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Old 06-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
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Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

Here's a quick question...

I have a small Brunton 12 portable solar panel that I use when out on long climbing trips. I was wondering if I could use the cigarette lighter adapter on the panel to plug into the cigarette plug on the SMB that I use for the battery tester gauge to keep the house batteries topped up when the SMB is not able to be plugged in such as when it is sitting in a friends driveway completely shut down. I have a Tripp Lite inverter which I think draws power even when nothing is on and I want to mitigate that loss but didn't know if I can run power in through the cigarette plug without causing issues with the inverter.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

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Originally Posted by 8850
Here's a quick question...

I have a small Brunton 12 portable solar panel that I use when out on long climbing trips. I was wondering if I could use the cigarette lighter adapter on the panel to plug into the cigarette plug on the SMB that I use for the battery tester gauge to keep the house batteries topped up when the SMB is not able to be plugged in such as when it is sitting in a friends driveway completely shut down. I have a Tripp Lite inverter which I think draws power even when nothing is on and I want to mitigate that loss but didn't know if I can run power in through the cigarette plug without causing issues with the inverter.

Thanks for the help.
Yep, you can keep a charge on the house batteries by plugging into the dash cig adapter. Don't ask me how, cause I have no clue. I read long ago that this would work because of how the SMB is wired. I've done this with a powerfilm 5w solar panel for the past couple years. It does a nice job of keeping the voltage from dropping on the house batteries when the van sits in storage. I don't think mine can actually charge the batteries, but it clearly helps them hold a charge for much longer than without.
R



http://www.solar-world.com/PowerFilmFoldable.htm
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Re: Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

On my van the dash cig lighter is wired into the starting batteries, so that wouldn't work unless it would charge the starting batteries enough to trip the battery seperator and then charge the house batteries.

I have other lighter plugs that are connected to the house batteries.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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Re: Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

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Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
On my van the dash cig lighter is wired into the starting batteries, so that wouldn't work unless it would charge the starting batteries enough to trip the battery seperator and then charge the house batteries.

I have other lighter plugs that are connected to the house batteries.

Mike
Thanks for the replies. Mike, I have 2 cigarette plugs, one on the dash to the starter battery and the other to the house so I will plug into the house plug.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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Re: Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

I wouldn't count on one of the small versions to do much for you. I have used one for a few years and it can't keep up with the alarm on my pickup, but it does offset the losses which sounds like what you're after. If you go with a larger version make sure it has what's needed to regulate correctly. Some of the small ones are kind of neat but really they are designed to charge small items like cell phones, cameras, and Ipods.
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:52 PM   #6
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Re: Topping off batteries with a Brunton 12 solar panel

I read that you said you use the solar panel when you climb.....have you ever climbed anything big?, like, say, Everest or something?
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