Our blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support!
You sit in your car, ready to commute for work, and guess what, it doesn’t start! Or worse, you are outside, camping, want to get back, but the car’s battery is down.
Surely, imagining the above scenarios gives most of us the chills. We wish there was a safe, convenient and economical way to fix the issue.
Well, with solar car chargers, such occasions are not that tricky. These modern charging kits are better than standard car battery chargers.
They aren’t that costly, provide loads of features and offer high value in the long run. So, to help out car owners, our experts reviewed the best solar car battery chargers.
Also, be sure to browse till the end to gain insights from our handy buyer’s guide.
Read on for our expert reviews of the best solar car chargers available. Check the latest prices to ensure you get a great deal!
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 7 Best Solar Car Chargers
- 2.1 1. ECO-WORTHY Solar Car Battery Charger and Maintainer
- 2.2 2. Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer
- 2.3 3. SUNAPEX Portable Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer
- 2.4 4. POWISER Solar Panel Car Battery Charger
- 2.5 5. Topsolar Solar Panel Battery Charger
- 2.6 6. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel Car Boat Power Battery Charger
- 2.7 7. POWOXI Solar Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
- 3 Solar Car Charger Buying Guide
- 3.1 What Is a Solar Car Battery Charger?
- 3.2 How Does a Solar Car Battery Charger Work?
- 3.3 What Are the Benefits of a Solar Car Charger?
- 3.4 Is It Okay to Leave a Solar Trickle Charger ON All the Time?
- 3.5 What Is Trickle Charging?
- 3.6 Can Solar Panels Overcharge a 12V Battery?
- 3.7 How Do You Know If the Solar Panel Is Charging the Car Battery?
- 3.8 How Long Does It Take for a Solar Panel to Charge a 12V Battery?
- 3.9 What Is a Reverse Charge Blocking Diode?
- 3.10 Can You Use House Solar Panels to Charge a 12V Battery?
- 3.11 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Solar Car Charger
- 3.12 Wrapping Up
Our Top Picks
ECO-WORTHY Solar Car Battery Charger and Maintainer
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer
SUNAPEX Portable Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer
POWISER Solar Panel Car Battery Charger
Topsolar Solar Panel Battery Charger
ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel Car Boat Power Battery Charger
POWOXI Solar Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
7 Best Solar Car Chargers
1. ECO-WORTHY Solar Car Battery Charger and Maintainer
Are you fed up with a flat car battery? Does your vehicle need regular battery replacements? If yes, the ECO-WORTHY solar battery charger can maintain and charge your battery with ease. Further, this 12V, 10W trickle charger has all the vital features in the right place.
Alligator Clip Adapter
The ECO-WORTHY trickle charger has dedicated clamps to connect with the car battery terminals. These clamps are red and black. Also, they are durable, so that you can use them without any hassle. Moreover, these adapters are essential to maintain the charge of a 12V battery.
Inbuilt Blocking Diode
A blocking diode prevents reverse charging. This feature adds safety and reliability to this solar car charger. Hence, you won’t need to worry about a draining car battery. With this trickle charger, maintenance is splendid.
ECO-WORTHY provides suction cups that cling to the glass of your vehicle. So, you can position the panel as per the direction of sunlight. This feature adds to the convenience of users. Also, it allows the solar panel to consume less space in the car.
Users who do not want to identify positive and negative terminals can make use of this feature. The SAE connector is a simple plug-and-play cord to maintain the car battery. Also, it works as a USB solar charger quite efficiently.
If your car supports solar battery charging when the ignition is OFF, this feature comes in real handy. You need to plug this cable into the specific socket. So, this feature is an alternative to the alligator attachment with this charger.
- Compatible with cars, boats, trucks, motorcycles, tractors
- Ergonomic panel design
- Does not need any maintenance
- Prevents reverse discharge
- The DC output is variable
2. Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer
The Sunway solar car battery charger is a compact kit for vehicle owners. It has a 1.5W amorphous solar panel that works in overcast weather. If you have a small- to medium-sized car, this trickle charger can be a beneficial product.
LED Charge Indicator
The Sunway solar charger has a blue color LED indicator. It flashes during charging to notify users conveniently. Moreover, this feature is vital to identify the duration of battery charging. Also, the LED positioning is precise.
This 12V solar car battery charger has an IP44 rating. Hence, you don’t have to worry about water issues or damage to the solar panel. It is always advantageous to buy products with an IP rating.
You can interchange the socket plug and crocodile clips as per requirement. So, these connectors can suit users of different skill levels. For technical users, crocodile clips can be a better option as they know the battery junctions.
