A solar car battery charger is an excellent way of keeping your car battery in a fully-charged state while your vehicle is parked out in the sun for several days and where there is no mains electricity available to trickle-charge your bar battery in the more usual way… that of plugging it in to the A/C mains power supply. Car wrapping The solar car battery charger consists of a small solar pv panel with a few feet of low-voltage power cable that terminates with a car cigarette lighter plug. The solar panel collects light and heat from the sun and converts this solar energy to a small electric current – just a few hundred milliamps is enough – to keep a good car battery fully-charged.
All you have to do is place the pv panel on top of the vehicle’s dashboard, underneath the windscreen, where it will rest in bright sunlight for much of the day. In north America or Europe (northern hemisphere) you would ideally have your car facing south. In Australia, New Zealand, South America or Southern Africa (southern hemisphere) you would want your car to be facing north to catch the noonday sun.
The cigarette lighter plug is the quickest and easiest way to hook your solar car battery charger to your vehicle’s 12 volt battery.
This kind of situation is most likely to arise if you are camping for several days in a remote area that has no electricity supply, and where your car or truck will not have its engine switched on for days at a time… You could be on a farming property, for example, or out in some state or national park where the vehicles are left to themselves while you hike in to a trail campsite, or something like that.
Perhaps you are a member of a search and rescue group looking for a lost tourist, a volunteer firefighter helping battle a brush fire someplace or just a keep sports fisherman who will be out in the boat for more than a few hours. Whatever the situation, you will want to know your parked vehicle has a fully-charged battery that is waiting to kick your engine into life immediately you get back and need to get moving.
A solar car battery charger cannot resurrect a faulty car battery. The solar charger can only supply a small current which trickle-charges the battery. And it needs all six of the individual 2-volt cells in your car battery to accept a charge and hold it overnight. So if your car battery appears to be dead or dying, don’t expect a solar car battery charger to mend it. It is nowhere near enough. Play it safe and get yourself a new car battery instead.