Just like any other electrical system, the solar-power system also causes extensive damage to the battery and which is why it has become imperative for all of us to use solar charge controller otherwise the battery is not going to last very long. Now, you might be wondering whether you really need a solar charge controller or, not right? Let me burst your bubble. Irrespective of the size of the solar panels, you need to have a solar charge controller so that things run smoothly.
Now Finding the right solar charge controller is not easy. There are so many factors into play that you might find it extremely difficult to make a final selection. To make your job easier, here we have listed the best and the most affordable solar charge controllers that money can buy.
How Does A Solar Charge Controller Work?
A solar charge controller basically regulates the flow of power that gets transmitted from the solar panels to the battery. The solar charge controller helps to keep the battery safe by eliminating the possibility of getting overcharged. By using a solar charge controller, you can increase the efficiency of the solar system by 50% which is impressive, to say the least. In the absence of a solar charge controller, the battery can get damaged very easily.
Solar Charge Controllers Reviewed
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Finding the right solar charge controller could be intimidating but it does not have to be. To make your job easier here we have listed some of the most popular solar charge controllers that will do the job just fine –
It is a nice idea to use various types of solar powered devices at home or a business setup. However, you need to use suitable solar charge controllers to ensure the devices function in the best manner. This versatile Renogy Wanderer PWM Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller is built robust and it comes with a set of advanced features. The simple interface and handy LCD panel makes it ideal for all types of users. It is meant for diverse types of off-grid solar applications. It can be used with compatible 12V/24V battery.
Renogy Wanderer PWM Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller is compact and so installation is hassle-free. Its 4 Stage PWM charging helps increase battery life. The connected devices stay safeguarded from hazards like short-circuit and reverse polarity. Thanks to an RS232 port, it can be linked with a BT-1 Bluetooth module. You may even charge USB devices using its 5V 2A USB ports.
Not all solar charge controller models are the same. If you want a versatile and feature-laden model, go for this one. Mohoo Solar Charge Controller is ideal for handling the solar panel working mechanism. The battery voltage dropping below a certain level results in the controller turning off automatically. Mohoo Solar Charge Controller has 2 USB ports which is convenient.
There are several safety features inbuilt. When you use it, there is no need to worry about hazards like reverse current and overheating, etc. Mohoo Solar Charge Controller can withstand temperature variation as well. Its big LCD makes operation simpler and also helps in diagnosing errors. The PWM charging mode aids in improving battery life.
Using a suitable solar charge controller helps in making your solar-powered devices function optimally and evading malfunctions. Go for this Binen Solar Charge Controller and you will not regret it. Binen Solar Charge Controller is UL 1741 certified. Its advanced industrial microcontroller manages battery and solar panel working mechanism automatically. You can also charge a mobile phone using its Dual USB output.
Binen Solar Charge Controller comes with several safety features like over-load protection, open circuit protection, and short circuit protection. Its PWM charge management ensures the battery lasts longer. It is compatible with lead-acid batteries. The LCD screen indicates the status. Binen Solar Charge Controller is perfect for the small solar-powered setups.
There are many solar charge controller models in the market but this Renogy Adventurer Negative Ground PWM Flush Mount Charge Controller is unbeatable. Renogy Adventurer Negative Ground PWM Flush Mount Charge Controller comes with an array of useful features and a rugged body. Innovative MPPT technology enhances working efficacy. The Die-cast aluminum design aids in good heat dissipation. It works with a wide range of Deep Cycle battery models. Renogy Adventurer Negative Ground PWM Flush Mount Charge Controller comes with advanced 4-stage charging. There is an RS232 port that ensures Bluetooth module linking.
Renogy Adventurer Negative Ground PWM Flush Mount Charge Controller offers to safeguard from hassles like overcharging, reverse polarity, and short-circuit. It’s multiple LED indicators and LCD makes troubleshooting simple. There is an inbuilt Temperature sensor as well.