This solar car battery charger and maintainer package is compact. Compared to similar kits, it weighs less, and the amorphous panel has a sleeker design. These factors lead to weight reduction. Hence, if you want a lightweight kit, this item is convenient.
ABS Plastic Housing
The solar panel has ABS housing. This material is corrosion-free and highly durable. Also, it does not add any considerable weight. Overall, this feature adds to the ergonomic benefit of this solar car charger.
- Very easy to use
- Competitively priced
- Strong and durable build quality
- Has a blocking diode
- The solar panel wattage limit is 1.5W
- It is not a full-charging unit
3. SUNAPEX Portable Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer
This portable solar car battery charger is ideal for high wattage requirements. It has a charge of 12V, 20W. However, you can choose the 5W and 10W models too. With a monocrystalline silicon panel, this charger can prove a value-for-money product. Let’s explore its features.
The USP of this solar car battery charger has to be its unique honeycomb structure panel. SUNAPEX claims a 10% increment in power generation due to this feature. Thus, you can get more power output in a limited space.
Inbuilt Intelligent Controller
This solar car charger has a charging algorithm. It helps save power during the night and keeps the unit running in the daytime. Thus, the manufacturer claims an increase of 10 – 20% efficiency in battery charging. Also, this feature helps in protecting the car battery from overcharging, short circuits, reverse polarity, etc.
Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is a water and heat-resistant polymer. This material increases the photoelectric conversion efficiency and safeguards the panel from environmental impact. Thus, you can expect a longer service life for this unit. Also, the kit has increased durability.
Multi-Color LED Indicators
To assist users, SUNAPEX provides a three-color LED indicator feature. Blue, red, and green LEDs indicate the current working status of the charger. In this way, you can monitor the activity and make the right decisions promptly. In a nutshell, visual surveillance is the USP of this solar car charger.
Lifetime Technical Support
The manufacturer claims lifetime assistance for any technical issues. Thus, you can use this charger without the need for any prior expertise. Also, this feature helps instill assurance among customers.
- Highly compatible
- Robust charger design
- High efficiency
- Commendable solar panel wattage
- It is slightly heavier than other chargers
4. POWISER Solar Panel Car Battery Charger
Are you looking for a solar car charger that has a quick charging time? If your answer is yes, the POWISER car battery charger kit is a good item to consider. It has all the vital features coupled with wide compatibility.
Three-Piece SAE Cable Kit
The POWISER 12V 20W package contains a cigarette lighter plug, extension cord, and alligator clips. These SAE cable items prove beneficial for different scenarios. Hence, you don’t have to worry about your car’s power charging outlets. These charging options can serve almost all vehicles.
The solar car charger comes with four suction cups. These cups create a vacuum and stick to any surface on your vehicle. So, you can mount the solar panel as per convenience. The mounting direction is flexible as well.
Epoxy Board Bottom Plate
To improve the sturdiness, POWISER includes a bottom plate made from epoxy. This board is durable and supports the panel significantly. Moreover, users don’t need to invest in other reinforcement materials as the ETFE material adds a waterproof feature.
The microprocessor takes care of all the manual needs in an intelligent way. It uses programmed algorithms to maintain safe charging. This feature can prevent reverse charging and regularly maintain 12V car batteries.
The solar panel with this charger unit is waterproof. So, you can easily commute in rainy weather without the need for dismantling. Moreover, waterproof material helps preserve the components for longer durations. Still, do not submerge any unit under water completely.
- Long life cycle
- High photoelectric conversion efficiency
- Can even charge marine batteries
- Versatile mounting options
- Costlier than some other models
5. Topsolar Solar Panel Battery Charger
If you want an affordable yet multi-functional trickle charger, the Topsolar charger is an excellent option. It has a rating of 12V, 10W. Importantly, this lightweight solar charger is capable of generating enough current to keep your battery up and running.
Indicator Junction Box
This solar car battery charger has a unique junction box with a built-in safety circuit. It has the ‘normal working’ and ‘polarity reversal’ indicators. This indication is sufficient to signal users about the necessary action. Thus, you can prevent mishaps without any delay.
Plug and Play
The Topsolar car charger has a DC plug with a durable extension cord. With an easy plug-and-play option, you don’t need any professional knowledge. Also, the accessories in the kit are sufficient to operate the system. Hence, you don’t need to buy any external components.
Compatible With All Batteries
This solar car charger can maintain various batteries like wet, gel, SLA, AGM, deep cycle, and EFB. Thus, a wide range of consumers can benefit from this solar charging kit. Interestingly, you can even charge motorcycle and snowmobile batteries with this product. Still, ensure the battery rating is 12V.
