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The Best 12V Solar Battery Chargers And Maintainers

Charge and maintain your batteries with these solar-powered maintainers to avoid extra costs.

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Robert Laswell
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Solar battery chargers are quick and efficient devices to charge up batteries of your everyday electronics. Whether it’s your vehicle’s battery or a solo portable battery for camping purposes, these chargers allow you to conveniently charge them up anywhere. These chargers not only charge the batteries but also maintain them constantly, thus saving you the effort.

A lot of brands offer various models of battery chargers at different prices. We have done extensive market research to save you from the hassle and compiled a list of the 10 best battery chargers currently available in the market. You can go through their brief descriptions below and choose the right product for yourself.

Editor’s Picks

Following are our top picks from their respective categories. Take a look.

SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit 30W Solar Battery Trickle Charger
Best Overall
SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit 30W Solar Battery Trickle Charger

SOLPERK Solar kit is the best product on our list thanks to the high value-for-money it provides to its customers. It’s strong, durable, weather-resistant, and comes with a 12-month warranty. It also comes in a reasonable price range. Regarding its usage, this solar charger can be used will multiple battery types and provides reverse charge protection to increase their shelf life.

Topsolar Solar Kit 20W Monocrystalline 10A Solar Charger
Best Experience
Topsolar Solar Kit 20W Monocrystalline 10A Solar Charger

Portability is one of the highly demanded features of any solar product. While most solar chargers need to be installed in a fixed place, Topsolar is designed to be used anywhere. This is a perfect charging product for your camping experience. Apart from portability, it all the perks and features that are offered by other top-quality solar chargers. Durability, performance, and excellent customer service are some of the things you can expect once you buy this solar car battery charger.

SOLPERK Solar Kit 20W Volt Solar Battery Trickle Charger
Best Value
SOLPERK Solar Kit 20W Volt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

SOLPERK provides solar chargers in various wattage options to let a wide range of customers utilize their products at different prices. This solar car battery charger is specifically designed keeping in mind the customers who can’t afford the more expensive battery chargers. You’ll get a 12-month warranty along with a solar panel, two alligator clips, one SAE extension cable, and one set of mounting pieces.

How do 12V Solar Battery Chargers Work?

12V solar battery chargers are best used for maintaining or trickle charging larger batteries such as that of your car, boat, motorcycle, ATV or RV (which mostly use 12V batteries). Unlike standard car battery chargers though, the solar alternative relies solely on the sun’s rays to power up by converting solar power into usable electricity via PV cell solar panels.

This obviously brings a wealth of advantages as no other source of energy is required, which makes them perfect for charging your battery when you’re off the grid but this also brings some limitations. First off, 12V solar battery chargers cannot compete in charging times and effectiveness with standard battery chargers.

You will also be hard pressed to revive a completely dead battery but what they can do is maintain an existing charge or be employed as a trickle charger, supplying a low but constant amount of usable current. Hooking up multiple chargers is sometimes done, but by experts who know the technology well. Be weary of doing this unless you have the appropriate know-how, as you may just fry both the battery and solar charger.

12V solar battery chargers are typically made of two main components: A waterproof and durable solar panel and charge controller. 12V solar battery chargers allow for up to 48V and 4000 Ah of capacity Lead-Acid or Ni-Cd battery charging. A third vital component is the wires that attach the charge controller to the battery via clamps or the vehicles cigarette lighter.

The charge controller regulates the solar panel’s output voltage. This will change depending on the position and angle of the panel and various atmospheric conditions, mainly the intensity of the sun and the presence of clouds. The charge controller is needed to modulate the voltage to the 12V battery but also to protect the battery from voltage overload.

In short, using a 12V solar battery charges is an effective, lightweight and versatile method of maintaining your battery’s charge. All batteries of a vehicle continually use power due to various electronic devices present (onboard computer, radio, other dashboard components etc). So keeping your battery charged or even stable is of vital importance when outdoors and to be able to so without the use of grid electricity is a huge advantage.

Pros and Cons of Solar 12V Solar Battery Chargers?

We’ve already seen some of the major advantage of 12V solar battery chargers namely versatility, eco-friendliness and durability as most models are intended for prolonged use. Both the charge controller and panel (and wires for that matter) are often long-lasting, highly durable, water and debris proof. As with any device (especially in the solar sphere) they do also have their limitations.

