Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content


Solar battery chargers, are there any that you can just leave connected permanently?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

Anyone use a solar charger on their rx400h? I'm thinking one would be a great idea but I read that you have to disconnect them before you start driving? That would be a pain in the backside every time! Anyone found one that you can leave permanently connected?

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Yoda400 said:

but I read that you have to disconnect them before you start driving? That would be a pain in the backside every time!

You'll have to move the solar panel off and away from the dashboard every time you drive the car anyway so does it matter?

Also, the solar panel may not be protected from reverse current, so when our hybrid equivalent of the alternator is pushing about 14.5V into it, it may not like it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the designs don't lend themselves to a permanent installation, which is probably why the instructions state what they do.

But because of that you then don't know if technically they would be ok or not connected to the vehicle when it is running. Always possible to wire into the vehicle via a relay - normally closed contacts connected to the 12v Battery but with the relay coil powered via an accessory feed so the solar charger is disconnected when the ignition is turned on.

Where would you mount the panel though so that it isn't causing a distraction for the driver? Most 400h vehicles have rear tinted windows so the parcel shelf isn't going to work. Possibly on the sunroof glass?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies everyone. I was thinking to mount to parcel shelf as apparently tinted windows still allow a solar panel to work? (Even if it is at a reduced rate). The car might have periods of time when it isn't used for a few days maybe a couple of weeks as a max, maybe shorter journeys too so I thought the solar charger might be a good idea. I guess if I know it's not going to be used for a while then I can plug the charger in, the inconvenience of plugging it in and unplugging is better than a flat Battery 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Yoda400 said:

I was thinking to mount to parcel shelf as apparently tinted windows still allow a solar panel to work? (Even if it is at a reduced rate).

It will be impacted by the tinted glass and they don't produce much energy to begin with. Possibly better than nothing but may only just slow down the rate of discharge rather than stop it altogether.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

It will be impacted by the tinted glass and they don't produce much energy to begin with. Possibly better than nothing but may only just slow down the rate of discharge rather than stop it altogether.

That would do me fine if it slowed the discharge, I keep reading that batteries in these cars go flat after a couple of weeks which isn't great

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Yoda400 said:

That would do me fine if it slowed the discharge, I keep reading that batteries in these cars go flat after a couple of weeks which isn't great

If the Battery is fully charged and in good health you should be ok for three weeks. If you are going to leave for that long then you are best to just place the panel on the dashboard so you get more light.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, royoftherovers said:

Why not just keep a small jump starter pack in a convenient place? 

As a get out of jail card in the event of the Battery dropping to a level that it will not power up computers worth having.  However,  every time this happens the life of the 12v Battery is reduced, so not something to use on a regular basis. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Yoda400,

Having previously owned a 400H I can understand your nervousness about the 12v Battery and the stories you can read about them, I used a solar panel resting in my sunroof cover on my 400H whenever the vehicle was parked up for a while, mainly in the summer at an open air carpark at the airport whilst I went on holiday for 3-4 weeks.
 

The car was mostly used daily so I didn’t feel the need to connect it too often and I never had a Battery failure whilst I owned it, I still use the same panel on my current 450H but as I no longer use the car daily, I still leave the panel rested in my sunroof cover and connected to OBD2 connector just under the drivers side of the dashboard and tend to use the panel most days and personally given the amount of time this takes in seconds to connect/disconnect each time I personably don’t find this an onerous task.

 

I use an AA panel I purchased from amazon which came with clips and OBD2 connectors and has proven to be a great purchase... I assume your using something similar with OBD2 connection?

Regards

Kev

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Madsod said:

Hi Yoda400,

Having previously owned a 400H I can understand your nervousness about the 12v battery ...

Regards

Kev

Hi Kev, thanks for the info, yes you are right it isn't too onerous if it's just a quick plug in/unplug, I think I'll go for the same AA panel. 

Thanks everyone for the info and input, appreciated.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...




Forums


News


Membership