Sleek and Compact Design
Probably, the X-factor of this product is its sleek solar panel. The construction, design, and aesthetics of the panel are magnificent. Hence, the overall look of this solar charging kit lures many customers. The portability of this kit is quite laudable.
Along with suction cups, the solar panel has corner mounting holes. So, you can fix it to a convenient position. These holes have sufficient diameter. Hence, most screws can hold the panel without any hassle.
- Attractive warranty period
- Very easy to use
- Made with heat resistant material
- Cannot generate more than 10W of power
6. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel Car Boat Power Battery Charger
The ALLPOWERS solar charger is perfect for maintaining, charging, and extending the life of your battery. This unit can charge batteries of different vehicles in all daylight conditions. Also, it is easy to use and has all the necessary features you need as a car owner.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
The ALLPOWERS solar charging kit comes with a 5W monocrystalline solar panel. This silicon panel is highly efficient and perfect to charge several vehicles. Also, you do not need to indulge in any maintenance activities of the panel.
Reverse Discharge Protection
Car batteries are susceptible to discharge, overheating, and short circuits. Hence, an inbuilt diode prevents such undesirable phenomena. This feature is common in most car chargers but worth mentioning. In the case of the ALLPOWERS solar charger, the diode functioning is spot on.
The 5W solar panel has a peel-off protective film. This film helps maintain the surface quality of the panel. Moreover, it protects the silicon panel from minor scratches. However, if you desire, the film is easily removable.
Polyester Canvas Coating
The unique aspect of this solar car charger has to be its protective coating. The manufacturer has a rugged polyester canvas protecting the back circuit board. This canvas ensures maximum protection from water. Moreover, the coating looks similar to water-resistant backpacks.
This feature isn’t a technical parameter. Still, it is worth mentioning. Most manufacturers provide a 12-month warranty period on solar car battery chargers. However, ALLPOWERS have an extended 6-month warranty to ensure beneficial customer service.
- Multiple wattage options
- Friendly customer service
- Compact structure
- Limited accessories
- The panel is not foldable
7. POWOXI Solar Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
Last but not least, POWOXI solar car battery charger is for customers who desire a rugged charging kit. It has many features with an affordable price tag. Thus, if you want a high value-for-money charger, this product should be on your list.
ABS Frame Housing
The 7.5W solar panel has a protective ABS plastic housing. The design of this frame is phenomenal and sturdy. As a result, it can protect the PV cells from accidental drops. Also, the mounting holes add to the ergonomic feature of the frame.
Low Iron Tempered Glass
The PV glass on the panel is tempered. As a result, it has longer service life and is resistant to environmental impacts. In addition, the glass has high strength and transparency. All these factors increase the efficiency of the panel.
High Conversion Rate
The manufacturer claims a 20% high energy conversion rate. This feature is ideal for remote charging, where your battery power is crucial for survival. Hence, you can rely on this function for an adequate supply of energy.
The solar battery maintainer has an IP65 rating. Hence, it is perfect for outdoor use. It’s a cliché that IP-rated products add a sense of durability among customers. Also, at an affordable price tag, this feature is a wonderful addition.
This unit has a single blue-color LED indicator. It lights up when the charger receives adequate sunlight. Also, users can get an indication after a successful battery connection. If this indicator doesn’t light up, there is a possibility of a short circuit.
- Easy to use and needs no significant maintenance
- The charger has an IP rating
- The kit has a wide range of applications
- Robust in design
- Doesn’t support fast charging
Solar Car Charger Buying Guide
With the ease of e-commerce websites, buying a solar car battery charger isn’t a daunting task. The portable solar charger market has a compound annual growth rate of 18%. Thus, you can explore numerous options.
Still, it is always safe to buy the right products. After all, one wrong decision can end up messing with your vehicle battery.
With our expert reviews, you don’t need to put in efforts to choose the best solar car battery chargers. But, to help you make the right decisions, we cover most queries and factors in this buyer’s guide.
What Is a Solar Car Battery Charger?
A solar car charger is a device that uses solar energy to supply electric charge to a vehicle’s battery. These are portable kits that include parts like:
- A solar panel
- Connection cables
- Connector plugs
Users can connect the panel to their car battery in different ways. Typically, the connection can be as simple as plugging in a socket or using alligator clips.
How Does a Solar Car Battery Charger Work?
A solar car charger works on the principle of photoelectricity. The solar panel collects the sun’s energy through its PV cells.
