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How to connect a solar panel to a 12 volt battery step by step?

In this article I will teach you how to connect the solar panel with the battery, a complete tutorial so you can learn everything about this topic.

Thinking of going solar? If so, the first thing to keep in mind is that building a solar panel system in your place is not as easy as you might imagine. This is because wiring it correctly can take a bit of work and time. Generally, you start the task by setting up the solar panels. From there, you need to take care of the wiring.

How to connect a solar panel to a 12 volt battery step by step?

Wondering how to connect a solar panel to a 12 volt battery? This is one of the common problems that you will have to deal with. This will not be a struggle for you if you are a professional electrician; however, you will need to review some guidelines and instructions if you are a newbie.

In this post, we’ll help you properly connect your solar panel system to a 12-volt battery. Just install the solar panel, link the battery and controller, controller and panel, then set up the inverter. Read on for more details.

What are the tools and materials required for wiring solar panels for a 12 volt system?


This is one of the essential elements needed to connect the solar panel with other sections such as the battery.

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12 Volt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram (Electrical Wiring Diagram)

This is necessary as it is a circuit diagram that helps you gain a deeper understanding of the necessary circuitry of your solar panel system. Also, it gives you the length and size of the cable to buy.

AC Switches and Subpanels

Sub-panels are required to connect different AC solar panels. On the other hand, AC circuit breakers are necessary to carry the AC power from the solar panel system. You should also inspect for compatibility as there could be different circuits for the mount.

Junction Boxes & Slices

Breakout boxes and fuses are necessary items because they greatly help improve the safety and security of the entire solar panel system. Additionally, junction boxes play a vital role in isolating power within solar modules.

It is necessary to have these materials on hand to complete the wiring process. Since the various solar panel systems come with different circuitry, you must also purchase these items to support the specific voltages and amperage requirements.

Some of these items are used indoors while others are designed for outdoor use. Note that they must have separate ratings.

Conduits for EMT and ENT

This is usually an essential element for the assembly process. While it is true that ENT conduits are easy to use and less expensive, their use is commonly prohibited by current building codes.

photovoltaic meters

These tools are necessary if you prefer to set up a solar panel system that is connected to the grid. It is usually necessary to set up meter taps to assess the power of the solar array.

Additionally, this device is known for accurately measuring the amount of usable energy your solar panel system produces. Some PV meters will require an internet connection to make monitoring the energy output of your solar panel system a breeze.

AC fuses and disconnectors

These tools are designed for security purposes. Typically, the package list will include a manual AC disconnect without fuses that allows you to test the network. Meanwhile, the fused manual AC disconnect protects circuitry.

The process on  how to connect a solar panel to a 12 volt battery

Here are the detailed steps on how to properly connect a solar panel system to a 12-volt battery:

Before mounting the solar panel and connecting the solar panel to the battery, please choose the most suitable location to install it. We strongly recommend that you install the panel system on the roof so you can get the best sun exposure.

Essentially, this approach can significantly help ensure more hours of sunlight to produce solar energy.

Step 1: Attach the solar panel.

Make sure the solar panel is facing the sun when placing it.

Step 2: Connect the battery and controller.

The second step is to connect the 12-volt battery cable to the charge controller. Solar charge controller  is known to be a valuable component to prevent overcharging. This component does a great job of connecting batteries and solar panels. Therefore, it helps regulate solar energy from solar panel systems to batteries.

Step 3 – Inspect the charge controller.

For this step, you will need to check your charge controller. Once your controller is already connected to the 12V battery, turn it on and check if it is working properly.

There are different options of solar charge controllers available these days. More advanced alternatives are usually built with LED signal lights or display screens that show status details and indicate how the device is performing.

Meanwhile, if you get the more basic PWM charge controllers, these options are also designed with an indicator light to help you determine if the device is on and working. Once you are done checking if the solar charge controller is working properly, you can turn it off and continue to the next step.


Before connecting the solar panel to the battery, please remember that you cannot connect the solar panels directly to the battery. First, it is necessary to link the solar panel to the solar charge controller.

Step 4 – Connect the charge controller to the solar panel and the battery to the inverter

Now it’s time to connect your charge controller to the solar panel using the mec4 connector.

Since the solar panel is adept at converting DC electricity, you will need to use an inverter to charge or operate a device on AC power.

It is essential to carefully follow the methods for connecting your solar panel system to a 12V battery when charging a battery with the help of the panel. This is particularly beneficial when you need to charge a 12 volt battery with a portable solar panel system or when you are outdoors.

Then you can set the battery you need after calculating your daily consumption. Charge your 12-volt battery with a solar panel system and power up your backup. Remember that it is vital to connect the solar panels through a regulator.

Finally connect the regulator to the 12V battery. Today, almost all regulators come with specific charging profiles for different types of commonly used automotive batteries.

How to find solar panel systems that are right for you

For those of you who don’t already own solar panel systems, you may be contemplating what type of solar panel you’ll need. First of all, if you want to charge a single 12V battery, you could pretty much go for a single 12V solar system.

Keep in mind that the types of solar panel systems you choose will depend on your preferences and requirements; Solar panels are designed in different configurations and sizes.

For example, rigid solar panels are ideal for permanent installations because they are more resistant and ideal for withstanding inclement weather. On the other hand, foldable solar panels are recommended for homeowners who require a compact and lightweight option.

Let’s review the following options below:

solar panel kits

Buyers who are just getting started with solar panel systems will find solar panel kits easy to use. This is because the kit contains all the components necessary for installation. Also, they are more reasonably priced and come with a user manual to make the setup process easier.

It is more convenient to use solar panel kits because there is no need to purchase installation components separately.

300 and 400 watt solar panels

For buyers who operate multiple 12V solar batteries, these options may provide higher power ratings and higher efficiency that might be the right choice for your requirements.

200 watt solar panels

These alternatives generally contain the necessary legs and brackets for an easier and faster installation process. 200 watt solar panel systems can charge batteries quite quickly because they are designed with high-efficiency solar cells.

100 watt solar panels

These options are ideal for users who have basic solar power requirements. They are comparatively less expensive options and perform excellently in low light conditions. In the same way, this type of solar panel is highly recommended for any application.

In general, 100W solar panel systems are ideal choices for beginners who are looking for reliable alternatives that they can use to build their solar power system.

Solar panel sizing

The most excellent means of determining your required solar panel size is to calculate the number you get when you multiply the power load of the board by the amount of time your panel gets to capture the sun’s energy.

Generally speaking, solar panels will take a minimum of four to six hours to charge a 12-volt battery on sunny days. This battery range could provide approximately 12 to 18 amps of current to a deep cycle battery. So you can rely on a 350ah battery for five hours at the end of a full sunny day.

Depending on your location and budget, select the highest quality and highest capacity solar panel to charge your batteries.

final thoughts

Ultimately, if you’re just getting started with solar power, the most fundamental factor you need to learn more about is how to connect a solar panel to a 12-volt battery. As mentioned above, a solar panel connected to a basic 12V battery is considered one of the most manageable solar power systems you can build.

Once you’ve understood how to set one up correctly, you’ll be happy to start reaping the benefits of producing and using your own renewable energy source.

We hope that the guides shared in this post can help you get the most out of your solar panel systems. Did you find this article informative and interesting? Share it with others!


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