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Krebber

Small solar panel/battery charger ... do they work?

14 posts in this topic

I run a 12-v system in my fish house and am wondering if it's worth the money to buy a solar panel/battery charger that I've seen advertised in Cabelas and at Northern Tool. My battery lasts 2 days or so...but I was thinking if these things work, they might make a nice supplement and I would not have to think too much about running lights/tv/cb/etc. Anyone have experience with them? Worth the money? Thanks for any help!

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Yes, they do work, but how well and is it right for you depends on how often you use your fishouse and your electrical demand.

Most solar panels amount to a trickle charge. So if you use your house for a day or two per week, the solar panel may keep the batteries fairly well charged. However, if you are at the house most every day then I don't believe the typical solar charger will keep up.

One can get multiple panels or higher output ones, but then the costs add up pretty quickly as compared to throwing the battery in the back of the pickup every other day.

Let's look at the math...

Assume your battery is 100 Amp-hours for sake of discussion. You say it lasts about two days therefore you are using about 50 Amp-hours per day.

One of the solar panels I looked at was 15 watts at full power. 15 watts / 13 - 15 volts equals about 1 Amp or just a bit more. So, it would take roughly 50 hours of good charging time to restore 1 days use in this example. Then you have to figure in how many hours of light per day there are in the winter months to get an idea of whether or not it fits your needs. Assume 10 hours sunlight per day (again for easy math) and you would need 5 days of charging for 1 day of use in this scenario. This all assumes the panel puts out full power for the entire time so it's a best-case scenaro.

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The angle of the sun through much of the winter is too low to do much with those solar panels. Not to mention the weeks we go through without seeing the sun through parts of winter. They'd work great charging batteries over the summer, just not so great over the winter.

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Whoaru99, summed it up very well. The solar charger won't extend your batteries life in two days fishing and won't fully charge your battery for the next weeks fishing either. You'll end up having to bring it home to charge it either way.

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It's also important to consider that recent evidence suggests that for best performance and long life, batteries should be recharged as soon as possible after use. To let a battery set for extended periods of time at low charge is not always a good idea.

Bob

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Not to mention that on most lakes (IMO) if it aint nailed down and screwed in and crazy glued on it will get stolen. And if it cannot come off they will break it just for spite.

Boy I sound pretty negative I guess. Sorry you caught me on a frustrated morning.

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I have the 15 watt one from Cabelas and use for my trolling motor batteries and I have found it does the job as long as there is a week between uses and the batteries aren't drained too far down. This is summer time use with alot more charging time than the winter though.

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. Yet another reason to buy a generator!

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was at the state fair today and talked to the guys at the alternitive energy booth up by the ecology building (old tecnology building) and am now convinced that what i have posted about the wind powered generators is not the best thing to do. the guy i talked to about them said that they have to much vibration and are very annoying. which i thought was not a problem but he sells them and if he says so i can believe him. if you are to go with solar think big watts. between 150 to 200 watts and for a 200 watt set up think about $1000 and he also said that mounted on the south side of the house on the flat is the best as you get reflected sun off of the ice and snow as well as direct light. he also said he has three houses with solar and one actually has 600 watts of panels and they use a small microwave and lots of toys in it. now get this he does carry a small generator for those long sunless stints that we occasionally get. so if you are at the fair and want some great info on alternitive chargeing sources stop by their booth. ... paul

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Great replys guys. I think nytlyter has the correct summary of solar potential. My experience has been positive. I have one 15W solar charger attached to the back of a boat seat and have gone a week in the "wilderness" without having to charge the one 12V deep cycle. THis is with light to moderate use of 55#PD trolling motor (with most hours given to charging only). Given that the batteries were topped up at the start and it was quite sunny that week, I was still somewhat amazed. That was 8 years ago and the panel is still putting out. Granted, the solar panel would be considerably more efficient in the Summer Months. If you can maybe put out 50W solar, and you only use it weekends, it just might do the job (not as noisy as generator either).

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How much are the 15 watt solars at Cabella's.....

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not sure about cabelas panels but i will tell ya that i paid about 170 per 15 watt panel on my house. and also that a 45 watt panel will run ya from 450-500 duckies. for one battery and only fishing on weekends i would go no less than 45 watt.

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The idea is great - use solar, but it seems like a pretty large outlay for a functional system compared to hauling the battery back and forth every couple days - IMO, of course.

