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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is directed to those who have solar charging. Do you leave the solar charging connected and active when also charging house battery by the alternator when driving or by shore power when plugged in? Have you had any damage to the solar panels or solar charge controller? What type of solar charging controller do you have: none, dumb regulator, or multi-stage smart regulator?
 

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Yes, No, Bogart Engineering SC2030 PWM / TM 2030 monitor. The manual for the SC2030 states that other charge sources can be connected as long as they run through the shunt of the TM 2030 monitor so that the solar charge controller can account for the other sources.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I think there is zero chance you are going to damage the solar charge controller. It is just going to see a voltage and act accordingly. If the battery is being charge by the alternator, the charge controller will likely see that as a fully charged battery and go into float.

PV panels are hard to damage -- you can short them out indefinitely with no damage. I suppose if you applied a high enough voltage to them the reverse current might damage the panels or protection diodes, but hard to see how the charge controller could ever do this?

Have Midnite Solar Kid charge controller and charging from alternator via an isolation relay since 2014. Have noticed no problems with components or house battery.

Some use a switch to disconnect the house battery from alternator if they have enough solar to charge the house battery under normal circumstances, and only close the switch when solar is not doing the job. I guess this can't hurt, but don't think its really necessary.

Seems like one of the best things about having the house battery on solar charging all the time is that it keeps the house battery fully charged, which is good for life of lead acid batteries.

Gary
 

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Yes, No, Renogy MPPT. I have 2 Deka GC2's. Unlike others here, I need to add a few ounces of water to several cells after a 2K trip. Thinking to add a switch to isolate alternator because 200W solar keeps up well during day. Maybe that would reduce water loss. Don't know, but no other problems.
 

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Yes, no, Renolgy MPPT.

I used to continually charge the batteries from the MPPT controller but recently added a cutoff switch to disconnect the batteries entirely when storing the Vancave to comply with my storage facility's rules about having no energized systems while in storage.
 

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I haven't read anything that discourages running multiple charge sources at the same time, as long as the wiring and house batteries can handle the max combined current. If you are still worried, you could fuse the solar controller's output to protect its hardware.

Yes, No, Bogart Engineering SC2030 PWM / TM 2030 monitor. The manual for the SC2030 states that other charge sources can be connected as long as they run through the shunt of the TM 2030 monitor so that the solar charge controller can account for the other sources.
I am installing the same Bogart system. Tyler, the way I interpret the manual, it doesn't sound like it's the solar charger controller (SC) that's accounting for other charge sources. Running all charge sources through the TM's shunt allows the TM to monitor the combined current from all sources, but I don't believe it affects the SC output at all.

Just out of curiosity, I'm installing another (cheaper) shunt and monitor just downstream of the SC so I can monitor solar output independently. I'm also hoping I'll be able to calculate the alternator's contribution by subtracting the two monitor readouts. Does that make sense to anyone else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I started this thread because the question came up in relation to having 2 boat motor alternators connected to 1 battery. A boat motor dealer opined to me that it was a no-no. I felt otherwise and your replies confirm my opinion that it is perfectly OK to have more than 1 charging source on the DC bus. Many twin engine aircraft have only 1 battery but each engine has an alternator running continuously onto the DC bus. I will try to correct the thinking of that boat motor dealer.

Yes, it is true that if you have some sort of battery state of charge monitor all the current must pass through a single shunt located somewhere in the system.
 

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Midnite Solar KID here. Solar and alternator charging is always connected and always on. The KID manages all the level, charge methods (bulk vs float) etc. No problems so far...
 

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I'm with Gary, the solar controller will see a voltage and either up it or stop charging. I ran a Sunsaver Duo hooked up to both batteries for years that way, no issues whatsoever.

J
 
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