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  #1  
Old March 11th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Solar Power

Anyone use those cigarette lighter plug in solar panels that are supposed to keep the battery charged? Do they work or just snake oil? What does work? Looking for ideas for camping. I have a refrigerator, neon lights and marine waterpump that run off second battery in a split charge system. Looking for ways to augment the system when the truck is not running. Ideas?
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  #2  
Old March 11th, 2004, 03:19 PM
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neon lights
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Old March 11th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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There are several companies that make solar panels for the app. you are talking about. ICP Global is one that makes a wide range of solar panels. They have a calculator for sizing the application to their products. No doubt there are other companies as well.
http://www.icpglobal.com/html/solarcal.asp
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  #4  
Old March 11th, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Sorry not neon, Flourecent. In the back of the truck bed shell.
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  #5  
Old March 11th, 2004, 03:37 PM
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I see solar chargers for as cheap as $9 at Harbor Freight. I will keep doing some research. I just want somthing to plug in while my truck sits for extended periods. Can you realy charge your battery throught your cigarette lighter?
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Old March 11th, 2004, 03:49 PM
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Tom,

Thanks for the link. It's exactly what I was looking for.
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  #7  
Old March 11th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Tom Morrison
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I know with my 90, the cigarette lighter is not powered when the key is off so you would have to wire it into another circuit. You have to calculate the drain over a 24 hour period and compare it to the power supplied by the panel which is obviously determined by how much sun you get in your location and the size of your panel. To run a fridge, I think you would need quite a big solar array to keep up. It's probaly not practical to have one that would provide all the power needed. (Watts in >= Watts out)
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  #8  
Old March 11th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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My trucks accesories all run off the second battery, even when the truck is off I can still plug into a number of lighter outlets that are installed on the truck, I even have and exterior outlet on the rear of the shell for easy access. I am thinking off tossing the fridge anyway. I will keep the water pump. It is connected to a 15 gallon water bladder under the back seat and is great for showers.
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  #9  
Old March 11th, 2004, 07:00 PM
Tom Morrison
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Great minds think alike! I set up my second yellow-top with two lighter sockets and a 400 Watt inverter on my tuffy console. I think it will run my cooler for about 2 days before it goes flat. To run a small pump or light would be nothing compared to that. If you were going to be in the bush for a while, a propane fridge would be ideal. Personally I'd like to get one of those hydronic heaters for my rig.

Cheers
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Old March 11th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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I have an Ebersbacher heater plus the Land Rover heater for my truck, plenty of heat. My second battery always goes dead quick. I drove it this afternoon and the second Optima was dead. I need to charge it, find a solar charger to maintain it when not in use. It sits sometimes for a week or two. Especialy now. Back surgery last month.
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