How To Connect Solar Panel To 12v Car Battery

Knowing how to connect solar panel to a 12v car battery can get you out of some sticky situations. If your power goes out or you want to get some work done on your laptop in the backyard, the world is your oyster with a backup system of power. You will need:

  • Solar Panel
  • Voltmeter
  • 12v car batter
  1. Attach the solar panel to the car battery at the appropriate terminals. Make sure that the positive gets connected to the positive terminal and the negative gets connected to the negative. Mixing these up can be very, very dangerous. Do not place the solar panel in the sun yet. Next, place the voltmeter on the appropriate battery terminals and then screw the terminals down. You will need the voltmeter to determine when your battery is completely charged.
  2. Place the panel in the sun. Try to keep the actual battery shielded from the elements. You don't want it to get too hot, and you don't want any water to get on it. Check the voltmeter. The number it is displaying should be less than 14v. If not, disconnect the solar panel immediately.
  3. Check back every half an hour or so. Your battery will be charged when the voltmeter is reading 14v. You do not want it to go over this number, or you risk damaging the battery and possibly your solar panel. When it is completely charged, loosen the nuts from your battery and remove the voltmeter and the solar panel.

Although 12 volts does not sound like much, it can be very dangerous. When you come to check on the voltmeter, place your hand on the plastic part of the battery. If it is hot to the touch, remove the solar panel and wait an hour or so before hooking it back up.


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