The best 12 volt solar battery chargers are among the top sellers in renewable energy products. This makes a lot of sense too because 12V batteries are very common.
From time to time, your car, motorcycle, lawnmower, RV or boat battery will need a boost after some time of disuse. In that case, a solar battery charger will get you out of the rut.
The output for these solar panel battery chargers starts from as low as 1.5 Watts. In addition, it can be as high as 100 watts. This is a lot of variety! Therefore, if this is your first time to choose one, you might feel confused by all the available variety.
What To Consider When Buying A 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger
With hundreds of solar panel battery chargers to consider, it is hard for beginners to pick the best one. However, these few factors are going to assist you.
For this, you should go for monocrystalline panels if you can. Mostly, they are easy to identify by their black panels.
Monocrystalline solars are more efficient than their counterparts – the polycrystalline panels. They can convert at least 20% of the sunshine that they get into energy.
In addition, the more efficient a solar panel is, the better it will be at charging the battery even in overcast weather. Since most of these solar panel chargers are for topping up already charged batteries, they do their job even during winter.
Reverse charge block
One of the biggest problems with 12V batteries is that they discharge overnight or when left in long disuse. In such cases, leaving the car idling for hours to charge the battery is not a good idea.
Therefore, you need a 12-volt battery charger. You can leave it connected to your car battery when you know you will not drive for some time. Consequently, it does a good job of keeping the battery fully charged all the time.
However, even then, topping up the battery might not be possible if it will discharge at night. Therefore, to prevent this, solar car battery chargers come with blocking diodes. This integrated technology prevents the battery from discharging.
Size of the battery charger for solar batteries
As you have seen in our review section, some solar chargers for 12 volt batteries are small. Therefore, they fit nicely on the dashboard of your car, where you can install them with suction cups.
On the other hand, some are large and so you might need to use them outside the car. Therefore, if you need a solar panel battery charger for a lawnmower, motorbike, snowmobile or other, a bigger panel is better.
However, if you need this solar charger for your car battery alone, just get a smaller one that can fit on the dashboard. That way, it stays there for the entire time that you will need to top up the battery.
Battery solar charger wattage
For faster output, higher wattage solar panels are better. However, high wattage can damage the battery by overcharging it. In addition, it can cause a fire. Consequently, high wattage solars come with charge controllers.
On the other hand, low wattage (2.5, 5 and 10W) solar panels do not come with charge controllers. They will keep charging the battery even when it is full.
However, they do not damage the battery since the wattage is low. On the same note though, if you can find a low wattage solar panel with a charge controller, it will serve you very well.
A complete package for solar power battery chargers should come with an SAE connector, 12V DC adapter, alligator clamps (with cable) and so on.
In addition, check the length of the cables. If they are too short, you may not be able to place the panel where you want.
Solar battery charger price and warranty
The price of solar battery chargers starts at around $20, especially for the low wattage ones. On the other hand, the high wattage ones can cost as much as $60, or higher. Therefore, there is something for every budget.
For most people, the small budget solar chargers do very well. However, when you know that you will use the panel daily, a higher-priced one with more features will be better.
For the warranty, the low-priced solar panel chargers might not have one. However, when you buy from a marketplace such as amazon.com, you get a return policy of 30 days.
If the solar panel battery charger has a warranty, usually, it is 12 to 18 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
The world of solar chargers for 12V batteries is quite murky to most people. Therefore, here are the questions that most people ask:
How do solar battery chargers work?
The crystalline solar panel absorbs the sunshine and converts it into electrical energy. It will then release this energy in small currents to keep the battery charged to its capacity.
If the battery discharges, the solar panel recharges it to maintain it at full charge. However, if it does not have a charge controller, it will continue charging the battery even when full.
For the panel to work efficiently, place it in the line of direct sunshine.
Why should you maintain the battery?
The reason for maintaining the battery at full charge is that when it is not in use, it discharges. Therefore, it loses power gradually and it will eventually lead to battery damage. Additionally, we maintain the battery at a certain voltage to prolong its lifespan.
