Solar battery chargers use the sun's energy to charge batteries. The technology behind the solar panels allows for up to 48V and 4000 Ah of capacity Lead-Acid or Ni-Cd battery charging. We will now dive into the more detailed outlook of solar battery chargers for 12V batteries. The batteries for most vehicles (like cars, boats, motorcycles, ATV, etc) are 12V. You will want a battery charger for your 12V battery if the vehicle has not been in use for some time. For example, the car's battery naturally drains because of the small electronic devices like onboard computer, alarm system, lock monitoring, etc. And you know that the battery life is shortened if it is not kept charged. Nowadays you have an option to charge your 12-volt battery with the power of the sun. Solar battery chargers are portable, lightweight, maintenance-free, eco-friendly and have no operating costs. A typical solar battery charger includes a waterproof solar panel, a charge controller, wires for attaching the charge controller to the battery via clamps or a cigarette lighter plug. The charge controller is in charge of the panel's output voltage regulation. The panel's output voltage will change depending on the sun's intensity at a given moment. A charge controller is required to modulate the voltage to, say, 12V and protect the battery from overvoltage.
Battery tenders, as the battery chargers are also known, help to maintain 12 V battery's charge when it's not actively used. You'd need one of those when you leave your vehicle not operational for several months. Solar powered battery tender operate just like regular battery tenders with a twist that you don't need an electrical grid. These devices come with a small and lightweight solar panel which makes them portable and not dependent on the grid. Solar battery tenders usually operate in outdoor conditions so they are bound to be waterproof and dustproof. Vehicles that would especially benefit from solar battery tenders are RVs and boats or cars that are not used frequently.
How Does Solar Powered Battery Tenders Work?
The 2 main components of a solar battery tender are the solar panel and charge controller. The controller converts the Direct Charge produced by the solar panel into a "smart" charge fed to the battery. The microprocessor featured in charge controller limits the available voltage to prevent overcharging and maintains a healthy charge level for an extended battery life. Solar battery tenders activate as soon as the Sun starts to shine on them and the charging speed depends on the Sun's intensity and the angle of the solar rays relative to the panel's surface.