Have you ever been eager to sail, only to find dead batteries that keep your boat from starting?
We’ve all been there, especially at the end of every winter season. There’s a simple solution to this problem – try charging boat batteries with solar panels. They will collect the sun’s energy to power boats moored on hooks in marine storage or other remote areas.
As a result, you’ll be able to sail or go fishing without worrying about exhausting the sailboat’s engine life. So, let’s find out if this is really a possibility.
Can Solar Panels Charge Boat Batteries?
The straightforward answer to this question is yes, solar panels can charge small boat batteries. They are, in fact, excellent chargers as they come with regulators in their circuits, which can be used as and when required.
Solar panels also come in handy in increasing the engine life of cruising or motor sailboats. The panels replace the alternate charging sources in these boats, meaning they prevent the propulsion engines from having to charge the batteries for more than one hour per day.
So, on installing two or more solar panels in these boats, you get an extended runtime of a day or even more.
How To Charge Boat Batteries With Solar Panels?
To keep your boat running even in the absence of a power source, you’ll need to set up a solar battery charger system. This comprises solar panels, a charge controller, and of course, your boat battery.
All you have to do is install the 12V panels in your boat in a way that they receive direct sunlight. Once they absorb the sun’s energy, it’s passed through the charge controller (regulator). Here, the DC energy is regulated and then transferred to the boat’s battery bank, where it’s stored for later use. It can also be used to charge small electronic devices when needed.
But in case the battery is completely discharged, the charge controller will directly distribute the regulated solar energy collected by the panels to the batteries till they are fully charged. The battery charger then switches to the float mode to automatically maintain the full charge of the boat batteries.
In fact, charge controllers also come with safety features like pulse width modulation (PWM) to protect them from overcharging. This will save you from the hassle of buying new batteries frequently.
Now, you know that it’s possible to charge boat batteries with the help of solar panels. So, better set up solar panels to power your sailboat as soon as possible, especially when there’s no shore power available.
Just make sure you invest in a solar charging system that comes with a charge controller or regulator. It will make sure that your boat batteries are always charged, and you won’t even have to worry about them discharging at night.