The use of solar energy is a serious step in the future. Over recent years, this trend entered many areas of human life, in particular, the automobile industry. The main advantage of solar chargers is their mobility. You do not need to look for a power source because it is always over your head. A car can be charged wherever the sky is clear.
Still, some auto lovers are skeptical about solar energy. To understand why, let’s consider the main pros and cons of this innovative technology.
Do solar chargers work
Yes, technically, solar units can charge a vehicle. But there are some nuances undermining the feasibility of this solution. The truth is that even the best solar car battery charger would not be as fast and powerful as a regular one. The current is so weak that it is not enough to start a dead battery. Therefore, it is reasonable to use a solar unit as a supplementary (trickle) charger rather than rely on it in challenging situations.
Forget about multiple amperage settings characteristic to regular devices. Some solar units even do not have alligator clips for connecting directly to a battery. Instead, they are equipped with cigarette light socket adapters.
The operation principle
The purpose of all devices of this type is the conversion of solar energy into electric current, in amounts a battery needs. This transformation is enabled by the properties of a photovoltaic solar panel. The same units supply power (autonomous or grid-tied) to many commercial and residential buildings. Lead-acid batteries often complement such systems to ensure smooth operation in cloudy days or night time.
It is worth noting that automobile solar chargers are not as powerful as panels used in buildings. Even though they have the same function pattern, the current varies from 500 to 1500 mA and can be lower if the weather is gloomy or you live in a northern latitude. Of course, there are models that can provide more electricity, but you will have to spend quite a sum of money.
Some inventive people say: “Why don’t I use several devices at one?” Such experiments may be dangerous if you do not know how solar units function and what exactly happens while charging. Without regulators, you will not be able to tune your equipment. The process is likely to go out of control since your chargers will send all their energy to a battery, whether it is necessary or not.
All the above is not to discourage you from buying a solar car charger. Not at all! You just should remember about limitations and not expect more than this device can provide. If 500-1500 mA is enough for you and you do not expect a charge to be replenished momentously, safely buy a solar device. It will be particularly easy to exploit if you are familiar with regular trickle chargers having the same amperage range. There will be no noticeable productivity shifts.