A solar charge controller is a current or voltage that charges the battery while preventing the electric cells from overcharging. It directs the current and voltage generated by the solar panels to the electric cell; most of the time, 12V boards output in the range of 16 to 20V. Therefore, if there is no regulation, the electric cells will be damaged due to overcharging.
The solar charge controllers vary in price, size, and features. Charge controllers are available in a variety of capacities from 4.5A to 60 to 80A. In general, electric storage devices require 14 to 14.5V to be fully charged.
Solar Charge Controller Types
Here are the three types of solar charge controllers you need to know:
Simple 1 or 2 Stage Controls
Shunt transistors control the voltage in one or two stages. When a specified voltage is reached, this controller shorts the solar panel. Their best quality is their genuine fuel – they have few segments, and there is little to break.
Pulse Width Modulated (PWM)
PWM is the most common type of charge controller and is now the industry standard.
Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
The MPPT is the most popular type of solar charge controller. It accurately determines the best working amperage and voltage of the solar panel and matches it with the electric cell bank. Compared to a PWM controller, this results in an additional 10-30% greater power from the sun-oriented cluster. Therefore, any solar electric system with a capacity of more than 200 watts is usually worth the risk.
Solar Charge Controller Features
- Prevents a 12V battery from overcharging
- Boosts battery lifetime and reduces system maintenance
- Auto charged indication
- High reliability
- Charging current is 10 amp to 40 amp
- The reverse current flow is monitored
Solar Charge Functions and Applications
The charge controller’s primary function is to control the device voltage and open the circuit, preventing overcharging when the battery voltage reaches a specified threshold. More charge controllers used a mechanical relay to open or close the circuit, to stop or restart power to the electric storage devices.
Solar power systems often use 12V solar batteries. Less voltage is required to charge the battery from solar panels. The charge voltage can be kept optimal while the charging time for electric storage devices is reduced. This keeps the solar systems running smoothly. Higher voltage in the wires from the solar panels to the charge controller reduces power dissipation.
Surge protection is provided via solar charge controllers. When no electricity comes from the solar panels, the charge controllers open the circuit between the panels and the batteries, stopping the reverse current flow.
Photovoltaic panels are completely pollution-free and require little maintenance. Here are some instances of how solar energy is used.
- Photovoltaic cells turn sunlight into DC electricity. This system uses a solar charge controller to store DC in batteries.
- PV modules are used in home systems.
- A hybrid solar system uses numerous energy sources to provide continuous backup.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable energy source. Modern technology can utilize this energy to generate power, light, and heat water for household, commercial, and industrial purposes.