Over the last few months i have bought new batteries for half of the
fleet and am now feeling paranoid about looking after them.
I'm also sick of going out to use/move a car and finding that the
battery is flat.
Rigging up some kind of charging system would be good, and also help
my batteries during the winter cold.
Has anybody got any suggestions on possible ways to do this?
I've been thinking, and have thought of the following options:
Solar panels fitted in/on cars -
No running costs, but very low powered.
Maplins sell a 1.5watt one ( http://tinyurl.com/7hecf
), which by my
calculations is only about 0.1Amps. Is there much point in this?
This also wont be working at night, when its more use (so that the
battery is powered when it is coldest and ready for me to use the car
in the morning)
Low ampage mains charger
A low ampage charger such as this one http://tinyurl.com/b3w2h
charges at 2.7amps. Presumably it should be clever enough that it
should only charge when the battery needs it.
Could be put on a timer to only work at night to save me money.
I have also seen more expensive battery chargers designed to be left
on all the time. How do they differ from something like the above
If i go for this option then my second issue is where i should put
things?. My cars are parked a good 20m or so of cable length away from
I can either -
Site the chargers in the house and run long charging cables out to the
cars. This would be good as i wouldnt have to put any mains leccy
outside and could keep an eye on the chargers. Would this be okay or
would i have issues with running low currents and the chargers sensing
the battery state over the 20m or so that i need?.
I could also use something like a caravan towing socket to easily plug
into the cars to save unearthing batteries every time.
second option - build a little box outside next to my drive. run mains
to that and put the chargers in it. Run short charge cables from there
to each car. I'm not so keen on this as i cant see what the chargers
are doing. I do need to put in an outdoor socket anyway though so i
can use tools outside easily.
third option - put a charger in each car, and plug the car into the
mains. I can use caravan mains sockets. I'm not sure i want to leave a
charger unnatended in my car for long periods though. (I had one that
went pop and started smoking once).
This method would also be good because i can leave my car pc powered
up to use it from within the house :)
Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?