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    Efficient battery charging on solar, at sea!

    I'm rowing the Atlantic this winter and wanted some advice on charging devices from the boats solar charged battery. Would I be better charging devices (phones, iPods etc) direct of the ship's battery as a when required or only charging charging a power store from the ship's battery less often to top up devices with? We will have quite strict power conservation drills when sunshine is poor to ensure watermaker, nav and comms kit take priority but keen to be as optimal as possible. I mainly want to protect the performance of the boats battery, not bothered if I degrade the performance of a power store but would like to not kill the teams personal device batteries if possible.

    •   Alt13th June 2018, 21:54

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    Re: Efficient battery charging on solar, at sea!

    With the exception of a small energy loss in the charger itself, which you can ignore, it makes little difference how the power is distributed between the devices. Obviously, give priority to essentials but if they have sufficient reserve there is no harm in charging other devices and of course only charge the non-essentials during the day! Remember you can't store sunshine so anything you generate that isn't used or stored is wasted.

    Brian.
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    It's better to share your questions and answers on Edaboard so we can all benefit from each others experiences.



    •   Alt13th June 2018, 22:03

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  3. #3
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    Re: Efficient battery charging on solar, at sea!

    It is better for appearances to arrange for all charging to be taken from the solar panel (in daylight). If anyone can draw juice from the battery (at night) then there are likely to be suspicions that 'the battery is getting drained' due to unneeded charging or to malfunctioning equipment, etc.

    Do you have a fuse on each outlet and each charging station? That would be a wise move considering it will prevent depleting the battery which could be essential in a crisis.



    •   Alt14th June 2018, 02:40

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  4. #4
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    Re: Efficient battery charging on solar, at sea!

    Once the battery is fully charged, all the power supplied to the battery is just waste. In addition, battery charging is also not 100% efficient.

    It may be wise to charge, as much as possible, directly from the solar charger (before it goes to the battery) and have an eye on the level of the battery charge status.

    It will also be wise to monitor the voltage, current and power used from each outlets. Any extra cost may be worth it.



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