The Solar Battery Maintainer



The solar battery maintainer solves a problem many drivers tackle after they left the car idle for an extended period. One left his car unattended at home, one returns from a business trip or from a vacation and the car wouldn’t start. The reason is a discharged car battery or even a dry car battery.

The Trickle Discharge

In a modern car, even when the car is apparently idle, small vampire currents are still drawn from the car battery. These are keep-alive currents that feed the anti-burglars security electronic system, the idle currents of the car electronic controllers and memories and other electronics that might be connected to the battery. On top of that the battery itself discharges slowly even if no current is drawn by what is known as the trickle discharge. Under normal operation conditions the alternator charge up the battery, unfortunately when the car is idle for an extended period the trickle discharge current cause the battery to get bellow its 80% capacity. A car battery should never go below its 80% mark. Looking inside the battery, when a battery discharges the lead on its plates is converted into lead sulfate. Charging the battery reverses the chemical reaction and the lead sulfate disintegrate to re-plate the plates with lead . Lead sulfate after staying on the plates for an extended period crystallizes and the process is irreversible. The battery is doomed to be replaced.

Trickle Charging

It is necessary to keep the battery fully charged and to maintain an high battery voltage (same thing, the battery voltage decreased as it discharges). The life span of the battery is increased if the battery doesn’t suffer from low charge periods. During times when the engine is turned off, you need a device to supply the trickle current to re-charge the battery. Solar battery maintainers are designed to do just that, to harness the sun to re-charge the battery with that small trickle charge

What Are Solar Battery Maintainers?

The batteries maintainer is a small solar panel; the solar panel can be mounted on the dashboard. When exposed to sunlight, the panel generates the tiny trickle current that is needed to re-charge the depleted battery. The solar battery trickle charger, although similar in its description to a solar power battery charger is not supposed to re-charge a low-charge battery . The maintainer can be used for cars, motorcycles, trucks and vans. The connection to the battery is through the cigarette lighter socket or by using battery clamps. The minimal voltage of the solar maintainer is greater than the maximum voltage of the 12V battery. An internal diode protects the maintainer from back current. The output current for different size models ranges between 100mA to 500mA. The price ranges from $20 for the smallest current version to $60 for the 500mA model.

click here to return to the top of the solar battery maintainer page


click to view my solar energy Home Page