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Solar Charging Car Battery through Cigarette Lighter Outlet?

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  • Solar Charging Car Battery through Cigarette Lighter Outlet?

    My vehicle's cigarette lighter outlet is limited to 10 amps output.
    I understand that cigarette lighter outlets aren't ideal connection points.
    If charging were limited to less than 10 amps, would solar panel -> CC -> cigarette lighter outlet work for charging a car battery.
    Alternatively if car battery is float charging from cigarette outlet and vehicle is off,
    would running loads from another cigarette outlet create problems with the power going into the battery
    or potentially cause problems with the vehicle's electronics?
    Also, would running loads only when the sun is out be hard on a car battery in the long term?

  • #2
    Running many amps continuously from the cig lighter is risky, I have put an
    EC3 connector under the hood for reliable connections up to a dozen amps.
    Complete with fusible link to the battery. The EC3 is robust and cheap,
    used by the model hobby crowd.

    Small solar panels may be a big disappointment, esp if the vehicle draws
    much standby current (check it). Keeping the battery at best charge all the
    time will age it less than charge-discharge cycles. Bruce Roe

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    • #3
      I agree with Bruce. The cig lighter wiring may not be sturdy enough to handle continuous 2 way current flow. It was never designed for long term use as a charging port.

      IMO I would do what Bruce did and wire another charging port with 30 amp wire and fusing which could be hooked up to a solar charging device.

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      • #4
        In many cars (less so in trucks) the power port (cigarette lighter socket) is only energized when the ignition switch (or other mechanism) is in the Accessory or Riun state.
        SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by inetdog View Post
          In many cars (less so in trucks) the power port (cigarette lighter socket) is only energized when the ignition switch (or other mechanism) is in the Accessory or Riun state.
          Good point.

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