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Thread: Solar 12v trickle chargers

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    Default Solar 12v trickle chargers

    Looking to buy a 12v solar charger to keep my battery topped up as the car can go weeks without being used.

    Would a 1.5w 12v solar charger be sufficient or would the drain from the alarm / radio memory pull more power than a charging of this capacity could replace?

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    Regular Member Handyandy-UK's Avatar
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    Vehicle : BMW 525i

    Trim : SE Touring

    Engine : 3.0

    Year : 2007

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    I use one for when I'm 'not local' ... the car always cranks nice and strongly then starts first time so it must be fine.

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    Remember you can't use the cigarette lighter on the Vectra C for a solar panel because it's ignition live, not permanent live.

    The alternative - without doing any re-wiring - is either to connect it directly to the battery (most solar car chargers come with both a cigarette lighter plug and crocodile clips for the battery) or one that plugs into the diagnostic socket underneath the ashtray as per the link below...

    http://www.selectsolar.co.uk/pics/oem-solar-charger.php

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    Thanks all

    Would i be better with this 1.5w one

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=98358

    Or this 2.4w one

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=223251

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    Obviously the 2.4W one provides more current under the same daylight conditions, but the 1.5W one will easily cover the standby drain from the battery as long as you've no faulty consumers so no point in going any higher really.

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    The smaller 1.5w one will do the job in terms of preventing a charged battery from running down. It also has an indicator light which the 2.4w one doesn't.

    The 2.4w one has really thin cable on it - mine shorted itself out, melted through the insulation, and damaged the dashboard. If you want one of these ones, I'd go for for 1.5w one or otherwise look elsewhere for one around 2.4w that is better quality.

    You can't put these on the outside of the car as they aren't waterproof so you would have to find some way of locating them inside the car and feeding the wire through to the battery.

    Finally note that unlike the one above that I linked to, these are unregulated and so produce around 18 volts in good sunlight.

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