Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

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Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby Warden » Sat May 12, 2018 4:47 pm

I'm having an issue where my boat is stored on a lot that doesn't have any AC outlets to connect the onboard battery regulator to charge the marine batteries. I can't park the boat at my house because there's no room.

I was wondering if anyone has rigged up a solar panel system to charge their batteries?
Solar panels run DC current, so I wasn't sure if a DC TO AC adapter would work if I connected the regulator to it. I also don't have a realistic idea of how long it'll take to charge up 3 x 130Ah deep cycles. I estimate it'll take 2 days under ideal conditions with a fairly large solar panel, but I have no clue if it'll even charge at all.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks

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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby ash » Fri May 25, 2018 8:19 am

Hi Warden RV guys have been doing this for some time, I would check with your nearest RV store. I dont think you need a converter as the batteries are DC as well as the Solar Panels. You may want a conditioner with a limiter on it though. I havent done it myself but i would start with RV World
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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby Warden » Sat May 26, 2018 8:12 am

Thanks. I have talked to a couple RV places recently. Pretty helpful guys. The only issue I'm having now is charge rate vs cost.

I'm kinda shocked this isn't a more common thing with as much as fishermen travel.

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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby Bassfishman » Sat May 26, 2018 8:35 am

You would need a pretty large area solar array to charge your batteries after a full day of fishing in order to get the current (amps) you need. You would also need a 12V solar panel for each battery or an electronic system to switch the current between batteries. Ive thought about using a solar array to maintenance or trickle charge my batteries while the boat is in storage though but you would still need a way to switch current between batteries (could be manual or electronic).

If you are a fisherman on the go and travel a lot I think a better set up is the electronic charger that connects to your tow vehicle and charges your boat batteries while you are travelling and also recharges your trolling batteries when you boat engine is running and you are out on the water. The one I have read about on this site is Stealth Charger ( I dont have one but it sounds pretty good.

If you went that route you would be charging your trolling batteries while you are towing, even at night. Or you can plug in. And you are charging on the water when the big motor is running too.

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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby RMANZO » Sat May 26, 2018 5:38 pm

Troy Lindner came out w/solar panels that are built into the boat. A couple years ago. Can't remember the name but a Google search will help YA
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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby scottsweet » Sat May 26, 2018 10:10 pm


The basic answer is yes and I did this for years with my boat when I stored it in Southern California at an RV park. This system works great.

The Stealth1 charging system works from any source of the charge, AC, DC from the big motor or from solar and will charge all your batteries (crank and trolling). The key will be the solar panel as noted above. The solar panels available today put out more current than in the past, but you can't change the laws of physics...what is used must be put back in.

All you need to do is have a Stealth1 DC charging system installed and than connect the largest solar panel/solar charging controller you can afford and have room for to the cranking battery and away you go. I had rigged my RV solar panel/solar controller on a switch that allowed me to pick a plug or to the RV. When I wanted to charge the boat, I connected a long wire from the RV to the boat and flipped the switch to the plug.

You have to have a solar charger controller so that you don't cook your batteries. You want the controller to reduce the current to the batteries based on their charge.

If you have more questions, drop me a line at 818-448-3366.
Last edited by scottsweet on Sun May 27, 2018 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby Mitch » Sun May 27, 2018 2:13 pm

I have a solar panel on my RV that will MAINTAIN a battery, but not really charge it like you're wanting. I don't know of any solar panel that will create enough amperage to actually charge one. I run a "TROLL BRIDGE system on my boat that really is awesome !! It will charge the TM batteries and the Start battery off of the alternator on the big motor. AND, if the start battery is low, it will pull from the TM batteries to fire it up !! Awesome set up ! I've gone 3 days at Clear Lake with out plugging in !!!
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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby DarWise » Sun May 27, 2018 7:00 pm

Ask Troy Lindner about solar battery charging your marine batteries. He tested them on his boat. You can message him on Facebook. He will respond.

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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby dalton3265 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:20 am

i think this question is only in count of panels

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Re: Can solar panels charge marine batteries?

Postby JeffKelly74 » Tue May 28, 2019 7:03 am

How goes my friends, been thinking about adding solar panels myself.

I believe what you're looking to do, charging the batteries, is indeed possible. Not exactly sure how many panels, and how many watts per panel you'd need though. Currently using the following guides to help figure out my requirements:

Believe it's helpful to first get a breakdown of the electrical requirements onboard, and how much amperage they'll pull off the batteries, then that will let you know how many panels will be required to charge those batteries back up.

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