Solar Powered Battery Tender


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
  • Sponsored Links
Kintan
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby Kintan » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:15 am



Hey guys, I was thinking about installing a battery tender on my motorcycle. I wanted a solar powered one that I could mount on the back fender or near the back brake light. Has anyone done this or have any experience doing this? I just didn't know what kind I would need as I have never used one before. Thanks for the advice!



User avatar
tfdeputydawg
Posts: 897
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby tfdeputydawg » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:45 am

My feeble mind tells me when a bike is parked, usually in a garage, is when a battery maintainer is of use. Not much sun in a garage.
Just saying...........

Kintan
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby Kintan » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:52 am

I pull the bike out of the garage for a bit before starting it ;) Mainly cause it's squeezed in a corner so when I want to ride it I leave it in the driveway.

User avatar
Placerville
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:58 pm
Location: Placerville, CA
Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby Placerville » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:44 am

For your intended use, it sounds impractical. A battery tender uses a small amount of current to keep a properly functioning battery fully charged over an indefinite period of time. In general, small, solar powered chargers aren't very effective. Do some research and you'll find a lot of poor reviews. Using a solar powered charger for a brief period of time before riding ("so when I want to ride it I leave it in the driveway") will do little to nothing for your battery. Additionally, its presence on your bike while riding won't be of any benefit as your stator is, or should be, doing it's job.

Aside from regular oil changes, there's nothing better you can do for your Wing than keeping it's battery fresh. I recommend that you buy a good quality, intelligent, AC powered tender and keep it on your bike whenever it's parked in your garage. I have 5 Tecmate Optimate 3 battery charger/tenders currently in use on various batteries and they are excellent. If you don't have power in your garage, there are solar chargers available that mount on your roof. These provide an adequate supply of power. To use these you'll need an intelligent interface between the solar panel and the bikes battery that will control the charging voltage and revert to float mode when necessary. Good one's are pricey.

If you feel your battery isn't delivering the proper amps/voltage at start-up or isn't charging properly, I'd suggest that you fully charge it, then take it to an auto parts store for a surge test. This will tell you if your battery can properly accept and hold a charge. After that, make sure your 3 pin stator plug and 8 pin stator to rectifier plug are clean and in good condition. Consider testing your stator output as well.
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
Image

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:04 pm

Battery Tender does make a solar powered version:

Solar Powered Battery Tender



From reports I've read, it works quite well. However, the solar panel is necessarily large, larger than you are going to be able to mount on your fender. Any charger with a solar panel that fits on your fender isn't going to supply enough current to charge the battery.

Old Fogey
Posts: 724
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1979 GL1000
Contact:

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby Old Fogey » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:24 am

I have a version of that mounted on my garage. Works fine.
Image Image

'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

User avatar
Placerville
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:58 pm
Location: Placerville, CA
Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby Placerville » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:58 pm

I need to clarify a comment I made above. When I used the words, "battery tender", I wasn't referring to an actual name brand (like the one WA posted). I was using the term in the generic sense e.g., "Hot Tube" rather than "Jacuzzi." The solar panel charger WA is showing looks good and has good reviews. It would be a good choice for a roof-top shop/garage mount installation. The solar chargers I was referring to (which get bad reviews) are of the type that sit on a dashboard of a car and are of little use - like this one. The term, "Battery Tender" has been around a lot longer than Deltrans' Battery Tender product (who's power-house marketing folks decided that naming a float charger after a commonly used phrase would be good for business).
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
Image

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Solar Powered Battery Tender

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:11 am

Placerville wrote:I need to clarify a comment I made above. When I used the words, "battery tender", I wasn't referring to an actual name brand (like the one WA posted). I was using the term in the generic sense e.g., "Hot Tube" rather than "Jacuzzi." The solar panel charger WA is showing looks good and has good reviews. It would be a good choice for a roof-top shop/garage mount installation. The solar chargers I was referring to (which get bad reviews) are of the type that sit on a dashboard of a car and are of little use - like this one. The term, "Battery Tender" has been around a lot longer than Deltrans' Battery Tender product (who's power-house marketing folks decided that naming a float charger after a commonly used phrase would be good for business).


You're right - the unregulated solar chargers like the one you posted, which put out full power regardless of battery charge state, will eventually destroy a lead-acid battery. They're worse than using nothing at all.




Return to “GL1000 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests