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Be Confident Your Car Will Start with Solar Car Battery Chargers

With a solar car battery charger, you’ll never again find yourself stuck in your car with a dead battery. Solar car battery chargers can be a lifesaver in an emergency, and they can also help increase the life of your car’s battery. The chargers are incredibly simple to use: all you need to do is place the solar panel in the sun on your dashboard and plug the charger’s cord directly into your cigarette lighter or 12 volt power outlet.

Solar chargers function by using photovoltaic cells to generate energy directly from the sunlight. This energy is converted into direct current which is then transferred into the battery. Even though they obtain their energy from the sun, most solar chargers can be used even when it’s cloudy or there isn’t much light. So even if your car is stuck in the shade, you should still be able to generate enough charge in your battery to start your car again. 

The chargers either plug into your car’s 12 volt outlet or connect directly to the battery, although the outlet chargers are preferred as they are much easier to use while driving. You can leave the solar panel on your dashboard and the battery will constantly stay charged, even if you forgot to turn your dome light off. The biggest benefit of most solar chargers is the price, as most all of the popular models cost less than $100, which is cheap for the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that you’ll never have to have the experience of having a dead car battery again.

Types of Solar Vehicle Chargers

These chargers come in two types: trickle chargers and full chargers. A trickle charger constantly feeds a very low level of energy into your battery, which maintains its charge even when the car isn’t running. These chargers usually have a small solar panel and are considered portable, unlike full chargers which require a much larger solar panel to achieve their goal. Full chargers are used to completely charge a dead battery, although usually you have to take the battery out of the car to achieve this. Some trickle chargers can also fully charge a car battery.

Wagan 2017 Solar Car Battery Charger

wagan 2017Probably the most popular product on the market right now is the Wagan 2017. This product features mono-crystalline solar cells that are covered with tempered glass to make the solar cell waterproof and resistant to scratches or chips. It is quite efficient at charging most all car batteries, even those that have developed a problem with battery drainage. 

This charger is even effective enough to use on cars that haven’t been started in quite some time, and is perfect for mounting in a car which doesn’t get very much use. The Wagan 2017 plugs directly into your car’s 12 volt outlet, which makes it very easy to use. However, the major drawback of this system is that the 12 volt sockets in some model of cars will only function when the key is turned to accessory mode or the car is turned on. Therefore, this product might not be very practical for use with some make and model of cars. 

You can consult your car’s owner’s manual to see whether or not the socket in your car functions when the car is off. If this is the case, then it will be necessary for you to purchase a charger with alligator clips that will connect directly to your car’s battery.

Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger

Another extremely popular brand of solar car battery chargers is Sunforce, which produces a large line of solar chargers in a variety of sizes and wattage. These chargers can be used to charge almost any battery including RV batteries, marine, car, and other batteries - even electric fences. One of the major advantages of the Sunforce line is that these chargers can be plugged into your car’s 12 volt socket, or connected directly to the car’s battery, which makes them ideal for use in any situation. Our personal pick would be the Sunforce 50022 5-Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger.

sunforceBy connecting the charger directly to your battery, you can free up the outlet to charge cell phones or any other devices, while still charging your car’s battery at the same time. These trickle chargers will help protect against any battery drain and make sure you can always start your car. One of the biggest advantages that Sunforce has over its competitors is in the construction of the PV cells themselves. 

These chargers use amorphous solar cells - also known as thin film panels - which are much thinner and therefore more lightweight than most other solar panels. However, the Sunforce panels are also weatherproof and extremely strong and durable. Sunforce even claims that they can withstand the impact of one inch hailstones flying at over 40 miles an hour without suffering any damage, which makes them one of the longest lasting chargers on the market. 

Most solar car chargers are meant to be used inside the car on the dashboard, while the Sunforce chargers are strong enough to use anywhere and will withstand temperatures as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Another major advantage of the Sunforce line is that the panels come in various sizes, each producing a different amount of wattage. This makes them ideal for a variety of uses and much more versatile than most other chargers. The only drawbacks are that Sunforce chargers are slightly more expensive than many it’s competitors, and also slightly heavier due to their durability.

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