Pros:

  • 12V solar battery chargers are a eco-friendly and cost-effective way (price ranges are between 25 – 80$ so they are not expensive devices at all) to maintain or trickle charge any 12V battery without resorting to grid electricity.
  • They are a self contained power source using only solar power to function
  • 12V solar battery chargers are quite effective. It takes only around 5 to 8 hours to fully charge a 12V car battery with a solar panel that can produce 1 amp of current in perfect condition though (bright sun with no obstacles)
  • Most models are geared towards improved portability making them extremely versatile to use on the go in any situation
  • Their application is also highly versatile as you can plug a 12V solar charge controller even while the vehicle is moving, though for better results it would be better to attach the clamps directly to the battery while idle for faster charging times
  • 12V solar battery chargers are built to last and to work in all kinds of weathers, season and terrains. All components (charge controller, panel and wires) are highly water and dust-proof

Cons:

  • 12V solar battery chargers are still much less powerful and present a slower charging time than regular battery chargers and cannot revive dead batteries
  • Reliance on the sun means that if weather conditions are not ideal, the chargers performance will suffer
  • Size can be an issue for some models especially if one decides to put them to use while the vehicle is moving. Positioning both the panel and charge controller on the dashboard of your vehicle can be tricky if not outright dangerous

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The Best Solar Battery Chargers Reviewed

The Best 12V Solar Battery Chargers And Maintainers In 2021

These are the top 10 solar battery chargers currently available in the market. Let’s take a look at their descriptions along with their pros and cons.

#1 SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit 30W Solar Battery Trickle Charger

  • Brand: SOLPERK
  • Outstanding Quality
  • Waterproof controller
  • Wide Application
SOLPERK Solar Panel Kit 30W Solar Battery Trickle Charger

SOLPERK solar kit is the all-in-one kit to charge up all sorts of 12V batteries with the highest efficiency. The 24% conversion efficiency rate is enough to provide you a fast charging experience. SOLPERK has put in a tremendous effort at providing you the highest build quality. With a tempered glass cover and aluminum frame, this solar charger can easily last for at least 10 years. An advanced PWM technology ensures that your battery doesn’t overcharge. You can connect this battery charger to a number of battery types including Wet, Gel, MF, EFB, and AGM. Lastly, you get a 12-month warranty along with the complete charging kit.

Pros:

  • 24% Conversion efficiency
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to use
  • 12-month warranty
  • 24-hour customer services

Cons:

  • Fixed installation

#2 SOLPERK Solar Kit 20W Solar Battery Trickle Charger

  • Brand: SOLPERK
  • High Efficient Cells
  • Adjustable Bracket
  • Waterproof Structure
SOLPERK Solar Kit 20W Solar Battery Trickle Charger

The second most popular car battery charger on our list is also manufactured by SOLPERK. This is an equally brilliant product as the above car charger. This, however, is a 20W option for customers who want to buy a high-quality product at a relatively lower price. This is also protected by a tempered glass cover and aluminum frame to make it weather-resistant. A 24% conversion efficiency ensures quick charging and a PWM algorithm prevents overcharging. Along with the complete kit, you also get a 12-month warranty.

Pros:

  • 24% Conversion efficiency
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to use
  • 12-month warranty
  • 24-hour customer services

Cons:

  • Fixed installation

#3 Topsolar Solar Kit 20W Monocrystalline 10A Solar Charger

  • Brand: Topsolar
  • Color: White
  • 20 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • High efficiency monocrystalline cells
  • 10A 12V/24V Auto Charge Controller
Topsolar Solar Kit 20W Monocrystalline 10A Solar Charger

Topsolar has produced the highest-rated solar car battery trickle charger to serve you in case of a sudden power breakdown. Whether you are at your home or on a camping trip, this 12-volt solar car charger not just charges your car battery but all other types of off-grid batteries as well. It is an easy-to-use product that you can set in just a few minutes to charge your electrical devices. It comes with a 10A charge controller to provide reverse polarity protection to your batteries. A strong tempered glass and aluminum frame is used to make this battery charger weather-resistant and last much longer than its 1-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Highly efficient
  • 10A Solar charge controller
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive

#4 POWOXI 7.5W 12 Volt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

  • Brand: POWOXI
  • Ultra-High Conversion
  • Reverse Protection
  • Blue LED Indicator
  • Back current protection
POWOXI 7.5W 12 Volt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

POWOXI solar battery chargers provide a 20% conversion rate which is lower than the top solar car battery chargers on our list, but it is still one of the highest conversion rates you can get from any car charger in an economic price range. When it comes to both durability and ease of use, this solar battery charger provides the best value for money. Also, this battery charger comes with a charge blocking diode to prevent reverse charging and overheating. To provide you the best customer experience, POWOXI provides a 12-month warranty and excellent customer service.

