Customer question (received via email 1st March 2020):
I am looking for some advice please. I have a Land Rover Defender 110 which is my second vehicle and therefore doesn't get used that much. I use it as part of my Scouting ( carrying equipment,towing trailers, safety vehicle to walking events etc). I also use it as a volunteer for a 4x4 response group where we can get called out by the authorities to assist in bad weather, floods etc. Other than that I tend to run it occasionally just to keep it ticking over.
I need to look at a trickle charge system to keep the battery topped up when I am not using it. The car is too big to fit in the garage and so solar is ideal.
I would welcome any suggestions that you have both in terms of kit but also safety of using it. Bee nice to plug it in and forget about it but not sure if that would overload the battery or if you have a system to prevent that.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Willgen Reply (Email from Bill 2nd March 2020):
Many thanks for getting in touch.
From your description of your requirements, I recommend that you take a look at the Optimate 10 and Optimate 20 Solar Chargers.
The Optimate 10 should be sufficient to keep your LR110 battery topped up throughout the year as long as there are no significant drains on the battery and assuming the solar panel is going to be reasonably well positioned (ideally South facing in an un-shaded position).
If there is a small drain on the battery (eg alarm) or if the panel is going to be in a less than ideal position go for the larger and more powerful Optimate 20.
The solar panels are weather proof and can be permanently mounted on the outside of the vehicle or nearby to it (on South facing wall/fence or roof for example) or can be placed on the dashboard or fixed to the inside of a window with optional suction cup mounts. Please note that if mounting inside the vehicle the vehicle glass will reduce the solar panel's output slightly - more so if tinted (so better to go for the Optimate 20 in this scenario if space allows).
The Optimate solar chargers come with ring terminal connectors that can be permanently fixed to the battery and also with crocodile clips for temporary connection. If ring terminals are permanently attached to the battery (best option) the solar panel can still be quickly disconnected using the built in plug & socket arrangement.
There are alternative optional connection methods available such as via the cigarette lighter socket in the cabin (must remain live when engine off and key removed), also there are extension cables and other accessories that you may find useful.
All Optimate Solar Chargers come with a charge controller that manages the battery charging process to get the most charge possible from the solar panel even in low light conditions and also to prevent battery damage through over charging. The charge controller also gives charging status information and battery state of charge information via a series of led lights.
More details and images can be found on our website, links to products mentioned above here:
I hope that this helps. If you have any questions please get in touch.
All Optimate products on our website are currently in stock and ready for quick despatch.