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I can't remember exactly what I paid but I think it was around $100-$150 plus I bought a solar controller for $30 to prevent overcharging.

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  • Posts

    • 750 this week only Im losing money on this but would rather have someone be able to use it than for it to just sit around. After this week I am going to winterize it and it will no longer be for sale.

    • How is she on the sit command?  That is the basis of everything.  She needs to learn to sit still and wait until the next command.  I don't even teach my dogs "stay" because it isn't necessary if they are solid on "sit".  Every dog has the ability to be steady, it is up to you to teach them.  A lab that isn't steady in the boat is not only annoying, it is potentially dangerous with loaded guns and the potential to capsize a boat in open water. 

      If she knows sit but just needs some reinforcement, it may just take a couple trips where you don't even bring the gun along and let others shoot while you handle the dog. 

      If she's real bad, I would recommend going back to the basics. It will be tougher with an older dog versus a puppy but is definitely worth it. Check out the retriever training DVDS by Bill Hillman. They are spendy but definitely worth it.

    • easyrider25

      Posted

      Looking for advice on keeping the dog focused and quiet in the duck boat.  Was out today and we shot enough ducks to keep her busy, however my dog is such a hyper hypo that it's a  little annoying.  Either whining or jumping back and forth from the front and back of the boat.  Do I just need to establish the expectation and keep on her till she finally gets it or is this how some dogs are in the boat? This is her 4th year duck hunting and she has continued to improve each season.  Overall I am happy with her work, especially with the limited amount of hunting I do.  We were out today for 3 hours, shot 8 birds and she did great on the retrieving end and is pretty much focused on the skies, but if something is not constantly dropping from them I feel like I have a screaming baby on my hands.  It's not really that bad, just very annoying.   I would just like her to sit in her spot, stare at the skies and wait for my command.  Is this to much to ask?

    • On 9/24/2016 at 3:30 PM, ZachD said:

      she's getting big

      She's up to 38 pounds at a few days short of 5 months and does not stop going 100 mph. She got exposed to a lot of feathers this weekend at duck camp. She retrieved dead ducks and geese in the yard after our hunts. The goose was a bit big so I chopped a wing off and worked with that after she picked it up and barely made it back a short distance to me. 

      1 person likes this
    • delcecchi

      Posted

      Maybe that is how they can stay in business 

    • flagislanddan

      Posted

      Fishing Report from Flag Island Resort Lake of the Woods, Northwest Angle 9/25/16

       

      Happy Fall!

       

      On the Minnesota side fishing has been great around Soldier’s and Mergan’s Point. Most points have been producing fish as well as bays due to shiners moving into the bays. Raps and spinners have been successful as well as 3/8 ounce jigs with the jig bite turning back on. Shiners, crawlers and fatheads have all been attracting the fish. The magic depth has been between 8 and 18 feet. The duck and goose opener has been successful with many resident birds still around we have not seen any signs of northern birds in the area. There have been many Woodducks and Mallards around.

       

      Over on the Ontario side the Walleye bite has been great and the Crappies are picking up. Anglers have been targeting fall spots and jigging in 18-28 feet of water. Emerald shiners are on the move to spawn so watch for them in channels and bays with creeks. The water temp is cooling down and is approximately at 62 degrees. Trolling for Muskies in 10-18 feet has also been good.

       

      The leaves are starting to change colors and there is definitely a chill in the air but, there is still plenty of time to get in on some wonderful fall fishing. The best part about fall fishing is some of the great wildlife you get to see out and about. Also, it is a good time to start thinking about your winter ice fishing trip, we would love to have you as our guest!

       

      Until next week, good luck fishing!

      Guides Dan Schmidt, Jeremy Glessing and Devin Rau

       

      Flag Island Resort

      218-223-8011

       

      14352408_10154027624047635_3217819021999145477_o.jpg

      14372283_10154027624017635_7564426901939642848_o.jpg

      14463040_10154032392587635_7055875993614459489_n.jpg

    • flagislanddan

      Posted

      Fishing Report from Flag Island Resort Lake of the Woods, Northwest Angle 9/26/16

       

      Happy Fall!

