Any boat user or fishing enthusiast knows that the electric trolling motor of his/her Bass, Skiff, or Flatboat will need charging after a while. Fishing boats with 24 volts or 36-volt trolling motors can now be easily charged with the help of a solar charger. With the help of a combiner, the 24V and 26V batteries are configured into 12 volt systems to allow for the engine to start charging once the boat is turned on. Investing in solar panels instead of regular batteries is much better because you do not have to worry about replacing the batteries.
Using solar power for charging trolling motor is a much environment-friendly option. It uses renewable energy and thus, does not produce harmful emissions. Moreover, solar-powered chargers are portable. Instead of taking out a heavy battery every time, you can simply take the charger to the boat. Each solar charger is unique has its different wattage and other factors that are considered before purchasing one.
This article lists some of the best solar chargers for trolling motor batteries. The NOW Solar Trolling Motor Battery Charger is our best overall option. It is a slow charger that produces 3-4 Amp-hours a day for 24 V batteries. The article lists the 10 best solar charger recommendations for your convenience.
1. NOW Solar Trolling Motor Battery Charger – Best overall
- Skinny design with dimensions: 14.1 x 15.7 x ¼ inches
- Slow charging technology
- Generates about 3 to 4 Amp-hours a day for a 24 V battery
- Comes with plug and play adapters and terminal connectors
- Weighs about 2.4 pounds
The NOW solar trolling motor charger is a lightweight solar-powered charger that is also waterproof and durable. All of which are important for fishermen and boat-owners. It is a 20-watt charger suitable for charging 24V batteries. Thus, if you have a 12-volt charger then it will not work, but if you have two 12V ones then this is the solar charger for you. It comes with a plug-and-play cable as well as a DC pug, battery terminal connectors, and also alligator clamps.
It is a well designed solar charger that has a slow charging speed between the use of the trolling motor. Moreover, it is quite durable and compact at the same time because of its low-profile and sleek and skinny design. It will produce 3-4 Amp-hours a day and does not need a voltage regulator for a 24V battery. That being said it is a little expensive compared to others in the market but completely worth it.
2. TP-Solar Charger – Best Value
- Compact design with dimensions: 7 x 13.5 x 1.4 inches
- Monocrystalline panels for 12-volt chargers
- Lightweight, waterproof, and portable
- Comes with plug and play cords, cigarette lighter plug
- Weighs about 1.9 pounds
The TP 20 watt solar charger is perfect for a 12-volt battery. Instead of fully charging the battery it uses a trickle charge mechanism. TP 20 watt solar charger comes with 4 holes which allow the charger to be mounted to any surface of the boat. It is easy to install and comes with a heavy-duty DC cable and extension cord. This charger features an indicator light on the junction box which is lit up when the panel is charging the trolling motor battery.
Moreover, it is waterproof, lightweight, and suitable for long-term use. It also features a built-in safety feature that keeps the batteries safe and prevents them from overcharging. Overall, the TP solar charger is moderately priced and is a sleek and durable solar-powered charger.
3. NOW 1 Amp Solar Battery Charger – Best bendable option
- Lightweight and a low-profile design with dimensions: 1 x 15.7 x 1/4 inches
- Self-regulating does not need a regulator
- Not bendable but semi-flex
- Suitable for 12-volt batteries
- Weighs about 2 pounds
The NOW 1 Amp solar charger is a weatherproof trolling motor charger. It is a few dollars cheaper than the one mentioned above by the same brand. It too is ideal for charging 12-volt batteries and thus it is suitable for you if your trolling motor only has one 12V battery. However, if you have two, you can charge one battery at a time.
It is a semi-flexible, bendable solar panel, with a back made of aluminum that makes it quite sturdy. This solar panel can easily be mounted on any kind of boat, especially small ones, even on curved surfaces. It comes with a DC plug and cables for the battery, along with a 10ft. extension cable.
4. Suner Power Waterproof Solar Battery Charger – Most long-lasting solar charger
- Durable and intelligent charger with dimensions: 23 by 14.25 by 1.5 inches
- Comes with built-in MPPT controller
- LED indicating the visual monitor
- Made for 12-volt batteries
- Weighs about 5 pounds
The Suner Power solar charger features an LED indicating visual monitor and is known for a built-in MMPT charge. It is designed to produce 10 to 20% more power as compared to traditional controllers. It has a 3 stage smart charging algorithm that knows how to charge the battery in an optimized way. Thus, it prevents the battery from overcharging, short-circuiting, or discharging. It is also waterproof and spark-proof thus, ensuring your safety.
Moreover, it is made of tempered glass and a strong ABS frame, making it highly durable and long-lasting. It comes with plug and play, a 12-month warranty, and 3 pieces of SAE cables. Lastly, it is suitable for 12-volt batteries and features advanced Maximum Power Point Tracking (MTTP) chip.
