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Old 06-05-2016, 12:31 AM   #1
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Solar and Towing Question

Stupid question,
My solar often pumps out 14.8 volts to the batteries. I'm concerned that this voltage may damage my tow vehicle's electronics with such a high voltage. I wonder if there is a large diode or device that can block reverse flow of electricity via the jack's charge pin.

Are my concerns valid? My plan is to use solar inverted to 120 volts AC so I can run the fridge instead of using propane when towing. I have 400 watts of solar and it is sunny her in CO over 300 day of the year so having enough sunlight/solar power is not an issue.

Thanks,
TD
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:45 PM   #2
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I would just run the inverter off the TV 12V, and save the solar for when parked, the extra voltage shouldn't hurt anything in the TV, it's a minor difference and your vehicle's 12V is usually 13V+ anyway.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:40 PM   #3
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The solar output will not hurt your tow vehicle. A typical alternator can put out as high as 15.5 volts.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
The solar output will not hurt your tow vehicle. A typical alternator can put out as high as 15.5 volts.

I agree with what boondocking has said. I have never checked on my current truck but on my previous truck when I click the tow/haul button it put the alternator at a higher output in the 15-15.5 range. I towed 7-8 hours at a time with that truck in tow/haul. Also items like high beams will easily force the alternator to put out over 14 volts.


The power line going back to your tow vehicles charging system is also quite small and the amount of power going back to the vehicle is not going to be much. If it was an issue I would believe the fuse for that supply would fail in an overcharging situation.

If you are still concerned, put a shut off on the vehicle charge line.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by friendofacatahoula View Post

If you are still concerned, put a shut off on the vehicle charge line.
Or even an inline diode. It will allow current one direction, but not allow it to flow the other direction.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TonyD View Post
Stupid question,
My solar often pumps out 14.8 volts to the batteries...
First off, that is probably not too high anyway. However, if you are concerned, what kind of controller do you have and why can't you set it to limit the voltage beyond 14.5, which is a normal boost voltage for charging batteries? Some controllers use a "mini-equalization" voltage pulses that can go as high as 15 or so, but that is almost always user selectable in the controller setup.
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