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  1. #1
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    Default Switching off solar before battery testing

    My solar panel regulator doesn't appear to have an 'off' setting yet I need to isolate it before testing the batteries. I wondered what other people do before testing their batteries - has anyone installed a switch, do you just disconnect at the terminals or do you test whilst connected (can't believe anyone does this)? Unscrewing the terminal connection at the regulator end is a pain in the ass so I'm looking for an alternative solution.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Unless I suspect something is wrong I test the batteries at night, although with a NASA BMI monitor seldom do this now.
    If I wanted to test it during the day,I am lucky as it only takes a couple of seconds to disconnect at the regulator, as a safety measure I would ensure the panel are covered up prior to connection/disconnection
    Last edited by jordanbasset; 21-02-12 at 08:45.

  3. #3
    grumpygit's Avatar
    grumpygit is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    My solar panel regulator doesn't appear to have an 'off' setting yet I need to isolate it before testing the batteries. I wondered what other people do before testing their batteries - has anyone installed a switch, do you just disconnect at the terminals or do you test whilst connected (can't believe anyone does this)? Unscrewing the terminal connection at the regulator end is a pain in the ass so I'm looking for an alternative solution.

    Cheers.
    Hi Jamie, for one you should have a fuse in the circuit, this should not be in the battery compartment for safety reasons, and then you could draw this to do the test. Another way is to cover the panels with say a beach towel and then do your test.

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  4. #4
    homer is offline Registered User
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    Whatever you do, do not disconect the batteries from the solar charging regulator without disconnecting the solar panels first. I blew the regulator by doing just that!

  5. #5
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    Why not just cover the solar panel with a jacket, cushions, sleeping bag etc?
    Yachting photographer http://grahamsnook.com/news
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  6. #6
    Stu Jackson is offline Registered User
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    You also should have the batteries rest for 24 hours with no load and no charging sources.
    Catalina 34 1986 #224 M25 engine 22# Rocna (NZ)

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your suggestions.

  8. #8
    Cuan is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpygit View Post
    Hi Jamie, for one you should have a fuse in the circuit, this should not be in the battery compartment for safety reasons, and then you could draw this to do the test. Another way is to cover the panels with say a beach towel and then do your test.

    __________________________________________________ __________
    What is the safety issue with having the fuse in the battery compartment?

  9. #9
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    BobnLesley is offline Registered User
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    Red face Another tip...

    If you decide to fit a switch (ours has one) and whilst working on the cabling to an uncovered solar panel (Clear skies and 30+C) you decide to strip the ends of the wires using you teeth, take great care whilst doing the second one; if the bared end of the first should press against your cheek, whilst the second's still in your mouth it really stings.
    I chose the road less travelled, now where the hell am I?

  10. #10
    nedmin is offline Registered User
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    You need a fuse in the solar circuit as near to the battery as possible!! If you dont you could get a short circuit in the wiring etc and you would have the full capacity of the battery feeding this short and probably causing a fire.

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