Welcome to Ask Bill! If you have a question about our products or need some help and guidance with an off-grid power or lighting project please use our contact form to ask Bill.
You may also find answers to your questions in the numerous Help and Info articles available via this page.
Customer question (received via email 16th May 2018):
I have a Smart ForTwo Smart Car I have had to replace my battery. The car is not used more than short trips around town. I want a dashboard solar trickle charger to maintain the battery. What do you recommend?
Willgen reply (from Bill 17th May 2018):
Many thanks for getting in touch.
For dashboard use the simplest method of connection of a solar charger to the battery is via the cigarette lighter socket. However, please be aware that in many modern cars the cigarette lighter socket is disconnected when the ignition is turned off and the key removed. If...
Customer question (received via email 22nd June 2016):
Hi, I am considering buying a solar trickle charger for my BMW M3 CSL as I keep the car outside and like the idea of having a charger that doesn't need to be connected to the mains. The battery on the car is a lightweight one (12V 55Ah). I would like to mount the solar panel in the car (not outside) and have it plugged into the cigarette lighter socket.
Could you recommend the best charger for my needs?
Willgen Reply (Email from Bill 22nd June 2016):
Customer Question (received via email 1st March 2016):
Hello, I'm interested in buying one of your BP 10 watt 12 volt panels. Id like it to keep a 12 volt 74 ah battery charged that will be hooked up to some led pathway lighting. Can I wire the panel directly to the battery? Thanks
Willgen Reply (Email from Bill 1st March 2016):
Hi, many thanks for getting in touch.
Rather than wiring the panel direct to the battery, I would recommend installing a charge controller between the solar panel and battery to protect the battery from damage through overcharging. The charge controller will also prevent battery drain back to the panel...
Customer question (received by email 15th January 2016):
I am interested in a solar battery charger which would be mounted on an outside wall of a garage to keep a 2008 VW Beetle battery charged. Does the charger come with mounting brackets and if a longer cable is ordered does it affect the charge.
Thank you Steve
Willgen Reply (email from Bill sent 18th January 2016):
Hi Steve, many thanks for getting in touch.
I am assuming you are looking at the 5W or 10W charger:
The solar panels have four pre-drilled holes in the back of the aluminuim frame to aid mounting and the
Putting a motorcycle, car, vehicle, caravan or boat away for winter or have a vehicle that is not used for long periods of time? 12V solar chargers are perfect for year around maintenance of 12V vehicle starting and caravan/boat (leisure) batteries. But which is best for you?
There are numerous 12V solar trickle chargers available and choosing the right one can be difficult. Cheap is tempting but not always cheerful and who should you believe when it comes to performance and quality?!
Well worry no more. Here is Willgen's definitive guide to choosing the right 12V solar battery charger for winter battery maintenance.