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

written By Matthew Joseph Nandirio   Reviewed by Dinu Sri Madusanka, PhD •  Updated: 12/29/22 •  4 min read

A solar panel installation involves many small things. They are not particularly complex or critical yet it 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. 

Which materials & tools do you need to wire up this system?

Materials

  • Solar Panel
  • 12- volt Battery
  • Charge Controller
  • Power inverter
  • Wires and wire connectors
  • Adapter Cables
  • Circuit breakers & Fuses

Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper and Wire cutter
  • Digital Multi-meter

How do we step by step build up the solar system with a 12V battery?

Step 1. Choose a suitable place to mount your solar panel

A suitable location is a crucial thing in solar panel installation because the optimum sunlight is needed to generate maximum output from the solar panel.

Therefore, the site should be free from taller trees, buildings and other obstructing features.  As well as, the site should have longer solar radiation hours during day time.

If you want to install a panel in your home, you can choose your roof or rooftop. But make sure the site should be free from shade.

Step 2. Clearly understand the  wiring circuit

The wiring circuit must be essential for building up this system because the wrong wiring ends up in huge trouble.

For wiring this system, you need knowledge about these tools and equipment, the current flow moving, and how to connect those devices.

Step 3. Wiring up the solar panel into the charge controller

The next step is wiring up the solar panel with a charge controller. The charge controller is needed to prevent our system from overcharging.

It regulates the current flow and voltage flowing through the system. You can select a suitable charge controller according to your requirement.

We can choose our charge controller by using a simple formula like dividing the solar panel’s power (Watts) by battery voltage (Volts).  

The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum PowerPoint Tracking) are primarily available types in the market.

The above image explains MPPT controller is more suitable for solar power systems due to its high charging efficiency.

Warning: Do not connect the Solar panel directly to your battery. That could damage your devices. Therefore, the Solar panel connects to the charge controller, and after that other end connects to the battery bank.

Step 4. The charge controller wire up with the 12V battery

Now we want to connect the 12-volt battery to the charge controller. Firstly, we must know how much power we want to store in our battery.

Next, we have to connect the fuse to the positive battery cable. After that, connect both positive and negative battery cables with the respective battery terminals in the charge controller.

Finally, connect both negative and positive battery cables to a 12-volt battery. Now you are done with the work.

Step 5. Inverter wire up with the 12-volt battery

Now we are coming to the end of our project. At this step, we need an inverter. It is a device that converts direct current (DC) into alternative current (AC).

Because DC produces from the solar panel, we need to transform it into AC. Most of our electrical appliances use AC for their function.

Finally, we will wire up one end of the 12-volt battery with the charge controller and the other to hook up with the inverter.

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. 

You can watch this video and learn more about building your home’s solar power system.

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