Some weather conditions do not facilitate proper charging of the solar batteries. A good example is when you are camping in a very remote area where there is no electricity and the only device that can produce power is your truck. Will be practical to charge your dead solar battery using your car and how do you go about it?
Most batteries have the same design. They have identical terminals. The difference in the amount of current needed to charge the respective battery. Most batteries including solar batteries are lead-acid. You can use any effective charging method provided the battery and the charger are compatible. Keep reading this informative post to find out how you can revive your solar battery using a car.
Can I charge a solar battery using a car?
Solar energy might be an effective way of charging your solar battery. However, not all situations will allow you to rely on the sun on to charge your battery. If you have your car with you, then you might be able to improvise a way of charging the solar battery.
If your battery suddenly goes flat, you can use a jumper cable to revive the battery the process is not that hard.
The most effective way of using your car to charge your solar battery is by connecting a car alternator to a solar charging controller. You will need a solar charging controller since solar batteries can only handle the low voltage.
If the alternator has an internal regulator to control the voltage reaching the battery, then the controller is not necessary. Here is how you charge the solar battery
- Carry your solar battery closer to the car.
This is to enable the jumper cable to reach both t5he car battery and the solar battery.
- Locate both batteries terminals.
After locating the car battery, access the terminals and identify the positive and the negative terminal.
- Handle the jumper cable with caution
Ensure the black and the red alligator clamps do not touch especially if the cable is connected to the car battery.
- Connect the cable to the battery correctly
To prevent further damages to both your batteries check the following general manual on how you can connect the jumper cable.
- Start running the car engine
After connecting the two batteries you can start the car. Leave it for about 30 minutes to transfer current to the solar batteries.
- Check if the solar battery is recharged and disconnect the jumper cables.
If the battery has some charge, you can disconnect the jumper cable. Start by turning off the car.
You will then disconnect the negative clamp of the solar battery then the negative clamp on the car. You should then disconnect the positive clamp from the car and then the positive clamp connected to the solar battery.
Connect the solar battery back to the solar panel for normal charging.
Can you use a car battery charger to charge solar batteries?
If the charger is compatible with solar batteries, then it is possible to charge your solar batteries. Most car battery chargers are plug-in with a voltage of 110/240V.
Several plug-in car chargers have different settings for AGM batteries, lithium-ion, and flooded cell batteries. Check the specification of the battery before using the car charger. learn how to connect the car charger with your solar battery for effective charging.
Can Solar Batteries be Charged with Electricity
Is it possible to charge your solar battery with an alternative power source? Do you need any special additional equipment to connect the solar battery to the power source? Big question can I charge my solar battery using electricity during off-peak? If these are the questions you have been asking yourself lately, then you are in the right place.
Most solar batteries can be charged with alternate means when there is no sun. The only difference is the amount of current supplied to the battery when you use electricity. Check the type of solar battery you are using and check the battery rated voltage and current. This will help prevent damaging the battery from the high current produced by electricity.
How do you connect your solar battery to electricity?
Charging your solar battery with electricity can be effective when there is no sun. The problem is that it is not possible to know if the battery is fully charged. Charging your solar battery with electricity constantly might lead to overcharging.
You can follow the following procedure if you have an adjustable power supply.
- Connect the solar battery to the power supply.
- Ensure an ammeter is connected to the battery. An ammeter shows how the current flow to the battery.
- The battery should also be connected with a variable voltage output.
- Watch the battery current as you raise the voltage. The current should be 20% below the rated battery current.
- Check the battery temperature constantly and adjust if it is too high.
Charging your battery using electricity can reduce its life span significantly. This is because of the high voltage and current produced by electricity. You should only therefore only use electricity to charge the battery during an emergency.
How do connect the solar panels to the car battery?
Connecting the solar panel to the car battery might seem like a very simple process. However, it involves some complex considerations. This video will give you a view of how you can connect the solar panel to the car battery with ease. You only need to connect the wires to the panel and the battery. Before you connect you will need a;
- Solar panel
- Charge regulator.
Step 1. understand the connection
Most car batteries are 12V. one rule in the battery world is that you should not connect any battery above 5V direct to the power source. in our case, you should use a charger controller.
Step 2. Connect the battery to the charge controller
This stage requires a lot of safety precautions.
- Connect the negative battery cable to the battery terminal on the charger controller.
- Connect the positive battery cable to the battery terminal.
- The charge controller will turn on the light indicating the battery is connected properly.
Step 3. Connect the solar panel to the charge controller
- Here you will need MC4 solar adapter cables.
- Connect the positive cable to the MC4 inline fuse, and then the MC4 adaptor cable.
- Connect the negative solar cable to the charge controller and then connect the positive.
- Your charge controller will automatically turn on the light indicating the panel is connected properly.
Step 4 place the solar panel in the sun
This is the last step. Place the panel where it is exposed to sunlight energy to charge. It might take up to 10 hours for the battery to be fully charged.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are solar batteries car chargers worth it?
Yes. Solar batteries car chargers are quite effective. The battery charger is always connected to the battery which has a solar panel that harvests solar energy from the sun. This will help maintain the battery charge.
How long does it take to fully charge a solar battery using your electricity?
If your battery is completely dead, then it would be advisable to use regular chargers. It might take up to 5 hours to fully charge the battery using a regular charger.
How do you know if a battery charger is compatible with your solar battery?
Check the specification of your battery and see what type of chargers are compatible. Most solar companies sell all solar equipment together. This means that all their equipment is compatible.
How can I make my battery last longer?
Proper maintenance of your battery will help take the life span further years. Check the rated voltage and current of the battery to avoid damaging the battery with a high current.
If your batteries became faulty it would be advisable to replace them. Most solar companies provide a 30years warranty on their batteries.
Knowing the specification of the battery and the type of chargers it is compatible with will save you during those desperate times. You should always check the rate your solar battery rate of discharge before you go camping. You can also carry an extrasolar battery.
Be careful when charging your solar battery with electricity. Electricity produces a high current. Charging your battery with electricity should be always below 20% of the rated current. When deciding which battery chargers to use for your battery, check other customer reviews.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.