The frequency of using car electronic devices is growing every day, thereby creating the demand for recharging these devices without using the power grid. The portable solar car charger is regarded as one of the most sought-after sources of energy because it allows restructuring the sun energy to electricity that the battery can store. It also can be effective when it’s impossible to get entry to AC power, but you should be certain that the battery will handle the caseload and will contain energy for productive work. Frankly speaking, this device isn’t a great solution for vehicle’s dead battery charging.
The solar battery charger for cars usually consists of the photovoltaic panel, which is mounted on the dashboard and is connected to the automobile cigar lighter plug. The charger may be extremely necessary when parking a car for a long period, as well as for recharging the battery in winter. The solar battery chargers for cars frequently include a 15-20W photovoltaic panel, a decoupling diode, and a cable with a plug for the vehicle’s electrical system connecting. Such a panel can recharge a battery with a capacity of 45-75Ah without using a charge controller. If you don’t need to recharge the battery but charge it during the day, then another panel (rated at 30-60W) can become wholesome. In this case, a charge controller is required, which will protect the battery from overcharging.
Let’s get acquainted with solar battery charger reviews and find out their positive and negative peculiarities.
The Best Solar Car Battery Charger Reviews
Battery Tender 021-1163 – 5W Panel with Reverse Polarity Proofing
This 5W device includes a special microcontroller that doesn’t allow the unit to be damaged by overcharging. This product has a light on the front to indicate when the charging process is started and when the battery has a full charge. The assembly quality is really high because there are no cracks or starches on the panel after falling from an impressive height. Even plastic side edges look reliable and don’t break even after putting pressure on it.
The solar powered car battery charger is rather small (17.8 x 17.8 x 3 inches) and is able to operate in all the weather conditions because its corps is epoxy-filled. The manufacturer supplemented the product by the temperature supervision and tracer sensors. It weighs only 2.5 pounds, so can be easily installed on any surface. The whole kit includes many accessories and an informative manual for performing the setup process independently.
- The unit is waterproof and sparks proof, so it will work even while standing outdoors.
- It’s easy to remove all the dirt from the device’s surface, using a simple sponge.
- The lights that signalize about the charging status can help control the process.
- The car battery solar charger has special holes for simple installation in the corners. Such peculiarities allow the device to be safely fixed.
- Even the smallest shadow reduces charging speed.
- 5-foot cord, which goes in a kit, is very short for everyday use and it’s better to purchase the longer one.
ALLPOWERS AP-18V5W – Mono-Crystalline Silicon Panel with Built-In Blocking Diode
The ABS plastic panel is very reliable. It’s easy to plug the unit directly into a car’s power port or use the special alligator clips for a straight coupling to the battery. The set also contains suction cups that can connect the mentioned product broadly to the windshield or fasten it to a visor due to the modern back strips.
The user has to remember that the residuary power of an ALLPOWERS AP-18V5W has to be no less than 60% before attaching it, and the car owner has to check its power lever before each affixing.
- The solar charger for car battery has a modern design and looks like a stylish gadget.
- It’s rather small (12.6 x 5.0 x 0.12 inch) so it can be allocated inside the car, gather the sun and not to hinder the driver.
- The unit doesn’t require the bright sunlight. It greatly works even on the overcast day.
- The device is not regarded as completely rainproof. It has the technical basis to withstand a few drops but may break down being under the heavy rain.
- This solar car battery charger is not completed with overcharge protection, it has only discharge maintenance.
Sunway Solar 3W Solar Trickle Charger – Eco-friendly Device with Indicator
This automotive battery charger can be easily fixed to the windshield. It also has handy plugs into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter (12V). The special cable for connections, which is included in the set, is rather short, so it’s better to buy a longer one. The device itself is very sturdy because it’s coated with ultra-clear PV glass and has an ABS plastic corps that doesn’t break even after multiple falls.
- The device is waterproof. It will remain intact and perform its duties even while being in high humidity.
- The indicator’s light correctly displays the state of charge.
- Sunway Solar contains a built-in diode, which precludes reverse charging.
- It’s thoughtfully constructed and quite small (13.9 x 0.5 x 5 inches).
- There is no inbuilt solar battery maintainer that protects against overcharging.
- Battery life can be greatly shortened if the owner won’t keep it charged.
- The plastic parts get heated up under the direct sunlight and it seems that charger’s panels are capable of melting down.
Suaoki Versatile 18W – A Device with Inbuilt Blocking Diode
This modern solar battery charger for car weighs only 0.7 pounds, so it can be easily transported and doesn’t add pressure on the windshield or the front panel of the car’s interior. It’s also very thin, has a really wide absorbing area, and is visually presentable (16.5 x 11 x 0.1 inches). The device stays outside of the car during the whole rainy night and its functional features haven’t deteriorated due to the influence of such weather patterns.
