This might look like something from the future, however it is a great way to double the battery life in your car.
Annually, in Australia, we consume over 6 million automotive batteries, included in the total of 350 million different types of batteries consumed. This equals 16 million tonnes of batteries in weight, and this figure is growing every year.
A simple solar panel like this can double or maybe even triple the life time of your battery. This one is a ten watt panel which you can wire directly into your battery and not worry about over charging. Anything bigger than a ten watt panel, you will want to install a solar regulator or a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker).
5-10 watt solar panels will keep trickle charging your battery for you when your car is parked in the sun. If the car is left sitting around, it will keep the battery topped up to it's full capacity.
A good quality 10 watt panel will cost around $100 Australian dollars for a flexible one, which will allow you to mount this to your bonnet of your vehicle. You can also purchase ones that stick inside your car to the windscreen. If you drive a small 4 cylinder, I would recommend a 5 watt panel. If you have a 6 cylinder or a 4wd, the 10 watt is recommended. If the manufacturers of cars did this from factory, and we halved the amount of car batteries we used each year, we could save 3 million car batteries per year.
It is simple things like this that will make a huge difference in what we consume each year. These numbers are for Australia- imagine what the figures would be globally?
If you are interested in buying a kit check out 24 hour solar power or you can purchase the individual items from Jaycar. Be very careful of buying from eBay as there are some poor quality ones in this range, as well as some false adverting with products as well. If you’re not confident in seeing what is quality, contact an Australian supplier you can deal with here. It will be worth paying the extra.