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  #1  
Old 21st April 2018
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Default Solar battery charging

Wondering if any of you all use solar to charge/maintain your HD batteries. I have a stock HD sporty battery that I usually use a plug in Deltran Battery Tender product. Getting sick of running the extension cord to my shed and running actual permanent electrical is not possible. Ideally, i'd like to leave a solar panel on my shed for all of the riding season, then remove for the winter cold and ice. The products for solar on the deltran site have mixed reviews (http://products.batterytender.com/Solar/) and i'm not clear if they would even have enough juice. I'm open to doing a more DIY install too, using a product like this; (https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...ct_top?ie=UTF8)

Let me know what you all run!
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  #2  
Old 21st April 2018
drumbrake drumbrake is offline
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I have a van, a truck, and an excavator that I park all winter.

They sit outside. I put a small solar panel on the inside of a side window on the truck and van.

On the excavator which has two big truck batteries I hang it on the side of the engine cover.

The panels are only rated at 1.5 to 2 watts but keep the batteries fresh in the vehicles all winter.

https://www.harborfreight.com/15-wat...ger-68692.html

https://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-5801.../dp/B004RCP3QS

I don't unhook the battery cables so the radio, clocks, etc in the truck and van are hooked up all the time.

In the truck and van I use the cigarette lighter plug to hook it up. Plug it in, set it in the window, and you are done.

I don't use any charge controllers, keep in mind these are 2 watt not 2 amp.

2 watts divided by 12 volts is 0.1667 amps in full sunlight.

If your battery was dead it would take forever to charge it.

But from my experience it is plenty to keep up with the natural discharge rate of the battery.

I have checked a few times and on a sunny day the voltage might get up to 13.5 volts which is almost what they call a perfect "float charge"

A cycle battery is smaller so you might want to check the voltage a few times when you start using it.

You could hang one of these panels on the outside of your shed facing the sun and I think it would work real good for you.

They do make charge controllers for these panels but as I said because of the low output of the panels I haven't found that I need a controller.

If a panel like this can't keep your battery charged there might be something wrong with your bike or the battery.
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  #3  
Old 21st April 2018
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That is some great info, thank you. Maybe next year I won't have to pull the Battery from my boat in the winter.
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Old 21st April 2018
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I have one of the H/F ones in my truck that spends most of the time resting. Keeps the battery up, single yellow top starting a 6bt Cummins in the depth of winter without issues.
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Old 22nd April 2018
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the self regulating marine chargers are pretty good also.
i have some security units at an outside location which the batteries would last for 3 months or so but i scarfed up all the ole lady's dead solar lights and salvaged the solar panels and built an array for zero bucks, mounted on the roof and it keeps up. cost nothing but time and saved a little land fill to boot.
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  #6  
Old 26th April 2018
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ok got my solar setup on order.. i'll post pics of it when i get it up and running...
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  #7  
Old 30th April 2018
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Ok, got the initial setup going. Still having issues, I think the Battery Tender unit i bought might be defective. It blinks yellow and sometimes fast blinks green when disconnected from the battery. And it blinks yellow when connected to the battery, but if i reverse the battery polarity it says its charging, which makes no sense to me. I have an email to Deltran's cust support to see if my unit is defective.

Anyway.. here are the pics, img bb wouldnt let me rotate the photos but you get the idea. I velcro'd it to the roof of my shed and fed through a hole on the side. I had to drill a hole into the solar panel (just the metal frame) to get the wire to come out. As you can see in my testing on a sunny day, i get 20.1 v coming in from the panel. (its a 20w panel). As I stated before, this isn't successful yet, waiting to hear why the Deltran unit is acting so weird and why the polarity is switched.





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  #8  
Old 1st May 2018
maltesefalcon maltesefalcon is offline
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Solar charging? Guess Nightster owners are SOL?
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  #9  
Old 2nd May 2018
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Who knew Deltran's customer support was bad. They still haven't responded to my inquiries so i'm getting an exchange w/ Amazon. We'll see if the replacement does any better.
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Old 7th May 2018
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Figured it out!! The battery tender extension cord i had reversed the polarity! DOH. i had to cut it and splice it in the correct way. Works like a charm! On a sunny day, my battery is topped off in about 30 mins.
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