A special blocking diode is able to avert the batteries discharging (even in night time). This Suaoki product improves the conversion effectiveness by up to 22.5%. That is significantly higher than can propose other conventional panels (≤15%).
- This solar panel doesn´t need the cigar lighter plug to start charging.
- The unit doesn’t become overheated even staying under the direct sunlight.
- Crocodile clips help hook up the panel specifically to the battery. They fix well and hold securely.
- The suction cup reliability is questionable. The panel can easily fall down.
- The cigarette adapter is hard to call a standard one, so it simply does not fit into the socket.
POWOXI Solar Battery Chargers 7.5w-B – Durable and Anti-Reverse Charging Panel
This unit has a built-in blocking diode structure, which prevents the reverse discharging. The charger for car batteries can be conveniently inserted in the 12V cigarette lighter. It stays unbroken even after the falling. Such enhanced durability is possible due to the highly translucent and lowly iron tempered glass, which also promotes the wind and snow sustainability. POWOXI solar battery charger has a compact size (14 x 9 x 1.7 inches), so it will be held up on the attached place as long as you need.
- The device can greatly work even in heavy frost and hailstorm.
- Obtained battery energy is ECO, safe, and convenient.
- The assembly grade is amazing. The panel is designed to prevent backlash, even plastic components look very reliable and doesn’t smell.
- The jumper cables, which tie it directly to the battery, are very lame and their long-term connectivity is doubtful.
- The user manual is incomplete and it might be challenging to solve the possible function problems.
Nature Power 7.5W – Amorphous Product with 11 ft. of Cabling
The device is very light-weighted (3.46 pounds), so it can be placed anywhere in a car. Its modern heavy-duty frame is made of a reliable material and doesn’t produce squeaking. The special protection glass keeps the inner construction from the water, so the Nature Power is enough for everyday use even under the pouring rain.
The battery wear is very slow because there are no moving parts, which can become the basic failure reason. The product itself is versatile and can be used for every vehicle type due to its functional possibilities and compact dimensions (14.2 x 14 x 1.5 inches).
- The unit is supplemented with an inbuilt blocking diode, which protects the batteries from being drained.
- The battery clamps and mounting bracket are included, so the Nature Power using becomes more convenient.
- The blue LED light signals that the device is absorbing the sun-power. As a result, it becomes easier to control the panel’s efficiency.
- The clouds may significantly reduce the level of received energy.
- The device is useless when the battery is fully discharged.
SUNER POWER 12V – Safe Amorphous Solar Device
The unit is amended by the durable upgraded ABS frame, which is reliable and can protect the device from mechanical injuries. It’s very fast to install the panel because the professional knowledge and special tools are not required for successful placing and connecting. The device can be replaced hands-down and fixed securely on the sunniest place. It has a very compact size (12 x 8 x 0.7 inches) and won’t spoil the car’s interior design.
- The panel performs its task greatly even in cloudy weather condition.
- It won’t overcharge the battery due to the inbuilt blocking diode.
- The panel’s surface is covered with a premium strong solar glass and is capable of withstanding the high humidity.
- Suction cups are not reliable. The device falls from time to time.
- The manual is useless because it doesn’t include the clear and direct instructions, which explain how to act in each specific case.
What solar car battery chargers benefits are the most important?
The devices have lots of proven advantages, but the most significant ones are as follows:
Independence. The unit is getting energy from the sun, so it doesn’t need the additional electrical power source to do its job. The process itself is next: panels transform absorbed energy to DC power that quickly goes to a battery, retaining it greenly charged. The device is ready to start working at any moment.
Applicability. As practice shows, most of the best solar car battery chargers work while the car is driven. The device is plugged suitably into the 12V lighter socket (which is usually placed on the auto’s dashboard) and the panel can be set somewhere on a sunny place (dash), gathering the energy.
Temperature flexibility. The automotive battery chargers can withstand the temperature 175 degrees Fahrenheit, so they will show the great result both in cold winter and in hot summer.
How many watts of solar panel are needed to charge a 12V200Ah battery?
The answer depends on the potential charging duration. Let’s imagine that the battery has a 10% charge and there are 6 hours (of peak sunlight) for full energy replenishment. After simple calculations and taking into account the irradiance, conversion, and some battery losses, we get the answer: panels with 450W would charge the 12V200Ah in 6 hours.
How to use automotive solar battery chargers?
It’s uneasy to find the best solar car battery charger, but each device has the same methods of use. The first things that are required are battery clamps, charge controller, and the battery itself. The next step is to connect clamps to the car battery. Subsequently, the battery clamps have to be plugged to the charge controller. The last tool will help you not overcharge the device. The final step consists of the charge controller connecting to the charger.