This light energy gets converted into electricity. With the help of connecting cables, this electricity travels to the car battery.
Also, elements like diodes and controllers limit the leakage of current. Hence, the inbuilt components prevent common problems like overcharging, short circuits, and reverse discharge.
What Are the Benefits of a Solar Car Charger?
Solar car chargers are a great alternative to standard battery chargers. They do not require a separate electric supply. The sun’s energy is sufficient to power these devices.
Also, solar car chargers are nature-friendly. They reduce the load on non-renewable sources for power generation. Apart from these basic pros, solar car chargers provide practical benefits like:
- Battery maintenance
- Battery protection
- Cost savings
Moreover, investing in solar car chargers has become profitable. The recent models provide high energy efficiency and safeguard car batteries.
Is It Okay to Leave a Solar Trickle Charger ON All the Time?
Most manufacturers provide a built-in diode to prevent reverse discharge. Also, modern trickle chargers have microprocessors that take care of issues like overcharging, short circuits, reverse polarity, etc.
Hence, if you buy the latest trickle charger kit, you can leave it plugged in all the time. Brands specify if they do not have this function. Regardless, most new companies will provide features that enable you to leave a trickle charger ON all the time.
What Is Trickle Charging?
Trickle charging is the process of charging a draining battery to maintain its maximum capacity. When the battery reaches its max level, the process comes to a pause.
This type of charging is beneficial for vehicles at rest or stored away for a long time. It helps maintain the battery life by recharging it gradually.
Overall, in the case of vehicle batteries, this process prevents charge depletion of a battery. So, you don’t need to worry about battery failure on most occasions.
Can Solar Panels Overcharge a 12V Battery?
Three factors determine overcharging of a battery:
- Panel voltage
- Output current
- Battery voltage
If the voltage during the charging process exceeds permissible limits, it leads to overcharging. Hence, solar panels can overcharge a battery.
To avoid this scenario, charge controllers regulate battery voltage. In simple words, it adjusts the output panel voltage to a secure value. In addition, the output current is amplified. So, the charge time remains less.
How Do You Know If the Solar Panel Is Charging the Car Battery?
Modern charging kits have LED indicators to notify users. Still, technical customers can use a multimeter that tests the charging points.
All you need to do is measure the voltage at the output. The red and black probes of the multimeter should touch the positive and negative terminals, respectively.
The digital screen will show a voltage of around 15V (approximate). Then, you can measure the voltage at the battery junction. If there is no value on the screen, recheck the connections.
In a nutshell, the LED indicator and multimeter indicate whether the panel is charging the battery.
How Long Does It Take for a Solar Panel to Charge a 12V Battery?
The exact duration of a 12V battery charging by solar panel depends on various factors. Still, on average, it takes 5 to 9 hours for complete charging.
Remember that solar car chargers are primarily involved in trickle charging. Hence, you cannot expect full charging through this method.
The charging time depends on factors like:
- Intensity of sunlight
- Solar panel size
- Battery size
- Panel wattage
Hence, the actual charging time remains subjective.
What Is a Reverse Charge Blocking Diode?
A diode allows the current to flow in one direction. Hence, it prevents reverse current flow. At low light intensity, a diode prevents the battery from discharging.
Overall, a reverse charge blocking diode is a protective component in a solar charging system. However, if you use a controller, a blocking diode is not mandatory.
Can You Use House Solar Panels to Charge a 12V Battery?
Theoretically, it is possible to charge a battery with your residential solar panel. However, the voltage of the panel should be 12V.
Since house solar panels are large, you need to check the mounting positions. Ideally, your RV’s roof can be an option. However, the dimensions need to be suitable. Also, you require proper connections to transfer energy from the panel to the car battery terminals.
Overall, using house solar panels for charging a car battery is impractical. Hence, it’s better to buy portable solar charger kits like the ones in this guide.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Solar Car Charger
It is time to take a look at the important markers before buying a solar car charger. These factors are generic and can prove helpful while purchasing a car charger from any brand.
You must buy a solar car charger that is easy to use and install. At this time, most brands provide similar installation products. Still, it is beneficial to choose one that suits your needs.
Ideally, a solar car charger should be lightweight and portable. Also, the design should be easy to handle. Ergonomics plays a huge role while considering a solar car battery charger.
It is useful to buy a kit with a compact solar panel. This element is the biggest of all other parts in the charging kit. Hence, a smaller panel can reduce the size of the overall package.
You certainly don’t want to end up buying additional items for mounting the solar panel. If car battery charging is your prime objective, the mounting mechanism becomes critical.
