Can You Charge Solar Batteries Without Charge Controller
Can You Charge Solar Batteries Without Charge Controller – Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
The circuit has an automatic shut-off to prevent overcharging the battery. And you can use any size solar panel depending on whether you want fast or slow charging.
Can You Charge Solar Batteries Without Charge Controller
I used NOCO GC018 to connect a 12v battery to a very simple solar controller. (GC018 is a 12V plug supplied with a fuse and ring terminal.)
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To do this, I connected the positive and negative ring terminals to the corresponding battery terminals. Red to red, black to black! (I also replaced the built-in fuse with the correct size for the capacity of my solar panel.)
At this point, refer to the charge controller manual to see if it needs to be programmed for your battery chemistry. I have a standard sealed lead acid that I use.
Note: If your solar panel has an MC4 connector, you must use an MC4 adapter cable to connect it to the charge controller.
To test my solar car charger, I simply took it outside and placed the panel in direct sunlight.
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I then looked at the PV current display on the charge controller. It reads 0.2 amps, meaning my solar panel is actually charging the 12V battery.
Technically, my diesel battery charger is ready. I can just leave the panel in the sun and the charge controller will stop charging when the battery is full.
If I want to charge the diesel battery while in the car, I can put a solar panel and charge controller on the hood of my car.
I then used the drill and mounting screws that came with my charge controller to attach the controller to the top of the battery box.
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Tip: Drill holes at a slight angle to each other so that the wires do not touch when they are threaded through the cover. You don’t want to short the battery!
I’m happy with how it turned out. The box makes the whole system more portable and reduces cable clutter. It also looks better. 😄
Tip: This solar charging diagram can be used for any battery composition and voltage as long as you have a suitable charge controller and solar panel.
A typical car battery is a 12V lead acid battery with a capacity of about 50 ampere-hours (Ah).
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Knowing this, we can use our solar charging calculator to estimate how long it will take to fully charge a dead car battery using a PWM charge controller.
A 5W or 10W solar panel is a good size for slow charging. Some people use this size to charge their car, camper or RV when not in use.
Want to charge your diesel car in a week or less? Choose between 50 or 100 watt solar panels.
You can also make your charger faster by replacing the PWM charge controller with the MPPT controller. MPPT charge controllers are much more efficient.
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You can upgrade your newly built 12V diesel charging system to a solar electric bike charger by simply adding a converter. The inverter converts direct current to alternating current, allowing you to plug the e-bike charger into a wall outlet.
This is a portable solar charger for charging 5V handheld electronics such as phones, tablets, Kindles and USB batteries. You will need a soldering iron for this project!
Hi, I’m Alex. I am a DIY solar enthusiast, I will learn how to make anything solar powered. Footprint Hero is where I share what I’ve learned, as well as the (many) mistakes I’ve made along the way. Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Yes, you can charge a 12V battery with a 5W solar panel. You just need to make sure it is a 12V solar panel. Anything smaller, like a 6V or 9V solar panel, won’t work.
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You can use your own wires and connectors or you can buy them to make the process easier. I ended up buying something called NOCO GC018. This is a 12v adapter that comes with a fuse terminal and ring – the correct type for my 12v battery.
Then I just cut the wire bit and removed the end. (I will plug the bare end into the charge controller terminal.)
Now my cable is ready. I can connect them to the battery terminal and the ring terminal. And I can connect them to the terminal charge controller with a screwdriver.
I then used a screwdriver (in my case a precision screwdriver) to connect the bare end of the wire to the battery terminal of the charge controller. The terminal on my controller has a battery icon with plus and minus to help me know where each wire goes.
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Once all the cables were connected, my charge controller turned on to indicate that it was properly connected to the 12V battery.
Refer to the manual for your charge controller to learn how to program it for your battery type. I standard to sealed lead acid batteries I used.
My 5W solar panel came with bare wires. This makes it easy to connect it to the charge controller.
I just connect the positive and negative solar cables to the corresponding terminals on the charge controller. Again, the terminals have solar panel icons and are labeled as positive and negative, making them easy to use.
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However, since my solar panel is inside, it doesn’t get enough sunlight at that time to charge the battery.
For my test, I took everything outside (making sure no cables were disconnected during the process) and placed the solar panel in direct sunlight.
I then went through the system specifications in the charge controller until I got to the PV display.
This shows my 5W solar panel charging a 12V battery at 0.2 amps:
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Now I can only leave my charger outside in direct sunlight. The panel will continue to charge while I go about my day.
And here’s what I call a “real world wiring diagram” that shows how it looks in real life:
Tip: This schematic works for many other sizes of solar panels (such as 10W, 20W, 50W, 80W, 100W) as long as the solar panel is 12V and you use the correct wire and fuse size.
According to our solar panel charging time calculator, a 5W solar panel needs about 107.3 solar hours to fully charge a 50Ah 12V lead acid battery using a PWM charge controller.
Wiring Diagram Of Solar Panel With Battery, Inverter, Charge Controller And Loads.
5W and 10W solar panels are suitable for charging 12V batteries slowly. This is a good sized solar panel to keep the 12V battery charged and will slowly charge the battery over several weeks – even months depending on the weather and the size of the battery.
20W and 50W solar panels are suitable for fast charging of small 12V batteries. For example, a 20W solar panel can charge a 20Ah 12V battery in about 17 hours in direct sunlight. A 50W panel can do this for about 8 hours.
80W and 100W solar panels are suitable for fast charging of large 12V and car batteries. If it’s a 50 Ah battery, I can fully charge it in about 12 hours or less in direct sunlight.
For more help finding the right size solar panel for your solar charging setup, check out my article on What Size Solar Panel Can Charge a 12V Battery?
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Tip: You can further reduce charging time by switching from a PWM to an MPPT charge controller. MPPT charge controllers are much more efficient, but also more expensive.
You have connected the solar panel to the battery through the charge controller. And the solar panels are now charging those batteries.
Car batteries are also 12V batteries. So, using the same solar panel and charge controller, I can make a solar charger for the car battery.
You are also a few minutes from the solar electric bike. Don’t be fooled by how complicated it looks – you need a larger solar panel and a small converter.
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