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on March 21, 2017
Very good build quality with excellent cables and connectors, but like many have said, it won't keep up with my vehicle's battery drain. Maybe if it were bright summer sun everyday, but not every day is, and once the battery starts going down in voltage, this solar charger never gets it back to where it should be. Some reviewers blame that on the unit's LEDs that stay on all night, BUT those LEDs are only using .01 amps, going by my meter's measurement, or roughly .12 watts. My vehicle uses more than that when sitting idle, and you have to consider the fact that Lead Acid batteries lose roughly 1% per day even without vehicle drain, so you have to overcome that as well. In theory this unit should do the job, and I'd guess it does on a disconnected or isolated battery, but unfortunately isn't keeping up with battery drain in my case.
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on February 22, 2013
I have been looking for a cheap and easy way to keep a charge in my Jeep Cherokee's battery since it is a secondary vehicle and not driven very often. The NOCO 5W Solar Battery charger seems to have fit that bill. The battery charger seems to keep the battery charged even on these cloudy wintery days in Michigan. The instructions for use were pretty straight forward. So far the charger seems to be doing a very good job.
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on September 27, 2017
What I know so far:
- It looks to be of surprisingly good quality.
- It is late afternoon and heavy overcast and it generates only 9.7 volts with a voltmeter between terminals, and 16.7 milliamperes with the amp meter between the terminals.
- Some reviews reported that it drains your battery dead at night so I tested. In complete darkness I had to switch from the milliampere scale to the microampere scale to get a reading. It showed 3 micro amps of backflow. Solid state electronics can't block much better than that. At that rate it would take 1667 hours/69 days continuously of no light to bring a 10AH battery down to 50%.
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on September 5, 2017
I have a couple old stand-up jet skis on lifts in the water that I don't ride that often so every time I went to ride them the batteries were dead. I keep the batteries on a .75 W Genius charger in the off-season so I had the leads installed on the batteries. Running 110 V out in the water is doable but kind of a hassle with the extension cords and chargers. Took these out tonight and plugged them in and let me just say it could not get any easier to keep a couple $100 + batteries fully charged. I'm not a solar geek but it's kinda cool to use the sun. I also purchased 2 of NOCO GC027 12V 2A Flex Regulator but I am not really sure these are absolutely necessary. And by the way I have around ten of the .75 W Genius chargers and they are on everything when I'm not using them--two tractors, old Bronco, camper battery, etc... Maybe I'm a NOCO geek.
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on October 1, 2017
2 YEAR STATUS (Happened to me, too...):
Glass "exploded" while in use. The black plastic frame around the panel severely warped and cracked the glass, leaving a shower of glass "dust" on my dashboard and the solar panel with a one-inch diameter shallow "crater" in the panel's surface (see photo; white specks are minute glass shards). Like another reviewer here notes, the panel was just sitting on the car dashboard, and I also do not live in a hot climate. Panel should be covered under "Free-Replacement Phase 1" of the 5-year warranty. Contacted NOCO but they said to send it back to them only if it was not "functioning to specifications" (?); I also have a Goal Zero Maintainer that remains intact and performing reliably after two years. (I would also like to speculate that a pre-existing "bubble" defect or edge chip in the glass panel during manufacture or assembly could have been a contributing factor.)
review image
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on October 24, 2017
Installed on brand new 5th wheel camper, camper was pre wired for solar battery maintainer, battery has cut off switch when camper not in use. Picked up new camper in June, battery never went dead while stored, in late August installed battery solar maintainer prepping for winter, 3 weeks later went back to camper and 12 volt battery dead. Plugged camper in for the weekend, then when stored unplugged solar maintainer and shut battery off, battery OK one week later. Only time battery went dead while stored was when solar maintainer was plugged in. Researched reviews and this is not first claim of discharging battery.
Went to auto parts store and bought Schumacher brand solar maintainer and now have that installed, will update findings.
