Battery Dies in Winter, which Solar Charger? - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Battery Dies in Winter, which Solar Charger?

Whenever my Dad leaves the car parked for a while in the winter (like even a bit less than a month), the battery is dead. Was going to get a float charger, but realize the battery is under the carpet. He doesn't want wires hanging out. Was thinking of one of those battery tender things that has a solar panel. That way, the panel could be in the car, and I could leave the wiring around and under the carpet up to the panel for him to hook up in the winter, charging the battery in the winter months. BUT, he parks the car facing South, toward the house wall, at the top of the driveway. This means it will likely get not that much light (direct or otherwise).

I'm hoping some of you guys have some idea how much parasitic current the computer draws when the car is turned off. I'm almost certain he does NOT have the Comfort Package with the automatic wipers or lights or even heated mirrors.

The solar-panel-charger options generate 270mA, 540mA, or 830mA. Knowing his parking conditions, do you guys think any one of those three solar-panel options would provide enough current to offset the parasitic computer current when the car is left off? Or would it just be a waste of money?

He got the SmartCar 2.0 update with the shifter lube and the paddle-initiated manual shifting. During that, the dealer said his battery was the upgraded, better one (not that I particularly believe it). The next time I'm over there, I'm going to look at his battery to see its specs to figure out if it's one of the lemons.

Hoping you guys can provide some guidance about which of these solar panels might help, if any.

THANKS!!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:56 AM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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My wife's VW Jetta TDI came new with a solar charger. The older VW charger plugged into the power port/cigarette lighter and the newer ones plug into the OBD port. May check a junk yard or on line.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 10:35 AM
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charging through the power port won't work as it goes through the key, and charging through the OBDII port will trigger a bus error on the computer. Best bet is a direct connect to the battery.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jimvw57 View Post
charging through the power port won't work as it goes through the key, and charging through the OBDII port will trigger a bus error on the computer. Best bet is a direct connect to the battery.
Dang...forgot about the key turning the port off. One of my pet peeves with the smart, can't leave something plugged in to charge if the key is off.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 07:53 PM
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Dang...forgot about the key turning the port off. One of my pet peeves with the smart, can't leave something plugged in to charge if the key is off.
I solved this by installing a power (liter) socket on the right side under the dash wired directly to the battery (12ga wire & a 20amp circuit breaker).

Very handy. not just for charging the battery !

Donald LaFavor

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-42 View Post
I solved this by installing a power (liter) socket on the right side under the dash wired directly to the battery (12ga wire & a 20amp circuit breaker).

Very handy. not just for charging the battery !

Donald LaFavor
Going to all that trouble, might be just as easy to wire it directly to the battery.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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Maybe something like this: Charger Connection

Says it can be adapted to any car; they're in Cincinnati and I've left a message to explore using it on the smart. The ones they sell for Corvettes are $80.
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