Join Date: May 2011
Location: West Chester, PA
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Upgrading batteries, solar etc.
My main goal is to upgrade my electrical system- mainly from a standpoint of charging and having enough power on hand to run lights at night, maybe a car dvd player for the kids, radio etc.
Here is what I have:
Outboard motor that charges a 12v deep cycle battery (unknown age), but is not electric start.
Small 5w solar panel that trickle charges a gel battery (also unknown age) never gets much above 13v.
I do not have a shore power hook up or charger, and in fact I pay less for my slip as I don't use shore power so this suits me fine.
Here's the question......
For days that I minimally use the outboard I really can't charge the batteries.
If I buy a bigger solar panel I read I can charge one of the batteries, but I understand I should not group batteries of different types and ages. So I think if I do get a bigger solar panel I should replace the gel battery and have the panel charge that, using the battery the motor charges as backup. Or try to charge up the gel battery and use that as primary.
So I should purrchase a (?) W solar panel, charge controller and maybe a new deep cycle battery if the gel doesn't seem to cut it?? Is that my best option? I am considering an inverter but know one battery won't give me a lot of juice.
Any advice appreciated.....I'd like cheaper options!!
1984 Watkins 25
Sassafras River, MD