Pros:

  • PV Glass protection
  • Reverse charge protection
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Low durability

#5 SUNER POWER 12W Solar Car Battery Charger And Maintainer

  • Brand: SUNER POWER
  • Charge Anywhere
  • Charger & Maintainer
  • Reverse Protection
  • Durable & Strong
SUNER POWER 12W Solar Car Battery Charger And Maintainer

SUNER POWER solar battery chargers are built to provide you a highly user-friendly camping experience. This charger can charge all types of vehicle batteries including cars, bikes, and boat batteries. Once you buy this solar battery charger and maintainer, you’ll not have to worry about discharging battery power as well as its maintenance. This solar battery charger comes with a charge blocking diode to prevent excess solar energy from reducing your battery life. SUNER POWER provides a 12-month warranty on this product along with lifetime technical support.

Pros:

  • Special design
  • Easy to use
  • Reverse protection
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • Low durability

#6 Topsolar Solar Kit 30W Monocrystalline Battery Charger And Maintainer

  • Brand: Topsolar
  • 30 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • High efficiency monocrystalline cells
Topsolar Solar Kit 30W Monocrystalline Battery Charger And Maintainer

Say goodbye to extensive charging methods and charge your off-grid batteries using this 12-volt solar battery charger. Topsolar provides a complete kit that contains a solar panel, two 6.5 feet cables with alligator clips, and an O-ring terminal for a convenient setup experience. It is a highly durable solar battery charger as the panel is protected with a tempered glass cover and an aluminum frame. However, unlike various other solar battery chargers on our list, this one comes without a warranty.

Pros:

  • High durability
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Reverse charge protection

Cons:

  • No warranty

#7 SUNER POWER 10W Waterproof Solar Battery Trickle Charger And Maintainer

  • Brand: SUNER POWER
  • Intelligent Charge & Maintain
  • Full Protections
  • Adjustable Mount Bracket
  • Visual Monitor
SUNER POWER 10W Waterproof Solar Battery Trickle Charger And Maintainer

SUNER POWER has designed this solar battery charger to charge and maintain fixed batteries that are not moved around after installation. Therefore this solar battery charger is not a great product for your camping trips. The mounting bracket is however adjustable so you can move the position of the solar panel to constantly face the sun. When it comes to performance and energy efficiency, this one works differently than traditional battery chargers. It has a smart 3-stage charging algorithm that carefully controls the charging of batteries and their maintenance. You can monitor this performance via an LED light indicator. The kit contains all the necessary nuts, bolts, and cables to help you in your DIY installation. Lastly, it is IP65 waterproof and comes with a 12-month warranty so you can replace it in case of a malfunction.

Pros:

  • An intelligent MPPT (Maximum Power Power Tracking) charge controller
  • Reverse charge protection
  • Visual monitor
  • Adjustable mount bracket
  • High durability
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Immovable after installation.

#8 SUNER POWER 6W 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger And Maintainer

  • Brand: SUNER POWER
  • Renewable Battery Charger & Maintainer
  • Solar Charge Anywhere
  • One-way Quick Connector
  • Cigarette Lighter Scoket
  • Battery Clamps
SUNER POWER 6W 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger And Maintainer

As the earlier SUNER POWER product was for static battery charging, this one is a portable product. This product can be used as a solar car battery charger. It is offered in a complete kit to provide you a user-friendly experience during its utilization. The blocking diode prevents overcharging and overheating. Also, this one comes with a 12-month warranty. However, one thing that is not great about this product is that while most other solar car battery chargers have tempered glass and aluminum frames for protection, this one is offered in plastic.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Built-in charge controllers
  • Highly effective
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • Low durability

#9 Sun Energise Waterproof 20W 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger Pro

  • Brand: Sun Energise
  • Intelligent Charge
  • Full Protections
  • Mount Brackets
  • Durable & Strong
Sun Energise Waterproof 20W 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger Pro

There are a lot of solar chargers on our list that are mentioned as car battery chargers because of their portability. This product is not a car battery charger as it can only be used for fixed purposes. Sun Energise, being a manufacturer and seller, has targeted a customer range that is interested in buying solar chargers and maintainers for their houses. This product has an IP65 rating so that you install it in humid (rain and snow) conditions.

