New Battery Charger and Solar Panel – 25 March 2020

During preparation for the 24 Hour Endurance Race the old 7 Amp Ctek battery charger suddenly stopped working. It was out of warranty so after the race I purchased a new ProMariner 12 Amp charger from Burnsco using the vouchers we won for coming second. The new charger is wired directly to the charger selector switch so that we can select House Battery 1 or 2 or both. Also by turning on the Start Battery and Emergency Switch we can charge all 3 batteries at once. The 12 Amp rating handles this without problems.

Also for some time the old Enertec Juice 90W solar panel has been dying to the extent of only putting out about 0.1W on a sunny day so I purchased a new 100W Powertech solar panel from JayCar. Before installing I measured the open-circuit output of the panel at home: 19 v at 5.4 amps. Partially shaded it was putting out 4.9 A if the shade went down the side but down to 0.47 A if the shade was across the top.

On the last day before the COVID19 lock-down I installed the new panel. This time I got a Clear Acrylic Panel (PSP 1200 x 900 x 3mm) from Bunnings, cut it to size, and mounted the solar panel on top of this to give it better support. I then glued the acrylic panel on the cabin room with Sikaflex. Tied it down with rope for a few days while it dried. Added extra Sikaflex sealant around the termination block as well.

Great to see the solar panel putting out up to 4 amps at 14.6 volts into the two house batteries. This should keep the batteries in good condition until this whole lock-down situation ends.

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