Charging leisure battery.

I have a customer with a small chalet with no electricity. I fitted
basic domestic alarm connected to a 75 ah leisure battery. What woul be best to trickle charge the battery wind or solar power. Also th charging device would have to be about 20-30 feet away from the chale because of tree cover. Any help much appreciated. Let me know if yo need more info
-- Alec
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Based on observed practice, I'd suggest wind. I've noticed a large number of Rutland (type) wind chargers on boats I see on a regular walk I do. Even this morning I noticed one that was spinning two quick to count the blades but the wind was imperceptible. It was very compact, blades turning diameter probably only 15" or so.
May be worth dipping into the rec.boat.electronics newsgroup, the application is similar.
-- 73 Brian www.g8osn.org.uk
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Brian Reay, in article <kgRkg.40501$uP.3062@newsfe2- gui.ntli.net>, says...

For this application, where all you are replacing is the self- discharge of the battery plus a bit for the electronics, you may find one of the smaller solar panels are fine, even in Winter. They're maintenance-free and less likely to attract undesirables in isolated locations. I've got one of those "in-car" dashboard types that is fine for maintaining a battery against it's self-discharge, plus a few mA for an electronic circuit. See: http://makeashorterlink.com/?O22825A4D - cheap enough to experiment with...
The wind chargers on boats that are running fast in light winds are doing nothing (except making a noise...). When the battery is charged, the power output required is small so there is little braking effect on the fan. The more load (=charging current) that is required, the slower the fan turns. Some of the ones with better regulators apply a short to the output when charging isn't required which is the equivalent of applying a brake to the generator, to reduce the mechanical wear. The larger ones will turn the tail so the fan is not in the best wind direction.
--
JOhn

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| |I have a customer with a small chalet with no electricity. I fitted a |basic domestic alarm connected to a 75 ah leisure battery. What would |be best to trickle charge the battery wind or solar power. Also the |charging device would have to be about 20-30 feet away from the chalet |because of tree cover. Any help much appreciated. Let me know if you |need more info.
This FAQ is about caravanning, but describes all the methods I know about.
You can caravan without that orange cable FAQ ---------------------------------------------
This FAQ is intended to give some pointers on how to caravan without that orange cable, or at a site where hookups are not available. It does not try to say what is best, because that will depend on your individual circumstances, but does try to give basic information about the methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.
For general information on batteries see: http://www.batteryfaq.org , this is a bit US oriented, but lead acid batteries are much the same worldwide.
Domestic multimeters now cost as little as ?2.50 and are useful for caravan work.
A new fully charged 110Ah Leisure Battery will last most people for a weekend, but very few a week. For longer than a few days you will have to recharge the battery somehow. Remember that as batteries get older and as they have more use/misuse they will hold less charge, and eventually need replacing.
Leisure batteries are usually *not* the no maintenance batteries becoming common in cars. If yours allows topping up, always check your electrolyte, and top up to marks on the body with distilled/deionized water regularly. You should always charge your battery(s) before you leave home, either on the bench, or by leaving the van powered up, you should give either method several days to fully charge. Cheap chargers make gas, so you must top up the electrolyte. Expensive electronic chargers do not fully charge the battery, and make less gas so need topping up less frequently. Remember also that the electrolyte will evaporate slowly even while the battery is unused.
There is very little power in a leisure battery so you should use it as sparingly as practicable. You should use LPG for as many things as possible. You should also make sure that the your electric appliances will run off 12 Volts. High power electrical equipment is bad news. A 1000 watt heater used on its own, will run for less than 1 1/2 hours, 500 watts less than 3 hours. 250 watts some 5 hours. As a general rule something like a TV taking 50W or 4 amps for a few hours per day is the heaviest load practicable.
The output voltage of a battery falls slowly as a charge is used, and eventually the 12 V equipment will stop working. TVs etc. need as many volts as possible. Thin long wires which may be supplied by the van manufacturer or as a D.I.Y. addition, may have a high voltage drop. If possible add extra wiring for TV, or other electronic equipment, of thick wires ?2 sq mm? or preferably more, and as short runs as practicable.
You should find out how much charge you use on an average day in the van. The maths is simple 110AH20wattHours. watts*amps, amps=watts/12, at 12 V DC. Find how many watts/amps each appliance uses from labels or instructions. Multiply these by the hours each is used daily. Add daily charge used in watthours or amperehours used by each of your appliances together to give daily charge used. You should replace this charge averaged over 2-3 days. There are many alternative ways of replacing this charge, the choice is yours, and will depend on your personal circumstances. Beware especially of red "standby" LEDs, the circuit behind them uses about 7 watts, which is a tiny amount of power, but they are on 24 hrs, less the hours they are used, per day. Allow 12 ampere hours or 144 watthours *each* per day, which is a significant drain on the battery.
Car
--
You can use two batteries. An extra battery can be charged in the
back of the car via a split charge relay. This battery should be
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| |I have a customer with a small chalet with no electricity. I fitted a |basic domestic alarm connected to a 75 ah leisure battery. What would |be best to trickle charge the battery wind or solar power. Also the |charging device would have to be about 20-30 feet away from the chalet |because of tree cover. Any help much appreciated. Let me know if you |need more info.
Not what you asked, but it strikes me that if your customer is paying for a leisure battery, plus charging system, they will have enough charge in the battery to run a few 12V lights, a water pump and all the usual things you can find in a caravan, including a 12V TV. They would need at least 2 amps from the trickle charger to do that.
--
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On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 11:32:10 +0100, Alec wrote:

