Save the Planet ruin your Car Battery

RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
712
186
I have hardly used the car in the last few months , preferring to take my E bike and Scooters on my normal short trips , mainly to the Supermarket . As a result my car wouldn`t start and the battery was down to 9.5 Volts with the added problem of the car alarm sounding off . Using my Optimate Charger and a faster Charger, I managed to recover it to just under 13 Volts from it`s deep discharge .
Any repeat and it will need a new battery less than 3 years after the other one !
Hope the E bike battery has a longer life, as I think I could buy at least 7 car batteries for the price of a replacement .
 

BLACKPANTHER

Pedelecer
Feb 21, 2010
135
0
Doncaster.
Using my Optimate Charger and a faster Charger, I managed to recover it to just under 13 Volts from it`s deep discharge .
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Is it not possible to keep your car optimated....or at least bang it on for a few hours every week? My motorbike was unused for over 3 months and fired straight up thanks to the opti4. I just leave it on permanently. I'm saving the planet and saving my battery!:D
 
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RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
712
186
Sick battery

Trouble is Blackpanther the car is in the street and it would mean running the lead over the pavement .I`m OK with my Motorcycle and Scooters , as they are in a shed at the back .
 

BLACKPANTHER

Pedelecer
Feb 21, 2010
135
0
Doncaster.
Trouble is Blackpanther the car is in the street and it would mean running the lead over the pavement .I`m OK with my Motorcycle and Scooters , as they are in a shed at the back .
Can you not just whip the battery off? Failing that what about a solar charger?

4 Watt 12v Volt Solar Panel Trickle Car Battery Charger on eBay (end time 01-Feb-11 21:07:43 GMT)

I have no experience of these, but I'm assuming they work as some decent manufacturers knock them out. Has anyone used one????
 
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RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
712
186
Solar Panel to Cigar Lighter

Thanks for those details Blackpanther , my neighbour mentioned this possibility . I notice that Maplins do that one for £29 and also a smaller 1.5 watt one for £20 .
 

pictsidhe

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 17, 2011
21
0
I always disconnect the battery if I'm leaving a vehicle unused more than a month, easy enough to do, pull the earth lead and you don't risk shorting the spanner. I have used small solar panels in camper vans to prop up radio/lights use when parked, a few watts will probably make the difference, your alarm is probably largely responsible for the battery drain
 

pictsidhe

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 17, 2011
21
0
Solar panels up to maybe 5-10 watts don't need regulating, just a series diode.flat in 2 months makes me think about 1Ah drain a day, if you are suncharging 4 hours a day: 250mA/3W panel, but we don't get great sunlight so go for a 5-10W. Fleabay may produce a bargain.
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
Thanks for those details Blackpanther , my neighbour mentioned this possibility . I notice that Maplins do that one for £29 and also a smaller 1.5 watt one for £20 .
I got a few of these when they were on offer for £9.99, they do keep the battery topped up.

They really do work when cloudy, even through your windscreen or double glazing
 

Scimitar

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 31, 2010
1,772
40
Ireland
Can you not just whip the battery off? Failing that what about a solar charger?

4 Watt 12v Volt Solar Panel Trickle Car Battery Charger on eBay (end time 01-Feb-11 21:07:43 GMT)

I have no experience of these, but I'm assuming they work as some decent manufacturers knock them out. Has anyone used one????
Just after my current car went off the road, I bought a new battery for it, expecting to have it back on the road shortly. That was four years ago... in the meantime I put a 15W solar panel behind the windscreen, facing south and it kept the battery nicely topped up for years. When the car was re-instated, the battery was fine.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
From my experience, those solar panel trickle chargers don't provide enough power. Get as big a panel as possible I use a Maplin 15w one for my boat batteries and it's not enough, but it should be OK for a car.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,676
28,509
From my experience, those solar panel trickle chargers don't provide enough power.
I suppose it depends on the car. Years ago a Fiat Tipo I had in the garage could be left for three months and would still start ok, even in the depths of winter. A trickle charger would probably have kept that ok permanently.

