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Solar battery charging Swift Command


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I have recently purchased a new swift caravan which came with a 80 solar panel  . As it’s been parked up now for about 8 weeks the panel has been keeping the battery charged up until this morning when I get a call from the swift command monitoring centre telling me that there is a power issue with the van. I have now got the battery off the van and it has dropped below 12 and requires charging. Can anyone please tell me if this is normal or is there a problem with the battery or the charging system? Many thanks for any replies 

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Did you have the PSU completely shutdown? ie black button out.

If the PSU is not shutdown during storage it will parasitically slowly drain the battery despite the solar panel. Shutting down has no effect on tracking and alarm etc.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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As the days get shorter and the sun gets lower the amount of charge that the panel can produce reduces dramatically. Is the panel exposed to open sky and unshaded?

It should still keep the battery topped up, as long as it and the battery are working properly, but not much else.

Any parasitic drain will seriously deplete the battery.

There are a number of possible causes for this short battery life, but without running some tests it is impossible to determine which applies.

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It will also pay you to ensure that the panel is actually supplying a charge (the command panel is not entirely trustworthy or accurate in this respect going by my experience). As the regulator is equally not to be relied upon (I've now met three people, apart from myself, that have had 1 or more replacements) & it is, apparently, often connected 'backwards'.

I also strongly suggest that you actually measure the input to the battery itself with an amp meter or a 'current tester' of the type that replaces the fuse: product no. WEE/AK0049TZ made by CPC (sales 03447880088, or www.cpc.co.uk) at approx. £10.

In these circumstances these devices are worth their weight in gold & give a clear & reliable reading.

3L auto Nissan Terrano, 2004 & Swift Elegance 530, 2018. As Leonardo da Vinci once said: 'If you find from your own experience that something is a fact & it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority & base your reasoning on your own findings' ie: use your common sense!

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I've got a Sprite Major bought new in 2017. It was supplied with a 100w solar panel and has kept the battery fully topped up ever since we've had it. The caravan was hardly used last year, (Summer 2019) due to my heart attack and subsequent bypass operation. Then it overwintered 2019-2020 and along came Covid. When I took it in for its service in August 2020, the battery had more than enough power to operate the motor mover. As already said, check that the PSU is turned off, (black button out) and all should be well.

2014 SsangYong Rexton W towing a 2017 Sprite Major 4EB. (After June 9th).

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