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Using Radio Shack 1.8Watt Solar Panel to Maintain Battery

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Posted by Neil P on October 21, 2003, 8:28 pm
Was thinking of using the 1.8 watt, 125 mA solar charger to maintain a
115 ah deep cycle battery.  Is this practical? Since the current is so
low I figure I don't need a regulator.  I am just looking for a low cost
method of maintaining the batteries.  System is set up to feed an
inverter for occasional power outages.


Posted by William P.N. Smith on October 22, 2003, 2:25 am

Well, obviously C/1000 wouldn't need a regulator, but depending on the
battery it also might not be able to keep up with self-discharge.
Might work if you keep the battery top clean and it's a new-ish
battery.  Give it a try, worst case you might have to add more panels
to keep the charge up...

The Radio Shack site is way too slow to actually browse for anything,
do you have an URL or a part number?

William Smith
ComputerSmiths Consulting, Inc.    www.compusmiths.com

Posted by Neil P on October 22, 2003, 12:44 pm

This is form the web site:

 however, the actual p/n: 277-1202 can be foud in the 2003-2004, pg 196 of
the paper catalog.

Was thinking tha the 1.8 watt may be too low to keep up with discharge, how
about two in parallel?


"William P.N. Smith" wrote:

Posted by Steve Spence on October 22, 2003, 12:55 pm
 or 3, or 4, .....

Steve Spence


Posted by William P.N. Smith on October 22, 2003, 2:05 pm
Yeah, but that's the one-watt version, and searching for

comes up empty.  Not important anyway, but:

Well, I'd try one and see how it does before I bother putting a second
one on.  On the other tentacle, if the 1W version is $0, I shudder to
think what the 1.8W version is.  Why not get one of those VW Bug float
chargers off eBay for $5 at something like
(search for "VW Solar") and use that instead?

Dunno if the VW panels are weatherproof, or if they are meant to be
used only inside the windshield, but someone else mentioned that the
Radio Shack ones are not weatherproof...

On the other tentacle, if you are willing to pay on the order of
$0-100 for a float charger, why not get a low-end panel from (say)
http://mrsolar.com/panels.htm  and a charge controller, and _know_ it's
right for this application?

William Smith
ComputerSmiths Consulting, Inc.    www.compusmiths.com

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