Charging Your Batteries on Open Water – The Best Solar Battery Chargers for Boats
Updated: August 2, 2023
Charging Your Batteries on Open Water – The Best Solar Battery Chargers for Boats
Making sure you have the ability to charge your electronic devices while you are away from land can be a difficult task. Having the ability to charge your boat’s batteries and power your electronic devices while you are on open water is also incredibly important, especially from a safety perspective.
This is where solar electricity comes in handy. Today, solar panels, solar inverters, and solar batteries are more efficient, lightweight, and affordable than they have ever been before. This is why they are becoming so popular with recreational sailors and boaters.
Not only can solar panels give you access to limitless source of renewable energy, you can now find modern solar accessories that are waterproof and completely practical for boaters.
How Can We Help?
If you are interested in investing in a solar power system for you boat, we are here to help. Knowing what you need and which products to choose can be somewhat overwhelming, which is why we are going to go over some of the best boat-friendly solar chargers and solar panel kits on the market today.
In addition to highlighting some of the best solar battery chargers for boaters, we will also explain some of the components you will need if you are looking to assemble a full solar power system for your boat.
Each of the products we have chosen to highlight was selected because they find the perfect balance between performance and affordability. They were also chosen because they have boat-friendly features, like water resistance, convenient carrying handles, and lightweight designs.
How are Solar Battery Chargers Useful for Boaters?
You might be wondering what a solar battery charger is and why you would need one for your boat, which is why we are going to quickly explain what they do and how they can be useful.
In simple terms, solar battery chargers use solar panels to absorb energy from the sun and turn it into useable electricity. The energy your solar panels collect then flows into a charge controller, which is a convenient device that can store and distribute that electricity as you require.
While some charge controllers contain built-in batteries, many boaters also invest in a separate high-capacity battery bank, which can store a greater amount of this solar electricity.
If you are wondering what you can use this newly collected solar electricity for, the answer is just about anything. While some will keep a solar battery charger and a set of portable solar panels on board in case of emergencies, or simply to charge their boat’s battery in the event it completely drains while away from land, others will use them simply to charge their portable electronics.
In either case, being able to access a limitless source electricity while you are on the water and far away from the plug-in outlets found at a marina is incredibly convenient.
The way you use your solar charger and the other components of your solar power system is up to you. Whether you want to stow a small solar charger away for emergencies, or you own a larger boat and want to assemble a more permanent solar power system, we can help point you in the direction of some high-quality products.
Stop worrying about draining your batteries while you are away from land and embrace solar power today!
The Best Solar Battery Chargers for Boats
The following portable solar battery chargers were selected because they are perfect for boaters. While they are also enjoyed by RV drivers and camping enthusiasts, the fact that they are versatile and highly portable also makes them the perfect solar accessory for any boat owner.
While those that are new to solar electricity might not recognize the Bluetti EB150, it is actually one of the best-selling solar generators on the market. With a built-in LG 1,500wh lithium-ion battery and a fully integrated 1,000W power inverter, this is the perfect portable power station for any boater.
If you need to charge your battery, this highly efficient solar generator can easily pair with your choice of solar panels to give your boat’s battery the charge it needs. When it is not being used as a battery charger, it has the versatility to act as an emissions-free generator, which, thanks to a variety of output ports, can be used to charge and power just about any type of electronic device.
The EB150 can support a wide variety of plug-in devices thanks to the following output ports:
- 2 x Standard (wall-style) AC outports
- 4 x USB plug-ins
- 1 x USB-C plug-in
- 1 x 12V outlet
Even if you are just looking for a way to charge your smartphone and portable GPS device while you are away from land, the EB150 can charge these devices nearly 130 times on a single charge.
Boaters that are concerned about weight will appreciate the lightweight design and built-in carrying handle. At just 39.9 lbs, the unit is portable enough that you can easily carry it on and off your boat at your convenience.
The built-in LCD display screen and the ability to charge the internal battery with a standard AC wall input are added bonuses.
- Extremely safe built-in Battery Management System
- Highly efficient built-in MPPT charge controller
- Backlit LCD screen displays charge and discharge information, as well as the ongoing status of the battery
The EcoFlow Delta 1,300wh solar generator is another perfect choice for those that are looking to take advantage of solar electricity on their boat. The internal lithium-ion battery is powerful enough to power everything from fridges to laptops and it works flawlessly as a battery charger in emergency situations.
It features a built-in 1,800W pure sign inverter, so the energy your solar panels collect can be used safely and efficiently. What we liked most about this unit is its fast-charging capabilities. Given that it can go from fully drained to 80% charged in as little as one hour, it is perfect for those that are looking for a quick and efficient charger.
The LED display screen provides charge input and output information, as well as the remaining battery life. It also comes with an 11’ XT60 to MC4 solar panel extension cable, so you can position your solar panels in the optimal position, while keeping the charger near your boat’s battery.
Like the EB150, the Delta has versatile output options, including multiple AC wall outlets, USB ports, and a 12V outlet, which can be used to charge small appliances, like fridges and coffee machines.
- Built-in MPPT charge controller for efficiency and battery protection
- 1 year shelf life is ideal for those looking for a battery charger they can use for emergency situations
- Chaining capabilities, meaning you can connect more than one unit for additional power
Additional Solar Components for Your Boat
While a solar power battery charger can be one of the most convenient pieces of solar equipment you can use on a boat, there are other pieces of solar power equipment you will need, especially if you are looking to build an entire solar power system for your boat.
We strongly recommend investing in a battery bank to store the solar electricity your solar panels are able to collect. If you have a larger boat, especially one that has a kitchen below deck, your electricity demands can be quite significant.
If you have already purchased a set of solar panels and an inverter, consider a Lion Energy Solar Battery. We carry numerous Lion Energy batteries in a variety of sizes, so you will be able to find the perfect storage solution for your solar setup.
If you are a beginner, we strongly recommend taking a look at this Lion Energy 400W Solar Panel Starter Kit, as it is a complete kit that contains everything you need to get started. In one convenient package, you get a foldable solar panel, a power inverter, battery bank, and all of the cables you need to get started.
If you are looking to use solar energy to power appliances, or your boat has significant power needs, you may want to look into a solar inverter. A solar inverter will allow you to turn the DC power your panels collect into usable AC power, like you would access through your home’s wall outlets.
Browse our collection of high-quality Solar Power Inverters to find exactly what you are looking for. We carry solar inverters from all of the top brands, including Go Power, AIMS Power, Outback Power, and more.
If you are just getting started with solar power, or you looking for an affordable option you can leave on your boat, we recommend taking a look at some of the affordable, reliable, and efficient products Renogy has to offer.
Everything from there foldable and water-resistant solar panels, to their highly portable, lightweight deep cycle solar batteries can be found by searching through our Renogy Collection. Here you will be able to find flexible solar panels, water-proof charge controllers, and even convenient battery monitors.
As always, if you have any questions about solar battery chargers for boats, or any other questions about how you can take advantage of solar electricity while you are on the water, do not hesitate to reach out to us!
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