Solar Car Battery Chargers

We’ve all been in a situation where our battery has failed at the most inconvenient possible. In the best case scenario, your battery fails, and your car is in a nice, flat, open space with plenty of nice people walking around with jumper cables in their hands, waiting in line to help you jumpstart your car. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, the battery fails at 7 o’clock in the morning, when we’re already late for work. Our car is facing downhill, there’s nobody around, and there’s no way to get to the front of your car; your jumper cables won’t reach. You’ll have to spend at least $40 that you didn’t want to spend to get a tow truck to get it out of its spot, otherwise, you won’t be able to get anywhere for the next day, and even now, you’re late for work.

If this sounds even remotely like something that’s happened to you, then you know how painful jumping a battery can be. This is why everybody should definitely carry a battery charger in their cars. In all probability, you’ll probably only use one once or twice during its lifespan, but even those few times can be a major benefit if it saves you a huge headache.

But what about solar-powered car battery chargers? These have been around for a while now, but they’re not exactly, in demand supplies. Despite the fact that solar energy in general has been heavily promoted as a “green” energy, there hasn’t been a great deal of practical car application achieved in the area of solar energy. Additionally, car battery chargers aren’t heavily promoted items, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge market for it – people rarely pay for insurance unless the cost/benefit ratio is unavoidable, and battery chargers don’t have the potential to save thousands of dollars at any point in their existence.

As for solar car battery chargers, they’re a mixed bag. To get one thing out of the way, you can’t simply hook a solar panel to your car battery and expect to have your car running in a matter of minutes, or even hours. If your battery is completely, it could take a number of days to charge it enough for you to start your car again. In terms of getting your battery charged quickly, a battery charger is a much easier and more convenient item.

What solar chargers essentially do is provide a little bit of (free) energy constantly throughout the day. They are much more useful to people who don’t frequently run their cars, or to people with dying batteries. This is because the can provide a minimal, constant charge to you battery that will at least match the energy needed to run your clock and/or security system while the car is off. You’ll need to also buy a regulator, or the continued power from the solar panel can actually overcharge your battery. This will even help if you’re running some electronic applications in your car, as it will help the battery’s power supply.

A good way to use a solar charger is to actually use it to recharge your recharge battery. That sounds convoluted, but if you have a regular battery charger, and your solar panel has an AC/DC power outlet, you could use it to charge your rechargeable battery over time, and then use the latter battery to restart your car when needed. It’s not an efficient way, but if you’re dying to use solar energy for something, it will do the job.

The real problem with solar chargers is that they don’t save much money, and they’re not necessarily green products. Because their power output is so small, they can literally take years to produce enough energy to warrant the materials or money put into them. Obviously, solar energy still has a long way to go before it can be considered more than a novelty energy source, especially for something like charging car batteries.

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