What is a Solar Charge Controller?
A solar charge controller is a fundamental device for controlling the voltage of electrical appliances. Its primary function is to pause the charging when the voltage of the battery reaches its maximum level. These solar charging controllers are an essential part of the kits for solar charging. It prevents the batteries from overcharging by regulating the current that comes from the solar panels.
In today’s’ world, the course of generating electricity by taking sunlight as the primary source of energy has become quite a rage. The interest in ecofriendly appliances has picked momentum and hence solar charge controllers are an essential commodity.
During the initial phase when solar power was a newly discovered source of energy, the solar charge controller used a mechanical relay for controlling the opening and shutting off the circuit. Moreover, it also helped in halting or generating power for the devices that stored electrical charge.
Let’s check a run-through of the best sellers down below :
Here’s the full reviewed of “the 7 Best Solar Charge Controllers” :
There are multiple options available in the marketplace when it comes to buying solar charge controllers. We have compiled a list of 7 best solar charge controllers that will fit all your requirements;
- #7. MPPT Solar Controller 40Amp 100 V
- #6. Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller MPPT 100V
- #5. EPever MPPT Solar Charge Controller MPPT 100V
- #4. Renogy Rover Charge Controller MMPT 20 Amp
- #3. HQST Solar Panel Controller PWM 20A
- #2. Binen Solar Charge Controller PWM 20A
- #1. Renogy Wanderer Solar ChargeController PWM 10 Amp
#7. MPPT Solar Controller 40Amp 100 V
This is an efficient MPPT solar charge and discharge controller. This solar charge controller has a charging efficiency that is 15 – 20 % higher than the regular controllers. This is a durable solar charge controller and it protects the battery by controlling the MOSFET switch to control charge and discharge.
With an average weight of 5.6 lb., it has a maximum PV open circuit voltage of 96VDC and a power terminal of 8AWG. The dimensions of the charge measures about 11.8 * 7.87 * 3.95 (in). Also, it comes with an interactive LCD which shows wider parameter infuriation.
Moreover, This is a durable solar charge controller that will be installed by a team of technical experts so you don’t have to worry about the procedural aspects. Also, this controller comes with an after-sales warranty so you don’t have to worry about after-sales maintenance.
What we like
- Interactive LCD screen
- Hassle-free installation
- Effective in controlling overcharging, overheating, and over-discharge
- After-sales guarantee
- Professional installation guided by the technical team
#6. Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller MPPT 100V
This technically advanced Victron solar charge controller uses cutting-edge technology to maximize energy conservation and preserving the life of the batteries. It has an efficient charging system that can even charge a completely exhausted battery.
This fast-performing charger can operate with a battery voltage of as low as 0 volts. With an average weight of 1.19 Pounds, its dimensions range from 8.27 x 5.91 x 1.97 inches. The MPPT technology of this charger ensures that every iota of power in panels is cleaned out and keeps it stored. The smart load output function of this solar charge controller prevents the battery from damage caused by exhaustion. The excessive drain on batteries is prevented by configuring the voltage at which SmartSolar disconnects the load which guards the batteries against excessive drain hence extending the battery life.
This solar panel controller comes with built-in Bluetooth which gives you the ease of pairing it with your smartphone or any other device via VictronConnect so you can control and monitor it remotely from the comfort of your setting.
What we like
- SmartSolar Recharge
- Fastest Technology
- Built-in Bluetooth for easy access
- Efficient SmartSolar MPPT 100-Volt 15 amp
- Maximum energy harvest
#5. EPever MPPT Solar Charge Controller MPPT 100V
Prepared with advanced MPPT technology, this EPever solar charger has a super fast-tracking speed. The efficiency rate of the EPever solar charge controller is a generous 99.5% with maximum efficiency for conversion of 98%. This controller is constructed with superior quality components that give it the durability required to function efficiently
With an average weight of 1.26 kg, its dimension ranges from 228*164*55 mm. This controller displays statistics for real-time energy and has work modes for multiple loads. With this controller, you have the ease to set the parameters via your smartphone without any hassle.
It also provides full load operation within the range of working without any drip in its capacity.
Also, a professional team by EPever is dedicated to supporting the customers in case of any assistance or support is required. This controller also comes with a special gift of a temperature sensor.
What we like
- Fast-tracking speed
- Efficient controls
- Large LCD Display
- Highly durable
- Smartphone integration
#4. Renogy Rover Charge Controller MMPT 20 Amp
The efficient 20 AMP Renogy Rover is built with an innovative MMPT charge controller. With its robust die-cast Aluminum design, it dispels heat faster. It is a perfect device to protect your battery from overcharging or by getting over-discharged due to loads thus extending its life. Rover’s inventive mechanism has been augmented to expand system performance and increase battery life.
This controller is compatible with numerous battery options including Lithium, Sealed, Flooded, or Gel. The Renogy Rover charge controller will prove to be a perfect enhancement for your solar power kit as it helps the system to work without energy wastage. It has an average weight of 1.5 pounds.
This controller also comes with an interactive LCD showing charging parameters that are programmable. Also, it has a temperature range of up to 176 F with insulated wires for protection from harsh weather.
