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RE: Testing a battery float charger

To: <>
Subject: RE: Testing a battery float charger
From: "Randall" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:37:54 -0800
> I just purchased a small solar charger over the weekend to float my 
> battery and I have no idea how to test it but I can't get near the 
> numbers they claim and I think its broken.  I am getting 23 volts on 
> a 15 volt panel that I am told is ok since its solar and it will drop 
> to 12 when I hook it up to the battery.
>   But the amperage is way off, should be 400ma  and I think I am 
> getting 3.81ma out of the thing but I am not sure I am 
> testing it right...
>   so I second the motion for how to test these things...

That's a different kettle of fish, Mike.  If it's running up to 23 volts
open circuit, then it's not regulated and qualifies as a "trickle charger"
rather than a "float charger".   At only 400ma (in full, bright sunlight),
that's probably OK, but not ideal.

The rated current on those things is generally only available in full sun
... Think Sahara desert at high noon in the summer when there's a solar
flare !  Anything less than that, and the output drops off considerably.
But if you're only getting 4ma under reasonably bright sun, I would agree
that there is probably something wrong with the unit.  (Possibly just an
overenthusiastic marketing team <g>)


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