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Solar Assisted Charging System

Conversion of Year 2000 Chevy S10 Pickup
 

A modification made in 2007 is the implementation of a single solar charge controller instead of a set of two charge controllers. Originally the Solar charging system was split into two sub systems; one subsystem powered the 12 V Accessory Battery that provided power to the lights, radio, etc. ; the second subsystem provided power to the electric power steering system only. Both subsystems had separate controllers.

The modification implements a single 'Sunsaver Duo' controller with all four solar panels connected as a single 12 V, at ~10 Amp source [full sun] to the Solar Duo. the Sunsaver Duo is programmed to provide 90% of the power to the Accessory Battery and 10% to the Power Steering Pump Battery. In addition, a trickle charger through an 18 V to 172 V dc-dc converter is connected in parallel to the input of the Solar Duo from the solar Panels. See the photos. below.

 

 

The Sunsaver Duo has a solar panel input [center] and two battery outputs [battery1 to the left]. There is also a meter output to the far right that allows for remote monitoring.


 

The Sunsaver Duo meter is installed [perhaps temporarily] in the dash left center vent position. Readouts include the battery voltages and the highest [photo to the left]  and lowest since the system was reset for both batteries. It also will give the capability to read amp hours of charge to each battery [photo to the right]. In addition, readings include, the temperature at the controller [with an option to connect a remote sensing probe] which since the controller is mounted next to the rear battery box it gives a good indication of the battery compartment temperature. Anther monitoring capability is the solar panel system output current. The solar panel output voltage is monitored at the increment number 0 of the 144 Voltage Monitoring System.