Using Solar Controller as a DC-DC Converter for Alternator Charging
I spent the day working on a new boondocking mod. Going to use a spare Bogart SC2030 30 amp solar controller for my remote ground panel when camped and as a DC-DC converter running off the truck alternator when towing. Will have a video out soon showing the mod details.
I look forward to seeing what you find out.
It's looking like a cool MOD!
When I had an RV. We just charged the RV batteries from the truck when the engine was running. The isolation box only cost $30 CDN including tax. It was good for about 30 amps continuous and 50 amps peak for about 5 minutes. Do they still make these simple devices for the old schools types.
Yep, I used to have one on my old camper van. But as battery bank size grows and lithium type is being used some sort of regulation between the alternator and batteries is recommended or the alternator can risk being damaged. So, many people are using DC-DC converters versus the old school simple solenoid isolation switch. This is an example -
Since I have the old Bogart solar controller kicking around now I'm going to reuse it for the same purpose.
I'm curious to see what the voltage to the Bogart is. Alternators are around 13.6v? I think. With line loss I am thinking there will still be enough voltage to charge the battery. I think that's key advantage to the dc-dc chargers like the Renogy is that they boost voltage. The video should be interesting. Look forward to seeing what it does.
In my latest RV mod, I install a high amperage 30A 12VDC port into the bed of my 2018 Ram 3500 pickup truck. I also test out using an old Bogart SC2030 solar charge controller I have laying around for alternator charging.
Bogart Engineering Test showing the SC2030 solar charge controller acting as a DC-DC converter -
Disclaimer: Working with electricity can be dangerous. The following is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as instructional. If you decide to do the same, then research and beware of the risks involved. I don’t advise it without advanced knowledge of electricity. I accept no liability. You have been warned! – Ray
I explain how I ran various cables and installed the connections and then show the results of my amperage tests. I saw a charging current of between 9-15 amps. Not too bad but nowhere near the solar controller maximum of 30 amps.
My theory for why the low results are the .6V drop I'm getting in the wires or the fact my truck's smart alternator regulates the alternator charge voltage. So, at the truck battery, I see anywhere from 13.8V to 14.3V DC. Furthermore, I'm charging lithium batteries, which have a higher resting voltage than the lead-acid type.
I'll continue to play around with the system and experiment and come back with another video if my results improve.
My RV Mod Videos -
Boondocking Videos -
Bogart Trimetric WiFi Monitor Demo -
VIAIR 12V Trolling Motor Plug Install -
My Ram Truck Videos -
Uni-T Clamp Meter -
Last Sept we dry camped overnight in cold weather while running the furnace, when I got up the following morning I noticed by the solar monitor that the voltage had dropped substantially(can't remember that number). Because my umbilical cord was hooked up to the truck I started the truck and almost Immediately the voltage came up. Fired up the furnace and the truck was able to maintain voltage to the batteries while running the truck.
We have a 170 watt solar panel with PWM2 and 2x12 volt led acid batteries.
This was my by guess and by gully method,, who would know I did not until I tried it.
Would I be stressing the alternator ?
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