I have a slightly larger installation at my farm, with 800AH of battery, however I started with 100AH of battery so I've been through what you are trying to do. The short answer is that you need both and a charge controller. For what you are looking to do one of the Rutland charge controllers will fit the bill. They have two inputs, solar and wind and will dump the current from the wind generator to a diversion load when the battery is fully charged.
I would suggest that you start with a solar panel, and then add a wind gneerator if necessary. However I also work on eletrical/electronic installations on motorways and if you look you will see that for low current drain stuff we use solar only, for higher drain uses we have both wind and solar.
You'll forgive, I am sure my tetchiness at tradesmen who take on a job that they are unqualified to do and then come to a diy group to find out how to do it.
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wrote:
|I would suggest that you start with a solar panel, and then add a wind |gneerator if necessary. However I also work on eletrical/electronic |installations on motorways and if you look you will see that for low |current drain stuff we use solar only, for higher drain uses we have both |wind and solar.
What are those green boxes which you see beside motorways, with a solar panel on the top?
--
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On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 14:32:24 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote:

They are traffic counting devices. The box is linked to a set of loops buried in the road surface one pair of loops in each lane. You can usually see the loops as a shiny outline on the road surface. The green box counts traffic flow and sends the data back to the National Traffic Control Centre. NTCC use the data to work out where there are serious delays and then set messages on the EMS signs to divert traffic around the problem.
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wrote:
|On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 14:32:24 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote: |
|> wrote: |> |>|I would suggest that you start with a solar panel, and then add a wind |>|gneerator if necessary. However I also work on eletrical/electronic |>|installations on motorways and if you look you will see that for low |>|current drain stuff we use solar only, for higher drain uses we have both |>|wind and solar. |> |> What are those green boxes which you see beside motorways, with a solar |> panel on the top? | |They are traffic counting devices. The box is linked to a set of loops |buried in the road surface one pair of loops in each lane. You can usually |see the loops as a shiny outline on the road surface. The green box counts |traffic flow and sends the data back to the National Traffic Control |Centre. NTCC use the data to work out where there are serious delays and |then set messages on the EMS signs to divert traffic around the problem.
Thanks!
--
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Dave Fawthrop Wrote:

Thanks for all the replies. I will definitely look into the rutlan equipment and let my customer know. I have also had some luck with m local supplier (after I had posted) who also recommended solar firs and wind as a backup if needed. Thanks guys much appreciate
-- Alec
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

Everybody's got to start somewhere with this kind of thing. You had to, yourself.
--

Dave

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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 00:32:19 +0100, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Umm yes, but I'm not selling my services, to others. I'm a DIY loon having fun at my own expense.
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Steve Firth Wrote:

