A Couple of generator questions.

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  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    ... put a solar panel on the genset to keep the battery charged, which worked fine.
    Small maintainer panel wired directly, or did you see the need to add an inexpensive CC?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    I got one of those Volkswagon solar panels, and I think they have a charge controller built into the plug on them.
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    no they don't have a controller built into them as the panels have a reduced number of cells to help in self-regulating. i believe it's 32 cells and somebody could correct me here if i'm wrong on the number of cells. not real efficient way of doing things, but is cheaper overall for the car manufacturer.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    There is definitely some sort of voltage regulator inside the cigarette lighter plug on the panel I got. There is a circuit board in there and the voltage never goes above 14.4 when the panel is not plugged in or loaded - no matter if it's a cloudy day or bright sunshine, hot or cold out.
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    interesting. maybe they started putting in linear ic regulators?
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    From what I was told, some have that regulator thing inside the cigarette lighter plug and some don't. I went and got the panel and took the plug apart (it can only be spread a little bit because of a steel ring on the end of it) so you can see what's in it:

    Attachment not found.

    I don't know much about it, but it's a pretty complicated looking little board in there, and it's even got an IC on it. But I know for a fact that no matter what amount of sunlight hits the panel that it never lets the voltage at the plug exceed 14.4 volts.
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    yes, that's a regulator circuit in there. i see it's using an op amp and zener. maybe they're easier and cheaper ways of doing it, but i guess as long as it gets done.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    It worked really good on the Generac EcoGen for a battery maintainer. I don't know how many watts the panels is - I think maybe 10 or 12 watts or so, but it's all it needed to keep the battery up.

    What amazed me is that Generac never thought of doing that. Being an "EcoGen" and designed for off-grid, doesn't using a small solar panel to maintain the starting battery make more sense than putting a 120V battery maintainer in the thing?
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    What amazed me is that Generac never thought of doing that. Being an "EcoGen" and designed for off-grid, doesn't using a small solar panel to maintain the starting battery make more sense than putting a 120V battery maintainer in the thing?

    I think they use the same controllers as on their regular generacs. Only the engine is different.

    The generac battery charging used to be so horrible that even people who use it as a grid backup were using small solar panels to maintain the battery. Regular charger was overcharging and the batteries were exploding because all the water boiled out. They say it's fixed now.

    I just connected the charging wire to the output of the inverter. I tried measuring the power consumption and it was very small. Can't remember the exact number. I decided that I'm not going to worry about this.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.

    Very true, I'm active on a Generac forum and new members pop up all the time with a grenaded battery - usually on an older model.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.
    niel wrote: »
    no they don't have a controller built into them as the panels have a reduced number of cells to help in self-regulating. i believe it's 32 cells and somebody could correct me here if i'm wrong on the number of cells. not real efficient was of doing things, but is cheaper overall for the car manufacturer.

    yes, Niel...I have a PV panel which you say, it has no regulator, and I use it, like Cris, to keep the genset battery charged...

    Attachment not found.
  • Rngr275Rngr275 Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: A Couple of generator questions.
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    I think they use the same controllers as on their regular generacs. Only the engine is different.

    The generac battery charging used to be so horrible that even people who use it as a grid backup were using small solar panels to maintain the battery. Regular charger was overcharging and the batteries were exploding because all the water boiled out. They say it's fixed now.

    I just connected the charging wire to the output of the inverter. I tried measuring the power consumption and it was very small. Can't remember the exact number. I decided that I'm not going to worry about this.

    Samething here... wasn't enough draw to worry about.
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