7 Best Solar Car Battery Chargers

7 Best Solar Car Battery Chargers
5/51 rating

Picking your best solar car battery charger is a very responsible task. If you do everything right you will have a device to power up all your equipment and vehicles for the years to come. I had the challenge to include as much information and important details as possible.

It is not only a review but also expert advice for you to consider. Remember that a proper solar battery charger for car goes beyond the title. Use it for all your sports vehicles, farming equipment and what not.

Best solar car battery charger reviews

Battery Tender 021-1163

Battery Tender 021-1163
If you need to find a proper versatile solar car battery charger with overcharge protection than Battery Tender 021-1163 is just what you need. I loved the so-called smart microcontroller that is used to protect batteries from overcharging. Most other brands require a specific controller for overcharge protection. The reverse polarity protection is also available.

The unit is waterproof plus it is spark proof making it really safe and convenient for both indoor and outdoor use. You can also pick from three options: 5, 10 and 15 Watt both 17.8 x 17.8 x 3 inches. You can use it as a trickle charger when the vehicle is stationary.

All the parts needed for mounting as well as alligator clips and cigarette adapter come in the package as well. Manufacturers promise us that the epoxy filling and the glass panel can withstand up to 120 degrees Celsius.

Pros

  • The device offers some proper versatility that I am after.
  • You have a limited warranty of 10 years where the manufacturer will fix or replace a device that is defective due to poor craftsmanship or materials.
  • Everything is foreseen. So far my personal choice.

Cons

  • The price for the unit is $65 unless you get it on sale. Quite expensive compared to similar options by other brands.
  • Quite a lot of consumer reports about the defective units. They are dead upon arrival and won’t even charge.
  • The battery can stop working after a few months. I suggest you check back on it.

Sunway Solar 3W solar trickle charger

Sunway Solar 3W solar trickle charger
This small 13.9 x 0.5 x 5 inches unit is specifically meant to maintain your batteries charged when stable. It is a trickle charger. Do not get it mixed up with your regular solar panel charger. Use it to top up for the battery drains from timers, alarms, etc. The blocking diode is also available and comes built in as a part of the trickle charger.

This baby weighs only 1 and a half pounds, the regular retail price is about $35. I love that you get the whole set from crocodile clips to cigarette adapter to suction cups and even extra heavy duty ABS plastic is foreseen. It has an LED light to show you when it is charging a battery.

The car battery solar charger is low maintenance. You can just wipe it off weekly to keep the dust away. It is also water resistant.

Pros

  • The manufacturer offers a 12 months warranty. I applaud that.
  • The instruction says that this solar battery maintainer should only be used inside the vehicle. But I can testify that it is just as good outside.
  • It is really small, versatile and yet affordable. Good to own in any household.

Cons

  • Some buyers complain that the amount of charge is so minimal it will not keep a car battery full.
  • Apparently, if you leave it inside the car in a super hot sunny weather it can melt. There are pictures to prove it.
  • Unfortunately, the Sunway controller regulator has to be purchased separately. It is needed for batteries lower than 20 AH.

Suaoki Versatile 18W

Suaoki Versatile 18W
Looking at this panel’s manual you will definitely see all plusses with little to no disadvantages. It is light, heat and water resistant plus extremely effective. Unfortunately, this little panel has very mixed reviews which are not good enough for the price of $46, 16.54 x 11.02 x 0.08in. Unlike other automotive battery chargers offers, the warranty policy is not that customer friendly. Mind that when you are about to give away your hard- earned money.

You do not have to worry about the back-charging at night. The blocking diode built into the battery prevents the battery from discharging at night when the battery voltage is lower. I also liked the weight of only about 12 pounds and portability. Fold it and take it with you when you travel. The idea behind this product is just amazing.

Pros

  • I checked the actual voltage and it came to 21 V. Impressive for a small panel.
  • The flexibility and lightness allow you to mount it on top of your car, tractor or on the sunscreen, etc.
  • The crocodile clips together with the cigarette plug and a detailed installation manual come as a part of the package.

Cons

  • The cigarette adapter is not a standard one. Mind that when you make a purchase.
  • Too many customers complain that it has stopped working after a few months. You cannot claim your money back though.
  • There are similar options like $20 cheaper than this one.

ALLPOWERS AP-18V5W

ALLPOWERS AP-18V5W
With more than 700 solar battery charger reviews this model is among the top leaders holding a firm top spot on the market. ALLPOWERS AP-18V5W is a trickle charger 12.6*5.0*0.12inch big is only meant to keep the battery full while the device is stationary. The battery will be enough to cover for the clock, alarm and other background running functions.

Every panel comes with crocodile clamps, cigarette plug, suction cups, and a clip line. 10, 7.5 and 5 W options available so you can pick a portable solar panel just good enough for your personal energy requirements. The casing is made of durable ABS plastic making a great option for the outdoor use.

However, there is no overcharging controller so be careful with this trickle charger and the battery you need to top up. Read through the manuals to avoid overcharging or but a separate controller.

Pros

  • The device weighs less than 1 pound making it really convenient.
  • Does the job pretty well and is stable. I have no complaints about it.
  • Really easy to install and to mount with the suction cups and featherweight.

Cons

  • It is moist proof but not completely waterproof so do not leave it under the rain.
  • The 18-month warranty is not that impressive compared to 10 years from a similar competitor brand.
  • Many customer reports about the battery dying suddenly after a few months of operation.

