Do solar battery trickle chargers work?

By Matt •  Updated: 03/27/22 •  7 min read

Having tools that help in maintaining your solar battery performance are vital. You will need assistance charging when the weather is not ideal for charging, when you want to store a battery for long, and charging large batteries. A solar battery trickle is a tool that fulfill all these functions. 

In this article you will learn what a solar battery trickle is, how it works, and what to expect when using a solar battery trickle with your solar panel. Brace yourself and let’s get started. 

Solar Inverter
Solar Inverter

Does a solar battery trickle chargers work?

Using solar energy to power your residence holds so much power. Solar energy is free, eco- friendly and readily available. Despite its advantages, powering your home with solar energy have its share of  downsides. 

Depending on where you live, the sun can disappear for a days. This might lead to your battery getting drained. To prevent that, it is better you invest on tools that work best with your solar panel to keep your solar battery alive for long. A solar battery trickle is one of those tools. So what exactly is a solar battery trickle and does it work?

A solar battery trickle is a performance tool that aims at charging your solar battery at a low but steady rate.  The solar panel powers the trickle which in turn charges your battery.

This low-power devices are ideal for smartphone, laptop, and other devices. They can also charge a battery for a long time without overcharging it. Some solar battery trickle have a built-in solar controller that prevents overcharging. 

You can use an external solar controller such as solar battery maintainers for the same purpose.

How does a solar trickle work?

Installing and using a solar battery trickle is quite straightforward. 

  • You will need to connect the solar panel to battery,  then the solar battery trickle is automatically detected. 
  • The solar battery will then collect energy from the sun and sends it to the battery for charging. 

When choosing a solar battery trickle you should consider factors like; size of the battery, the rate of discharge of the battery and the price of the solar battery trickle. 

Most solar battery trickle produces 5-10watts. You should therefore buy a trickle that matches the capacity of your battery. With the low power generated by the solar trickle, it will take along of time to charge a large battery.

Can I leave a solar trickle charger on all the time?

A solar battery trickle is a low-power device, it cannot damage the battery when left on for a long time. However, if the sun is too hot, the trickle lacks the capability to shut off charge from flowing to the battery. You should use a solar battery controller to protect the solar batter from overheating which can cause fire.

If you are planning to store the solar battery for a while, the solar battery trickle will be sending small amount of power to the battery. This will protect the solar battery from discharging and draining the battery. 

Will a solar trickle charger charge a dead battery?

It depends if the battery is entirely dead or just flat. A solar battery produced low power. It can send the low power produced to a flat battery to revive it over hours. 

One big advantage is that even when the sun is low, the trickle will detect some light an charge the battery. It will still take about 10 hours for a solar battery trickle to charge a battery fully. 

  • You should take good care of your battery to prevent it from becoming defective. 
  • Ensure the solar battery is placed on the path of the sun. 
  • You should also regularly clean the panel for maximum solar energy harvesting. 
  • A solar battery trickle shows the level of charge in a battery.
  •  You can check if the battery is about to become flat. 
  • If you connect the trickle and notice the battery is not working, the battery might be faulty. 

There is no solution to a dead battery. You will need to replace with a new one as soon as possible.

Do solar powered battery tenders work?

Solar powered battery tenders are ideal battery charger. They help charge the battery at a higher speed than when using a solar panel only. Maintainers also control the amount of power reaching the battery. This protects the battery from overheating which might damage the battery permanently. 

Solar battery maintainers can be used to protect solar batteries from dying from complete drain. They retain some charge in the battery when the batter is not in use.

Can I trickle charge my car battery with a solar panel?

Solar battery trickles are rated differently. You can find a trickle that matches the capacity of your car battery. Some solar trickle are tiny and portable. You can keep them in your car when travelling.

You will need only 20% of power from the solar battery to start the engine. The car then generates the power it uses to move. 

  • Place the solar panel on the window or on the dashboard. 
  • It then harvest sunlight energy that is used to charge your battery.
  •  A solar battery trickle will help maintain the charge in car battery.
  • To protect the trickle from overcharging the battery, use solar charger controllers.
  • You can leave the solar battery trickle connected to your car battery when a controller is present.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you connect the solar battery trickle to the solar panel directly?

It is not advisable to connect a solar battery trickle to the solar panel directly. This is because, a trickle lack the capability to stop current from flowing into the solar battery. Over long time, the excess power might lead the battery to overcharge and explode. 

Ensure you use high quality solar battery controllers. Charge controllers regulate the amount of charge that flows in and out of your battery. This improves performance while protecting the battery.

Is a solar battery trickle expensive?

Solar battery trickle are quite affordable. The trickle price depends on the brand you are going for, the size and the wattage produced. 

Standard solar battery trickle price range between $30-$80. You should however invest in a quality trickle. This will save you unnecessary trips looking for replacement. 

Is a solar battery trickle any good?

If you have a 12V or a flooded lead-acid battery, then having a trickle will be helpful. The article has outline some of the pros of using a solar battery trickle. 

  • They draw power from the sun therefore cost friendly. 
  • Solar battery trickles can be used anywhere. They are external tools and can be used on cars, boats and camping site. 
  • Thy can help maintain the charge in a battery when its not in use. 

How many types of solar battery trickles are there?

There are two type

  • Smart trickle chargers: They show the level of charge in your battery. They stop flow of current into the battery when its fully charged. 
  • Dumb trickle chargers: They are the traditional type of chargers that are opposite of the smart trickles.

Conclusion

A solar battery trickle is a vital tool for your solar lighting system. It harvest energy from the sun to charge the battery. Trickles produce low power therefore rarely cause an overcharge.

Matt

I’m Matt, a computer and electronic embedded system developer. Currently, working as an electronic engineer. In my leisure time, I do love to blog about technology stuff. Specially, new advance high tech devices. Portable solar systems are one of topic that I love to investigate. They are becoming more powerful day by day which keep me alert.