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Solar panel installation
LSF Member
Joined:
10/06/2013
Posts: 15
Hey guys, I am pretty new to ice fishing and honestly have done more reading on here than posting but have a question about solar panels. I have a 7 watt panel that I would like to put on my wheelhouse that I have slowly been working on. It would simply be used to trickle charge while I am away. My question is, does this need to connect directly to the batteries or can you actually charge them by connecting to a 12v power outlet in the house? I have a 120v converter power station in the house for plugging in a generator etc. When I hook the solar panel to the 12v outlet, occasionally but not always I will blow my main fuse for the batteries at the converter when switching between battery power and 120v. I have disconnected the solar panel and so far things seem "normal". I was hoping to be able to wire the solar panel permanently but am coming to the conclusion that I cannot hook things up this way. Has anyone else experienced this or maybe I am just wrong in thinking this is possible. I do not have a voltage regulator for the solar panel. Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks.

Posted on: 2014/12/30 20:21
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Re: Solar panel installation
LSF Member
Joined:
12/11/2011
From Oslo, MN
Posts: 47
I have a new Ice Castle that has the 20 watt solar charger on it and it has a controller box in between the solar charger and the battery but is goes right to the batttery. I ended up having to have a switch that shut everything off when I am not there cause all the things in the house drained the battery enough that the solar panel couldn't keep up. Hopefully this is helpful for ya. Good Luck

Posted on: 2014/12/30 22:46
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Re: Solar panel installation
LSF Member
Joined:
08/02/2010
From North Metro "Coon Rapids"
Posts: 165
do not wire the panel directly to the battery as that will over charge the battery at some point and the voltage may have peaks that will hurt the battery. You need a charge controller in between, some panels already have them mounted on the back as micro controllers.
Then its best to go directly to the battery, any other way you will suffer losses on the watts/voltage due to resistance within all the other wiring.

Posted on: 2014/12/31 17:03
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Re: Solar panel installation
LSF Member
Joined:
12/23/2012
From Hastings/ Harris
Posts: 307
I think you would be O.K. with a 7 watt panel if I remember my calculations when I was trying to figure the equivalent amps:-- it is about the same as a plug in wall charger for your flasher-- about 500 milli amps.( 1/2 amp)

any panel larger should be using a controller as they said.

I have 4 separate 7 watter's in the windows of the lake pole barn wired to the different boat batteries and at home on my classic car-- it basically at the most-trickle charges it , and at the least, keeps it from discharging.

Also mounted them on my boat lift to charge the trolling battery while I am gone all week.
I have never had a problem with the long term life of any of the batteries.

But like the previous guys said, anything larger should have a controller on it.

By the way, if you put a voltmeter on the panel by itself, it could show as high as 40 volts, but as soon as it is on a load( battery) it drops to 12-13.8 volts.

Posted on: 2014/12/31 20:36
_________________
Tony
Vegetarian: that's an old Indian word meaning 'lousy hunter'--Andy Rooney
The first rule of duck and goose hunting is simple: if the birds can see you, then you are freezing your butt off for nothing.--Jim Zumbo
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Re: Solar panel installation
LSF Member
Joined:
10/06/2013
Posts: 15
Thank you all for the replies, I think I've got figured out, I will let you know my results, thanks for the tips .

Posted on: 2015/1/1 0:34
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Re: Solar panel installation
New Member
Joined:
04/21/2017
Posts: 1
Quote:

Husker24 wrote:
Hey guys, I am pretty new to ice fishing and honestly have done more reading on here than posting but have a question about solar panels. I have a 7 watt panel that I would like to put on my wheelhouse that I have slowly been working on. It would simply be used to trickle charge while I am away. My question is, does this need to connect directly to the batteries or can you actually charge them by connecting to a 12v power outlet in the house? I have a 120v converter power station in the house for plugging in a generator etc. When I hook the solar pv panel to the 12v outlet, occasionally but not always I will blow my main fuse for the batteries at the converter when switching between battery power and 120v. I have disconnected the solar panel and so far things seem "normal". I was hoping to be able to wire the solar panel permanently but am coming to the conclusion that I cannot hook things up this way. Has anyone else experienced this or maybe I am just wrong in thinking this is possible. I do not have a voltage regulator for the solar panel. Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks.

Thanks for the post. I'll certainly comeback.

Posted on: 4/21 5:08:59
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