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Discussion Starter #1
Ooops! My bad! I should have written, "Black and Decker CMM1200" cordless lawn mower. Anyway, that's the mower I use and have used for a number of years now (bought it used at the Habitat ReStore). My question is, could I use my big but old solar panel array (also bought at the Habitat ReStore. It came off a sailboat) to trickle-charge the mower? The panel is about 18" x 36" and puts out 7V or 8V on a good day. Since Irma, I've been using it to keep external phone batteries charged up. The mower is 24V (two 12V 18AH sealed lead acid batteries); its charger's output is 30V, 1.2 amps. I mow my lawn once a week in the growing season, so the panel would have a week to charge the batteries. Is this project worth wasting any more of my valuable life-energy on? Your practical advice is invited.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to offend. Moderator(s), please move this thread as appropriate. Thanks.
 

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low cost 500 Watt wind generator for 12 volt battery charging-- have one for the Ham shack

AND a small wind system LOOKS cool :)
 

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Yes! Although your solar panels sound suspect. Most "12V" panels operate at a "max power point" of about 17-18V, and a solar charge controller is used to charge lead acid 12V batteries. (maybe you have "6V" panels?).

I have a very similar mower, 2x 18AHr 12V batteries in series for a 24V motor. For years, I did exactly as you are thinking, had 3x 15W harbor freight panels and a solar charge controller. 3 days of good sun would indeed recharge the batteries, although not very convenient to leave everything outside. After one night of heavy dewing, my charge controller died. These days, my house has both an off grid 200W 12V PV system, and a 5KW grid-tie system.

I still have the same mower, I had to replace the 12V batteries a few years ago from wear. The mower itself has no low voltage cut-off. I have a heavy duty DPDT switch on the battery box, that allows me to switch it from 12V to 24V. 12V to recharge, 24V to run the mower. My 12V off-grid system has it's own 12V batteries, they "float" at about 13.5V, and ~13V is distributed throughout the house (a bit lower at night). So the mower batteries I now just plug directly into the 12V home distribution voltage.
 
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