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Discharging battery

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by gunnyart, Oct 8, 2013.

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  1. gunnyart


    Oct 8, 2013
    I have a small solar panel charging a deer feeder 12 volt 12ah battery.
    I think the panel puts out about 18-20 volts depending on conditions.
    I don't know the amp flow.

    It apparently doesn't have a blocking diode in the circuit because it's draining the battery faster than it can charge it. :mad:

    It's 190 mile trip to the feeder so unfortunately I can't take any measurements.

    What size diode do I need?

    Should it be wired in series in the negative or positive lead from the panel?

    Thanks so much, Art
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    The diode can be in either the positive or the negative lead.

    If the charge current is under an amp, a 1N4001 would be fine.

    A 1N4001 is rated for 50V and 1A. Any diode rated at 50V or more and greater than your charge current will be fine.

    If you put it in the +ve lead, connect it so the striped end goes toward the +ve terminal of the battery.

    If in the -ve lead, the stripe should be away from the -ve terminal of the battery.
  3. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Are you sure the solar panel is large enough?

    It needs to provide enough average current to cover the average load on the battery, plus a bit because the battery isn't 100% efficient, plus a bit for the leakage current of the battery, when averaged over a period of a few days.

    Even during summer with clear skies, it needs to be able to supply at least 3~4 times as much current as the average battery load current, in sunlight.
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