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Solar Battery Maintainer

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Old Aug 12th, 2018, 12:48   #1
ASt85
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Wink Solar Battery Maintainer

If you've ever been in the situation where your battery has gone flat and you wished you'd done something about it before you've had to go grovelling under the car to attach a +ve jump lead to the starter motor live and any available earth just to get back in, then consider this "little" gem from Aldi.

I came across this more powerful unit earlier this week and so decided to replace my relatively low power output solar panel hooked up to the V70's constant boot live socket to keep the battery topped up, with this one from Aldi at 11.99.

https://www.aldi.co.uk/auto-xs-solar...76274130462400

Mine was delivered yesterday: on open circuit voltmeter it was kicking out 17.3V which dropped to 13.37V with supplied current showing as 0.29A when connected to the constant boot live under a clouded late afternoon sky.

I was so impressed at the output in low light levels I went to order another for my son's ragtop this morning (12/08/18), but apparently it is now sold out online.

However it is still currently available in their stores.

NB it is worth noting that there is an in-built diode protection circuit which prevents the unit acting as a current draw in darkness - so no overnight losses other than those from the alarm and Can-Bus monitoring systems which is what I'm trying to overcome in the first place!

It knocks spots off the others I've tried over the years; the only downside is that it is a little on the large side at 500mm x 350mm x 20mm but either horizontally or vertically mounted on a pair suction cup hooks it fits the rear or rear side windows of a V70 window without problem - so off to Aldi later today to get another one
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Last edited by ASt85; Aug 12th, 2018 at 14:16.
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Old Aug 13th, 2018, 12:38   #2
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However it is still currently available in their stores.
Not in Huntingdon, Cambs, it isn't..
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Old Aug 13th, 2018, 16:34   #3
ASt85
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Red face

Re the post above, I phoned Aldi customer services this morning as our local branch was also sold out.

It seems that they have sold out nationwide, but was assured that the Solar Battery Maintainer is a regular item and as it was last re-stocked in March it should appear again a few months on their email updates.

I've asked customer services to notify me directly when it is restocked and will post again if and when it does.

In the meantime my apologies for posting so enthusiastically about what must have been the last of the current stock.
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Old Aug 14th, 2018, 17:14   #4
Christerart
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Re the post above, I phoned Aldi customer services this morning as our local branch was also sold out.

It seems that they have sold out nationwide, but was assured that the Solar Battery Maintainer is a regular item and as it was last re-stocked in March it should appear again a few months on their email updates.

I've asked customer services to notify me directly when it is restocked and will post again if and when it does.

In the meantime my apologies for posting so enthusiastically about what must have been the last of the current stock.
Thanks for the update - and no apologies, please - you did a worthwhile service and I for sure wants one - or two - err - three..
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Old Aug 14th, 2018, 22:16   #5
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EXACTLY, you let people know about the stronger, better example.

Now let's hope the stock orderers and manufacturers take notice and build more of the better ones and let the junky ones fade away.

This is what should happen but alas, there's a constantly renewed supply of poor people so cheap goods will always be made.

I remember seeing a few shops in the UK with astoundingly cheap stuff during my first trip over (1981). Today every town in the USA has such shops.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 21:39   #6
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Mine was delivered yesterday: on open circuit voltmeter it was kicking out 17.3V which dropped to 13.37V with supplied current showing as 0.29A when connected to the constant boot live under a clouded late afternoon sky.

It knocks spots off the others I've tried over the years; the only downside is that it is a little on the large side at 500mm x 350mm x 20mm
I came in here to spout my wisdom of them not being worth much: a few hours a day at 100mA max is what the average solarpanel for car-use does. You'd be lucky to have 500mAh a day into your 100Ah battery.

And the 14W USB panel I bought from Lidl hardly did 7W in the full June sun, perfectly angled.

But your numbers make some actual sense, especially if it did 0.3A when not even in the full sun!

I'll keep an eye out if it appears in the Dutch Aldi...

Or simply use my other solarpanel...

(Used to run coolingboxes, couldn't exactly take the Volvo as it still has a malfunctioning AC, so not suited, not even for England/Wales\Scotland).
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 22:00   #7
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I came in here to spout my wisdom of them not being worth much: a few hours a day at 100mA max
100mA going in is 3 times the standby drain which would be going out hence why they are battery maintainers.
They'll not only cancel out any drain, they'll have a net gain on the battery's condition albeit small so your battery will always be in a better condition than when you left it.

That's a good thing in my opinion.
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Old Aug 31st, 2018, 08:48   #8
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My issue is with the marketing vs actual use. As said, 100mA may be 3x the drain, but it won't deliver that 8 hours a day (8 hours times 100mA (solarpanel) minus 24 hours at 33mA (standby drain) equals a net of ZERO, and as said, it won't do 8 hours at 100mA, so you'll still loose battery capacity).

The net effect of such a small panel is in most cases that the battery will still drain, but slower. But they are sold as actually charging the battery. Someone relying on such a panel to save his camper battery will probably kill it whereas he would normally, if he has common sense and enough knowledge on the subject, have checked and charged his battery every month of at least have disconnected it.

Such a panel on an unused battery may charge it. Such a panel on a battery hooked up to a car may give a false sense of security.

And I added a 40mA drain to constantly suck air through my CEM, so I need at least double the capacity of panel to compensate for my now more-than-doubled standbydrain
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