What we like
- Interactive LCD Screen & Multiple LEDs
- Sturdy die-cast Aluminum design
- Innovative temperature sensor
- Efficiently increases battery life
- Highly durable
#3. HQST Solar Panel Controller PWM 20A
This is a smart multifunctional solar charge controller that comes with a tailored LCD screen for display for great convenience. It allows resetting all the controlling parameters as per your need
The HQST solar panel controller has an automatic 12 V / 24 V system detection. It also comes incorporated with a USB function for additional charging. It’s an extremely reliable controller for charging multiple devices including speakers’ mobile phones or tablets.
This controller is compatible with various types of batteries including Gel, Flooded, and Sealed Lead giving you more ease of use.
What we like
- Automatic battery detection
- Integrated LCD Screen
- Integrated USB function
- Four intelligent security protection
- Compatible with 4 batteries type
#2. Binen Solar Charge Controller PWM 20A
This cutting edge Binen solar charge controller is designed to give you ease and efficient performance at the same time. Its advanced built-in industrial microcontroller spontaneously manages the working of the battery in solar penal. A smart LCD with real-time data, this controller is a breeze to connect.
Moreover, this innovative Binen solar panel controller gives numerous protection functions that augment the system efficacy and extends the working life of your battery. It has dimensions of 5.39 x 3.11 x 1.65 inches with an average weight of 5.9 ounces. With its multiple modes and parameter configuration feature, you get the option of using it for home, commercial or industrial use.
What we like
- Smart PWM charging mode
- Large LED display screen
- Innovative working mechanism
- Multiple protection functions
- Intelligent light and time control
- Easy to install
#1. Renogy Wanderer Solar ChargeController PWM 10 Amp
With efficient PWM charging to enhance battery life, the 10 Amp Renogy Wanderer solar charge controller takes the first position in our list. This unconventional controller is fashioned for off-grid solar applications.
It is a sleek and compact controller hence installing this controller is no hassle. Moreover, this controller is furnished with self-diagnostic and electronic protection utilities therefore it safeguards the controller from system errors or mistakes during installation. It has dimensions of 4.7 x 3 x 1.1 inches with an average weight of 4.3 ounces.
Moreover, it gives you a no-fuss and simple interface to manage the controller with its LCD display that will update you with real-time battery information.
What we like
- Sleek design
- Smart layout
- 4 Compatible Battery Types
- Integrated USB port
- Large LCD screen
- Integrated Bluetooth technology
The Best Solar Charge Controller
Key Features of a Solar Charge Controller:
To understand the significance of a solar charge controller we need to comprehend its functional qualities. Some of the key features of a solar panel controller include;
- It efficiently alters the amount of power set to the batteries depending on the level of its charge to ensure an improved and long battery life
- It competently switches off the load when the battery levels down and when the battery gets the charge, it automatically turns the load back on.
- Once the sun is set, it halts the solar panels from exhausting the batteries as there is no power coming from the solar panels
- They come with a lighting control system which turns on and off depending on the time of the day.
- Many controllers come with a real-time display of all the necessary information for the user’s ease.
Types of Solar Charge Controllers:
Solar charge controllers come in various categories to suit numerous different requirements of its users. Some of its major types include;
1. PWM controllers:
Pulse Width Modulation controller is currently the best solar panel controller known for enhancing the battery life and increasing its strength. This regulator has an efficient understanding of batteries and loads and ensures zero loss of current and voltage between panel and battery through its competent PWM technology.
2. MPPT controllers:
The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controllers are equally great and advantageous controllers like the PWM controller. It’s an effectual controller that alters a higher voltage DC output coming from solar panels to a lower voltage that is suitable to charge the batteries.
When do you need a Solar Charge Controller?
It’s very easy and safe to check whether you need to install a solar charge controller or not. The easiest way to check is to divide the Solar Panel’s maximum power amp rating with battery amp-hour capacity. If the amount is above 200, the controller may not be required however, if the quotient is less than 200, you need to install a solar charge controller.
What to look for when buying a charge controller?
Since the solar charge controllers have to deal with a massive amount of heat, they must be strong enough to manage it properly. Choosing the right size and features of the solar charge controllers is important to ensure superior performance.
Solar controllers that cost less may not be very reliable and may not meet the minimum requirements for right functioning. Replacing battery bank or maintenance visits costs way more than the cost of the solar charger itself. Some solar charge controllers that are small comes without a fan hence they have the advantage of passive cooling. By regulating the voltage, the solar charge controllers safeguard the batteries. Batteries are an expensive part of the system and solar panel controllers protect batteries from over or undercharging. Therefore, it is important to choose the right controller and check if it has the following qualities;
1. Selecting Voltage:
Some solar charge controllers do not change their voltage which means they are voltage specific. However, some high-end solar panel controllers have the voltage auto-detect feature through which they can adjust their voltage settings. Therefore, it is important to note if the solar charge controller is compatible with system voltage
2. Current Handling Capacity:
While choosing a solar charge controller, it is essential to select the one which can handle the maximum current output from the solar panel. Also, it is necessary to keep the safety factor in consideration for isolated events when solar panels may produce more current than usual.
Durability is an important factor to consider when making a purchase decision for solar charge controllers. All features should be carefully inspected to ensure reliable and efficient working so they work without any hassle in long run.
Wrap It Up
In this article, we have touched on every aspect that is necessary for you to understand before making a purchase decision of a solar charge controller. Solar chargers are important to control the power going into the batteries and maintain their durability hence choosing the right kind of solar charger is equally important.
So which solar charge controller will you choose? Let us know your thoughts right here.