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post #41 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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Removing the surface charge is typically done on a car by leaving the headlamps (10A load) on for 3-5 minutes. A larger boat battery will need a larger load, but just hitting everything on the panel for 5 minutes should do it.

Then you still have a false surface depletion voltage showing.

It can take 24 hours for the electrolyte to circulate (remember, there's no pump in there) and even out the charge in a wet cell. A false high voltage will show for at least that long.

12.6-12.8 volts is the maximum any nominal 12v lead-acid battery will ever charge up to, because of the chemistry of the battery. (Which varies a bit from brand to brand.) Anything over 12.8 is an illusion from surface charge, and every battery maker will tell you the same thing. That's also why their warranty test consists of using a LOAD TESTER that pulls high power form the battery--and not doing a simple voltage test. You'll find load testers on sale for $25-100 in "automotive" and "truck" sizes. They'll pull a thousand watts from the battery, emulating a starter motor's load.
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post #42 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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It's not a wet cell bank, Optima's are gell AGM's. My question is answered. I knew it was false, just not how much it would take to clear it.
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post #43 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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AGMs. I don' t know the numbers for how long that float takes to equalize, but the nice folks at JCI do answer the phones....
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post #44 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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If you are looking for a good price on solar panels. outpost.com has really good prices on some of the larger solar panels.

SE-6000 100W panels for 699.99

Last time I looked, West Marine, was selling them for significantly more money.

Just thought you might want to know...
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post #45 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
To maybe put it a bit more simply...even if your batteries are discharged to 12.25V (50%) and your 2W panels tries to deliver current at 12.5V...it will only develope less than .2 amps. Given a 5 hour direct sunlight equivilent...this means that over a day..less than one amphour will be stored in your battery. If the bilge pump kicks on, or your radio memory or TV standby function is on you will probably use more than this...hence the lower readings at night. Furthermore...on a 200 amp bank of wet cells..the self discharge rate can easily be in excess of 2 amps per day.
So...briefly...a 2 watt panel is a waste of time and money. Try 20 watts!
Cam and Hellosailor...

Thank you both, I think you've answered my question (surely a rarity in this thread and therefore worthy of recognition!)
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post #46 of 48 Old 03-31-2008
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You're most welcome Monk! HS is the worlds foremost authority on solar panels and charging systems...especially stik mounted ones! (inside joke)

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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post #47 of 48 Old 04-01-2008
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window solar panels

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I couldn't find these panels - do you have a link?
just add 3w's followed by dot com to asola-power then go to automotive USP's
fair winds, seanseamour
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post #48 of 48 Old 04-04-2008
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cheap panel

northern tool has a 15w solar panel for $79.00 order catalog and check them out , also for anyone looking for wind generator cheap same place $800.00
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