What’s a Solar Charge Controller

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A solar charge controller manages the power going into the battery bank from the solar array. It ensures that the deep cycle batteries aren’t overcharged during the day, and that the ability doesn’t run backwards to the solar panels overnight and drain the batteries. Some charge controllers are available with additional capabilities, like lighting and load management, however managing the power is its primary job.

A solar cost controller is available in completely different applied sciences, PWM and MPPT. How they perform in a system is very different from each other. An MPPT charge controller is more expensive than a PWM cost controller, and it is often price it to pay the extra money.


A PWM solar charge controller stands for “Pulse Width Modulation”. These operate by making a connection directly from the solar array to the battery bank. Throughout bulk charging, when there’s a steady connection from the array to the battery bank, the array output voltage is ‘pulled down’ to the battery voltage. Because the battery costs, the voltage of the battery rises, so the voltage output of the solar panel rises as well, utilizing more of the solar energy as it charges. In consequence, it’s good to make positive you match the nominal voltage of the solar array with the voltage of the battery bank. *Note that once we discuss with a 12V solar panel, which means a panel that’s designed to work with a 12V battery. The precise voltage of a 12V solar panel, when related to a load, is near 18 Vmp (Volts at most power). This is because a higher voltage supply is required to cost a battery. If the battery and solar panel each started at the identical voltage, the battery wouldn’t charge.

A 12V solar panel can cost a 12V battery. A 24V solar panel or solar array ( 12V panels wired in series) is needed for a 24V battery bank, and 48V array is needed for 48V bank. In case you attempt to charge a 12V battery with a 24V solar panel, you will be throwing over half of the panel’s power away. If you attempt to cost a 24V battery bank with a 12V solar panel, you will be throwing away 100% of the panel’s potential, and may actually drain the battery as well.

An MPPT solar cost controller stands for “Most Power Point Tracking”. It will measure the Vmp voltage of the panel, and down-converts the PV voltage to the battery voltage. Because power into the cost controller equals energy out of the charge controller, when the voltage is dropped to match the battery bank, the present is raised, so you’re utilizing more of the available energy from the panel. You should use a higher voltage solar array than battery, like the 60 cell nominal 20V grid-tie solar panels which might be more readily available. With a 20V solar panel, you possibly can cost a 12V battery bank, or in series can charge as much as a 24V battery bank, and three in series can cost as much as a 48V battery bank. This opens up an entire wide range of solar panels that now can be used on your off-grid solar system.


Multistage charging of battery bank – modifications the amount of power set to the batteries based mostly on its cost level, for healthier batteries.

Reverse current protection – stops the solar panels from draining the batteries at evening when there isn’t a energy coming from the solar panels.

Low voltage disconnect – turns off connected load when battery is low and turns it back on when the battery is charged back up.

Lighting management – turns attached light on and off primarily based on dusk and dawn. Many controllers are configurable, permitting settings for a couple of hours or all night time, or somewhere in between.

Display- might show voltage of battery bank, state of cost, amps coming in from solar panel.

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