5. SOLPERK Solar Battery Charger – Most weather-resistant
- Waterproof, Weather resistant, and durable charger with dimensions: 4 by 8.6 by 0.6 inches
- Features suction cups and plug and play
- Lightweight and compact
- Made for 12-volt batteries
- Weighs about 1.8 pounds
This solar battery charger is a 5-watt charger for trolling motor batteries. It’s a very light charger that comes with suction cups so it is easy to mount. This prevents you from drilling holes in your boat. Moreover, in addition to being waterproof, it is also rain and wind-resistant. It has slow charge technology for 12-volt batteries and so can take quite some time to fully charge.
It also has an LED light that shows when it is being charged for your convenience. The solar panel is made of a material that has a high photoelectric conversion rate. Apart from that, it is made of an industrial-grade ABS material. It is also low-maintenance and does not require special care. A simple wet-towel wipe is sufficient.
6. ECO-Worthy Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer – Best trickle charge option
- Energy-saving and easy-to-use: 37 x 9.25 inches
- Trickle charge mechanism
- Comes with cigarette lighter adapter and a pair of battery clips
- Made for 12-volt batteries
- Weighs about 1.46 pounds
The Eco-worthy solar charger comes with a built-in blocking diode, which prevents reverse discharge. It features a cigarette lighter and a plug-and-play SAE connector. It can withstand temperatures between -40 ℃ to 80℃. Eco-worthy solar charger is easy to install and maintain and has a trickle charge function that helps the battery to de-sulfate. This ensures that the battery lasts for a long and is worth your money. It is a polycrystalline charger that is compatible with 12-volt batteries. Moreover, it is suitable for all kinds of batteries including trolling motor ones. It comes with alligator clips, a trickle charger cord, PVC suckers, and a cigarette lighter.
7. POWOXI Solar Battery Charger and Maintainer – Best maintainer
- Weather-resistant and waterproof: 8 X 5.2 X 3 inches
- Amorphous solar panel for harsher weather
- Prevents reverse battery discharge with built-in diode
- Ideal for 12-volt batteries
- Weighs about 2.8 pounds
The POWOXI solar charger is UV, water, and weather-resistant. This helps the charger have a long-lasting life and ensures your battery lasts for a long too. POWOXI solar charger has amorphous cells, which directly capture solar energy even in cloudy weather conditions. It is this ideal for rainy regions. This is a battery maintainer for the most part and prevents the battery from dying and extends its usage life.
It does not come with a built-in lithium-ion battery, is lightweight, and portable. Moreover, it is highly low-maintenance and durable. It is suitable for a 12-volt battery and features a 1-year warranty. It comes in a plastic case, with an SAE connector, and heavy-duty wire which provides 1.8 watts power. While it is a battery charger, it is better suited to be a maintainer. Lastly, it is also certified by CE/ROHS.
8. HQST Solar Panel Kit with LCD Charge Controller – Best solar charger with LCD
- Compact design and high conversion efficiency with dimensions: 40 x 27 x 1.5 inches
- Comes with a charge controller and LCD
- Has no noise, is easy-to-mount, and easy-to-use
- It is a Monocrystalline panel that can power both 12 and 24-volt batteries
- Weighs about 19 pounds
This 100-watt power solar-powered charged by HQST is suitable for both 12 and 24 volt trolling motor batteries. It comes with pre-drilled holes at the back that allow for easy mounting and works well in low-light climates. HQST Solar Panel Kit has a 20 Amp MPPT LCD and the bypass diodes reduce power drop. It is great for longer trips and can fully charge the battery thanks to its power capability.
It provides off-grid power that is perfect for newbies to solar power. This kit comes with a 5-year material, 25-year output, and 1-year material warranty for accessories that it comes with. Moreover, it has almost no noise, is high-conversion efficiency and the panel is made of Monocrystalline.
9. RENOGY Monocrystalline Solar charger – Best solar expansion kit
- Durable and has high module conversion efficiency with dimensions: 49 x 23 x 3.5 inches
- Made from multi-layered sheet laminations and advanced encapsulation material
- Long-lasting as it is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
- Produces a power of 500Wh a day (may vary depending on the intensity of sunlight)
- Weighs about 22 pounds
This solar charger by Renogy is a complete solar expansion kit and does not come with a charge controller. It has a high-module conversion efficiency which produces about 500Wh of power every day. Moreover, it features a bypass diode minimizer which helps provide good performance in lowlight conditions. It also features a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, which ensures it is durable even in extended outdoor use.
