Taking your trolling motor battery back inside to recharge after a tiring and fun-filled day is quite unpleasing… Right?
But, how about a portable battery charger that can be set up in your boat and you don’t need to worry about recharging your battery every time you come back. Solar panel charger can help you run the boat motor for all day, including late hours, as it keeps charging the boat while in use.
What is a Solar Charger for trolling motor battery?
A solar charger is an environmentally friendly panel charger that uses solar energy to supply electricity to the trolling motor battery or other devices. The solar charger is made up of cells that can either recharged by the sun or plugged into charging.
Solar-powered motor battery chargers are an economically sound option to reduce carbon footprint and using a natural source of energy for charging trolling motor batteries. Solar panels can keep your trolling motor battery fully charged and maintain it for future use.
Also read: 7 Best Trolling Motor Plugs Buyer’s Guide
Types of Solar Chargers
The solar chargers come in three different types as below:
1. Polycrystalline – These solar panel chargers use silicon crystals for its construction that leads to a distinct blue color panel. Polycrystalline chargers are around 13-16% efficient and durable… and offer high energy production as they contain high transmission glass. These panels take more space and are less efficient in cloudy weather.
2. Mono-crystalline – The solar panel chargers made out of the quality silicon using a single crystal. The efficiency of the panel chargers is high and ranges between 17-20%… and works well even in low light. These solar chargers have a uniform look, occupy less space, and are black in color.
3. Thin Film – Thin-film solar panel chargers have built-in semi-conductor for a narrow design. Construction increases the efficiency of solar chargers. Thin-film, as the name suggests… has very light-absorbing layers and absorbs less light. They are not as efficient as other types of solar panel chargers.
Benefits of Solar Charger for Trolling motor battery
There are many benefits for choosing solar chargers for your trolling motor battery which are as below:
- Solar chargers use natural sunlight for charging trolling motor batteries and reduces the carbon release in the environment.
- You can place the chargers anywhere you want in your boat as they are portable.
- These chargers are thin and lightweight so you can change the place you keep your battery charger easily in the direction of sunlight.
- They are a reliable source to charge your trolling motor battery as the sun shines everywhere on the Earth.
- Once you buy the panels, they offer tax-free and uninterrupted energy for charging your battery.
- Solar panel chargers keep working when you are on water and charges the battery while in use.
Our 5 Best Solar Chargers for Trolling Motor Battery
DuraVolt Trolling Motor Charger
- Very lightweight and low profile design.
- Easy to install.
- Works well even on cloudy days.
- A voltage controller not required.
- Plug and Play design.
- Ideal for camping, boating, or fishing activities.
- Takes less space for mounting.
- If your battery is under 50% charge, it can take numerous days for a full charge.
- Twin batteries charges at a very slow trickle.
- The solar charger is not bendable.
DuraVolt trolling motor battery charger is a semi-flexible 24-volt solar charger that is designed in California. The crystalline cells feature non-glass construction… makes it a lightweight and portable charger.
The solar panels are backed up by semi-flexible aluminum and plastic film surface that helps you to mount the solar charger on a flat or gently curved surface. The solar charger uses a power cable that connects your battery directly through a fused cigarette lighter plug.
Each panel of the solar charger features 4 mounting holes that make the installation easy. The reliable solar-powered chargers can charge up to two 12 volts trolling motor batteries. The solar panel starts working immediately when you connect it to your trolling motor battery.
- Monocrystalline trolling motor charger.
- 24-volt charger with 35 Watt.
- Dimensions are 49.6L x 15.2W x ¼ thick.
- Plastic film surface with semi-flexible aluminum.
- Fully weatherproof solar charger.
- 4 mounting holes on each panel.
- High conversion efficiency providing maximum power.
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel
- Easy to install
- You can start using it immediately after installing it.
- Voltage, amperage rate readouts with LCD screen.
- Custom system settings using controller buttons.
- It can handle up to 4 batteries with 12 Volts.
- Great for off-grid and remote power use.
- The solar panel is heavy.
- Its large size of the solar kit needs a good amount of space.
The Solar kit by WindyNation offers a 100-watt solar panel with an LCD solar charge controller featuring a battery temperature sensor. You get the required connectors, solar cable, and other required mounting hardware with the kit.
The solar panel is great for remote and off-grid use. It features a polycrystalline panel with an innovative temperature sensor. The panel is easy to operate and maintain using the LCD screen controller through which you get the information like battery voltage, amperage rate, and amp-hours left on your battery.
The charge controller features UP and DOWN buttons and MODE option that allows you to change custom system settings such as the voltage of load disconnect, or voltage of solar disconnect, etc.
- 100 Watt Polycrystalline solar panel.
- Dimensions are 40 x 1.38 x 26.4 inches.
- Charge controller with LCD screen display.
- Innovative battery temperature sensor with the controller.
- 4 solar panel mounting brackets with 12 AWG cable.
DuraVolt 20 watt 1.0 Amp Solar Battery Charger
- Well-built and sturdy design.
- Keeps battery topped off even on half days of direct sunlight.
- Great for kayak or small boats.
- Self-regulating and charge controller not required.
- Lightweight and portable solar panel.
- Free adapters included.
- Weatherproof solar charger.
- Not enough if you have more than two batteries.
- Mounting hardware not included.
- The adapter is not made for saltwater applications.