These days, solar panels are compact. So, all you need to do is find the right spot to mount them. Typical mounting mechanisms are:
- Corner bracket
- Suction cups
The products in our list have both mounting mechanisms. If you want to attach the panel to your windshield or glass, suction cups are necessary. These small cups cling to the surface of the glass, providing a firm grip.
Reverse Charge Blocking Diode
By now, you must be conversant with the necessity of a blocking diode. If a solar car battery charging kit does not have a controller, ensure it contains a diode.
A reverse charge blocking diode can save your vehicle battery from permanent damage. Also, it prevents discharge, eventually increasing the life cycle of the battery.
However, note that a blocking diode uses some power to function properly. Hence, this small demand can affect the charging time. A reverse blocking diode is vital during nighttime.
So, even if the unit costs are marginally high, invest in this feature. It will surely prove beneficial.
You do not want to end up shopping for wires and cables, do you? We understand nobody wants to indulge in additional investment.
These days, most companies provide all accessories in their kit. Still, the number of parts can vary. So, keep an eye on the crucial components while buying a solar car charger.
This list will simplify your buying process:
- Connector cables
- Alligator clips
- Suction cups
- Connection cord
- Cigarette lighter adapter
- Universal connector
Depending on the features, the above accessories will vary. Still, most kits include these components. Some manufacturers provide more than one unit of the above accessories. Hence, investing in such a kit proves handy in the long run.
If you have a decent budget, this factor is paramount. Some brands use unique technology to increase energy efficiency.
This efficiency impacts the charging time. In simple words, a charger with high efficiency can charge the battery in a short time. This feature exists in the latest solar chargers.
With technological advancement, modern solar car chargers are at least 15 – 20% more efficient. So, it is wise to buy solar car battery chargers with high-efficiency rates.
A shorter charging time can also prevent possible battery issues.
Voltage and Power Rating
Solar panels have specific technical ratings. If you have a smaller vehicle, a 5W solar panel can prove sufficient. On the other hand, tractors or boats can require a 20W solar charger.
Another vital factor is the battery voltage. Solar charger brands provide info about the suitable battery voltage supported by their panel. This data is crucial in selecting the best solar car charger.
The size of the panel will increase with high battery capacity. Generally, a 65″ × 35″ solar panel is capable of charging a 12V battery.
Will you be using the charger mostly outdoors? If yes, buy one with high durability and IP rating.
Camping or commuting on the outskirts often need products that resist environmental impact. So, your solar charger should resist rain, dust, and impact while traveling.
An IP-rated solar car charger is waterproof and dustproof. Also, manufacturers who use durable materials provide expensive yet tough solar chargers. Hence, the build quality depends on the raw material.
Reliable brands offer at least a 12-month warranty period on manufacturing defects. That’s because they have trust in their infrastructure. So, they are willing to provide replacements for a considerable time.
A decent warranty period can help save any additional cost. Also, customers are psychologically secure with a warranty period.
So, when buying a solar charger, opt for one with a good warranty. It’s vital to get the best deal as a buyer on any product. If unsure, contact and ask the solar company about details of the warranty period.
Let’s face it. Not all of us are engineers or solar experts. Buying a solar charger should not feel like a technical hassle. If something goes wrong, there should be someone to assist you.
In such cases, brands with dedicated technical staff prove helpful. This factor applies to customers who do not want to indulge in the electricity jargon.
Buying a solar car charger from such brands can minimize any stress or hassle. On most occasions, the instructions are self-explanatory. Still, there can be scenarios when you need technical assistance.
So, it always helps to buy a solar car charger from a company that provides swift technical support.
Budget is always a common point in all buying guides. Still, it is the most crucial aspect. You can buy solar car chargers starting from $ 30 and above.
This price varies according to:
- Number of features
- Brand presence
- Quality of material
- Size of solar panel
- Number of accessories
Always choose a solar charger that provides high value for money. If you have simple requirements, there is no need to buy one with all the features. Sometimes, a product with limited functions works well for some customers.
Hence, always keep an eye on the price tag. Importantly, awareness about the price range of solar car chargers proves handy.
A solar car charger can maintain the health of your vehicle’s battery. So, you don’t need to worry about battery replacement for a long time.
It is crucial to buy solar car chargers from reputed makers. One wrong product can end up wreaking havoc on your car’s battery. Hence, you can make the best use of our expert reviews and choose a suitable charger.
Finally, the buying guide will help you make the right choice for a potential purchase. The world is going solar, and this is the right time to make the most of the sun’s abundant energy.