How do you maintain your battery?
It is very simple really. Just keep the battery fully charged at all times with a solar battery charger. In addition, prevent the battery from discharging by using a diode blocker. Therefore, choose a solar battery charger panel that has a built-in diode block.
Which is the best 12 Volt solar battery charger?
The 5-Watt ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts Trickle Charger that tops our list is really the best one. However, others from SUNAPEX, SUNER, SOLPERK and TP-solar are also good choices for you. Therefore, just ensure that what you get comes with all accessories, warranty and discharge block.
12 Volt Solar Battery Charger Reviews
The versatility that comes with the solar battery chargers is out of this world. Therefore, you can set the panel right where it will capture the most sunshine so that you can charge the battery faster. However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to choosing the right solar panel battery charger. Here are 10 top-rated ones:
1. ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger
This ECO-WORTHY portable battery charger is mainly a trickle charger. Therefore, this means that you will use it to top up an already charged battery. On that note, your battery never needs to run-flat at any time.
This solar panel has a very special feature – the blocking diode, which prevents reverse discharge. It is common knowledge that vehicles, boats and indeed other batteries discharge if they are left to disuse for some time. Therefore, you need to keep it connected to a solar charger like this one to prevent loss of charge.
Measuring a small size of 8.7 by 7.5 inches, this is a very small battery charger. Therefore, it is also easy to travel with. If you know that you will be going to camp in remote places, you might take it with you to help charge your car or RV battery.
The solar panel comes with a long SAE cable of 57 inches. Therefore, you can set it in the sunniest spot and run the cable to the battery. In addition, it also comes with crocodile clips. On the same note, installation is ever so simple.
There are so many good things to write home about for this solar panel. However, it does not come with a storage or traveling bag, which would be good for such a small size.
- You get adapters to help you charge the battery through a power outlet
- Long cable makes positioning the panel easier
- Sold at an affordable price
- The panel even charges on overcast days
- No information about the warranty
- Complaints about poor customer service
The small size, the ability to charge the battery even on overcast days makes this a good solar panel. However, make sure you remove the thin plastic coating covering the solar panel.
2. Sunway 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger Marine
The Sunway Solar trickle charger, as its name suggests, is going to keep your car battery topped up all the time. Therefore, it has a low output of 1.5W but it works just fine. In addition, it is small so you can place it easily on the dashboard.
To keep your car battery topped up all the time, the Sunway charger panel comes with a 12V cigarette lighter adapter. Therefore, you can place it in a nice spot on the dashboard to capture sunlight and plug it in the lighter. That way, it continues charging your battery keeping it topped up even when you have parked the car.
The quality of this small solar panel is unquestionable. For instance, the frame is made of strong ABS plastic. On a light note, drone manufacturers use this same material, because of its lightweight and resilience. In addition, the solar panel itself comes with super clear PV glass.
The manufacturer has also integrated a blocking diode. Its work is to prevent the reverse discharge from your battery. Therefore, even if you park the car for weeks and leave the car connected to the solar panel battery charger, it will not lose charge.
The package includes important accessories such as clips, cable and more. However, despite all those, the manufacturer could still improve some things. For instance, it cannot charge a flat or almost flat out battery.
- Comes with a long cable for flexibility
- Cheap way to keep your car battery topped up during winter
- Durable build with ABS plastic frame
- Can charge the battery even on overcast days
- It Will not do much good for a weak battery since it only tops up
- No warranty information
If you don’t drive much, you need a solar panel battery charger like this one to keep your battery topped up all the time. However, remember to keep it exposed to the sunlight on your dashboard.
3. SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger
For an affordable amount of money, you are going to get this 6-Watt solar battery charger. However, there are other options for 8W, 12W, 14W at a higher cost. However, there is also a smaller 2.4W version that costs much less. Therefore, whatever budget you have, it can probably get you a Suner Solar panel.
