A solar charge controller is made specifically to regulate the voltage/current that is used to charge the battery, which is part of a solar array. However, they are not always necessary if you are using minimum output panels. For example, panels varying between 1 and 5-watt are considered minimal and won’t require a controller. But if the range goes above 5 watt, you want to protect the battery and get it to work efficiently for as long as possible. And that’s when you start looking at controllers.
A Basic Understanding Of A Solar Charge Controller
When you start using solar panels, you might notice something strange. Panels that are categorized as 12V actually put out around 17V. Of course, this is not something you see, because you assume the specs of the panel are accurate. And just to be clear, the 12V panels are created to put out more for a reason. So yes, it’s done on purpose. But why?
Given that solar panel efficiency is influenced by several variables, the extra output is there to compensate for these variables. For example, on a day when the sun isn’t shining as bright as you’d like it, the panel is going to be less efficient. But with the output set at 17V for the panel, less efficiency brings it to 12V. In other words, you can regard the panel to put out 12V on a non-optimal day.
But on the good days, you’ll be getting a little extra, which can be dangerous for the battery you use for storage. And this is why you want to consider using a solar charge controller because it regulates the voltage according to what the battery needs at that specific moment.
Types Of Solar Charge Controllers
There are three main types of solar charge controllers. And they range between small, basic designs and bigger, more intelligent models with a computer interface. But let’s break it down for more clarity.
These use an algorithm my determine a rate of charge. Although more cost effective, the controller must be the same as the battery voltage. In conditions of uninterrupted sunlight these units are suffice to ensure that you get the most from your production. Very simple units and work well for smaller systems.
MPPT charge controllers are the more sophisticated products that offer a variety of perks that can assist with making your system work more optimally which will inevitably reduce your cost for electricity over time. The MPPT harvests the optimum voltage from the solar array and provides the required voltage to the system as required.
R3,171.82 Excl VAT
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R1,085.88 Excl VAT
Our Range of Solar Charge Controllers
You won’t find a lack of options at Solar Advice if you are looking for a high-quality controller. Even if you have a specific budget to work with, we are constantly running sales and other promotions which bring you the most competitive prices. At the same time, we offer the best service and assistance. Do yourself a favor and go through our catalog. Odds are you’ll find exactly what you are looking for.
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