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on November 15, 2014
Installed this for the first time today, so way too early to tell how it actually works in the field, so this is mostly an observation as to build quality, ease of mounting, etc. We're using it to keep the main starter battery topped off during the winter months when our Sprinter van sits idle. Trickle charge is the name of the game, and we're comparing this to the Sunco 1.8 watt trickle charger that we purchased at the same time to do the same thing for my son's Ford E-250. Will update in a few months. In both cases, we are plugging directly into an always active 12 volt cigarette lighter socket.

So far, the Sunco is neat because it is considerably smaller for storage when not in use, but the Noco is hardly overly large. The Sunco came in difficult to open shrink wrap packaging that will be difficult (but not impossible) to reuse for storage when not in use. The Noco's packaging is more re-usable friendly. The Sunco seems of cheaper construction overall, but perfectly adequate for use inside a windshield--they are careful to specify that it is NOT weatherproof. The Sunco mounting suction cups are very, very small, and in spite of pre-cleaning the inside of the windshield and applying a bit of moisture to the cups, did not hold well, but ultimately are holding adequately. The Noco's cups are substantial--the challenge here was mounting them to the unit, as the nubby ends did not easily penetrate and lock into place. A bit of experimentation worked, and using a small screwdriver or the tip of the ignition key to manipulate the nub from side to side while applying pressure to the suction cup from the other side yielded positive results, and the nubs have all snapped into place securely. The construction overall seems much better, and they advise applying a bead of silicon if you're going to use it outdoors, but it is intended for outdoor use. A very nice feature is that there are two led lights--one on the cord of the charging unit, so you can tell that it is functioning, and the other on the cigarette lighter plug in cord, so you can verify that it is live.
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on June 16, 2016
I got the 2.5W solar charger+maintainer. I measured its output using a multimeter. It's about 1A or 1000mA even it's placed in the car with slight window tinting(70% light get thru). You know there's power generated thru a green led or diode light situated on the plug. There's also a red light on the car adaptor when installed together. Pretty sure there's power generated but there's little info on the charging. At this price and because it's a solar panel I cannot complain much.
I got it with the GC027 flex regulator which is not working. Plugged it inbetween the solar panel and car adaptor. There's no light coming out of the regulator and the car adaptor. Used a multimeter and got no indication of power. At first I thought it's a dud but manage to remove the label sticker and saw the integrated circuit with 2 regulator chips (not posting the pic out of respect to the maker). Not sure what went wrong but I do not think I will be getting the usb version.
I asked for a replacement for the regulator. But somehow it's taking very long to deliver. The overall experience is somehow disappointing I gave it a 3/5 stars.
Update: Zero stars for the flex regulator. Even with the replacement it's not working. There's nothing coming out of the regulator. I give up.
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on March 17, 2014
In my bit to be “green” I bought a 12V battery, 100 Watt inverter, and a 1.25 Watt solar panel. The idea was to set the panel up in a window, let it charge the battery, and use the inverter to charge up my smart phone, iPOD, and iPADS. The problem was the 1.25 Watt panel I originally purchased really had no effect on this size/capacity battery. So, I bought 2.5 Watt panel and it has worked perfectly. It gets sun most of the day and keeps the battery charged just enough to re-charge the devices, though the iPADS suck up more juice than the smart phones, so occasionally it shuts off during charging. But, I’m now able to recharge most of my devices with this panel/battery/inverter configuration. The savings are of course fairly minimal, but it is nice to not have to pay the electric company for this power, however small it is. So…anyway. This panel does what it says it will do. I'm not using it for any high draw electrical items, just to recharge mobile devices. It will take a few days of good sunlight to recharge the battery when it gets too low to power the inverter.
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on October 17, 2014
Very well made, decent gage wiring. I've had these types of panels come apart at the wiring because the wire is so thin, which is fine for the amperage but a small yank and it comes apart, this panel doesn't have that problem. Comes with a cigarette lighter adapter and clips and different mounting pieces for different applications. I verified wattage with a meter and it is correctly rated. I always derate all solar panels to 80% to get a realistic idea of the power I can actually get to account for all the losses, cloudy days, etc. I'm using this to keep my hunting truck battery charged since it sits for 3 months at a time in the off season.
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