This is a solar panel kit, so it comes with the panel itself, the cables and the crocodile clips. Therefore, installation is so simple and even a beginner can do it. It is very much a plug-n-play kind of thing. In addition, once the solar panel is set, it converts solar to 12V DC power. It also stores it in batteries for future use.
You can use this solar panel battery charger to charge a variety of batteries. For instance, you can use it to charge the deep cycle battery that you use for your RV. In addition, you can use it for wet as well as dry cell car batteries, boat batteries, motorbike, snowmobile and others. Simply put, if it is a 12V battery, this solar panel will charge it.
One thing that most buyers worry about when getting a solar battery charger is durability. However, SUNER has taken care of this. In the same line, the solar panel is made of high-quality solar glass and the frame is made of ABS plastic, which does not bend or crack easily.
It is clear that this solar panel has many good things going for it. However, SUNER could still improve some things. For instance, it does not come with a charger controller, although the manufacturer says it cannot overcharge your battery.
- So simple to set up and start using
- Good for camping, boats and RV batteries
- Light in weight so it is simple to travel with
- Sells with a 12-month warranty
- No charge controller
This solar battery charger panel keeps an already charged battery topped up throughout its use. In addition, it has the technology to prevent reverse discharge.
4. TP-solar 12 Volt Solar Panel Battery Charger
TP-solar seems to have a solar panel in almost every category. For instance, you will find foldable panels, 100-Watt panels and others under their fold. On the other hand, they have the 20W 12-volt solar battery charger that you might use to keep your battery prepped even when it is not in use. But first, see its features.
With an output of 20 Watts, this is enough to even wake up a dead battery in bright sunshine. In addition, it comes with a charge controller. Therefore, it will not continue charging the battery once it is full. However, as soon as the battery dispenses some charge, it will top it up.
Durability in a solar charger battery is very important. In this case, the solar panel itself is tempered glass. In addition, the frame is aluminum. On the same note, the waterproof rating is good, so this solar panel can stay out in the rain and it will not sustain damage.
If you are going to install this solar panel on the top of your van or RV, it is simple. In addition, it comes with pre-drilled holes for just that. Additionally, it comes with crocodile clips and a 35-inch solar cable that runs from the panel to the charge controller. The clipper cable will run from the charge controller to the battery.
In spite of so many good features, there are some downsides. For instance, the charge controller keeps on resetting itself to 14.4 maximum voltage, which is slightly higher since most 12V batteries have 13.8V.
- The junction box is waterproof
- The solar panel is weatherproof
- Useful for different things such as lighting, car battery charging and RV use
- The panel has USB ports to charge your devices directly
- The solar-controller cable is a bit short at 35 inches
This solar panel charger will help keep your 12V battery charged all the time. However, you might need to get a longer cable for more flexibility in the placement of the panel.
5. SOLPERK 12V Solar Panel Charger Kit+8A Controller
One of the most basic requirements for a car battery or any other battery is to keep it charged. That way, it will be ready when you need to use it. One of the ways to do that is to use a solar battery charger. Therefore, you might want an efficient piece such as the 10-Watt SOLPERK solar panel.
This solar panel from SOLPERK comes with its charger controller. Therefore, you do not have to worry about overcharging the battery and risking starting a fire. In addition, the installation of this kit is also quite simple. For instance, just run the cable from the panel to the charge controller and then connect the controller to the 12V battery.
This solar panel comes with a bracket, which helps you to lean it at an angle. Therefore, it can capture more sunlight than solar panels that stay flat on the ground. On the same note, research shows that at an angle, solar panels have a 25% more efficient rate than when placed flat on the ground.
When you spend your hard-earned money on a 12 volt solar battery charger, you want to be assured of durability. Therefore, you might be happy with the build quality of this one. For instance, it has a durable aluminum frame. In addition, it is waterproof, so you can also leave it outside.
There are so many good things to say about this 12V battery solar charger kit. However, this solar panel will not charge a dead battery. For that, you would need a bigger output, perhaps 20W or bigger.
