Solar Panels Help Maintain Vehicle & Equipment Batteries

Posted on 01/05/2023 at 02:37 by Julia Stone


Solar Panels Help Maintain Vehicle & Equipment Batteries Title Graphic


Do you own a fleet of construction vehicles, delivery trucks, battery-powered trailers, a boat that sits outside in the off-season, or a vintage car you don’t often drive that sits for extended periods but needs to be ready to go when you turn the key?


Today’s post outlines current solutions to ensure your batteries don’t die when sitting for long periods, their drawbacks, and how a relatively small solar panel can significantly affect battery lifetime and overall maintenance.


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Current Battery Maintenance Solutions

No Scheduled Maintenance

You could opt to ignore battery maintenance altogether. Still, you run the risk of a dead battery that needs to be jump-started or replaced, resulting in added expense, time out of your day, and, if not disposed of properly, a negative environmental impact.


Shore Power Battery Maintainer

Connecting to batteries via a shore power battery maintainer and running a long extension cord can be highly inconvenient if you don’t have power receptacles near you. 


Disconnect Battery Cables

While this solution can be effective, it requires the user to manually disconnect the vehicle's battery cables, which is annoying and leaves room for error. If you forget to disconnect and come back months later, you could have a completely dead battery past the point of recovery.


Better Battery Maintenance Solution


Solar Powered Battery Maintenance

Unlike the shore power method above, solar isn’t tied to a particular location where receptacles are available. A solar panel charges batteries when exposed to the sun, keeping them at a higher state of charge and preventing deep depth of discharge, which increases or extends battery life. Connecting a solar panel removes the need to disconnect manually like the method above and ensures you don’t forget and end up with a dead battery.


The graph below illustrates how the life of a battery is reduced when the charge state gets lower. A solar panel keeps the battery charged, significantly impacting your battery’s lifetime.


Cycle life versus depth of discharge curve for a lead-acid battery



Batteries are a vital part of everyday life. When depleted, they cause missed appointments, extra expenses, and stress.


Installing a small solar panel on these items helps mitigate these issues and keeps batteries healthy and working for additional years. 


Solar panels trickle charge batteries while sitting idle, reducing the need for jump starts or replacing batteries and ensuring you are ready to go at a moment’s notice. 


At PowerFilm, our focus is solving your specific portable power needs.


We offer 27W, 50W, or 110W Semi-Flexible Crystalline Solar Panels, each featuring an integrated charge controller for 12V systems.


Need something different? We have been manufacturing custom solar solutions for over 30 years and can design a product specifically for you. 


Please contact us if you need assistance deciding what will work for you. We would love to hear from you!


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