I have been travelling quite a bit for the last year or so and have not been able to drive my car as frequently as I would have liked. As a result, I often left my car at the airport parking lot for a week at a time… a constant current draw along with lead-acid battery’s relatively high self-discharging rate create a perfect recipe for a drained battery if the car is left parked for some prolonged period of time.
On a few occasions my car struggles to start when I return from my business trip and I had to charge the battery manually later on by hooking up a charger, which was quite inconvenient. So I decided to make a simple solar trickle charger that can be left inside the vehicle and charge the battery while the car is parked.
Kerry used a AcoPower 10W solar panel that has has an maximum open-circuit output voltage of 22V and a maximum output current of 0.6A. On a clear winter day, the panel can generate approximately 150mA charging current. The solar panel is connected to an OBD-II battery saver connector with a cigarette lighter adapter.
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