- Built with good materials for durability
- The intelligent charge controller prevents surge, overload, overcharge, under surge and reverse discharge
- Simple to install and comes with all accessories that you need
- Has a warranty of 12 months
- It is a trickle charger, so it might not help if you let your battery die
This solar battery charger and maintenance kit are very simple to use. In addition, it requires minimal care and maintenance. Therefore, it might be what you are looking for.
6. OOLSUN 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger
If you would like a battery solar charger that you can leave on top of your dashboard, you might love the MOOLSUN. You can then use the 12V car adapter that it comes with and that is all the installation needed.
The operating temperature range for the MOOLSUN 12V solar battery charger is minus 20°C to 60°C. Therefore, even when it is freezing outside, you can still keep your car, lawnmower, motorcycle, truck or RV battery topped up.
This solar panel has a high-quality fabric back. However, it is not foldable. In addition, the solar panel itself is PET-laminated, so it will stay intact for a long time. On the same note, the choice of material makes the panel light in weight and simple to travel with.
Every trickle solar battery charger comes with some vital accessories and MOOLSUN is not any different. For instance, it comes with two suction cups, a cigarette lighter adapter, a crocodile clip cable and a user manual. For installation, just read the user manual.
There is one serious disadvantage to this solar panel. For instance, there is no way to control the charge. Therefore, even after the battery is full, it continues charging.
- Has a warranty of 18 months
- Light in weight and easy to carry everywhere with you
- It should be simple to set up even for a first-timer
- Slim enough to stay inconspicuous on the dashboard
- The pins on the battery side are not shielded
- You have to keep checking your battery to disconnect when full since it has no charge controller
This no-frills solar power battery charger needs a little extra caution since it charges even when the battery is full. Therefore, do not leave it charging too long without attention.
7. SUNAPEX 12V Solar trickle Charger
The slim design of this solar panel battery charger makes it easy to place on your car’s dashboard inconspicuously. Therefore, you can leave it connected to the battery even when you will not drive the car for some days.
First, this slim solar panel comes with a blocking diode that prevents reverse discharge from the battery. Therefore, even when the weather is really overcast, keep the panel connected to prevent loss of charge. It also prevents the battery from discharging at night.
Second, the build quality is very important to any solar user. Consequently, you might be happy with the build quality of this panel. It is made of ABS plastic, which does not crack or bend under pressure. On the same note, the panel comes with pre-drilled holes on the side for easier installation.
Third, in the package, you will find everything that you need to start using this SUNAPEX trickle charger. For instance, there is a 12V car lighter adapter. In addition, there are crocodile clips for the battery terminals and four suction cups.
As far as affordable solar panel battery chargers go, this one might meet your needs. However, it still has a couple of downsides, like any other product. For instance, you have to disconnect the wire to your car battery when starting up lest it damages the panel. Having to pop the hood every time you start the car is too much trouble.
- Sturdy and durable build
- Comes with a warranty of 12 months
- Simple to use with
- minimal installation required
- Withstands all types of weather including hail, rain and others
- There have been a few complaints that this solar panel drained the battery
If you are looking for a simple solar panel with a warranty, this might be ideal for you. Besides, it really does work as advertised.
8. Aeiusny 12V Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger
One of the main concerns, when you know you will not drive your car soon, is how to back up the battery. That way, it will not die off on you when you need it most. Therefore, you might want to try the 12V Aeiusny solar car battery trickle charger.
First, from the black color of the solar panel, you can tell that this is a monocrystalline panel. Therefore, it has a high-efficiency rate. Consequently, it can convert up to 20 percent of all the sunshine landing on it.
Second, you can carry this lightweight solar panel easily wherever you want to use it since it weighs 0.6 pounds. In addition, it measures 10 by 6.6 inches, making it nifty for tucking into your backpack. In addition, if you want it to trickle charge your car’s battery, you can place it on the dashboard easily.
Third, using this solar panel is very simple. For instance, if your car lighter works with the engine turned off, you can use the cigarette lighter adapter. However, if it doesn’t work when off, you can use the alligator clamps to keep the battery topped up.
