Solar boat battery chargers

Photovoltaic solar panels are a good way to replenish the DC power in your boat’s battery system. Small panels maintain or trickle charge batteries while you’re unplugged from shore power. Larger panels also charge batteries, and produce enough energy to power appliances, like an inverter used for producing household-type AC power.

Who Can Use Solar Panels?

Small boats: A solar panel can keep the battery fully charged when the boat is on the trailer, at a mooring or sitting at her slip. All batteries self-discharge, and a small panel can eliminate the problems caused by dead batteries. Since solar panels put out pure DC power, they are excellent chargers as long as they have a regulator in the circuit when they require it (see below).

Cruising and racing sailboats can use solar panels to augment or replace their other charging sources. Many sailboats that go on long passages have to use their propulsion engine for 1 to 2 hours per day to charge batteries and replace the energy that’s been consumed. With a couple of solar panels installed, these boats can often extend their time between engine uses by a day or more. Truly efficient solar-equipped boats may not have to use the engine for charging at all.

How much energy do you want to generate?

Solar panels charge 12V batteries, and might have a voltage of 20V with no battery in the circuit, but are engineered to provide their power at the voltage a 12V battery requires for full charging.

Panels are measured in either Watts, or Amps, or both. We rate them in Amps, since most boaters have an idea of how many amp-hours their battery capacity is, or how many amp-hours they use in a day while cruising. We also use a simplifying assumption, and that is the panel will put out its maximum output for five hours a day. As they say in the car commercials, “your mileage may vary,” but this rule of thumb works well for estimating a panel’s output.

We arrive at these values by averaging the number of hours the panel spends in full sun (defined as 1000 watts of energy per square meter). Full sun means enough light so you see fairly sharp-edged shadows (most locations get no more than 80 to 85% of full sun). In most of the Continental U. S. the amount of time a panel spends in full sun averages four or five hours per day.

Size: Powerful 12V 1000mA Output Foval Automatic Battery Charger is an automatic battery charger and battery maintenance device all in one. Because it charges at a rate of only Spark proof during lead connection, reverse polarity protected and includes a 8 foot output cord and 2 year warranty Perfect for all lead-acid, flooded or sealed maintenance free batteries (AGM and gel cell), also Complete 4-step charging program (Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, Float Mode) Suitable for Most Vehicles: adapts to all kinds of 12V battery for motorcycle scooter ATV jetski Skiidoo lawn mower, batteries using either the ring or alligator connectors, automatically switches to float, maintenance voltage after fully charging the battery Intuitive LED indicators provide visual state-of-charge feedback and diagnostic information, even when in maintenance mode. If the battery voltage drops too far under load, full charger output power resumes, spark proof, reverse polarity protected, 8 foot output cord...Read more

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BMK utilizes the latest technology in AGM, GEL, Flooded(Wet), Calium type deep cycle, VRLA maintenance free lead acid batteries charging. Can be used with 12-100Ah batteries, while DC Output 13.8V/5.0Amp; AC Input 100-240Vac,1.5A 60/50Hz. Output constant current for faster charging. Perfect for charging all Pb/ SLA/VRLA/GEL/AGM Lead acid battery. Fully automatic 4 stages charging process by MCU controlled. Green 4Leds indicator for battery charging and Red Led indicator for Power on. Protections: Short circuit/OVP/OCP/Overload/Polarity reversed.100% full load and burn-in test. High efficiency, long life and high reliability. Suitable for e-bike, motorcycle, electric vehicle, electric tools, emergency light portable electronics devices, field detection instrument Communication equipment....Read more

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