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#4636116 - 01/15/18 07:32 PM Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver
2James1 Offline


Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Union County, PA
Recommendation for best solar powered battery maintainer for non-daily driver?(preferably one that doesn't break the bank)
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2005 Chevrolet Malibu V6
Castrol Edge HM 10w-40/ Purolator Pureone

2015 Cruze LT 1.4T
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#4636216 - 01/15/18 09:39 PM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32775
Loc: ME
Best or cheapest?

Does your cigarette lighter work with the key off?

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#4636347 - 01/16/18 06:47 AM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
Panos Offline


Registered: 12/08/16
Posts: 64
Loc: Greece
Google "vw solar battery maintainer"
I have found the cigarette lighter version on ebay years ago. Works flawlessly.
There is also a can bus version for the vehicles that cut the connection to the cigarette lighter
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#4636443 - 01/16/18 08:45 AM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
bullwinkle Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 7743
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
I've been using the cheap HF and Northern Tool ones, they've been doing well, even on dual battery diesels, as long as the battery(s) are fully charged before parking them. Connected straight to battery with the little clips.
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#4636641 - 01/16/18 12:05 PM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: Chicago, IL
I've used a handful of different ones and I think in general, they're all about the same. I'd buy based on price, connectivity, mounting style and wattage.

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#4638661 - 01/18/18 10:47 AM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
2James1 Offline


Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Union County, PA
Is the 5-watt battery tender solar charger a good quality one? One thing I do like about that one is that it has a built in controller. Is that important?(from what I understand it is ideal to have one)
_________________________
2005 Chevrolet Malibu V6
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2015 Cruze LT 1.4T
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#4640239 - 01/19/18 05:02 PM Re: Best Solar battery maintainer for non-daily driver [Re: 2James1]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: Chicago, IL
To be honest, for a solar charger in that range, a controller isn't really necessary, I don't think that you'll run any risk of overcharging the battery. Let me try calculate this just for fun:

Let's say your battery is roughly 40Ah, with a self discharge of 5% per month, or 2Ah per month, or .0666Ah per day. The vehicle will likely draw some power constantly, let's say the parasitic drain is 0.05A, or 1.2Ah per day, for a total of 1.2666Ah per day.

The solar charger, on the summer solstice in Pensylvania will receive 15h of sunlight, and assuming it's perfectly pointing at the sun the entire time with a 100% charge efficiency, the .27A charge current will recharge 4.05Ah of capacity. Arguably, you won't get anywhere near that power.

I've used the cheap-o $15-$20 5 watt chargers with no issue. I think the only thing to take note is that it has a built in blocking diode so that it doesn't discharge the battery when off, most of them do have it.

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