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Arduino based Solar Charging controller

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#1 rimcrazy

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 11:21 AM

I wanted to post this here so others with observatories can see this.  I am in the process of retrofitting my dome control and one of the things I wanted to do was to put solar panels on the dome to keep the battery that will run the dome shutter up/down.  Just saw this design for a solar charging controller this morning on Instructables and this is simply awesome.  I'm an electrical engineer and the design, analysis and presentation of this controller is simply over the top.  You can build this controller yourself.  He has links to get the custom board and all of the instructions on how it works.

 

Enjoy!



#2 ngatel

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 07:33 PM

I took a quick look at the article (TL;DR) and didn't see any reference for programing the charge controller to match a battery manufacturer's charging voltage specifications. For example a lead-acid battery needs a four-stage charging strategy. Other types of batteries have different specifications. Below is what Trojan Battery says their 12 volt lead-acid deep cycle batteries require.

 

Charge-Rates-Trojan.jpg

 

Over the years I have installed solar systems on three different camping trailers. Same theory . . . solar power charges the batteries. Improper charging voltages decrease the life of the battery bank. My house has a MPPT solar controller, but I am not charging batteries, just generating electricity to feed the grid.

 

One caveat, I am a retired auto mechanic not a scientist or engineer. 

 

Here is a post from my blog discussing solar charging strategies that are aligned to what the battery manufacturers' state as their specifications for charging, which often are not met by battery chargers or solar controllers. Figured some folks might find it interesting or even helpful.




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