A simple solar circuit

The simplest possible solar battery charging circuit is just to connect the positive wire from the solar panel to the positive battery terminal, and the negative solar panel wire to negative battery terminal.

This will quite happily charge a battery! However, there are two potential problems with attaching a panel directly to a battery. The first is that, at night, electricity can leak back into the panel, which will slowly discharge the battery. In fact, the amount of leakage is usually small, and not worth worrying about - but if you do want to prevent it you can easily fit a diode (a sort of one-way valve for electricity) in the line, as in this diagram:

The second problem is more serious - the solar panel, if left on it's own, can overcharge the battery. To avoid this you are better using a charge controller.

buy

solar panels
Framed panels
Framed polycrystalline silicon solar panels. Great for a wide variety of uses.
Framed panels - large
Larger framed silicon solar panels - for more power hungry installations.
Semi-flexible panels
3 ranges of low-profile, marine-grade panels designed with the yachtsman in mind. Great range of sizes from 5W to 70W.
Flexible panels
Ideal on boats, or expeditions!
Peel 'n' stick panels
Flexible thin-film solar panels with an adhesive backing.
Solar panel kits
A range of framed, laminate and semi-flexible solar panel kits complete with solar regulator, cables and connectors.
Grid-connect PV

On the grid

With payments from the feed-in tariff, installing solar panels on a roof makes sense financially as well as economically. Our local installation team would be delighted to quote for an installation. Please see our dedicated website for solar panels in Cambridge: midsummersolar.co.uk

We work with other solar panel installers outside of Cambridge too. If you would like competitive quotes for a solar PV installation outside of East Anglia, please visit solar-pv-quote.co.uk

regulators
Solar Regulators
The world leaders in PWM solar regulators.
MPPT Solar Regulators
Get more power from your panels.
wind turbines
Leading Edge
Bombproof and British.
Rutland Turbines
Small, economical wind turbines, ideal for battery charging on yachts.
Forgen Turbines
Reliable vertical axis turbines - great for remote power solutions.
lights
Fluorescent lights
Efficient fluorescent lighting from Labcraft for boats and caravans.
LED lights
Stylish efficient lighting with new LED technology.
inverters
Modified sine inverters
A range of 12V-240V inverters providing great value for money.
Sine wave inverters
Sophisticated sine wave inverters for improved versatility and reliability.
Inverter chargers
Combined chargers and sine-wave inverters.
batteries
Powermax
Great value maintenance-free leisure batteries - ideal for boats and caravans
Haze Gel batteries
High-spec zero- maintenance gel batteries at great prices
Rolls Solar
A full range of these robust top-end solar batteries is now available
Crown Renewable
Diverse range of high quality solar batteries
Mastervolt chargers
Very high-spec chargers suitable for marine use
Chargers and accessories
Battery terminals, chargers, split charging devices and more.
odds & ends
Meters & Monitors
Keep an eye on your battery bank's state of charge with these meters and battery monitors.
Cable & Connectors
All the connectors you need, and high-grade cable to finish off your system
Solar Panel Mounts
Versatile mounting solutions to secure solar panels to poles and roofs
Clearance!
Keep an eye on this page for the latest bargains.
systems
Off-grid power
Complete power systems for properties with no grid connection
Bespoke Solutions
We design and build remote power systems to fit your needs and budget
trade
Trade customers
We offer great discounts for trade customers placing multiple orders. Please contact us for more information