How Many Solar Panels To Charge a 12 Volt Battery?

One solar panel can charge a 12-volt battery. However, many other accessories are also needed to distribute power to a battery’s cells. If you don’t know how to charge a drained battery using solar hardware, this guide can help. 

Required Supplies 

The main product that you’ll need for this project is a solar panel. You must select a panel wisely because it must have a very high power capacity. 

Typically, there are two options available in stores; some pieces are solid, and others are built with a flexible housing. A solid panel generates the most power and is ideal for a rugged environment. If you need panels that are portable, a flexible product is the best choice. 

When you select a battery, inspect its voltage rating. In order to charge a 12-volt battery efficiently, you’ll need a solar panel that produces 12-volts. If you’re concerned about performance and speed, invest in a 16-volt solar panel instead. This panel will generate more power, which will make a battery recharge faster. Besides a solar panel, the following items are also required: 

  • A charger controller: This accessory enhances performance and boosts protection during charging cycles. A controller is worth buying because it provides peace of mind by disconnecting a battery automatically after the cells are completely charged. If you pick a charge controller with an MPPT circuit, it will increase the solar panel’s energy capacity.
  • A battery: A deep cycle battery is a suitable option for solar charging routines since it can handle multiple recharge cycles. Thanks to the efficient design, a deep cycle battery’s internal plates and electrolytes never damage following frequent charging situations.
  • An inverter: An inverter is an inexpensive accessory that converts electrical currents so that they’re compatible with the settings for common household products. The unit that you choose must have a great energy rating, and the base should have enough sockets to accommodate your needs.

Charging Time 

The total charging time will vary depending on the state of a battery. If a battery is totally drained, a solar panel can energize the cells within five to eight hours. 

The position of the sun in the sky can impact a panel’s charging speed. When sunlight shines directs on a panel, the charging speed gets a boost, and charging cycles slow down on a cloudy day. If you want to simplify a charging routine, buy a solar tracker. This product automatically tracks sunlight and adjusts a solar panel in order to maximize a system’s charging efficiency.