       

      On the Minnesota side fishing has been great around Soldier’s and Mergan’s Point. Most points have been producing fish as well as bays due to shiners moving into the bays. Raps and spinners have been successful as well as 3/8 ounce jigs with the jig bite turning back on. Shiners, crawlers and fatheads have all been attracting the fish. The magic depth has been between 8 and 18 feet. The duck and goose opener has been successful with many resident birds still around we have not seen any signs of northern birds in the area. There have been many Woodducks and Mallards around.

       

      Over on the Ontario side the Walleye bite has been great and the Crappies are picking up. Anglers have been targeting fall spots and jigging in 18-28 feet of water. Emerald shiners are on the move to spawn so watch for them in channels and bays with creeks. The water temp is cooling down and is approximately at 62 degrees. Trolling for Muskies in 10-18 feet has also been good.

       

      The leaves are starting to change colors and there is definitely a chill in the air but, there is still plenty of time to get in on some wonderful fall fishing. The best part about fall fishing is some of the great wildlife you get to see out and about. Also, it is a good time to start thinking about your winter ice fishing trip, we would love to have you as our guest!

       

      Until next week, good luck fishing!

      Guides Dan Schmidt, Jeremy Glessing and Devin Rau

       

      Flag Island Resort

      218-223-8011

       

      14352408_10154027624047635_3217819021999145477_o.jpg

      14372283_10154027624017635_7564426901939642848_o.jpg

      14463040_10154032392587635_7055875993614459489_n.jpg

    • perry p

      Posted (edited)

      Thanks Workin, Bart and especially Jim for the replies. My family really enjoys fishing on Clearwater lake.

      Edited by perry p
      Misspell
    • muskie-mike

      Posted

      Good walleye bite on leadcore..40 walleyes in 25-28 ft of water,mid lake..None over 16 inches...

    • JBMasterAngler

      Posted

      First time up in Brainerd in 3 years. Went to big trout on Friday, thinking it would be a guarantee (which it usually is). Nope! Not even the rock bass were hitting! Only ended up with a couple pike and a couple largemouths. The inspector at the boat launch was showing me some pics of a couple lake trout this one guy had caught a few days earlier, a 34 and 36 incher! Saturday we were going to fish gull, but it was jam packed with people! Was there a tournament going on? Ended up at a secret little lake where my wife caught bass and pike one right after the other, while I couldn't get a bite to save my life! Was good to be back up there after a 3 year absence. Hopefully I'll find the time to get up there again.



  • Posts

    • ZachD
      750 this week only Im losing money on this but would rather have someone be able to use it than for it to just sit around. After this week I am going to winterize it and it will no longer be for sale.
    • MattL
      How is she on the sit command?  That is the basis of everything.  She needs to learn to sit still and wait until the next command.  I don't even teach my dogs "stay" because it isn't necessary if they are solid on "sit".  Every dog has the ability to be steady, it is up to you to teach them.  A lab that isn't steady in the boat is not only annoying, it is potentially dangerous with loaded guns and the potential to capsize a boat in open water.  If she knows sit but just needs some reinforcement, it may just take a couple trips where you don't even bring the gun along and let others shoot while you handle the dog.  If she's real bad, I would recommend going back to the basics. It will be tougher with an older dog versus a puppy but is definitely worth it. Check out the retriever training DVDS by Bill Hillman. They are spendy but definitely worth it.
    • easyrider25
      Looking for advice on keeping the dog focused and quiet in the duck boat.  Was out today and we shot enough ducks to keep her busy, however my dog is such a hyper hypo that it's a  little annoying.  Either whining or jumping back and forth from the front and back of the boat.  Do I just need to establish the expectation and keep on her till she finally gets it or is this how some dogs are in the boat? This is her 4th year duck hunting and she has continued to improve each season.  Overall I am happy with her work, especially with the limited amount of hunting I do.  We were out today for 3 hours, shot 8 birds and she did great on the retrieving end and is pretty much focused on the skies, but if something is not constantly dropping from them I feel like I have a screaming baby on my hands.  It's not really that bad, just very annoying.   I would just like her to sit in her spot, stare at the skies and wait for my command.  Is this to much to ask?
    • MattL
      She's up to 38 pounds at a few days short of 5 months and does not stop going 100 mph. She got exposed to a lot of feathers this weekend at duck camp. She retrieved dead ducks and geese in the yard after our hunts. The goose was a bit big so I chopped a wing off and worked with that after she picked it up and barely made it back a short distance to me. 
    • delcecchi
      Maybe that is how they can stay in business