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charging battery with solar power?



charging battery with solar power? | 1 December, 2000

If i hook a 5amp/12volt solar panel to a 6 volt lead acid battery, would it recharge it? is it as simple as hooking the two together?


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Jamey Butteris


Re: charging battery with solar power? | 2 December, 2000

If you put a 6v battery on a 12v solar panel, it will charge the battery. It will also overcharge the battery and may damage the plates if you leave it on too long. The 'float' voltage for a lead acid battery (6v) should not exceed 7.2 volts for extended periods. It would be better if you placed a charge controller between the two parts or, if none is available, manually disconnect when the solar panel output voltage exceeds a value near 8 volts. Write me with a more complete description or your applications and maybe I be of better assistance.

Jamey Senior R&D Engineer Midtronics

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Re: charging battery with solar power? | 3 December, 2000

The point is to charge the battery during the day, then completelty drain it at night by use of a light sensor..

I thought that due to the low current of the solar panel it wouldnt be a problem if i used a 6 Volt battery..

do i hook + to - or + to + from solar to battery to charge it?

I could use a 6V DC converter if you think it must be used, though will it charge too slow? Its only got a day to charge.

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Michael Parker


Re: charging battery with solar power? | 5 December, 2000


My first impulse is to tell you to go ahead and try it your way. We all need to learn from our mistakes to find the right way. What you are proposing is called a "smoke" test. As long as you can keep the smoke inside the device, in your case the battery, then nothing wrong happened. If you go ahead and try it, stand back and be ready to disconnect the battery when trouble starts. That is almost a sure bet with what you propose. You could get lucky once and not cause catastrophic failure. What is more important for you to learn is the difference between volts and current. Apparently you believe you can mix voltages as long as you play with low current. Physically, you may not blow up the battery, you will probably for sure degrade and or damage it with your proposed charging.

Think of voltage as a potential for volume. Example - you will get more water volume out of a 1" diameter pipe than a 0.5" diameter pipe. The same with volts, the more the volts, the more potential to deliver a volume.

Current, on the other hand, is a measure of the pressure, in other words, how much force is coming out the end of the pipe.

Each diameter pipe is capable of delivering the same measurable pressure - most water pipes in a house are delivering 50-70 PSI of water, doesn't matter if its a 1" pipe or a 0.5" pipe.

Same with volts - you can get the same amount of current from a 6 volt battery as you would a 12 volt battery.

Water is a much safer medium to play with, electricity can cause great harm if you don't follow the rules.

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