SUNER POWER 12V

SUNER POWER 12V
This solar powered car battery charger is attention worthy even though it is not at the top of my list. The innovative amorphous solar cell technology allows for charging even in cloudy weather.

SUNER claims that this portable charger is great for tractors, sports vehicles, boats, car batteries, etc. Plus you have 4, 6 and 8 W options to choose the amount of power you need. The manufacturer also promises no overcharging so the controller regulator must have been foreseen as well.

I also like that the price only starts at $36 being really efficient. I appreciate value for money when I see it. The battery only weighs about 3 pounds, 12 x 8 x 0.7 in. Really great for traveling.

Pros

  • The trickle has got 4.5 stars rating which is an extremely high percentage of happy customers.
  • The extra durable ABS frame is meant to keep the battery running for years.
  • The manufacturer does not only give 12 months full warranty but also an online live 24/7 customer support.

Cons

  • You do not have the mounting equipment, only 4 suction cups.
  • Some clients also have reported that the battery, in reality, is weaker and the effect is much smaller.
  • Apparently, it might suddenly stop working after a few months. But I haven’t tested it for so long.

POWOXI Solar Battery Chargers 7.5w-B

POWOXI Solar Battery Chargers 7.5w-B
POWOXI has 3.3 and 7.5 W options, sized 14 x 9 x 1.7 inches. This prickle charger for car batteries is versatile. Use it for your boat, ATV, snowmobile, motorcycle and what not. The cigarette plug, as well as crocodile clamps, come as a part of the package. The manufacturer specifically states that this product is meant to be used as a maintainer.

The standard blue charging light Is available showing you when the battery is being charged. You also have the blocking diode that prevents the car battery from discharging due to the reverse current. Another useful addition is suction cups.

This outside trickle charger is created to be highly durable with iron tempered glass, water, and wind resistance as well as impact resistance. So you do not have to worry about your portable trickle battery going bad.

Pros

  • You get 12 months warranty which is really good for a solar charger for a car battery. Most other manufacturers do not bother with a proper guarantee.
  • The weight is only 2 pounds making it really great for taking with you whenever you need to travel or to camp.
  • So far the overall rating is 4.4 out of 5 which is really amazing for a popular product.

Cons

  • You only have the suction cups but not the mounting unit. You would have to figure out a proper durable mounting on your own.
  • I haven’t experienced but many customers have reported voltage drops after some weeks of regular operation.
  • You can find some similar options cheaper than $50.

Nature Power 7.5W

Nature Power 7.5W
With the regular retail price of $55, it is among the pricier solar battery chargers for cars. But whether Nature Power 7.5W is worth the money or not is yet to decide. This portable folding battery weighs only around 3 pounds, 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches big.

The blocking diode is foreseen in the design so you do not have to worry about the reverse draining. You will also have the mounting unit as well as car battery clamps and a DC adapter that come is a package. I also liked the stand that allows you to control the battery position for better charging.

Nature Power has also foreseen an overcharge protection controller so you will not have to buy a separate unit for that. The blue diode indicating the charge is also available. Do not be taken aback by seeing a relatively new brand name. The product is attention worthy.

Pros

  • I love that the manufacturer has foreseen an 11 feet long cable. It is really convenient.
  • 5 years limited warranty is not too bad although I would love to have more.
  • Great durability. I loved running it and literally no complaints on the operation from the other users.

Cons

  • Since the model is relatively new the customer reviews are pretty scarce.
  • Most competitor models are cheaper offering the same options and features.
  • 7.5 W is too little for a car battery charger.

Buying Guide

How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Charge a 12v Battery

The basic formula for you to start from is 12 V * 200 Ah. The 1/10 percent level of the battery would be 2400 WHr. Now what you need to do is to calculate the average amount of sunny hours.

The battery that can give you the required amount of WHr during those sunny hours would be the perfect trickle to maintain your battery full. Take 2400 WHr * the percentage of power needed to top up the battery. 50% is 1200 WHr. 1200 WHr divided by 8 sunny hours is 15 W your best solar car battery charger.

How to Use Automotive Solar Battery Chargers?

  1. Decide on whether you need to have a proper solar charger for your car battery. Or if you need a trickle charger to maintain it and top it up while it has to supply background software like alarms etc.
  2. Calculate the amount of W you will need. See the formula given above to figure out how much power you need to keep you happy.
  3. Take care of the overcharge protection controller. You can get yourself a battery with one already in it or buy a separate unit.
  4. Make sure the cigarette plug is the right type. The crocodile plugs are also important. If you plug it into the cigarette plug while driving the car will use the solar battery instead of the regular one.
  5. Do not be taken aback by the terms. After all solar battery charger for car and solar car charger are absolutely the same thing meant to fuel your car by maintaining the car battery or by substituting it completely.

Advantages of Solar Car Battery Charger

There are so many advantages we all know but I will have to remind you of the few most important ones:

  • Solar energy is a renewable source of power that does not pollute the environment and is free.
  • You can save yourself a ton of money as the batteries have gone extremely affordable giving you great prices and amazing value for money.
  • Modern amorphous panels charge even in cloudy weather so you always have a source of energy.
  • They are small, lightweight and portable so you can carry one around wherever you go.
  • The best solar car battery chargers are versatile not only for cars but for all your power needs.
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