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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Has anyone any views on the cheapo solar panels that plug in to the cigar or accessory socket that trickle charges the engine battery? I usually take our van for a good run regularly in the winter but thought this may be a useful buy. Some say it may have an adverse effect on the alarm??

Thanks for any info.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kev_n_Liz said:
I've had a couple with no problems, and no flat batteries either despite once not even starting the engine for 3 months.

Kev.
Thanks for that. Was it a fairly cheap one and what was the wattage? Where did you get yours?

Terry
 

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2007 Fiat Ducato Ace Siena 2.2 100 Multijet, Keighley, Still in Gods County.
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Come on give a bloke a break, I have the memory of a goldfish.

OK I'll try about 1 or 2 watts if that I seem to remember certainly not much, paid about a tenner of Ebay.

Kev.
 

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Kev_n_Liz said:
Come on give a bloke a break, I have the memory of a goldfish.

OK I'll try about 1 or 2 watts if that I seem to remember certainly not much, paid about a tenner of Ebay.

Kev.
I know what you mean about memory??? The one I'm looking at is 1.5 watt so probably a similar bit of equipment. Probably give it a try.

Thanks

Terry
 

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We have one for our van (well 2 actually, but only use 1 when the van is just stored at home). It keeps both the leisure and motor batteries charged up (He Who Thinks He Rules bought one of those clever gismos so it switches from one to the other all by itself but don't ask me its name, it's far too technical for me (shall we call it Vera?? :lol: ). I've just been out to have a look and it is a Topray Solar panel. It is the size of a slim briefcase and looks like this http://tiny.cc/UzgIS

We bought it at the Shepton show last year and it has done sterling service ever since, keeping the batteries topped up right through the winter. We just leave it on the dashboard and despite the cab overhang it works well. Can't tell you what it cost, but it has earned its keep.
 

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Hi Terry I bought one from Maplin about 18 months ago,1.5 watt & £9.99 it seems to keep the battery up and also it will power the light I have attached to the 3 point splitter if unplugged from the ciggie lighter.

Wyn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wynthesurfer said:
Hi Terry I bought one from Maplin about 18 months ago,1.5 watt & £9.99 it seems to keep the battery up and also it will power the light I have attached to the 3 point splitter if unplugged from the ciggie lighter.

Wyn.
Thanks everyone. Will definitely get one.

Terry
 

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teljoy said:
Hi

Has anyone any views on the cheapo solar panels that plug in to the cigar or accessory socket that trickle charges the engine battery? I usually take our van for a good run regularly in the winter but thought this may be a useful buy. Some say it may have an adverse effect on the alarm??

Thanks for any info.

Terry
Hi Terry

I have just purchased a 12 Watt solar panel from Maplins for £39.99! Sits on the dashboard when we are not using the van and is plugged into the cigarette lighter. I have just had to fork out for a new battery, so hoping this panel will keep the battery nicely topped up.

Regards
Mark
 

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I have no experience of the 1.5 W solar panel but I was thinking of getting one for our van. After a bit of research on here I concluded that they were a waste of time and at least a 10W panel would be required to give any useful output in the winter.

12 watt solar panel

We keep our van in storage and don't use it for upto 4 weeks sometimes so I was worried especially as ours is a Fiat X250 which does drain the battery quite a bit due to Canbus wiring. We eventually went for a 85 panel on the roof charging both the Hab Batterys and the Cab battery.

Now when we go for the van all 3 batterys are fully charged.

Never had a problem with the alarm with the solar pannel on.

Richard...
 

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Hi Terry

I've got 2 x 13 watt briefcase solar panels. It only takes an hour or two to recharge my battery with a 13 watt panel on a sunny day.

As my van is parked outside my house all the time and I use the van one a week throughout the year I generally don't use these panels to trickle charge my engine battery but if I do I'll only plug it in for a day a week.

I've seen vans with the 1.5 watt tickle chargers in the window which I would probably buy if I was going to be parking my van in storage. Maplins sell them fairly cheaply which is where I got my panels from.

I can't see why a trickle charger would have an adverse effect on your alarm - but maybe other members know more??

Julie :D
 

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2007 Fiat Ducato Ace Siena 2.2 100 Multijet, Keighley, Still in Gods County.
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Richard is right about the canbus set-up, wonder how much they spent dreaming that one up, are there any good points to it, as mine is pre canbus, but I think my car Stilo has it, but I think if you can face the morning or evening sun, you'll be OK with the little inside windscreen one, but not sure about any alarm issues.

Kev.
 

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teljoy said:
wynthesurfer said:
Hi Terry I bought one from Maplin about 18 months ago,1.5 watt & £9.99 it seems to keep the battery up and also it will power the light I have attached to the 3 point splitter if unplugged from the ciggie lighter.

Wyn.
Thanks everyone. Will definitely get one.

Terry
Hang on a minute Terry - If you use the Solar panel calculator on the resources page you will discover that a 1.5W panel in January in this country will supply you with a massive 0.1Amps a day IN PERFECT CONDITIONS.

I think anyone that wants to trickle charge their batteries in winter months should go for at least 20W panel. However if you are even considering that option then why not go the whole hog and get something like a 40 to 80W panel so that it will give you a decent output in summer as well

Just an opinion :D
 
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