Looking for a new car battery charger? Have you considered a solar powered car battery charger but are unsure or need more information about them? Look no further, we take a look at the best solar car battery chargers to ensure that your car battery has a full bill of health all year round.
Car battery chargers are a brilliant piece of kit and ensure that you don’t have the inconvenience and stress of being greeted a flat car battery on your way to work of a morning. There really is nothing worse than rushing out of the door only to find your car produces a feeble attempt at starting due to lack of power from the battery.
A conventional car battery charger requires mains power which means you’re going to need a garage with mains power supply or use an extension lead. This can sometimes be extremely complicated and you’ve also got to consider how safe that’s going to be due to weather conditions etc. A solar powered car battery charger eradicates all of these concerns and can be used pretty much anywhere.
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Are you struggling for time and would like a quick overview of our best solar powered car battery chargers? No problem.
1. Allpowers Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger
The Allpowers Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger takes our number one spot for this review. It offers exceptional performance and also astonishing value for money, those two go hand in hand!
Despite being small in size, the Allpowers Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger can generate a hell of a lot of power and that is in part due to the technology it uses. The panel is made of mono-crystalline silicon which works in all daylight conditions and is the most efficient available on the market right now. Impressively, this technology allows the unit to charge up in really low light conditions.
Allpowers claim it is waterproof but only for light splashes of water, it certainly can’t be left outside of the vehicle. It’s small enough to sit on the dashboard so there’s no worries there.
From a safety perspective, it features a built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse discharge, which not only maintains the battery lifetime but also extends its usage life.
Included in the package is
1 x Car solar battery charger
1 x Car charger cigarette lighter plug(power cord 1.5m)
1 x Battery charging clip line(power cord 1.5m)
The key features of the Allpowers Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger are;
- Capable of producing 10w of energy and outputting 550mah
- Small in size
- Mono-crystalline silicon panel technology
- Blocking diode to prevent reverse discharge
- Inlcudes clips and 12v plug
2. Eco-worthy Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger
The Eco-worthy Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger offers exceptional value for money and great performance. A very close second to the Allpowers unit, it’s certaintly a more than capable runner up.
It offers the all important reverse charging diode protection which will protect the battery from leaking energy when not in use, an important consideration for any charger. Impressively, 4 suction cups are included in the package to affix the charger to your chosen surface.
It’s rated at 10w power output.
The included cables are all of good length with the main power cable being 57 inches, the cigarette lighter cable being 22.8 inches and the aligator clip cables at 22.8 inches too. It’s also extremely lightweight too at only 1.46 pounds!
The key features of the Eco-worthy Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger are;
- 10w power
- Reverse charging diode feature
- Includes all neccesary cables
- Dimensions of 14.37*9.25in (365*235mm)
- Includes 4 suction cups
3. TP-solar Car Battery Charger
Delivering 10w of charging power, the TP-Solar car battery charger is a great option for keeping car batteries maintained. Weighing only 8.8oz and a size 14.5*7.8 inch, it’s extremly lightweight and compact meaning it’s simple and ease to setup and use.
The panel is comprised of Mono-crystalline silicon panel technology which delivers excellent performance and extreme efficiency.
It has reverse diode charging protection which prevents the batteries from discharging backwards through the solar panels at night when charger’s voltage is lower.
A nice feature on this particular battery charger is the inclusion of an LED indicator light. The LED will illuminate to indicate that the charger is in the direction of the sunlight and charging up.
Included in the package is
- 1 x 10 Watt solar trickle charger
- 1 x 6.5ft Extension Cable
- 1 x Alligator1 x O-Ring Terminal (Inner diameter 1/5 inch) Clip
- 1 x Cigarette Lighter Plug
- 4 x suction cups & 2 x Carabiner Clips
The suction cups are a nice addition and allow for the unit to be secured safely to the surface upon which the charger is placed.
The key features of the TP-solar Car Battery Charger are;
- 10w power output
- Reverse charging diode feature
- Lightweight and small
- Simple to use
- Impressive included cables and accessories
- Mono-crystalline silicon panel technology
How Does A Solar Panel Battery Charger Work?
Without going into too much technical detail, a solar powered battery charger works in a similar way to a conventional battery charger with one main difference, the power source. Where a conventional charger needs a mains power supply of electricity, a solar powered charger is powered solar – light. When light comes into contact with the solar panel, it’s then converted into DC current. That DC current is then stored up and used as power for your car battery as and when you need it.
Solar powered car battery chargers have come a long way in the last few years and are now extremely affordable but much importantly, they now deliver great results. Granted, they won’t recharge a huge diesel battery from dead, but they’ll certainly keep your battery topped up sufficiently.
