How to Charge 24 Volt Trolling Motor Batteries

How to Charge 24 Volt Trolling Motor Batteries

Trolling motor batteries refer to batteries that are specifically crafted for powering boat trolling motors. And a 24-volt system typically consists of two 12-volt batteries wired in series, which combine to produce 24 volts. This configuration allows for increased power output and longer-lasting performance compared to a 12-volt system. The higher voltage enables greater thrust and more extended run times, making it ideal for extended fishing trips and navigating larger bodies of water.

How to Charge 24 Volt Trolling Motor Batteries?

The short answer is – “The most basic and standard way to charge 24-volt trolling motor batteries is by using a dedicated 24-volt charger that can simultaneously charge both batteries in the series or use a 12-volt smart charger, charging each battery individually while disconnected from the series lead.”

Charging Option

Portable Battery Chargers

Portable battery chargers are a convenient option for charging trolling motor batteries. These chargers can be easily transported and used in various locations. They typically connect to the battery directly and provide a controlled charging process to replenish the battery’s charge. Portable battery chargers come in different sizes and power ratings to accommodate different battery capacities.

Onboard Battery Chargers

Onboard battery chargers are a popular choice for trolling motor batteries. These chargers are installed directly on the boat, typically in a storage compartment or near the battery compartment. They are designed to provide a dedicated charging solution for the batteries while the boat is docked or not in use. Onboard chargers often have multiple charging banks, allowing simultaneous charging of multiple batteries. They provide a convenient and efficient way to maintain the batteries’ charge without the need for external chargers.

Solar Chargers

Solar chargers offer an environmentally friendly charging option for trolling motor batteries. These chargers utilize solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, which is then used to charge the batteries. Solar chargers are particularly useful when boating in remote locations or areas without access to electrical outlets. They are typically designed to withstand marine environments and can be mounted on the boat’s surface or positioned for optimal sunlight exposure. Solar chargers provide a sustainable and independent charging solution for trolling motor batteries

How to Charge 24 Volt Trolling Motor Batteries: Wiring and Setup

When setting up the wiring for charging a 24-volt trolling motor battery system, there are two different methods depending on the charger voltage. If you have both a 12-volt charger and a 24-volt charger on your boat, it is important to understand the wiring setup. Referencing the provided wiring schematic:

24-Volt Charger

Connect the 24-volt charger to your battery system as follows: The negative terminal of battery 1 should be connected to the charger’s negative terminal, while the positive terminal of battery 2 should be connected to the charger’s positive terminal. This configuration allows the charger to input 24 volts to the series battery bank. For example, a Samlex SEC-2425UL charger can be used for a 24-volt setup.

12-Volt Dual Bank Charger

For a 12-volt two-bank or dual-bank battery charger, each battery is connected separately. The wires are usually color-coded to match your system, with red representing the positive connection. Connect the charger to each battery individually, ensuring the positive wire goes to the positive terminal of each battery. If your charger has a ground terminal, it should be attached to the boat’s ground in the same manner as your batteries.

It is crucial to follow the color-coded instructions and ensure proper grounding when connecting the chargers to the batteries and your boat’s electrical system. Moreover, it is important to avoid exceeding the amp rating of the step-down transformer or the inline fuse connected to your battery. Additionally, you should have a reliable method to recharge the battery that you are drawing power from. 

Can you charge a 24-volt trolling motor system with a 12-volt charger?

To ensure efficient charging of a 24-volt trolling motor system, it is important to use a charger that operates at a higher voltage than the battery bank’s resting voltage. A 12-volt charger is not suitable for this purpose.

For instance, a standard 24-volt battery bank typically has a resting voltage of 25.2 volts or higher. To effectively charge batteries with this voltage, it is recommended to use a charger within the voltage range of 27 to 28 volts.

To achieve optimal performance and charging capability, we suggest utilizing either a 24-volt smart charger or a multi-bank 12-volt smart charger. These chargers are specifically designed to provide the best charging experience for your batteries.

Can You Charge a 24V Battery with a 12V solar panel?

In order to charge a 24-volt battery, it is important to use a solar panel with an appropriate voltage output. A standard 12-volt solar panel, with an operating voltage of around 18 volts, is not capable of charging a 24-volt battery directly.

However, to effectively charge a 24-volt battery, a 24-volt solar panel is required, which typically outputs above 36 volts.

To accomplish this, the 24-volt solar panel should be connected to a suitable charge controller, such as an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) controller. The charge controller will then manage the power flow from the solar panel to the battery, ensuring optimal charging until the battery is fully charged or the sunlight diminishes.

Does a 24-volt trolling motor need 2 batteries?

A 24-volt trolling motor can be powered by combining batteries that add up to 24 volts. The most common setup uses two 12-volt batteries connected together in a series. This setup gives you the desired 24 volts while keeping the same amp-hour rating as a single battery.

Another option is to use four 6-volt batteries, which are more energy-dense. However, it’s important to know that this setup adds more weight and requires special wiring.

To summarize, for a 24-volt trolling motor, you can use either two 12-volt batteries or four 6-volt batteries, depending on your preferences and the specific requirements of your setup.

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