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What Size Panel Would Charge a 12V Battery?

  • By: Chris Patton
  • Date: April 13, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If you want to recharge the batteries of your solar electric system, you will need a set of solar panels. But before you can power up the cell, you should get a panel that suits the battery.

As expected, there are different sizes of panels for various batteries. If you mismatch both items, you might have to spend extra cash on repairs. You can avoid this problem by having a decent knowledge of your solar electric system.

Now, what is the best size of a solar panel for a 12v solar battery?

what size solar panel would charge a 12v battery

What Size Panel Would Charge a 12V Battery?

A single 250W or 300W solar panel can charge a 12v battery. Also, a set of two or three 100W solar panels can do the same job.

Solar panels are important parts of a solar electric system. When it comes down to it, these components collect the sun’s energy and sends it to the batteries. If you want to get the best service from your unit, ensure that you have the right panels for your battery.

Does your solar electric system use a 12v battery? If yes, a 300w solar panel is the best size for the battery. If you can get one, consider using a set of three 100w solar panels.

How Long Does It Take to Charge a 12V Battery?

If the battery is empty, solar panels can take between 5 – 8 hours to charge it. However, here are some factors that can determine the proper charging time.

Weather: If the weather does not offer much sunlight, your solar electric system will charge slowly. However, sunny weather promises quick top-ups.

The position of the sun: When the sun faces the solar panels, the charging cycle becomes faster. After all, this position allows the sun rays to touch the panels properly.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels trap sunlight with special devices known as voltaic cells. It converts the sunlight into DC electricity which is used to charge the battery. For this task, the solar panel uses a regulator to send energy to the battery.

How Can I Charge a Solar Battery with Solar Panel?

Anyone can charge a solar battery. Even if it looks complicated, recharging your unit does not require much skill. Here are some basic steps for powering up a drained solar battery. Do not use these steps without seeking help from a professional.

Confirm the Wattage of Your Panel

Before charging the battery, look for the wattage of the panel. Normally, this information is printed on a label that lies on the panel. If you can’t find the sticker, check the back of the panel.

Find the Ideal Number of Amps

Start by dividing the wattage on the panel with the voltage of the battery. The final result stands as the required no of amps that are needed to charge the batteries.

Also, remember to round your answer until it gets to a multiple of 30 and get a controller of that value. Let’s say, you have a result of 59, round it up to 60. Then, look for a charge controller with a rating of 60 amps.

Pick a Controller

There are two types of controllers – PWM and MPPT. Although they perform the same functions, they have slightly different features. If you are working on a budget, choose the PWM charge controller while the MPPT controller promises more efficiency.

Fix the Controller on a Panel

Mount the controller on a PVC or wood base. Make sure the base is placed in a safe area.

Attach Wires to Your Solar Battery

Connect the battery with negative and positive wires. If you are working with a 12v battery, try using a 10 gauge or 16 gauge wire.

Ensure that you place one wire on the positive terminal and another on the negative side. You can secure the wiring with clamps or ring connectors.

Connect the Wire to the Input Port of the Charge Controller

Insert the both wires into separate ports on the controller. Secure the wiring by tightening the corresponding screws.

Install MC4 Connectors on Your Wiring

Insert the output and input wiring with MC4 connectors. If installed correctly, the wires will stay secured.

Connect the Controller With the Solar Panel.

At this stage, you should two free wires – with two MC4 connectors – coming from the controller. Take both wires and match them with the connectors that come from the panels.

Check Your Connections

Look at the digital screen that comes with your solar controller. Does the display show any readings? If yes, then you are ready to charge your battery. But if the screen shows a 0, check the connections for any loose ends.

Charge the Battery

If everything goes to plan, leave the battery to charge properly. As it becomes fully charged, the screen will show a drop in the output value.

Wrapping Up

When you match a battery with the right panel, your solar electric system will last longer. On top of that, you will avoid expensive repairs and replacements.

If you don’t have any experience with electronics, you can connect your panel with the help of an expert.