About Solar-Powered Car Battery Chargers, Most places around us, homes, offices, or other buildings are trying to use clean energy for their work.
Solar power has proven here to provide eco-friendly and efficient energy to the equipment with the one-time installation of the system.
Solar energy powers everything, from simple calculators to camping equipment and even automobiles.
In this article, you will see how solar car battery chargers work and why they are preferable to regular chargers.
What are Solar-Powered Car Battery Chargers?
Every automobile battery has six cells, deriving 2.1V from each and getting 12.6V to power the car components.
If the voltage drops even 0.6V, the battery percentage will be from 100% to 25%.
That means you have to charge the battery immediately after some time. You can also check the discharge rate of your battery by using a voltmeter of the battery.
Solar-powered battery chargers are trickle chargers that charge the battery at a rate equal to the self-discharge.
Also, it has a single amperage setting, giving a minimal battery current, keeping eeps it fully charged at the nominal level.
However, it would be best not to use these chargers when using the car as they cannot keep the battery charged when the system is in use.
Hence you can say these solar chargers are best for only maintaining the charging of the battery and not for fully charging it.
However, some models may be specifically designed for the full charge using float charging.
How do Solar-Powered Car Battery Chargers work?
Solar chargers work on the basic principle that will help them to charge the car batteries with full potential. Also, it has proper connectors to use for the purpose.
The solar panel on the charger has photovoltaic cells or solar cells that get sunlight and convert its energy into AC or DC. This electricity then charges the car battery.
Moreover, the sunlight conditions do not matter much since these chargers work in direct sunlight and cloudy or hazy weather conditions.
While fixing these chargers, you only need to set them near a window or front dashboard where they can get sunlight.
That way, they will store the energy during the day and use it afterward.
Also, some solar chargers can directly link to the car battery, while others use the power socket or cigarette lighter place to feed the energy.
Benefits of a Solar Car Battery Chargers vs. Regular Charger
Caption: Solar panel in direct sunlight
People are shifting towards solar charging instead of standard methods for many reasons.
Solar chargers are eco-friendly because they use green energy, not derived from fossil fuel or other limited resources.
Instead, these chargers derive power from the unlimited daily sunlight and refuel your batteries perfectly fine.
Simple to Use
Solar chargers are extremely simple, so anyone with a car can use them to power their 12-volt battery instead of using traditional electric chargers.
It is because they do not require ampere and voltage readings, no multiple wires to deal with, and no maintenance routine to cope up.
Rather, you must put it under sunlight and charge it without hassle.
Additionally, solar chargers do not provide heavy current and voltage and, thus, are safer for beginner users.
Best for Car health
With solar chargers, you will never get a surge of power that might damage your battery’s inside because, unlike regular chargers, their power is lower.
Hence, solar chargers will never overcharge your battery, maintaining its health to a perfectly fine level.
As you can get sunlight anywhere, you can use solar chargers even in the midst of nowhere, which makes these chargers much more portable and convenient than their regular counterparts.
Finally, regarding money, solar-powered car battery chargers may seem more expensive than regular ones.
However, as you have spent that initial cost, no more charges follow.
It is because you aren’t paying any extra electrical bills after buying it for the rest of your life, which decreases the cost to almost half what you would’ve paid with a regular charger.
Limitations of using Solar-Powered Car Battery Chargers
Solar chargers might be eco-friendly, portable, and convenient but have drawbacks.
- First, it’s often not much help when stuck somewhere in a rainstorm or at night because the solar charger needs some sunshine.
- Solar chargers act like trickle chargers with low currents and are best for charging maintenance over time. Hence, you cannot use them for recharging fully dead batteries.
- Most solar chargers do not have voltage regulators, and thus you can’t control the power flow coming. Without any source of monitoring, you cannot leave the chargers on while connected to the battery.
- While charging a battery with a solar battery charger, you will need 5 to 6 hours of direct and uninterrupted sunshine, an average time most batteries take to charge fully. So you have to be vigilant with that as well.
- Finally, solar chargers may not be as much green resource as one might think because when broken, you cannot fully recycle every part of these chargers. Hence they add up to the environmental waste.
How to Choose the Right Solar Charger?
Caption: Solar car charging station
Getting a charger when you know what you want is pretty simple.
So, consider these things while looking for a good solar-powered car battery charger.
While searching for a solar charger, you should look for its efficiency rating, which is at least 20% or more ideally.
By efficiency, we mean two things; the way and timing of use.
A good solar charger can harness enough energy to charge the car battery for a few hours, even under direct sunlight.
Also, it can work in low light periods of the year, for instance, winters and rainy days.
Size and Weight
Size and weight should be of concern depending on the area you will use it for charging.
Most solar chargers tend to be wider and taller than traditional chargers, making it awkward to fix inside the car for charging on the go.
Moreover, they might only fix inside certain car models and not all.
Hence, purchase a charger you can keep in your car comfortably under sunlight.
However, you can choose a larger model if you charge the battery at home.
The power range for solar chargers is between 2 to 18 volts.
The higher the voltage, the higher will be the power it delivers.
Also, high-voltage chargers can charge the battery much faster than low-voltage chargers.
High-voltage chargers usually cannot overcharge the battery, but they do not have overcharge protection.
Thus, it’s better to buy something in your voltage range.
Cable and Connectors
Cables and connectors are the most important part of any charger since they will let it do the work it is supposed to do.
For most batteries, you should ensure that the charger has more than one 12V connector.
It will let you have multiple connections at a time.
Moreover, look for a longer charging cord, which will allow you to connect from larger distances.
Reverse Charge Blocking Diode
Reverse charge blocking diodes let the solar chargers retain the energy from sunlight all day.
For that, it simply prevents power leakage from the charger when no one is using it, which is one of the valuable features of most chargers.
For your assurance, you may want to look it in the product you are buying.
Using a solar-powered car battery charger is easy as the connection is not complex.
To buy the best solar charger, you need to look for the efficiency, cord length, and power it offers.
However, it is not for charging the dead batteries and only for keeping the charge level up all the time.
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