Manufacturers have used advanced encapsulation material and multiple laminations to create this product. It provide a long service life. It features a monocrystalline panel and low tempered glass, which means its highly resistant to impact. In addition to that, it is also anti-reflective and transparent. It comes with a set of Z brackets and branch connectors. It has pre-drilled holes at the back which also make it easy-to-mount.
10. Mighty Max Off Grid Battery Charger – Best photovoltaic solar charger
- 100-watt polycrystalline panel with dimensions: 40 inches x 27 inches x 1.40 inches
- Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
- High-efficiency cells with innovative photovoltaic technology
- Aluminum frame for harsher weather and snow pressure of about 5400Pa
- Weighs about 19 pounds
This 100-watt solar charger by Might Max charges 12-volt batteries and has a unique design. It is lightweight, sleek, compact, and easy to carry. It has a polycrystalline solar panel that comes with high-efficiency with the help of photovoltaic technology. Not only is it easy to mount but is also easy to set up. It features pre-drilled holes at the back and comes with MC4 connectors to add to your convenience.
Its strong aluminum frame allows it to withstand harsh temperatures and weather conditions. It also comes in other wattages so you should get the one that is suitable for your trolling motor battery. Overall, it is sleek and lightweight offering a decent amount of power.
Factors to consider before buying a solar charger
Choosing a solar-powered charger for a trolling motor battery is not easy and requires you to keep a few things in mind before purchasing one.
100 watt is perhaps the most ideal solar panel power that is sufficient to charge the batteries without breaking the power bank.
Getting a solar charger with a charge controller is necessary as it is the link between the panel and the battery. Moreover, using a controller ensures your safety instead of just plugging the battery as it can be damaging and will prevent the panel from lasting for long.
There is no set duration for your solar charger to charge your trolling motor battery. It depends on the size of your battery. Smaller batteries are faster to charge than larger ones. Thus, it cannot be concluded whether solar chargers take longer to charge batteries compared to AC chargers.
Since solar chargers can take a while to charge trolling motor batteries, it is common to forget you left it on the charge. Thus, when this happens some solar chargers features overcharge protection which automatically discharges the battery once it is full. If you are a forgetful person then getting one with overcharge protection is a must.
Type of solar panel charger
There are generally 3 kinds of solar panel chargers:
They usually have a blue color as it is made from silicon crystals. They are durable, corrosion-resistant, and very durable. They also have a high transmission glass.
These are usually identifiable by their black color which shows it radiates heat well.
3. Thin Film
These usually feature a narrow design, with a built-in semi-conductor, and is thus a high-efficiency charger. They have a light-absorbing layer which is why it is better to go with the above-mentioned.
1. Can a solar panel charge a trolling motor battery?
Yes, attaching a small 12 or 24-volt solar panel to the trolling motor battery can charge it. However, if you get a trickle charger don’t expect it to charge a deep cycle battery. Usually, a 6 or 12-watt panel can charge your trolling motor battery.
2. What amp should I charge my trolling motor battery?
If you are charging a completely drained trolling motor battery then a higher amp is generally better (about 10 amps). Once the battery has sufficient power you can reduce it to 2 amps to avoid any damage to the battery plates. As a rule of thumb, the greater the amps, the faster you can charge the battery.
3. Are solar-powered battery chargers any good?
Yes, they are because they are environment-friendly chargers that use a renewable energy source. Moreover, instead of taking your boat to the charger, you can take the charger to the battery. They are easy-to-carry and can thus, you can take them anywhere. Moreover, they are great for fishermen, as you can be fishing and not have to worry about the trolling motor battery running out. They are also low-maintenance and usually no-noise so you do not have to worry about it being loud or noisy.
4. What size solar panel do I need to charge my boat battery?
For a 12-volt trolling motor battery, professionals recommend using a solar panel of at least 12 volts and 70 watts. However, ideally, you should opt for 12-volt panels with either 100 watts or 150 watts of power. The 70-watt one would take about 3-4 days, whereas larger ones would do the job in about a day.
Solar-powered chargers are a great alternative to traditional AC chargers for a trolling motor battery. People who boat or fish a lot should especially go with solar chargers as they use renewable energy to power the battery and you do not have to manually keep track of charging. It uses the sun’s energy and does not require electricity or fuel. The NOW Solar Trolling Motor Battery Charger is perhaps the perfect solar charger for 24-volt batteries. It is durable, comes with connectors, and has a sufficient amount of wattage.
There are after all many solar chargers in the market. So, it depends on whether you want a portable, budget-friendly, or water-resistant one. If you are looking for an easy-to-mount and compact charger then the 5-watt SOLPERK Solar Battery Charger is ideal. In addition to being lightweight, its material is high-quality is thus weather and water-resistant. At the end of the day, you should pick a solar charger that is compatible with your weather conditions, the voltage of the battery, and the size of the battery.