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Unread 06-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

Just got back from a week at a campground which was our first camping trip with our current cart. As we were packing up this morning, we noticed the neighbors had a solar panel on the roof of their EZ-GO TXT. They weren't around so we snuck a peak under the seat. They had an extra battery mounted in there for accessories and the solar panel was wired to that battery. I did a search for solar charges but didn't really find much here. What I did find seemed to say that a solar panel probably wouldn't help much. Wish I could have hung around long enough to have asked them how it works for them. Anyone have any specific thoughts and/or experiences with trying to keep a 12v accessory battery topped off with a solar panel?
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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

I have never used or researched such a system, but my opinion is that it's similar to leaving the battery on a trickle charger. It never pushes hard into a depleted battery, which is exactly what a deep cycle requires to keep it's plates clean. If left alone Monday-Friday I think it would bring the battery back to a good charge, but at the expense of some longevity.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

You can get the panels cheap at Tractor Supply. I use them on my company trucks that run 12v elecrtic pumps to clean roofs, they draw about 20 amps on and off for 10 hrs a day. NOw I live in Florida and we have a lot of sun but they work great.. There is actually a 48v CC Limo that is 100% solar in a small town by me. its a cab and drives people from bar to bar and so on with a bunch of advertising on it. 80 inchs of solar panels on the roof.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 01:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

to give you a idea of what to look for:
10watts at 13.8v = 720mA
20watts @ 13.8v = 1.44 amps
etc.

maintainers are roughly .5 to 1amp. "overnight chargers" are 2 to 3amps. bulk chargers are like 10amps. all depends on how much you use. what size charger are you using now? you could easily replace your 12v charger if you wanted.
-sj
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Unread 06-20-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

I have one on the 04 PDS cart at the beach house. It's only for when I'm using the cart during the day. It keeps the battery fully charged while listening to the radio all day. When I do use the battery up I plug it in to a regular charger but the solar keeps it pretty well up as long as it only use the radio.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Solar panel on spare battery for accessories?

I don't have a separate 12v accessory battery yet - that is my next project. I'm still trying to determine how to reroute my accessories (light kit and radio) from the existing stock wiring to a new battery, hopefully without having to tear everything apart.

I'm totally fine with charging the extra battery separately, with a traditional charger, but I saw that solar rig and wondered, given plenty of sun exposure, and with the lights only being used for a couple of hours, tops, at night, if the solar thing would keep it going or if it really wouldn't do enough to be worth the effort of installing one.
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