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Solar panel for lift

LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 783 Mega Baller
Any recommendations on a solar panel to maintain battery for my lift? I have a cheap harbor freight panel that can’t keep up. Battery is shot now. What are you guys using ? I don’t have power at my dock. I don’t have much to mount to. Pic for attention.


  • PurdueSkierPurdueSkier Posts: 199 Baller
    My lift is powered by my boat battery and I have to connect and disconnect it with a quick plug each time. I haven't bought a solar setup yet but when I looked into earlier this summer Lake Lite was a very popular brand. Also turns out their factory is only about 30 minutes from my house.
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 408 Solid Baller
    I've swapped batteries every month or so even woth a solar panel, the spare stays on a tender in the house. If you run your hoist off the boat battery you lose a lot of current to the cables and the motor will run pretty slow.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,420 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2020
    Not a specific brand, but you just need a bigger one, more output capacity. They are available in a wide range. It's all what your budget can stand.
    How far away is A/C power? May be cheaper to dig a ditch and run some underground power, in the long run.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • WayneWayne Posts: 554 Solid Baller
    I have 2 batteries in series and am using a 24V, 20 watt solar panel from Lift Tech Marine. It works well but I’m planning to add a charge controller too. If you have a 12V setup usually a 10 watt solar panel is enough.

    I cooked a set of batteries 2 summers ago and started looking at RV forums and some of the off grid living forums for DC systems. Seems a charge controller really helps with battery life, I just got lazy and didn’t buy one yet but it’s on my list.

    What type of batteries are you using? Should be a deep cycle type and I would try to get ones that are serviceable. The set of batteries I killed was due to the water level in the cells. I think they were getting overcharged and boiled off the water then their death was inevitable.
  • BCMBCM Posts: 267 Baller
    I have never run a boat lift from solar but have run lots of field equipment and gate openers on solar. I have had good luck using a BatteryTender solar charge controller and an appropriate sized panel from Amazon. I have built about a dozen systems and have found that if you can figure out the size you need, it is often much cheaper to buy your own panel and controller than to buy a pre-configured system. The panel and controller I have for my gate was < $100, the system they sell for the gate is about $250, its been going for 6 years without issue (same panel and battery).
  • DWDW Posts: 2,296 Mega Baller
    Would linking a couple or few of the HF panels together provide enough charging power. Might be a low investment option (or test).
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,139 Mega Baller
    I bought a 15 watt solar panel from Northern tool for my lift ten years ago. Don't remember units name and can''t find same one at Northerns online store, but unit has a built in regulator so it won't overcharge the battery. Overcharging kills a battery quickly. Even with the regulator my battery usually only lasts 3-4 years
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • jimskijimski Posts: 588 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2020
    30 watt - 12 volt from lift tech
    Works great I can run it all day and have no issues.
    You should have a regulator on it or you’ll cook your battery
  • BS74BS74 Posts: 43 Baller
    Go to harbor freight and get their 900 watt tail gator for $130. Small and light weight.
  • TomHTomH Posts: 39 Baller
    I'm cheap and didn't want to spend what would have been almost $500 from Lake Lite for my 24V lift set-up. I grabbed an Aleko 20W/24V panel, waterproof charge controller, and connectors for $70 and change (12V panels are cheaper/easier to come by). Another $20 at the hardware store for some EMT conduit, aluminum angle, nuts/bolts, and hose clamps let me fab up the mount for the side of the lift. It ran all summer long without a single hiccup with almost daily use. Whatever you do, get a charge controller like others have mentioned, as it'll protect the batteries and keep the panel from discharging them over-night.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,420 Crazy Baller
    You might consider using 2 6V golf cart batteries in series, along with the above recommendations. That's the setup used in most all RV applications, and in some cases 4 6V batteries to run a 2KW inverter. 4 batteries adds to your overall cost though and I don't think that's necessary. Just throwing out useless RV info. You will have to monitor water level occasionally and add distilled water as needed.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • Mick04Mick04 Posts: 62 Baller
    Cheap, Amazon (Eco-Worthy) 25W 12v Solar charger with charge controller. $59. Wal-Mart 12v Battery lasted 4 years on it. Just started slowing down this year.
  • harddockharddock Posts: 184 Baller
    My Floe is 24V I have an older single panel from Floe that maintains both batteries all summer. Batteries are 10 seasons old. When removed for winter they are stored in my garage on Schumacher battery tenders. It came with a mount for the lift.
  • shoeskimanshoeskiman Posts: 15 Baller
    Loopski, Our previous lift we had the 24 VDC used a Lift Tech panel and two 12 batteries in series on a Shore Station lift. Two years ago we moved into our central Florida home and have the Basta hydraulic lift using a single 12 VDC battery. The system came with a 10 W panel that would not keep the battery charged in winter here.
    We ski 10.5 months of the year. So I found a 170 W BP used solar panel on FB for $50.
    I added a cheap solar controller (20 amp,) and it keeps the battery charged year round.
    The panel is mounted vertically on a post facing East. The panel is 70 feet away from the lift the wiring run in liquid tight conduit to the control box. We replaced the battery this spring after about 4 years. We pretty much use the lift 5 days a week so it is a very robust system and we are very pleased with the system.
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