Another great product from DuraVolt features 20 watts 1-ampere solar battery panel that is good to charge 12-volt boat batteries. You can choose this solar battery charger if your trolling motor uses just 1 battery of 12 volts.
The solar charger features aluminum backed semi-flexible solar panel. You can mount the solar charger on both flat and slightly curved surfaces on your boat. You can also use this setup for a dual battery system also, but it would charge one battery at a time.
- Polycrystalline solar panel charger.
- Dimensions are 14.1L x 15.7W x ¼ thickness.
- Low profile and lightweight design.
- 20-watt Semi flexible panel.
- 10 feet long power cable.
- 4 mounting holes for each panel.
Sun Energize Waterproof Solar Charger
- Effective three-stage charging.
- Free and easy maintenance.
- Full protection improves battery life.
- LED indicators for monitoring status.
- Intelligent built-in charge controller.
- Great for 12V trolling motor battery boats.
- Solar trickle charger has 3 options for ring terminals, alligator clips, and cigarette lighters.
- The battery clamps use a thin grade of steel.
- Plastic sheaths are also thin and flimsy.
- Mounting hardware like nuts and bolts not included.
If you are looking for a compact yet multi efficient solar charger for your small boat or kayak… Sun energize solar charger is a great choice to opt for. The solar charger uses a durable aluminum frame and tempered solar glass that can withstand UV radiations and high temperatures for years.
The solar charger features a built-in intelligent MPPT ( Maximum power point track) chip for a charge controller that helps to generate around 10-20% more power than similar options. The charge controller provides three-stage charging for maintaining the battery at a stable level.
The waterproof and spark-proof solar charge provides full protection for battery from over-voltage, overcharge, discharge, short circuit, etc. The solar panel has durable brackets to adjust the angle among 0, 15, 30, 24, and 60 degrees to help the panel get maximum sun exposure.
The panel features LED lights for status updates. Flash Green light indicates the solar output is not active but normal. A solid green light on the controller indicates that the battery is fully charged. Flash red light indicates the battery is undercharging, and solid red light indicates reversed polarity/ short circuit issues.
- 30 Watt Mono solar cell charger.
- Three-stage charging i.e., bulk, absorption, and float.
- Dimensions are 24 x 13.78 x 0.7 inches.
- 1P 67 waterproof works in all seasons outdoors.
- Built-in MPPT charge algorithm.
- Adjustable angle for maximum sun exposure.
ACOPOWER 100 watts Poly Solar Panel
- Easy installation with pre-drilled holes.
- Lightweight and durable panel.
- 5-year workshop and 20-year output warranty.
- Can withstand all types of weather conditions.
- Works well in low light conditions.
- EL tested solar modules.
- Highly transparent low-iron tempered glass.
- The solar panel is heavy.
- Mounting brackets are not included.
ACOPOWER solar panel charger is a compact and easy to set up charger for your trolling motors and off-grid systems. The polycrystalline solar charger features rugged design to withstand high wind, snow load, and hail.
To provide durability, the panel uses multi-layered sheet laminations and advanced encapsulation material that improves cell performance. The panel also has bypass diodes that reduce power drop in case of shades and provide great performance in even low light environments.
- 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel charger.
- Dimensions are 40.2 x 26.4 x 1.18 inches.
- Pre-drilled holes with Quick connectors for each panel.
- 2400Pa high wind and 5400Pa snow load resistance.
- Anodized aluminum frame.
- 1P-65 Waterproof panel.
- 3.2 mm thick anti-reflection coated glass.
Things to Look at When Buying Solar Charger for Trolling Motor Battery
There are certain factors that you should take care of while buying a Solar panel charger for your trolling motor battery which is as below:
1. Charge Controller – Overcharge, and undercharge can degrade your battery life and performance. So, make sure you buy a charge controller that will act as a medium between your panel and battery and keep it safe.
2. Wattage – A 15-watt solar charger can usually deliver 1 amp hour for every hour of sunlight, and if you use a 75 amp-hour 12-volt battery, you would need a 70-watt 12-volt solar charger. It may take around four days to charge your battery from 50% to 100% or take a week to charge it from empty to full.
3. Sunlight – You need to ensure the place you keep your solar charger should not have shadows, and the panel should get direct sunlight for efficient working. If your need is in low light areas, you should go for monocrystalline solar panel chargers, and if you get bright sunlight…you can go for multi-crystalline chargers.
4. Space – If you have a small boat or facing space constraints, you can either go for the thin film or monocrystalline chargers, but if you have ample space, choose polycrystalline chargers.
5. Gear – You need to choose a solar charger compatible with your trolling motor battery, e.g., if you have a 12-volt battery, you’ll need a 12-volt charger, and if you have a dual battery system you’ll need a 24-volt charger.
6. Battery Conditioning – Some solar chargers come with the ability to de-sulfate your battery and increases the battery life span. So, you can prefer those… but it would cost you more than other chargers.
7. Overcharge Protection – Solar panels usually take a long time to charge your batteries, so it might happen you forget the panel chargers attached to your battery… The overcharge protection feature prevents overcharging the battery by automatically discharging the panel charger when the charge is full.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to recharge your trolling motor without consistent checks, this green machine can help you go forever in the daylight hours without the use of any gas.
You might face difficulty in winters as you get very less sunlight… but otherwise, it is a great choice as it is easy to install and provide you a reliable as well as clean source of energy for charging your trolling motor.