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rodjava

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
I'm new to this group and have a question about charging my solar bank.

I have 6 trojan 6 volt batteries wired in series and parallel for a 12 volt solar system.
Each  battery is 225 amp hours.

Now that it's winter, my solar panels are not keeping up with my daily use.

I'm wondering what type of Ac battery charger I can use to charge my battery bank when the sun is not shinning?

Trickle chargers or fast 20+amp charges?

Thank you to the membership in advance for any assistance with this.

Rod in San Francisco

stmbtwle

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Posts: 2,858
Reply with quote  #2 
Yup, been there.

Where are you going to get the AC to power the charger?  If you are thinking to run it off your inverter it won't work, you will only pull the batteries down faster.

If you have "shore power" AC available the easiest thing is to switch the loads to that and let the solar panels charge the batteries.  If there is no shore power you might have to consider a generator.

I have a 30 amp "marine" charger (they are designed to be left connected), but I very rarely use it, I normally use the above method. 

Roughly how much is your power deficit?

Even with "shore power", a trickle charger is not likely enough to charge a 675 amp hour battery bank.  Even a 20 amp charger is little more than a "trickle" to those batteries and may overheat under continuous load (been there).  Common automotive chargers are not designed for it. Big marine chargers can handle it but they're pricey to say the least.  

Now would be the time to consider a couple more PV panels... They might be cheaper than a good charger.

__________________
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
rodjava

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Stmbltwle,
Thanks for chiming in.
I would use 120 volts from the main house for the charger.
Adding more panels is not a option at this time.

I'm researching Amazon for at least a 25 amp charger.

Rod
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #4 
What charge controller do you have, Make, and model?
Are you going to sneaker net the batteries too and from the house or run a long extension cord?

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
rodjava

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
HI Rick,
Not sure the relevance of your inquiry about my controller.

I am going to use a Schumacher 50/30/10 Amp Manual Starter/Charger
to charge my solar bank when need in the Winter and when the "sun dosen't shine"

Rod
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #6 
Monitor it closely the first few days, in case it overheats. 
It would be better if it were automatic.

And yes, you can leave the charge controller connected as well.

http://www.batterychargers.com/faqs/

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
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