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Old 07-07-2019, 06:56 PM   #1
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Solar panel to double battery

My electrical knowledge is lower than basic! I want to use my 50W solar panel to trickle charge both batteries. I think the two batteries are connected in series and therefore being depleted equally when being drawn upon? Check out the pic...is this connection correct for charging them both with the solar panel, or should the positive red clip be clamped to the positive terminal of the other battery to charge them both? Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:03 PM   #2
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They appear to be 12v batteries connected in parallel. If it were me, I would connect the red (+) clip to the + on the other battery.


Your current connection will eventually charge both batteries as the tend to equalize themselves, but best to move it. Just my 2cents worth.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:04 PM   #3
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You have two 12 V batteries so they would be wired in parallel. Just hook your solar panel charger to positive and negative posts (with appropriate clamp) of either battery. If Pos clamp is connected to one battery's positive and Neg clamp to neg terminal of other, no matter as the batteries are in parallel which just makes them one big battery electrically.

At best however the 50 W solar panel will be just a trickle charger perhaps barely enough power to overcome internal drain.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:26 PM   #4
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You need to do a little rewiring. As others have noted you have two 12v in parallel. You need the positive and negative to come from different batteries so you load the equally. Charge the same way. Hopefully there is enough wire to move the positive connections to the battery on the left.

If you are quickly depleting them they could be end of life.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:02 PM   #5
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The pic above is how it was wired by the dealer. But, what I'm hearing is that the red wire with the yellow on it (the one going to the camper converter) should be on the battery on the left? So that the positive red wire to the camper converter is coming off the left battery and the negative black wire going to the camper converter is coming off the right battery? So it's like this diagram? ....
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:09 PM   #6
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Also, should the positive and negative charging cables coming from the 7pin connector be attached differently...black to battery on the right and red to battery on the left?! As it is in the pic (in my first post at the top of this thread) they're both attached to the same battery
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:20 PM   #7
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Yes the main load cables should also be connect to each of the batteries, one to the positive of one battery and the other to the negative of the second battery. This will help to ensure that both batteries work together to provide the 12v power to your unit.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:25 PM   #8
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I'm quickly losing any faith I had in my dealership!!! It's a big national chain and I figured their techs would know what they're doing
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #9
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Do they think they are the world of camping?
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:32 PM   #10
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Does this diagram look correct? ... if so, I got some adjusting to do.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:36 AM   #11
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Yes that looks correct.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:46 PM   #12
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IMHO

For storage: Placing 2 batteries on a single Smart or trickle charger, is not the best solution. Best to maintain them on separate chargers or swap a charger between them on a regular basis. My system is a smart charger on a 12hr timer connected to each battery approx every 2-4wks.

For short idle times disconnect the batteries from camper and to be even more cautious from each other.

Whether you place the charger across batteries wired in parallel or only on one battery wired in parallel to another battery. Electrically, the only difference is in where the connector are located. Ie points of failure.

When camping, one can argue, with the above diagram (charger connect across two batteries), one bad connection can cause whole system failure to charge or provide 12VDC.

Having the charging system connected to one battery and linked to the other. One bad connection has less than 50% chance of total system failure. But can mask the bad connection, so you could be running only on one battery.

So with sufficient sizing of wires connecting batteries, and good battery and connector maintenance. Either method of connection will suit your needs and can be used. Seem like we are picking at straws. I would pick the easiest and cleanest method of running wires.

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Old 07-08-2019, 02:06 PM   #13
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Also, keep in mind if you have no charge controller you can over charge your batteries and ruin them, contact Solar Penny in Arizona for all your Solar questions they are experts helped us greatly, I get nothing for the referral just like helping companies who provide great service.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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I do have a solar panel charge controller
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:49 PM   #15
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In parallel you can just attach to the positive and negative of one battery. You don't need to hook the cables to separate batterys. Electrically it makes no difference.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:14 PM   #16
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I like nodrawers answer. I don't really want to mess around with it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:20 PM   #17
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The way you have it connected in the first picture will work just fine. The cables paralleling the batters makes the same connection as the last drawing it only looks different. All you would be doing is moving the connections to the other end of the connecting cable. You will get equal charge and discharge either way.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1650 View Post
The way you have it connected in the first picture will work just fine. The cables paralleling the batters makes the same connection as the last drawing it only looks different. All you would be doing is moving the connections to the other end of the connecting cable. You will get equal charge and discharge either way.
This is absolutely not true. Here's a little reading material to support my statement: SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #19
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That is only a concern for heavy current draw. For what he is doing it doesn't matter how he connects it. The charger and other connections are only connected to one terminal of either batter and the parallel jumper is in the circuit regardless of how you connect. One batter terminal on each battery-powered will be connected through the parallel jumper regardless. The resistance of the parallel cable is too insignificant at low current to matter.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:55 AM   #20
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I don't think I'll be drawing much juice when I dry camp. LED lights a bit. Water pump rarely. 6 gallon hot water heater. Radio a bit. Wifi ranger. Cell phone charger. CO detector. Small 2.5 cu ft fridge is on LP. Won't be using the furnace or heated mattresses (I hope!). I suppose it all adds up, but with 2 80 amp-hour batteries and the 50W solar panel, I should be good for a few days at least. We're going dry camping Thursday for 3 nights. That'll be the first test.
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