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Old 05-23-14, 04:08 PM   #1
stevehull
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Default need battery charge controller?

Just installed a used driveway gate opener (Apollo) run on deep cell marine type battery with solar back up. The battery is new (deep charge marine type).

A few months ago, I picked up a old used PV panel at a yard sale. Wires were broken off on back and only had short stubs. Had my voltmeter in the truck and tested it (cloudy day) It was putting out some 0.5 A at about 20V. Based on that I offered $2 (they were asking $30) and got it. Just resoldered longer wires to the stubs . . .

Anyway, the label, on the back of the panel is almost illegible, but I suspect the panel is ~ 30 watts (18 inches x 22 inches).

The new deep cycle marine battery, fresh from the auto store, measured 12.5 V and today after one day of full sun is up to almost 15 V (one solar lead removed from battery when measuring this battery voltage).

I will open this gate only 2-3 times a day. With that little load, will I overcharge the battery? If so, what charge controller would you suggest to prevent this issue.

Thanks in advance.


Steve

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Old 05-23-14, 05:21 PM   #2
ecomodded
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eBay has small cheap pv controllers - I would look for one of the cheap ones with a high amp rating say 10 Amp to 20 amp so you have room for expansion down the road. the 10 amp ones are dirt cheap.
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Old 05-24-14, 10:45 AM   #3
where2
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I've read some mixed reviews about some of the cheapest of the cheap generic (no name) charge controllers. I've got one, but I haven't hooked it up to see how long it runs before it cooks a component inside. I bought it to use on a 12W panel to keep my boat battery charged.

That said, I'm running a Morningstar sun saver 6 on my 20W 12V panel. My intent with this setup was to run my wifi router, I just didn't get to wiring up the router to it yet.
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Old 05-24-14, 02:47 PM   #4
stevehull
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The Sunsaver 6 runs about $60 . . . Let me look again on ebay.

Steve

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