MPPT charge controllers or Maximum Power Point Tracking controllers form an essential part of any solar array. They exist to increase the lifespan of the battery by protecting it from under and over-charging.
When it comes down to it, batteries and panels are created to send and receive power. By themselves they don’t regulate the DC current, which is why smart components like MPPT charge controllers are installed.
How MPPT Charge Controllers Work
To put it in basic terms, MPPT charge controllers monitor the DC current coming from the panels. Given that batteries can’t think for themselves, they accept any current that comes their way, regardless of how damaging it can be.
The controller acts as a buffer between the two and ensures the battery only receives a healthy current. And when the battery is fully charged, it stops the current from reaching the battery altogether.
At the same time, charge controllers won’t let the battery discharge completely. Depending on the type of battery that’s being used, it should only discharge to a certain level. Essentially, the controllers aim to keep the battery as healthy as possible. Prolonging the life of the battery.
The Different Types of MPPT Charge Controllers:
You’ll run into several options if you shop for a good charge controller. They differ in prices, functionality and quality, so pay attention before making any purchases.
These controllers will automatically cut the feed between the panels and the battery if it’s completely charged.
Shunt controllers do pretty much the same thing as series controllers, except they divert the current back to the panels instead of stopping it.
Not all controllers come with digital displays, which makes them slightly more affordable and basic. However, they still protect the battery and prolong its functionality.
These are considered the best charge controllers on the market because they function on a more detailed and intelligent scale. Also, note that they are the most expensive.
You can learn more about Solar Charge Controllers here.