I got a little solar set up. I put most of the panels in a cabinet, leaving one up to “trickle charge” the batteries and keep them up. It did not work. In trying to save the batteries, I employed a Honda EU2000 with the dc charging feature. That EU2000 was how I was going to smooth over charging issues during consecutive cloudy days. The problem is, the measured voltage range between full capacity and the minimum you should tolerate is very small. The EU2000 does not have a charge controller. “Keeping an eye on the process” does not work. Personally, I bounce from project to project between work and family life. Does anyone out there have a suggestion for a charge controller that would work well with the EU2000? – RV
The charge controller parameters are determined by the type of battery you have rather than the type of power source. Different types of batteries have different voltage/current requirements for the various stages of charging. A good controller will be programmable so that you can set the exact voltages that your batteries need. I currently have the Morningstar SunSaver-MPPT and the Outback Flexmax60 deployed. The SunSaver is used in a 400 watt 24V system and the Flexmax60 is used in an 800 watt 12V system. Both systems use two LifeLine 8DL batteries (255Ah AGM). I have also used a 48V regulated power supply in place of a solar panel on the SunSaver system, and it has worked flawlessly.
You do need to supply a charging voltage that is greater than the battery voltage. In a cold environment, the battery charge voltage will be high. I have seen the charging voltage on the SunSaver “battery” and “load” terminals range as high as 29.7V. (Use 1/2 of that figure for a system running 12V.) Both of these chargers allow the use of “grid-tie” solar panels with higher voltages in regular 12V or 24V battery system. As long as your EU2000 DC output is clean and does not exceed the Maximum DC input voltage and current of either controller, they should work fine. If you are concerned about EMP in your system, take a look at our contest sponsors, as there are several that specialize in EMP-hardened systems.