I hadn't even noticed your tetchiness to be honest and as a NACOSS Gol (now NSI) approved engineer in all aspects of CCTV, Access control an Intruder alarms for 16 years who are you to say I'm unqualified. Als this is the first job in said 16 years where I haven't had a 240va supply and also a customer who only visits the site once every months over winter hence the need to keep the battery in good nick. Al other battery powered jobs have had some sort of charging system. I' not selling my services it's an idea thought up by myself and m customer. Ultimately he will end up fitting it with his son. We wer looking for feedback and ideas but I hadn't expected judgemental peopl like you on whats normally a friendly site. Remember it's DIY Banter. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?keyX98&dict LD
Sorry about that everyone else thought I had better set the recor straight and thanks for your posts and ideas it has been a help Anymore ideas or info/experience would be much appreciated
-- Alec
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Alec wrote:

> judgemental people like you on whats normally a friendly site.
It's a Newsgroup, not a Site.

No it isn't it's a Newsgroup.
Owain
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On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 00:28:27 +0100, Alec wrote:

How many offline power systems have you installed?
Your post indicates this is the first, hence you are unqualified in this respect.
Fuck me are you going to join Drivel in the stupid bin?
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|I haven't had a 240vac |supply and also a customer who only visits the site once every 2 |months over winter hence the need to keep the battery in good nick.
Leisure batteries (when not maintenance free) require topping up at intervals. Insist that your customer tops up the battery at regular intervals. 2 monthly should be fine, if you install some sort of charge controller.
--
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On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 06:39:41 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote:

Errrm, if he fits a solar panel and a Rutland (or similar) controller the idea is that the battery will be topped up continuously in daylight hours. The problem is that in winter the days will be short, the sun will be of much lesser intensity and snowfall or days of low cloud will leave the possibility that the panel fails to charge the battery. This is why a second source such as a wind generator is a good idea.
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wrote:
|On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 06:39:41 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote: | |> Leisure batteries (when not maintenance free) require topping up at |> intervals. Insist that your customer tops up the battery at regular |> intervals. 2 monthly should be fine, if you install some sort of charge |> controller. | |Errrm, if he fits a solar panel and a Rutland (or similar) controller the |idea is that the battery will be topped up continuously in daylight hours. |The problem is that in winter the days will be short, the sun will be of |much lesser intensity and snowfall or days of low cloud will leave the |possibility that the panel fails to charge the battery. This is why a |second source such as a wind generator is a good idea.
Sorry I meant top up with distilled/deionised water. I lost a leisure battery with zig charge controller through not topping it up with distilled/deionised water :-(
--
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On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 13:55:09 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote:

I'd suspect the charge controller. It sounds like it was boiling the battery.
For unattended use I'd probably use a relatively expensive spiral cell/gel Optima battery just for the maintenance free aspect. I actually use an array of 2V cells sourced from a computer consultancy that was retiring a massive UPS. They cost peanuts and are simple to maintain.
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wrote:
|On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 13:55:09 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote: |
|> wrote: |> |>|On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 06:39:41 +0100, Dave Fawthrop wrote: |>| |>|> Leisure batteries (when not maintenance free) require topping up at |>|> intervals. Insist that your customer tops up the battery at regular |>|> intervals. 2 monthly should be fine, if you install some sort of charge |>|> controller. |>| |>|Errrm, if he fits a solar panel and a Rutland (or similar) controller the |>|idea is that the battery will be topped up continuously in daylight hours. |>|The problem is that in winter the days will be short, the sun will be of |>|much lesser intensity and snowfall or days of low cloud will leave the |>|possibility that the panel fails to charge the battery. This is why a |>|second source such as a wind generator is a good idea. |> |> Sorry I meant top up with distilled/deionised water. |> I lost a leisure battery with zig charge controller through not topping it |> up with distilled/deionised water :-( | |I'd suspect the charge controller. It sounds like it was boiling the |battery.
No I checked the zig charger it worked fine, just the occasional bubble, but over a year the occasional bubble adds up to quite a lot of water. The battery I replaced it with works fine after several years, topping up with deionised water every month or two. Also Sulphuric acid does evaporate, just like water.
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