Lithium battery charged by solar

Solar Panels for lithium battery

MYSTERY SURROUNDS lithium batteries and solar installation, and it's easy to see why. It would appear as though you need a physics degree and a masters in automotive electronics to adequately fit a solar system suitable for your iTechworld battery.

 

In this blog, I m going to break down the solar installation side of things step by step and show you how easy it is to set up an active solar system to keep your iTechworld lithium battery happy. The main things you will need are a bit of common sense, patience and background reading on power requirements when free camping. Put away that electrical engineering course application – you won't need it!

 

Equipment that you will need. Cabling, self-tapping screws, silicon, brackets, solar panel, iTechworld 30 AMP MPPT regulator and an iTechworld lithium battery.

 

Top tip: Don't be tempted to get a lower wattage panel and a cheapo regulator to save money – sure, you can get an excellent 20W solar panel and regulator on eBay for next to nothing. But that marvelous setup would only power your pocket LED torch for half an hour's reading in your camp swag every night.

iTECH120X

 

Let us assume that you are not in a swag under the stars but in a caravan with lights, television and 12V points for the likes of recharging a phone.

 

As with all caravan DIY and maintenance projects, if you are not entirely confident with the job at hand, please consult a specialist.

 

 

 STEP BY STEP

 

 1 Fit the solar mounting brackets to your solar panel for installation on your caravan's roof. You can use an adhesive to put the brackets onto the solar panel or screw into them with tech screws.

 

 2 Position panel on roof with brackets attached, allowing adequate ventilation under the solar panel.

 

 3 Prepare the roof with wax and grease remover before applying your silicon adhesive.

 

 4 Preliminarily position the solar panel, so you know where to clean. Try to place it clear of existing joins as the solar panel must come off to fix leaks in the join if they should occur.

 

 5 Apply a bead of silicon to help secure the brackets with the panel attached to the roof.

 

 6 Gently rest the brackets with the panel attached on the bead of silicon.

 

 7 Use tech screws to help secure the panel if required.

 

 8  If your van hasn't been pre-wired for solar, it will be necessary to drill a hole or holes, this can be sealed using a Solar Entry gland. This will give you a waterproof point on the roof for the wiring.

 

 Cut excess wire to suit, mount the iTechworld 30 Amp MPPT regulator in desired spot.

 

 10 Connect the wires from the regulator to the battery, making sure the positive and negatives correspond. Set the 30 Amp MPPT regulator to LIFE Leave the regulator for 5 minutes. This gives the regulator a chance to detect the iTechworld lithium batery and its voltage. Now connect the solar panel to the regulator, making sure the positive and negatives correspond.

 

 

 11 Check the solar panel charging voltage and condition of the battery on the 30 Amp MPPT regulator

 

The job is done! Grab a beer. Brag at how good you are to your wife. Post some photos of your fantastic job on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Invite the neighbours round to show off your new skills.

 

 

Article author

Ian

ian@itechworld.com.au

 

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Comments

Dan H#1

This blog helps give me an idea of what i m doing

Jamie #2

Thanks for doing this blog, is there any specific adhesive that you would recommend for the installation?

Jamie

iTechworld#3

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for getting in touch.

We would always recommend a marine grade adhesive.

Best regards
iTechworld

Peter Macfarlane#4

Hi Ian!
All that info is very useful for the rigid solar panels but how do I fit the semi flexible panel that I purchased from you onto the roof of my Jayco with the fiberglass roof and also the roof panel appears to be quite thick.I think it would be 50mm and I was wondering what sort of gland seal for water proofing the wiring entry point on the roof.
Looking forward to your reply Peter.

iTechworld#5

Hi Peter,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Here are some of the different ways that I have seen our 120 Watt Semi Flexible Panels mounted.

• Stick directly to the roof using Marine Grade adhesive
• Build a frame for the panel and attach to your roof using our mounting brackets
• Bolt the panel to the roof using the six eyelets on the panel
• Mount the panel onto a piece of wood or other hard surface and then attach to the roof using our mounting brackets

These suggestions might not fit your set up but it gives you an idea of how others are doing it.

To get a waterproof connection on your roof for the cabling please see here

http://itechworld.com.au/collections/solar-panel-mounting-kits/products/roof-cable-entry-gland-solar-panel-double-cable-gland-box-for-caravan

Best regards
Ian

Anne #6

just to add my tip for fixing flexi panels – the whole idea of the flexi panel is to reduce weight, so rather than fixing to timber, get a piece of multi wall polycarbonate sheeting – it is super light, strong as (not damaged by hail) and because it is multi or twin wall, air moves thru it to reduce heat and moisture build up – plus it is strong enough to drill and screw thru if necessary. I have used this method successfully on the roof rack of my fourbie, and when I need to replace the original panel on the camper, I will be doing the same. Happy camping. regards. Anne

iTechworld#7

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your input!

Its always interesting and helpful to get feedback from iTechworld customers and you have provided some excellent advice. Many thanks.

Best regards
Ian

Tom#8

Hi Ian, I just bought a 140watt portable solar panel and just read a disclaimer on this site which says I should not connect it to a battery that has any charging device connected. My Jayco has a charger inbuilt. Am I correct to assume it is OK to connect the panels as long as no other power source(e.g. a car battery or a 240v AC connection) is connected to that charger at the same time.

Regards Tom

iTechworld#9

Hi Tom,

Thanks for getting in touch.
Yeah, that’s right.
We always recommend isolating the solar panels away from other chargers such as 240v battery chargers, generators, alternators etc.

Best regards

Ian

Tafara#10

The blog is very useful sir .Do u hve institutions where u can give an opportunity to learn much about solar energy, so that one can professional.

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