Solar charge controllers are essential when you use solar-powered devices and panels quite regularly. ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller comes with advanced features and operating it is absolutely safe. If the battery voltage is low, it switches off. ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller is laden with an STM 8 microprocessor. It comes with Multiple Electric Protection features. You get safeguards from short-circuit, inverse connection, and overcharge. You need not worry about any heat dissipation issues when using this device.
Its dual USB ports make charging your USB gadgets easy. The LCD screen indicates status and errors. ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller is meant for indoor usage and small-sized solar setups.
You may not be sure about buying the right solar charge controller for running your solar power devices efficiently. Try this versatile HQST 10A 12V MPPT Solar Charge Controller that comes with a range of innovative features. HQST 10A 12V MPPT Solar Charge Controller has an embedded advanced temperature sensor and that helps in preventing controller overheating. The 4-stage charging enhances battery longevity. There are multiple load control modes. Its MPPT technology ensures superior tracking efficiency.
You get an LCD screen in the unit which makes operations simple. Monitoring the solar system becomes easy. There is protection from issues like Battery Over-Charging, Overload, Reverse Current, and Reverse Polarity.
You will require a suitable solar charge controller to make sure all your solar-powered devices operate optimally. This compact and versatile EEEKit Solar Charge Controller can fit your bill quite well. EEEKit Solar Charge Controller has a body composed of quality ABS. It has 2 USB ports and so you can connect small USB devices for charging. The LCD screen is also handy. This device can work in extreme climate conditions.
Its embedded advanced industrial microcontroller manages solar panel functioning and that of the battery. The 3 phase PWM charge management boosts battery longevity. EEEKit Solar Charge Controller has inbuilt over-load protection and short-circuits protection.
Best Solar Charge Controllers Buying Guide
Usually, you would do well with a battery charging unit that has a range between 12 to 48 VDC. However, if you are planning to completely overhaul your home’s electricity system or want to go 100% off-grid, in that case, you might have to purchase a 72V battery charging unit. The higher the battery charging unit is, the better. However, price does go up significantly when you go for the higher voltage Battery charging unit. Make sure that the battery charging Unit that you are planning to purchase is flexible. It should allow you to scale up or down effortlessly.
Solar charge controllers are available in two different models – PMW and MPPT.
MPPT controllers are by far the best of the lot. MPPT is the acronym of Maximum Power Point Tracker. They are basically a DC to DC converter whose job is to optimize the match between the grid or the battery and the Solar Panels. To break it down further – MPPT controllers convert high voltage DC outputs (produced by the solar panels) into lower voltage DC outputs so that the battery can be charged safely and effectively.
PMW whose full form is Pulse-Width Modulation helps cutting down on the average power supply by chopping the electrical signals down into smaller chunks. This process helps to keep the battery safe. PMW Charge Controllers are best suited for smaller solar devices like solar lanterns or solar patio umbrellas.
Max Current Output
Not all types of devices can be charged with solar panels. Surprisingly not many people are aware of that. You simply can’t recharge your MacBook Pro if you have a solar charge controller with a maximum 30A voltage capacity. If you want to charge large devices, you might have to consider purchasing an 80A or higher solar charge controller.
Max Input Voltage
If you have 48V panel, you might be tempted to go for a 48-volt battery bank because this is how it suppose to work right? Well, sadly in the real world, it does not work that way. How much power is generated by the solar panels depends on a lot of factors like – how cloudy the day or how long the solar panels soaking the sunlight or how bright the sun is. So, that simply means, just because a solar panel is rated 12-volt, it does not mean it will generate a precise amount of energy at the end of the day. Fluctuations are quite common and you just have to deal with it.
Sometimes, people go extra creative and they create a solar grid system by connecting multiple solar panels. In that case, as you have already guessed, the system can overwhelm your existing charge controller and that means, you might have to invest in a solar charge controller that has got a high max input voltage so it can manage the extra loads. Solar charge controller with higher max input is ideal for these types of cases.