Almost all solar based chargers nowadays feature the use of Mono-Crystalline Silicon panels. This type of technology is extremely efficient and means that the unit can charge up even in low light condition. Previous generations of solar based chargers used to suffer enormously in low light conditons, this is however a thing of the past thanks to Mono-Crystalline technology.
What Are The Benefits Of A Solar Panel Car Battery Charger?
Preserve and prolong car battery life – Car batteries require regular charging in order to stay healthy. They are usually charged a car’s alternator when the engine is running. The battery power is used to start the car and then the alternator begins re charging the battery once the engine is running. If a car is not started and driven regularly enough, the battery will quickly degrade and eventually fail.
A solar powered car battery charger will keep injecting a small amount of charge into the battery to keep it’s cells active, thus preserving the life span of the battery and saving you money on a replacement. Car batteries are extremely expensive, a solar powered battery charger will ensure you’ll keep your existing battery in great condition and ready for use when needed.
Ease of use – A solar powered car battery charger is extremely simple and easy to use. A conventional mains powered charger requires some form of mains input which can sometimes involve complicated extension leads and waterproofing solutions etc. A solar powered charger simply just plugs in and charges, that’s it! Also, because a solar powered charger can’t develop as much power as a mains powered charger, there’s no concern over pumping too much power through the battery and frying it which would result in an expensive repair bill.
Cost Savings – A solar powered car battery charger doesn’t require any form of mains input in order to charge your battery, daylight is the only requirement and that’s free of charge! Because of this, you’ll save lots of money when comparing against the cost of a mains powered car battery charger. A few years ago, solar powered battery chargers used to be fairly expensive and used to cost more than their mains powered counterparts. However that’s not the case anymore, a good quality solar powered charger can be had for almost the same price as a mains powered equivalent. It’s a no brainer, we all love cost saving, right?
Considerations When Buying A Solar Powered Car Battery Charger
Buying a solar powered car battery charger is pretty straight forward but there are a few important key considerations to bare in mind when purchasing. First of all;
Reverse Charging Diode – Almost all solar powered battery chargers will feature a reverse charging diode, but not all. Essentially, what this does is prevent the stored up energy from being leaked out when the charger isn’t in use and supplying energy. If the charger is likely to leak out energy, it’ll be at night time when there’s no sunlight.
Power output – You’ll want to pay particular attention to how much power the charger can kick out. Power output can range from anywhere between 1v to 18v so there’s quite a variance between them. Naturally, if you go for a more powerful unit, you’ll be able to pump more power into your car battery. One thing to consider here is how long a charge is going to take, this is intrinsically linked to the power output of the unit.
Size and Dimensions – The size of the charger is another important consideration. Have a think about where you’re going to keep the charger whilst it’s in use, for example you may wish to keep it on the dashboard of the vehicle. In this case, you’ll need to find a charger that’s relatively small in size and is going to fit in the available dashboard space. Solar powered car battery chargers come in a range of sizes and dimensions, be sure to check this when purchasing one.
Solar Powered Car Battery Chargers FAQ’s
Q. Will a solar powered battery charger recharge a dead car battery?
A. A solar powered battery charger isn’t designed to revive a dead battery, they simply don’t have enough power to do that. If you have a dead battery that requires reviving, you’d be best looking at a mains powered battery charger. You can check our review of the best car battery chargers to see the best ones.
Q. How long should I leave the solar battery charger connected for?
A. The answer to this question is going to be very much dependant on a few different factors. First of all, it depends on the size of the battery that you’re trying to charge. For example, a big engined diesel vehicle will have a much bigger capacity battery than say a small petrol car. The big diesel battery is likely to take much much longer to reach a full charge. Secondly, it also depends on the current state of the battery that you’re trying to charge. Naturally, if the battery is heavily depleted of existing charge, it’s going to take longer to reach a full charge. One thing to bare in mind and an important consideration, is that most solar powered battery chargers don’t have built in overcharge protection. This means that you shouldn’t leave them connected permanently as you could end up damaging the battery.
Q. Are solar battery chargers effective?
A. Solar panel car battery chargers are extremely effective as long as your expectations are reasonable and achievable. As we mentioned earlier, don’t be expecting to revive a completely flat car battery, that’s not going to happen. They will however provide your car battery with a small, constant trickle charge which will ensure that the battery is kept in good health and ready for use as and when needed. The use of Mono-Crystalline silicon panels has really transformed things in the last few years, prior to that the technology wasn’t really all that great. The mono-crystalline panels are a revelation in terms of their efficiency and also their ability to charge in the lowest of light conditions, this is an extremely important factor for any product that relies on solar technology, naturally!
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