How to connect a solar panel to a 12-volt battery?

If you want to go green and save a few grand on your electricity bills, you should use a solar system. And, the most common concern when it comes to installing a solar system for your home is – How do I connect the batteries to the solar system? If we have to be specific, a 12-volt battery!

But why a 12-volt battery?

Mighty Max Battery 12V 100AH Battery (Source)

A primary residential solar system uses one or more 12-volt batteries depending upon households’ size and power requirements. That is because they are the most affordable and readily available ones. Additionally, they are reliable and long-lasting too.

Henceforth, you can quickly get yourself a decent solar system by connecting a simple 12-volt battery to the solar panels.

Here you will find the steps and ways you can effortlessly connect your 12-volt batteries to the energy-producing giants on your roof! Although it sounds like a challenge, you will see that it is as easy as assembling a simple cupboard from Ikea!

Let us begin with what you will need to set up your source of green energy!

What will you require to arrange the system?

Solar panels and batteries are the two major and most common components required to establish and run a solar system. Here, you will discover a few other elements to help your solar system function more efficiently and safely.

Electrical wiring diagram

A circuit plan in a wiring diagram is crucial to get a clear idea of designing the circuit for your system. It allows you to understand what you will require and efficiently shape wires into a system.

Electrical wires

Wires are the basic requirements to connect your solar panels with other components of your system, such as batteries, inverters, and so on. It is crucial to determine the approximate length and type of wires required to connect all the parts.

Solar power inverters

Power inverters are essential for a solar system to convert the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). It will also help track the efficiency and voltage of the solar arrangement to determine the maximum power at which the system can operate.

Electrical boxes

Electrical boxes, also known as junction boxes, are essential items necessary to complete your wiring system. They enclose the wire connections and protect your system against short circuits and fire hazards.

Solar panels have specific requirements concerning their voltage and amperes. Hence, it is vital to check the compatibility of the solar panels and junction boxes before purchasing them.

AC breakers and sub-panels

AC breakers are necessary to transfer the alternating current power from the solar system to your appliances. It helps detect and control the amount of electricity flowing through the circuit. It further protects the loop from damage caused by power overload.

Likewise, the sub panels will enable you to extend the wiring for multiple branches in the circuit and carry the power to a specific location in the house. It is a necessary tool primarily if the central panel is located at a considerable distance.

Steps to connect a solar panel with a 12-volt battery

Solar panel wiring connection in house wiring diagram
source

Step 1: The first step is to accurately mount your solar panels in a location that acquires plenty of direct sunlight. Make sure you fix it properly at an angle, preferably at the roof. Choose a location that receives the most prolonged sun hours.

Step 2: Now connect your solar panels to your battery using a solar charge controller. Most of the 12-volt solar panels usually produce around 16 to 20 volts of energy at peak times. Without a solar charge controller, the batteries will get quickly damaged due to the uncontrolled energy flow.

The electricity will flow backward through the solar power system in normal circumstances, naturally draining the battery. MPPT charge controllers are the best ones that prevent the complete drain of the battery during the night when the panels are not generating electricity.

Now you may connect the appropriate charge controller to your 12-volt battery following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3: Turn on your system to see if the solar charge controller is connected to your 12-volt battery. If you have invested in advanced MPPT charge controllers, you will be able to receive the status and functioning of your charge controllers through the display screen.

As for a regular PWM charge controller, it will give you a simple indication through light, letting you know that the system is running. Now, you may switch off the charger controller and proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Connect your charge controller to the solar panel using electrical wires. The instruction manual, along with the charge controller, will tell you exactly how to connect them. If your solar panels do not have cables required to connect them to the charge controllers, you might need to invest in a good one.

Step 5: Connect your 12-volt battery to a power inverter. You can also connect other essential components at this point to keep your solar system safe, such as electrical boxes, AC breakers, sub-panels, etc.

Step 6: Your solar system is now ready to generate clean energy from solar panels connected to 12 voltage batteries.

Points to remember

If you do not already own solar panels, make sure you choose the right one to charge your 12-volt battery. If you do not have heavy power requirements or use solar power to fulfill the lighting requirements, you might not require many solar panels.

To charge a single 12-volt battery, you can invest in a single 12-volt solar panel.

Lastly, the steps mentioned above might have served as concise guidance to help you set up your solar system and ways to maximize your power production. Remember, you are not merely saving money on your electricity bills, but the technician and set-up fee as well.

Enjoy your very own eco-friendly source of energy that you have successfully set up from scratch!