car battery charging - solar panel huh?

OK i have a 91 350sdl mercedes. I like it a lot, but the problem is that when I am at school, the car usually just sits parked, and only gets run when I have to drive home or on a road trip or something. It is also fairly cold here, usualy 15-25 at night, so I am worried about the battery losing charge. Ive heard about solar panel battery chargers? What is this and how much does it cost / is it hard to install?

For now I am going to try letting the engine idle every few days for a little bit to at least charge the battery a little bit.

Are there any other maintenance issues I should be aware of to increase the life of my battery and make sure nothing bad happens?

Thanks)

Update:

I wouldn't mind investing 100$ in a good solar panel charger that keeps the battery topped off / prevents it from discharges at night. If they really do work I would deifnately be interested in one. Does anyone have experience with using them? Is it OK for the battery to keep it topped off like that? Because Iknow on my laptop for example, the batterys capacity has decreased from charging it back up when it is only at 90% or so. I would assume the same idea would apply for a car battery, no?

Update 2:

Also, how do I check what the voltage is right now on the battery. Since I know the solar panel is only meant to keep it topped off, not to charge the battery significantly

4 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    these work pretty well, aren't expensive and are easy to install. Usually they simply plug into the lighter or 12vpower socket and you place it on the dash. keeps a low trickle charge to the battery. Google it.

  • Nomadd
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The little 10 watt panels you see for sale are pretty much worthless for charging car batteries. If you keep a good battery and don't make lots of half mile trips, don't worry. It would take months for your battery to die if everything was working right.

    Don't lets the engine idle every few days. Nothing short of driving over an anti-tank mine is worse for your car than running for short periods like that. The exhaust and engine don't get hot enough to burn off the condensation and acids that form when you run the engine. Take it for a 10 mile drive once a week if you're worried about the battery.

  • 1 decade ago

    If the car is inside you can buy a product called Battery Life Saver which keeps the charge topped off all the time. It plugs in. It sells for about $30.00. If the car is outside then you can use one of the RV battery chargers that plug into the cigar lighter socket and can be placed on the dash. They sell for about the same price.

    http://www.batterylifesaver.com/battery-life-saver...

    http://www.siliconsolar.com/solar-battery-chargers...

  • 4 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Solar Power Design Manual - http://solarpower.duebq.com/?tbW
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