Solar Charge Controllers

Solar charger Controllers, also known as a regulator, connects between the solar panels to charge the battery. It regulates the charging process of the battery and makes sure that the battery is not over-charged. Solar charge controllers are used in virtually all small-scale off grid solar power systems.

The Solar Charge Controllers, an electronic device, manages the power coming into the battery bank via the solar array. This device ensures that deep cycle batteries don’t get overcharged in the day, and that power doesn’t return to the solar array overnight draining the batteries. There are some solar charge controllers that have additional functions, such as lighting or load control, but the primary task of this charger is to manage the power.

There are two types of solar charge controllers: PWM or MPPT. The MPPT solar charge controllers can be more expensive but is much more efficient than the PWM solar charge controllers. It is often well worth the extra cost.

  • PWM Solar Charge Controllers: A PWM solar charge controllers stands for “Pulse Width Modulation”. They connect directly to the battery bank via a direct connection from the solar array. A 12V solar panel can charge a 12V battery. For a 24V battery bank you will need a solar array or a panel. A 48V array is required for a 48V bank.
  • MPPT Solar Charge Controllers: An MPPT solar charge controllers stands for “Maximum Power Point Tracking”. It measures the panel’s Vmp voltage and converts it to the battery voltage. If the voltage drops to match the battery banks, the current is increased. A 20V solar panel can be used to charge a 12V battery bank.

Solar Charge Controllers Products

Features of Solar Charge Controllers

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Multistage Charging 

This allows for the setting of the power to the batteries according to their charge level.

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Current Protection 

Stops the solar panels draining the batteries at night when there is no electricity coming from them.

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Low voltage disconnect

Turns off the attached load when it is low, and then turns it on again when the battery has been charged.

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Display

This may display the voltage, state of charge, and amps coming from the solar panels.

What's the difference between MPPT and PWM Solar charge controllers?

Parameters PWM Solar Charger Controllers MPPT Solar Charger Controllers
Efficiency
PWM Solar charge controllers are less efficient. The maximum efficiency is 65%
MPPT is a highly efficient charge controller that achieves 95% efficiency.
Size
These controllers are smaller and have a maximum power of 60 Amps
These controllers were specifically designed to support larger solar panels in an efficient way.
Market Appearance
PWM is a well-known brand that has been on the market for many years. It has been tested and proven to be reliable.
MPPT is a relatively new technology, but it's hot on the market
Limitation
It cannot be used with larger solar panels (>10).
Due to higher efficiency, MPPT is recommended for larger solar systems.
Price
A PWM solar charge controllers costs half the amount of an MPPT Controller.
MPPT solar charge Controllers is a high-end one time investment