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Korea_Bassin

Solar Chargers

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Any of you have experience with solar battery chargers like the one here:

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10203830____SearchResults

My inflatable boat is powered exclusively by a trolling motor and I'm wondering if these would extend my battery time enough to make the purchase worthwhile.  Any tips or other info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

KB

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Not going to do the exact math but if you figure on it's lowest setting your TM is burning lets say 50watts (drawing less than five amps), and that solar unit is adding two watts. What do you think?

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If you are trying to keep the battery charged just while you are on the water and using the motor this would never work. If you are leaving you boat on land for two weeks without using it then it might bring it back some but not all. Better idea if your battery is not lasting you all day then you might want to put a second battery in the truck and switch them and charge them when you get home. I wish those solar panels would work because I would use them with our products.

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The panel doesn't provide enough power to help, even if it was free. Your motor will draw about 5-7 amps when the throttle is in the first 2-3 power settings. The panel you are considering delivers .15 amps in bright sunlight, and probably will average .1 amps over the course of a day (8 hours). Therefor in 8 hours it will provide .1 x 8 = .8 ampere hours of power to your battery. That will be enough to run your motor at 6 amps for .8/6 x 60 = 8 mins. Not much help. Way to much money. :'(

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It's my understanding that solar chargers are only good for maintaining a peak charge on batteries (thus extending the battery life).  They are best for houseboats, etc. which sit in marina's for days on end without much use.  They would not, in any meaningful way, extend your time out on the water.

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I have one I use to charge a deep cycle battery at my cabin.  Just ran the cables from its mounting post out in the open underground to the battery inside my cabin.  Definately keeps it charged for running a DC 60watt bulb periodically, but the battery will still drain with extended use (trolling motors).  I would say it would be great to keep a battery up at say a boat dock if you were only using it periodically  but as a primary charger for run down TM batteries NO.

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