Old 03-13-2006, 02:20 PM
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JohnW
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Default RE: Solar Or Wind To Charge Field Box Battery?

I’ve been thru almost this exact same decision. I have a deep cycle marine battery in my plane trailer I use to run lights, a stereo, power inverters for 120VAC, and of course 12VDC for my chargers. Wanted some way to keep the battery charged at the field. I looked at solar… Any solar panel that will deliver 100W at 12V will be very expensive. I only lightly considered wind. Like solar, a wind generator will work, but obtaining the 100W of power will not be easy, and you'll probably need extra stuff like DC/DC converters to adjust voltage for low/high wind situations.

What I finally decided to do is to charge the battery in the trailer from the truck. Unlike your situation, my batteries are basically the same size. I use a fused line, with a relay triggered from ignition. This way, the trailer and truck are isolated when the truck is off, idea being I can't discharge the truck battery at the field. I also have a solar panel on the trailer. I can't remember the exact size, but it will completely recharge the battery in the trailer in about 7 days, assuming good sun. I got wholesale pricing on the panel via an business account I have with Interstate Batteries, but it was still pricey. This setup seems to work. Been three years, no fried batteries in the truck or trailer, alternator is fine, trailer battery stays charged up, etc. Cheers.