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Ailsa

Solar panel

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I’ve just bought a swift challenger 570 2009. It’s fitted with a solar panel any tips on how to get it to charge battery? 

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Leave it out in daylight!

Seriously though, if it is working correctly, with a good battery that is all you need to do. However, it is a slow charge and will take several days to charge a flat battery.

If you have a problem more info would help. Do you know what the panel output is supposed to be? What are the voltage readings? Do you have a multi meter?

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Another obvious question, on our old swift in the top locker over the sink was the solar panel gubbins and a on off switch

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Posted (edited)

I can see the panel which shows it fully charged or not but none of the lights are on. I’ve looked under the seats to see if there is anything needing connected there but not sure. My battery is fine - had an issue last week but got it sorted out. Panel is on roof so should charge ok just wondered if it’s not connected to battery? 

Edited by Ailsa

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To do any meaningful testing you need a multimeter. £10 will buy an adequate digital meter.

You can check the voltage either at the battery or at a 12v socket in the van

With the mains unplugged, and everything turned off, at night or with the panel covered by cardboard or a blanket the voltage should be around 12.7v. With good daylight on the panel the voltage should be higher, perhaps 13.4v.

That increase is proof that the panel is doing its job.

Actual voltages may vary a bit dependant on the state of the battery and type of controller, but it is the increase that is the proof you are asking about.

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The battery was fully charged at 14.1 and is now 10.7 v which makes me think there is a connection or switch not switched on. I just don’t know where to look 

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4 minutes ago, Ailsa said:

The battery was fully charged at 14.1 and is now 10.7 v which makes me think there is a connection or switch not switched on. I just don’t know where to look 

How long did it take for that voltage drop?

What was being drawn from the battery during that time?

A good battery with no use will take more than 6 months to suffer that drop unless there is some drain somewhere.

I would investigate the drain before worrying about the panel working. One thing at a time,

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It dropped over a few days. I am still getting used to van as it’s new to me so everything was probably switched on lol 

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