This solar charger has many helpful features. However, it also has its flipside. For example, the lights indicating the charging progress stay on even at night as long as the panel is connected to the battery.
- Keeps the battery topped up even during winter
- Simple to install with the car lighter adapter or alligator clips
- LEDs light up when the solar starts charging the battery
- Sells with a warranty of 12 months
- It is rainproof and windproof
- The LED lights stay on and that is a bit confusing
For keeping 12 volt batteries topped up through winter when you are not using them, you might want to use this home solar charger. It is also efficient and simple to install.
9. PALADIN Solar Car Battery Charger – 2 Pack
Solar panels can be delicate. Therefore, if you get a set that has strong housing such as the PALADIN solar charger, you go for it. Besides, these two (it comes in a pack of 2) panels are small, light in weight and simple to carry.
The first thing that most people seek to know about a solar car battery charger is how they will mount it. Therefore, you might be happy that these come with suction cups to mount them on the dashboard. In addition, you can connect the chargers to the battery using the clamps. On the other hand, you can use the cigarette lighter adapter.
The design of the solar panels includes a built-in blocking diode. Therefore, it prevents battery drain at night or during winter when the solar cannot charge. However, while still on the topic of charging, this is an amorphous solar panel. Consequently, it charges fairly well even in bad weather.
If you spend your cash on a solar panel, you want to be sure it is going to give you value for money. Subsequently, the durability of a solar panel is so important. Therefore, you might be happy with the weatherproof design of the PALADIN car battery solar charger. It is also windproof and snowproof.
Despite the compact build and design, there is a flipside. For instance, the small size is good. However, due to the casing, it might tempt a thief to break into your car thinking it is an iPad.
- Easy to use with alligator clamps or cig lighter adapter
- Charges the battery even in overcast weather
- Nice to install on the dashboard with suction cups
- High-quality construction
- Long cords for battery clamps as well as lighter
- If your cig lighter does not work with the engine off, you have to disconnect the clamps every time you want to start the engine
This is a simple to use plug-n-play solar car battery charger. In addition, the armophous solar panel enables it to charge even in dull weather.
10. Renogy 12 Volt Solar Charger
To complete this list of the best 12-volt solar battery chargers is the 5-Watt Renogy solar panel. Renogy is one of the most renowned names in outdoor solar lighting. Therefore, you can always trust that they will bring you high-quality products.
This small trickle charger will keep your battery topped up all the time. Therefore, you might not use it on a dead battery since it might not charge it to life. However, when set up in a nice position, it can trickle-charge your battery even in dreary weather.
It is easy to install this solar panel on the dashboard. For instance, you can use the suction cups to place it on the dash. In addition, because of the small size, it will stay inconspicuous enough and it won’t distract you all the time.
You may use the alligator clamps, just in case your car’s cig lighter does not work when your car is off. Otherwise, if it works, just use the car lighter adapter. In addition, you get a quick SAE connection to the lighter adapter or alligator clamps. Consequently, you can use the car without having to pop the hood all the time to connect/disconnect the panel.
This solar battery charger might serve you well, but there seems to be a small design flaw. For instance, the DV adapter (for the lighter) seems too big for most vehicles. Therefore, you might have to change it.
- More affordable than most solar charger kits
- It is simple to install even for beginners
- Charges well when you position it strategically
- Three connection options are good enough
- When placed on the dashboard, the windscreen might deter it from getting a full charge
A solar system battery charger like the 5-Watt Renogy can help you keep your battery topped up all the time. That way, you won’t need to worry about the battery draining on you if you don’t drive for a couple of days.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Choosing the best 12 volt solar battery chargers need not be too hard after reading this writeup.
However, it is not just about choosing one; it is also about how to maintain it to keep getting value for money over a long time.
Therefore, choose a weatherproof solar panel. By this, we mean it should be windproof, snowproof and rainproof. Since most people buy these solar chargers to keep their batteries maintained over winter, you can see why they need to be weatherproof.
Our top choice for a solar power battery charger is the ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger. It has a built-in blocking diode, is quite durable and it keeps your battery topped up all the time.