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post #6 of Old 08-19-2018, 07:36 PM
RedOctobyr
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I think it's a 7.2V NiMH. That's likely the nominal voltage. I believe those are 6-cell packs. My NiMH cells are about 1.3V when fully-charged. So I expect that pack would be about 7.8V when fully charged.



It might be possible to rig up something to take the output from a higher-voltage panel, and drop it down to, say, 7.5V, which would be 1.25V/cell. There are DC-to-DC voltage converters that can reduce (buck) down a higher voltage to an adjustable lower voltage. But I don't know how to do that properly, to manage the fact that the converter wouldn't consistently be powered, for instance. The simplest thing to do is just bring the battery in and keep it charged.



You could try just disconnecting it during summer. If there is a small parasitic constant drain on the battery, which gradually makes it go dead, then disconnecting it might be enough that you don't have to charge it during the off-season. At least if they used Low Self-Discharge (LSD) NiMH cells, like the Eneloop cells. Those can sit for a year, and only lose like 5-10% of their charge.



In that case, just disconnecting the pack might be enough so that you don't have to worry about it. I believe the blower charges the battery while running, so it's just the off-season where you need to worry about charging.



nwcove, yours perhaps has something else going on as well? 3 cells at 1.3V each would be about 3.9V when fully-charged. So maybe it's doing more than just sending the panel's 6.3V directly to the cells? Maybe there's something that manages charging them.

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