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 09-19-2009, 16:38 Post: 165783
kwschumm



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Can anyone recommend a good solar automotive type battery charger/maintainer that will work outdoors? One of those would probably be just the ticket for our chipper battery that sits months between uses.






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 09-20-2009, 08:27 Post: 165794
auerbach



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I should think that any brand would do. Or, if the chipper's a diesel, toss its battery out and start it by jumping.

I'd be more interested in experts' advice on fuel additives for stored gas and diesel engines.






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 09-20-2009, 11:22 Post: 165800
kwschumm



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Most of them are made for in-the-car use, where you stick it on the dash or visor and plug it into the 12V jack/lighter. Hard to find a dash, visor or 12V lighter on a chipper Smile It's easy to take a solar cell and have it charge all the time, it's harder to make one that provides proper maintenance logic to prevent overcharge and plate desulphating logic. I want a solar powered battery minder.

Regarding fuel, I have never had a problem using Stabil for storage and Power-Service as an additive. I always add about 50% more Stabil than the bottle says and have used gasoline and diesel for up to 18 mos. afterwards without trouble, even when stored in plastic containers. No idea at what point it goes bad since it never has. I always filter the diesel through a water-filtering funnel when filling tanks and add the PS afterwards (the PS dissipates water which would allow it to pass through the funnel).






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 09-21-2009, 08:16 Post: 165807
auerbach



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Yes, you'd toss the cig-lighter plug and hard-wire it to the terminals.

The little panels sold for domestic use put so little amperage into the battery (during sunlight) that there's little danger of overcharging. "Smart charger" circuitry would be better, but I haven't seen it on these units.

Thanks for the suggestion on fuel stabilization.






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 09-21-2009, 09:05 Post: 165808
kwschumm



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Originally Posted by auerbach | view 165807
Yes, you'd toss the cig-lighter plug and hard-wire it to the terminals. The little panels sold for domestic use put so little amperage into the battery (during sunlight) that there's little danger of overcharging. "Smart charger" circuitry would be better, but I haven't seen it on these units.Thanks for the suggestion on fuel stabilization.



Thanks, maybe nobody makes a smart solar charger. Most of the small panels state that they aren't for outdoor use. I'm looking for something that can be rained on and frozen.






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 09-21-2009, 09:14 Post: 165810
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How much voltage do those solar electric fencer chargers generate?
There is a pretty good sized traffic warning sign going into a nearby town that is lighted at night by a solar panel sitting on top. It seems big enough to take a good amount of power.
I know less than nothing about these things, that's why I'm asking. Frank.






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 09-21-2009, 11:47 Post: 165818
auerbach



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Voltage doesn't matter as much as amperage; a static discharge to your hand could be 10,000 volts at a thousandth of an amp. Those traffic signs use low-wattage lights (e.g., LED) that need far fewer amps than pushing electrons around in a battery.

The new Prius car offers a fairly large roof entirely covered with solar cells. But all it runs is a fan to circulate the intereior air.






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 09-21-2009, 13:18 Post: 165824
Murf

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Ken, first off, when shopping for solar chargers, be sure to check that it has an internal charge controller. Without one it can easily over-charge the battery.

Secondly, don't worry too much about an 'outdoor' model. We use them a lot on aircraft and I know plenty of people who put 'indoor' solar chargers inside plastic storage containers to make them weather proof. The plastic doesn't stop the UV coming through.

IMHO though putting a solar charger on something like your chipper doesn't make much sense. Anything big enough to do much will be spendy. Removing the battery, or running "landscaping" wire (the stuff used for low voltage lighting) from a 120v. maintenance charger on a timer is a better solution.

Best of luck.






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 09-21-2009, 19:05 Post: 165837
auerbach



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Yes, if you spend $300 on a solar array and leave it on the battery, it will overcharge. But for $30 you can buy a 180mA charger. Just google "solar battery chargers."

Most plug-in "trickle chargers" (considered safe for long connection periods) put out 1 amp. The 180mA charger is 18 percent of that -- in the sunshine.






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 09-21-2009, 21:16 Post: 165843
kwschumm



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I found a bunch of 1.8W chargers (1800 mA) but not any 180mA versions. Maybe I need to shop some more but given that it will generally be parked in the woods I wonder how much power they would really put out.

Murf, in the winter I pretty much park the chipper in the woods and chain it to a couple of big trees. It's a long way to the nearest outlet.

Edit: Whoops, don't know what I was thinking. 1.8W is ~150mA at a fixed 12V so maybe we're looking at the same type of units.






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