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Ohio Highway Patrol turns to the sun

The Ohio Highway Patrol are equipping 1,200 enforcement vehicles with 5-watt solar panels that trickle charge the vehicles battery system. The problem the solar trickle chargers solves for the Ohio Highway Patrol is when the enforcement vehicle’s engines are turned off, laptops and radios draw power from the battery which ends up deeply discharging and shortening the lifetime. Solar trickle chargers are installed on the back deck of each vehicle and is directly wired to the battery to provide an extra charge that not only increases the battery life but helps the vehicles conserve fuel. This is a great example of how even small solar panels can solve real world problems. What do you...

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solar trickle chargers explained

Ever wonder what the purpose of a solar trickle charger is..how are they different than traditional solar panels? A trickle charger is typically a low wattage solar panel with a purpose of keeping a battery’s charge topped off. Typically if your not using a battery it will start to discharge and if it gets to a point in which it gets too discharged your battery may lose the ability to hold charge. Have you left your car sitting without using it for a couple weeks? Did it start up? In some cases people can’t start their cars because the battery in your car will discharge everyday its not used. This is where a solar trickle charger comes in handy, since it can keep the battery in your car charged up. A trickle charger can be helpful if you live in a cool climate since batteries lose their charge in cold weather. Keeping your battery charged up keeps it more reliable and extends the number of cycles you can get out of your battery. Many people assume solar trickle chargers will not work well in cloudy weather although since the ICP Solar Trickle Charger is a thin film solar panel it actually performs well in low indirect sun. Larger solar trickle chargers such as the ICP sunsei SE-500 may need a charge controller to keep it from overcharging your...

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