How To Connect A Solar Panel To A 12 Volt Battery?

By Matt •  Updated: 08/06/22 •  7 min read

A solar panel installation involves many small things. They are not particularly complex or critical yet can be challenging to gasp for newbies if they are unfamiliar with the system. Are you one of those people looking to know little things about solar installation? Then you are supposed to be here. 

This article will describe connecting a solar panel with a 12-volt battery. After reading it, you’ll be able to successfully connect a 12-volt battery to the rest of the solar panel. So, let’s get this show going without wasting any more time. 

Solar Inverter
Solar Inverter

How To Connect A Solar Panel To A 12 Volt Battery?

Connecting your solar panel to a 12V battery bank requires a few steps. Firstly, you have to mount your panels on your rooftop. Then you have to connect them to a charge controller. Finally, you have to hook up the battery with the charge controller. This is a simpler version of getting things done. 

But the solar installation and connecting it to a battery is a bit more complex. That’s why I’ve decided to show a step-by-step process of connecting a 12 volt battery to a solar system. We know that a solar installation needs a battery bank to store the electricity produced by solar panels. 

So, it’s crucial that you correctly connect the battery. You can do that following the below process: 

  • Firstly, you have to mount the solar panels on your roof. You have to mount them in the correct position so that it receives maximum sunlight. Moreover, you will have to mount them securely. 
  • Then you have to decide where to keep your charge controller and the battery bank. Keep them somewhere dry and cold. 
  • After that, you have to connect the panels with the charge controller. You can use an MPPT charge controller since they are the best option. 
  • Now it’s time to connect your charge controller with the battery bank. 
  • Finally, turn on your charge controller and see if it’s working correctly. 

This is how you connect your solar panel with a 12 volt battery. 

Do I need a charge controller?

A charge controller is definitely an integral part of a solar installation, and you cannot complete a solar panel installation without a charge controller. You are jeopardizing your entire solar system by excluding a charge controller from the equation. That’s why you must need a charge controller in your solar system. 

A charge controller has multiple responsibilities. It protects the battery from overcharging. A 12-volt battery can produce more than 12 volts if there is a lot of sunlight. It will get damaged if you directly connect the battery to the solar panel without a charge controller. 

So, a charge controller protects the battery from overcharging. Besides, it also protects the battery from deep discharge. A charge controller will prevent battery drain at night. So, your battery has all-around protection from a charge controller.  

Do I need a power inverter?

A power inverter is another essential component in a solar installation, and it does a significant job. Our solar panels produce Direct Current or DC and store it in the battery. But most of our electronic components run by Alternating Current or AC. So, an inverter works in between. 

It turns the Direct Current into Alternating Current and makes it usable for all the appliances. That’s why you must need a power inverter for solar panel installation in your home. But you must make sure you choose the right one for better performance. 

Do I Need A Fuse Between The Solar Panel And Battery?

In most cases, you need a fuse between your solar panel and the battery. It is to protect your solar panel wiring. Circuit breakers and fuses prevent the wire from getting too much hot. As a result, your solar panel wires won’t get damaged. 

Again, fuses work as a blocker and protect your appliances from getting fire if any short-circuit occurs. As a result, your solar system and the appliance in your house won’t become damaged because of the fuse you use between the battery and your solar panel. 

Can I Connect The Solar Panel Directly To The Battery?

You cannot connect a solar panel straight to the battery. It can damage the whole system. So, you have to use several precautions for that. A solar system requires a charge controller. It will protect your battery from overcharging, deep discharge, and battery drainage at night. 

You will also need fuses between the 12 volt battery and the solar panel. These fuses prevent the wires from getting excessively hot and eventually catching fire. It will also protect your home appliances from getting damaged if short-circuit occurs. 

Solar Panel To 12v Battery Wiring Diagram

A wiring diagram is a crucial element that helps understand a system. When it comes to solar panels and batteries, a wiring diagram will tell you how to install them and what components you will need. In the case of solar panels to a 12V battery wiring diagram, you will need a few essential components. 

This whole system requires solar panels, an MPPT charge controller, fuses, a battery, and wires. If you have multiple solar panels, you can install them either in series or parallel circuits. You will also have to use a power inverter to convert Direct Current to Alternating Current. 

How To Choose The Best Solar Panel For A 12V Battery?

A lot of brands now make solar panels. Some of them are very well-known brands worldwide. But rather than focusing on the brand, you should focus on which solar panel will give you maximum output for a more extended period with your 12V battery. 

Several things determine how good a solar panel is. You have to consider those things before going for a solar installation. We will discuss those factors here, so you have a clear understanding. 

Power output 

You will want maximum output from your solar panel. That’s why you need a panel that gives you the highest electricity conversion. Solar panels are rated by their wattage. A 100-watt solar panel will produce more electricity than a 50-watt solar panel. 

Similarly, you will get more output from a 200-watt panel. So, first, you have to determine how much energy you need. Then you have to design your solar system. 

Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency means how well a solar panel converts sunlight into electricity. A typical solar panel’s efficiency is around 15% to 20%. That means that panel can turn 20% of sunlight into electricity. 

Size

You will get various sizes of solar panels based on the solar panel type, number of cells, and brands. If you are planning on installing solar panels on your house, you will have to go for residential solar panels with 60 cells, which are 65 inches by 39 inches. 

Final Thoughts 

Most solar panel systems in single-family homes require a 12 volt battery. Using a larger battery bank will always keep the system in deficit. So, you have to select your battery carefully. Most importantly, you must connect the solar panel with your battery correctly; otherwise, it won’t work. 

References 

Beale, A. (2021, June 30). How to Connect a Solar Panel to a Battery: 5 Steps (w/ Videos). From Footprint Hero : https://footprinthero.com/how-to-connect-a-solar-panel-to-a-battery#:~:text=Don’t%20connect%20a%20solar,to%20a%20solar%20charge%20controller

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.