The primary function of solar PV charge controllers is to prevent the solar battery from being overcharged by the photovoltaic array and constantly monitors battery voltage.
Solar Panel charge controllers are a necessary component in every solar power energy system. When the batteries are fully charged, the controller will stop or decrease the amount of current flowing from the photovoltaic array into the battery. When the batteries are being discharged to a low level, many controllers will shut off the current flowing from the battery to the DC load(s).
Solar PV charge controllers come in a variety sizes from a just a few amps to as many as 80 amps. Here you will find a wide range of quality PV charge controllers from such qualities manufacturers as Steca, Morningstar, Xantrex and many others.
What are solar charge controllers?
The primary function of PV (photovoltaic) solar charge controllers is to prevent the solar battery from being overcharged by the photovoltaic array through constant monitoring of the battery voltage. For example, you may have appliances in your house powered by solar energy. As you use the various appliances, the battery gets drained and depleted. If you leave for an extended period of time—say for a vacation—the batteries will continue to charge. Ideally speaking, you do not want your battery to get topped off and have the solar panels continue to charge after it is at capacity. Charge controllers will prevent this. When the batteries are fully charged, the controller will stop or decrease the amount of current flowing from the photovoltaic array into the battery. When the batteries are being discharged to a low level, many controllers will shut off the current flowing from the battery to the DC load(s). All solar panel charge controllers are for off grid solar energy systems.
Find the right solar charge controller for your budget
Charge controllers come in a variety sizes from just a few amps to as many as 80 amps. Here you will find a wide range of quality solar charge controllers from such quality manufacturers as Steca, Morningstar, Xantrex and many others. Terms such as “charge controllers” and “solar charge controllers” are interchangeable. Ones used for solar cells or solar panels can also be used for other purposes including wind power charge controllers. Solarblvd sells three types of solar charge controllers: 1. PWM solar charge controllers: these type of solar cell charge controllers can only go from the same voltage to the same voltage, for instance from 24v to 24v, for 100% efficiency. If you use PWM solar charge controllers to go from a 24v panel to a 12v panel, you will lose about 50% of efficiency from your solar panel. PWM solar charge controllers tend to be lower in price for this reason, and are for use in smaller footprint situations such as on boats or RVs. 2. MPPT solar charge controllers: recently becoming quite popular as homes continue to integrate solar panels in a drive to move off the grid. MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) allows you to have a 24v panel and want to charge a 12v battery bank. MPPT solar charge controllers would regulate the battery and drop it to 12v without losing any efficiency in the panel. MPPT charge controllers will give you the most out of your solar energy system; 100w out of a 100w solar panel. MPPT charge controllers are big and bulky, thus more suited for a home or cabin environment. 3. Lighting control is a timer similar to a sprinkler system. It works like solar charge controllers and also controls your lights on/off schedule.
Features to look for in solar charge controllers
While all solar charge controllers perform the same basic function, there are some features that may be helpful. A low voltage disconnect will monitor when the voltage gets low (when sun isn’t shining) and disconnect from the battery. Having a data display to show various information such as DC amps, battery voltage and cumulative amp hours since last reset is also useful. Some solar charge controllers have a data display built onto the unit itself (such as the Steca PR1010) while others use an external accessory (such as the Xantrex Digitalmeters). Whatever your solar charge controller needs are, you can find them at Solarblvd. Give one of our experts a call if you have any questions about solar charge controllers.