Solar panel to recharge battery from fridge drain?
Since my trip is approaching fast and I haven't had time to install a dual battery setup, I'm thinking of alternatives to keep the battery going on the off days when the vehicle is stationary without having to leave it idling.
Here's my thought and what's been done so far.
- Install permanently hot 12v outlet in cargo area. DONE (West Marine twistlock)
- Purchase Sunsei Solar Charger SE-1200 & Sunsei Charge Controller CC-10000. Shipped cost for both less than $200.
- Run my Engel MT45 from the hot outlet.
- Use SE-1200 (Power: 1200mA, 15V (18W) ) to top off battery during the day when the car is sitting and we are hiking, swimming, etc.
The car will be run for several hours on various excursions at least every other day and I'll have a fully charged boost pack with me just in case. I estimate the longest the fridge would be on battery and solar charger is upon first arrival and setup. Potentially 36 hours with 16 or so at night.
The Engel will be set at 1 to maintain standard fridge temps. No freezing necessary for what we're bringing. Every test I've found indicates that draw from the fridge should be between .8 and 1.5 amps depending on outside ambient temperatures when set to run as a fridge.
The battery is an D34 Optima Yellow Top that is rated as follows:
Capacity (C/20 Rate) 55ah
The solar powered roof vent will help prevent excessive heat buildup inside the car.
Thoughts on the efficacy of this system would be greatly appreciated.
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Rolled and totaled 03 Chevy Suburban
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