The latest cars use large amounts of current for their alarms and computers when standing idle. My Nissan Qashqai Acenta is typical, it's ultrasonic alarm and computer drain the battery so much that it won't start after three weeks, even in the summer, so I use a "jump start" each time I use it after a break of over three weeks. A trickle charger would probably be useless with it.
.
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
From my experience, those solar panel trickle chargers don't provide enough power. Get as big a panel as possible I use a Maplin 15w one for my boat batteries and it's not enough, but it should be OK for a car.
Depends on the size of the battery, Im guessing your boat battery is a deep cycle leisure battery around 120Ahrs, average car battery is 60Ahrs, with a current draw of several hundred mA on the alarm (usually the alarm LED and live feed to radio/clock)
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
These so-called solar-powered trickle chargers that I've tried give out so little charge that you struggle to light an LED unless they're in bright sunlight - which is rare! Most of the time they make less than 12 volts, so they can't charge your battery no matter how big or small it is. I haven't tried them all, so maybe there's better ones now - but I doubt it. In our weather, you need a decent sized panel to get a meaningful 14v charge voltage.
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
These so-called solar-powered trickle chargers that I've tried give out so little charge that you struggle to light an LED unless they're in bright sunlight - which is rare! Most of the time they make less than 12 volts, so they can't charge your battery no matter how big or small it is. I haven't tried them all, so maybe there's better ones now - but I doubt it. In our weather, you need a decent sized panel to get a meaningful 14v charge voltage.
I agree, panel quality does vary, I have early polycrystalline panels which are quite 'blue' and only work in bright conditions or sunshine.
The better ones with mono crystalline or amorphous have a matt grey backing seem to be much more efficient.

The Maplins model that I have reads 17V in low light, a blue LED flashes when it's in use.
 

RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
712
186
Trickle Charger

After the suggestions of Forum Members , I looked at these trickle chargers and noticed that Maplins had their 2W Solar Briefcase on special offer at £9.99 or half price until the end of February . I bought one today and must admit it`s a nice bit of kit , the leads alone would cost more than a tenner to make up !
 

RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
712
186
Trickle Charger and more Boy`s Toys

I will try and evaluate it d8 .It might be difficult as the cold/snowy weather has gone .I positioned the panel on the table a metre from the house window on a dull morning and it was putting out 78mA . As I used the car for a 30 mile trip yesterday it won`t need topping up at the moment .
On the subject of 12v battery testing there are some good offers for gadget lovers , which would include most of us on this Forum I suspect . Sealey have a 5 LED 12v Battery Tester half price at £7.14 , this plugs into the car power socket . If you want to see it on their site it is AK4009 and it also has a switched reading light . On Feb .7th Lidl have an LED Battery/Alternator Tester for £2.99 , this has crocodile clips . I`m sure I`ve seen similar for at least £10 elsewhere !
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
I will try and evaluate it d8 .It might be difficult as the cold/snowy weather has gone .I positioned the panel on the table a metre from the house window on a dull morning and it was putting out 78mA . As I used the car for a 30 mile trip yesterday it won`t need topping up at the moment .
On the subject of 12v battery testing there are some good offers for gadget lovers , which would include most of us on this Forum I suspect . Sealey have a 5 LED 12v Battery Tester half price at £7.14 , this plugs into the car power socket . If you want to see it on their site it is AK4009 and it also has a switched reading light . On Feb .7th Lidl have an LED Battery/Alternator Tester for £2.99 , this has crocodile clips . I`m sure I`ve seen similar for at least £10 elsewhere !
Yes I was so impressed with the Maplins stuff I went back and bought another couple (1.5W). Pity the chargers can't be used on bike batteries

I saw the Lidl promo for the battery tester, looks good.
 

jbond

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 29, 2010
411
2
Ware, Herts
www.voidstar.com
Yes I was so impressed with the Maplins stuff I went back and bought another couple (1.5W). Pity the chargers can't be used on bike batteries
There was a post on ES about using solar cells to charge a 36V E-Bike battery. 3 12V battery charger cells in series. The output applied to the input of your charger just after the diode rectifier and input transformer. The charger then plugged into the battery as normal. The 42V or so from the solar cells was enough to drive the step down and control circuitry of the charger which then managed the battery as normal.

It would still take a long time in the UK to actually charge the battery, but it is do-able. This is a bit like the reverse of using a typical 240v-110v cell phone charger to get a 5V supply on the E-Bike. The charger really doesn't care if it's got 240v, 110v or 45v on the input as long as it's above the voltage needed for the output.