Best Solar Panel To Charge A 12v Battery

A solar panel can be a good option to charge a re-chargeable 12v battery.

Cars, Rv’s and campervans, motorbikes, marine boats & scooters can all use 12v re-chargeable lead-acid batteries.

The best solar panel to charge 12v batteries in such vehicles is usually a flexible or bendable solar panel.

These solar panels can be installed, uninstalled and transferred easily between uneven surfaces, but have enough output to charge a 12 volt battery.

In this short guide, we discuss the best bendable solar panel brand and model for this function.

Let’s have a look at it …

 

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Top Rated Solar Panel To Charge 12v Battery List

Best Solar Panel To Charge 12v Battery – Windynation 100 Watt Bendable Solar Panel (on Amazon)

 

Best Solar Panel To Charge 12v Battery: Reviews

Windynation 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel

We already reviewed this flexible solar panel in this guide.

But, some of the things that make this a good flexible marine solar panel are:

  • Works at 18 volts and can charge 12 volt lithium and lead-acid batteries – good for RV’s, electric bikes etc. > use it with a solar controller though
  • Can be curved to a maximum 30 degree arc
  • Very lightweight – only weighs 4lbs – easy to transport, install and remove
  • Frameless design, and 6 pre-fab metal reinforced mounting holes which can use temporary or permanent fixings
  • Can be mounted using adhesive or velcro as well
  • Weather resistant
  • Comes with connectors and connector cable

So you know how much room to make space for on your marine vessel:

Panel dimensions are 41.7″ (length) x 21.3″ (width) x 0.1″ (thick)

Where Can I Check This Solar Panel Out?

View the Windynation 100 Watt Bendable Solar Panel (on Amazon)

 

Best Solar Panel To Charge 12v Battery: Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

What Are 12v Batteries?

12v batteries can be used in a number of applications – cars, boats, rv and caravans, motorbikes & scooters & more.

These batteries are most lead acid batteries, and there are lithium ion batteries as well.

There are many variations of 12v batteries, so they are not all the same.

For example some are regular 12v batteries, and some are deep cycle (which means that use their full capacity at all times).

There is also to consider how much A/H worth of charge the battery uses up per day.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm the methods the battery can be charged by, and what the recommended power input type and amount is when charging.

 

What Types Of Solar Panels Are For 12v Batteries?

Flexible solar panels with solar regulators/controllers (to control the output so the panel output doesn’t damage the battery) are the best for charging 12v lead acid and lithium ion batteries.

Flexible panels between 100 to 200 watts are generally best for most 12v batteries that can be charged by a solar panel.

A single panel can work, or some people may choose to purchase 2 x 100 watt panels for example.

 

What Are Solar Panels Used For On 12v Batteries?

Flexible solar panels can be used to charge re-chargeable 12v lead acid and lithium ion batteries.

 

What Solar Panel To Get For A 12v Battery – How To Choose?

You want to check your battery is re-chargeable, and can be charger on solar or an inverter first.

To figure out what panels you need, and how many panels you need and the Wattage, generally the following calculations might apply:

Figure out how many hours worth of sunlight you have in the day

Look at how many A/H a day of charge your 12v battery uses

Multiply the A/H of your battery by 12v to get Watts per hour

Divide the watts per hour number by the number of sunlight hours in a day

This will tell you how many total watts you need to charge your 12v battery in a single day, and you buy the number of solar panels accordingly. Make sure you check the actual number of watts your solar panel and regulator set up produces

e.g. if you need 140 watts to charge your battery, it’s probably wise to have two 100 watt panels at the very least

Over allowing is smart because in reality you usually don’t get the full wattage that is stated on the solar panel anyway – it might be 10-25% less in some cases

 

It is always recommended you check with the panel manufacturer and supplier first though before you buy to confirm your calculations are correct.

Don’t buy the panels without confirming with them about the panels, the conditions you will be using them under, what you’re using them for, and other variables such as regulators and controllers that may effect the setup you need.

 

Features To Look For On Solar Panels For 12v Batteries

We discussed features to look for in flexible panels in our guide on flexible solar panels.

But, specifically for 12 volt batteries, you want to consider:

The wattage of the panels

The voltage the panel outputs at (usually needs to be at least 13.6 volts for a 12 volt battery)

Check what the manufacturer has specifically designed the solar panel for – charging 12 volt batteries? If so, what types?

 

Always cross check these features and information with that of your battery.

 

Solar Panels For 12v Batteries – Accessories

Regulator/solar controller

Extension cables

Inverter (usually not required)

 

Best Solar Panel To Charge 12v Battery: Resources

1. http://www.windynation.com/

 

 

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