhere near as expensive. About $150 USD.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-13-2007 at 11:10 AM.
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CD,
It's on the boat. But it is small. The panel is the equivalent of a trickle charger. I'm guessing the PO just connected it directly to the house battery.
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SD,

Assuming it is just a trickle, do you even need a charge controller? My guess is no, but I have never direct wired.

- CD
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Define trickle charger, and define what the on-board battery banks are made up of... that would help. IIRC, if the power rating of the panel is more than 1/60 the bank capacity, then a charge controller is recommended.

Since the OP hasn't stated the size of the panel or the battery bank, can't really say one way or the other. I prefer not to wire panels directly to the battery.. but would rather set them up on a fuse block and then put a output from the fuse block on a switch...
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I have two 12v wet-cell batteries on board. But, sitting here at work, I can't tell you the size of the panel. It looks, however, something like those little 1.8 watt panels. I'll bring it home this weekend.
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If that's the case, and the batteries are even Group 24s, I doubt it's even keeping them topped off. And definitely no charge controller needed.
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25 watts is less than two amps...no charge controller needed. It cannot really charge your batteries...just keep them topped up when you are off the boat.
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if your charger is 400 miliamps or less you do not need a controler.
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