Up until recently here at Willgen we were putting together and selling our own 12V solar battery chargers as we didn't feel anything else on the market was good enough for us to re-sell.
That has now changed as, having tried and tested the OptiMate range of solar chargers, I am very pleased to give them a wholehearted Willgen seal of approval!
The reasons I am so impressed with the OptiMate Solar Charger range are:
- Correctly sized solar panel (smallest being 10W) - smaller solar trickle chargers are often underpowered
- Excellent quality materials and build quality
- In-line solar charge controller (regulator) that is positioned close to the battery being charged
- Simple plug and play connection thanks to 2 pin SAE connectors
- Charging and battery status information displayed on charge controller
- Corner mounts on solar panel to aid with solar panel installation
- Fully weatherproof solar panel, charge controller and weathertight connections
- An excellent and fully comprehensive range of accessories
- 3 year warranty
- Excellent price for the quality and specification of the product
OptiMate versus Cheap and Cheerful
There are many cheap and cheerful solar chargers on the market. Most of these are undersized (a 1.5W solar panel is not big enough in UK to provide sufficient charge for all except the smallest 12V batteries in the winter). Also smaller solar trickle chargers don't normally have a regulator so have potential to damage a battery by overcharging and often they are not weatherproof so can't be mounted outside (and funnily enough that's where the sunshine normally is). Also cheap solar chargers are inevitably made from cheap materials that corrode and fail (it happens - I have seen it).
So please - don't waste your money on cheap and cheerful. Do the job once and do it right! A correctly sized OptiMate solar charger will serve you for years to come and you will never have the disappointment of a flat battery again!
An OptiMate Solar Charger will provide reliable 12V battery charging all year around, will never overcharge your battery, can be left connected to your battery all of the time, is easy to connect and disconnect and provides you with charging status and battery state of charge.
Another unique and hugely useful benefit of buying a OptiMate Solar Charger is the comprehensive range of accessories that are available.
These allow you to swap your solar charger between multiple batteries or multiple vehicles quickly and easily by buying extra battery connection cables (OptiMate O01 battery connection lead).
A 4.6m extension lead is available to increase the length of cable between solar panel and charge controller from 2.0m to 6.6m (OptiMate O13 SAE Extension Cable). In addition to this the charge controller and lead provides an extra 1.15m of reach.
Accessories also allow you to connect to your battery using the cigarette lighter plug on your vehicle (check it remains live when ignition is off and key removed!), install a dash or faring mounted SAE socket for a neat and tidy connection and disconnection point and connect via an OBDII.
- OptiMate O12 12V Car Cig Socket Connector
- OptiMate O40 Panel Mount SAE Socket
- OptiMate O37 SAE to OBDII Adapter Cable
And if a cable does get broken or is lost you can buy a replacement - far cheaper than having to buy a whole new solar charger!
So if you are looking for a good quality solar charger that will keep your 12V battery in tip top condition ready for duty whenever you need it, look no further! Please browse our OptiMate solar range and buy online. Give me a call or get in touch if you need any help or friendly expert advice.
Written by William Musson
Willgen Solar 14th June 2018