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Solar Battery Charger

6831 Views 29 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Zen1
Hi Guys.
Sorry if this has already been covered. I have looked round the forum and could not see anything regarding this question.

I was thinking of getting a solar powered 12V battery charger that comes with an OBD11 plug, to charge the battery in the engine bay.
As this feeds the power in through the OBD11 socket, would this harm the IMA battery in any way.

Any input would be gratefully received.

Stan UK
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Hi Guys.
Sorry if this has already been covered. I have looked round the forum and could not see anything regarding this question.

I was thinking of getting a solar powered 12V battery charger that comes with an OBD11 plug, to charge the battery in the engine bay.
As this feeds the power in through the OBD11 socket, would this harm the IMA battery in any way.

Any input would be gratefully received.

Stan UK
Why would you want to feed through the OBD II port? I would feed through the fuse box or directly to the battery. :smile2:My OBD II port is in use anyway. >:)I am not sure there is a direct connection from the OBD II port to the IMA Battery as the IMA System is over 100 Volts. :surprise:OBD II is mostly signal level and is used to read information from the computers in the car and sensors. IMHO you would have better luck feeding the Solar charger through the power port, at least that circuit can handle full under hood voltage. Others who are more knowledgeable may have more information.:nerd:
I think he Meant The 12V battery from the start.
And not the IMA packs.
He did but also mentioned feeding power to the IMA by accident through the OBD 2 port causing harm to the IMA battery pack.:nerd:
You need to run a direct connection to the battery instead of using the OBD II port IMHO. There are OBD Y cables...>:)

If you do get this, it will work on your CR-Z just like any other car the OBD II power feed from the solar panel will not do anything to the IMA battery pack.:nerd:

Hi Guys.
Thanks for your replies.

It was probably was not made for Hybrid cars.

This is to just keep the 12V battery under the bonnet (sorry that's what we call it) with a full charge.
This is a 12V solar battery charger sold by the AA in the UK(which is like your triple A in the US) that sits on your dash board and connects to the car battery via the OBDII socket.
It's made to keep the battery topped up when the car is not getting used often enough. IE like a long holiday. And as it is not waterproof, it must stay inside the car, when your not using it.
Also it must be removed from the OBDII port before you start the car. So my other OBDII Bluetooth will go back in so I have Info from the engine whilst driving.
It's output is as follows.Peak Power Output: 2.4 watt, Peak Volts Output: 12.7 volts, Optimum Working Current: 0.13-0.2 amps.

My concern was that as the manual says to disconnect the cars 12V battery before charging it.
I was thinking that if I used the OBD2 port to use the trickle charger it would also maybe feed to other parts of the cars electrical system. Which might be a bad thing.

Stan from the UK
Thanks Guys.

A nice lot of input by yourselves.

I am still not sure if I will go down this route yet, buy it's on my list to maybe try it.

Glad we could help. :smile2: Now that you have over 5 postings have you voted? Battery tender makes a nice package that hooks to the battery permanently and provides a quick disconnect you could use something like that at the battery end and then use the solar device or AC power to keep the under hood battery charged. Just another idea or use the circuit that was mentioned. Keep us informed of what you decide.:smile2: I have found the under hood battery stays pretty happy if you drive the car often but did have it fail after 2 years when the car sat for a week at a dealership. It was replaced under warranty.>:)
Our 12 Volt socket is off when the ignition is off though. Other than that you have the right idea.:nerd:

actually, there may be an easier method. however, not without a little wiring know how. and you definitely don't want to exceed a charge rate higher than the 12V socket was intended for. there are other threads on how to make a direct 12V connection from the fuse box so i won't post it here.

you would need to have a direct always-on 12V connection (either from the 12V battery terminals, or fused connection point).

i use a goal zero sherpa 50 to power a dashcam for longer periods when i'm out of town. it takes a 12VDC from the 12V battery (via the fuse box), and outputs 12VDC to the dashcam. this connection is always on, and i have a box that monitors the voltage which will shut off the connection if voltage drops below 11.6-11.8V to keep the car's battery from going flat.

these units were designed with using solar panels for on-the-go power (and off the grid) and they have a series of solar panels that work with a variety of lithium-ion power banks/generators. so all you would do is set the 12VDC (or whatever output) from the solar panels, and output the 12V from the sherpa (or similar charger/powerbank) to your 12V socket. basically reverse of what i use mine for.

a bit pricey for similarly performing chargers on the market, but i found them to be pretty robust and reliable. i have had one connected to my car may be a year or more. they are very modular so i can even take it out of my car and power a host of devices if i'm at the beach, camping, etc.

here's the one i use (it outputs max 8A on the 12VDC out)
Sherpa 50 Power Pack | Power Packs | Goal Zero

and you would need this cable (or similar)
Guardian 12V Adapter | | Goal Zero

as with any modifications and add ons, i highly recommend monitoring consistently and make sure you have good connections. check for any codes thrown from the car and always use a fuse. don't attempt if you're not comfortable with wiring.
^yes, that's correct. hence the mention of the need to find how to connect 12V accessories for on an "always-on" connection. OP will need to bypass the original 12V ACC socket as no plug-in device will work with ACC-off.

i sort of copy pasted my longer original post into a condensed version.. perhaps i should have ordered it like so:

there are many ways to tap into the 12V source so i intentionally left it vague
It was I who misunderstood. If I wanted to do this I would just run a new circuit with its own Fuse or circuit breaker and no cheap crimps or taps.:smile2:
I wish there was a way to make the cargo cover a solar panel and have it still roll up :surprise: that would be a great place and give more Sq Fts for charging.
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I didn't understand why you would want to do this before but now I definitely don't.

Used frequently doesn't mean much. What is the length of an average drive in distance.
Sounds to me like your new Battery may be defective or you are not driving the car long enough to fully charge it. If new battery can be topped off with distilled water I would suggest doing so and using a plug in charger to make sure the battery is 100% charged then monitor for a few days to see how long before the voltage drops. How accurate is the method you are using to verify the voltage of the battery? Some Volt meters are not accurate( especially the ones that plug into the auxiliary power port in the car).

I read my voltage using my Scan Gauge II through the OBD II port or with my known accurate Digital Volt Meter at the battery.
Don't be too concerned about that--it's just MY method.:wink2:
Doesn't that also reset a few things in the MID even if you don't want them reset? I know when my battery failed I lost trip odometer and some other settings possibly my radio stations.
Good point, but the idea is to give you a clean slate. I don't think resetting your radio or MPG for that tank of gas is an issue--it might be to others. Also, you may want to do this too:
click here for Idle Control Learn & CKP Pattern learn procedure
I understand but the way you were stating it it sounds like when ever you charge the battery you disconnect it. In a situation with weirdnesses I would reset everything as you have guided us.:smile2:
The 30 minute drive thing is for the IMA battery. More driving at a higher RPM Or in a different mode might help. The other option is a non car method of charging then monitor.

Good luck.:smile2:

Hi Guys.

Thank you to everyone who got on board to help me with this problem.

When I take the car out I try and do about 30 minuits of driving, I read somewhere that you should do at least one 30 minuits drive a month.

I measured the voltage with a voltage meter. But I will do that with my OBD11 as well, and let you guys know the outcome.

I will also do the Idle Control Learn & CKP Pattern learn procedure, as soon as it is practical for me to do that.

Stan UK
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