Pros:

  • Highly durable
  • Adjustable bracket
  • Visual monitor
  • IP65 rating

Cons:

  • No warranty

#10 SOLPERK 10W Solar Panel 12V Solar Panel Charger

  • Brand: SOLPERK
  • High-efficiency solar panel
  • Charger and Maintenance Device
  • Full-automatic intelligent charging and maintenance Controller
  • More durable
SOLPERK 10W Solar Panel 12V Solar Panel Charger

SOLPERK has produced many portable solar car battery chargers with different wattage options. This product is yet another great product that isn’t designed primarily for cars, though it can be used as a car charger. This one is designed for more rugged vehicle categories such as boats, snowmobiles, and mountain bikes. This is possible thanks to its ability to connect with multiple battery types. Though it can be used with vehicles, this solar charger is not portable. Once installed, only the angle of the solar panels can be adjusted.

Pros:

  • High efficiency
  • Built-in charge controllers
  • Eash to install
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • Immovable

Buyer’s Guide

Solar chargers generally look alike due to the solar panels and all the installation parts, but, in reality, they are quite unique. You might not be able to spot these differences at the first look and might buy the wrong product for your usage. Therefore, we have prepared this buying guide to help you out with the same.

Price

Solar chargers are offered in packs and have different wattage capabilities. This is one of the main reasons behind their price variations. When you decide to buy a solar charger check out all the features that explain the reduced prices.

Warranty

Warranty is a common feature in most solar chargers. It is very rare to find a product that doesn’t offer you a warranty. Nonetheless, make sure that the solar charger you are buying has at least a 12-month warranty.

Wattage

The energy production of a solar charger is represented in wattage and most products have different wattages to serve the particular needs of their customers. If you are looking for fast charging, you should invest in the one with higher wattage.

Durability

You have to ensure that your solar car battery charger is protected with tempered glass and an aluminum frame which is a standard market practice to increase durability. Other materials will not be as durable as these ones.

Applications

Solar chargers generally have the capability to charge multiple battery types so you don’t have to buy a new charger for each battery type. Although this is a common feature, you must still make sure that the charger you buy has this feature.

Portability

Some solar chargers are lightweight and specifically designed to be hand-carried while others are large and heavy and can only be installed in a fixed place. If you are looking to buy a solar charger for camping purposes make sure you choose the former option.

Charge protection

This is yet another option that is common in most solar chargers where they have a built-in charge blocking diode to prevent overcharging and overheating. This is the reason why they are known as battery maintainers. Before you buy a solar charger, make sure that the customer reviews are positive regarding this particular feature.

Final Verdict

As for our final verdict, SOLPERK solar kit is the best product on our list because it is loaded with plenty of specs and features at a very affordable price. It has a conversion efficiency of 24% which is the highest that can you can get from any solar charger currently listed in the market. Both tempered glass and aluminum framing are used to make it extremely durable. When it comes to user experience, it saves you from the effort of manual management as it comes with an intelligent PWM algorithm for controlled charging. Wide application capabilities allow this solar charger to be connected with various battery types. For your further satisfaction, this product is offered with a 12-month warranty and high-quality customer service.

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FAQs

What are the materials that make a solar charger more durable?

While some solar chargers are protected with tempered glass and aluminum frames, others are protected with plastic, which is of course less durable. However, one advantage of plastic is that it makes the solar charger a lightweight product which is crucial for your camping experience.

Can you use all solar chargers for camping purposes?

No, all solar chargers can’t be used for camping purposes. Some are installed at a fixed place while others can be used as a portable charging device and hence for camping purposes.

How to make sure if a solar charger is waterproof?

Solar panels are usually water-resistant as they are designed to be used outdoors and in extreme weather conditions. However, if you want to make sure that your solar charger is waterproof, you can look for an IP65 rating.

How can you charge a boat battery with a solar car battery charger?

A boat battery would be charged by a solar charger that can be installed permanently on the boat. General portable chargers will not be effective for this application.

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Author Bio

Robert is a renewable energy and sustainability specialist with 10+ years of experience in the solar and renewable energy space.

With experience in different organizations in the industry, he operates semprius as a passion project promoting sustainable renewable energy ideas and products.

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