How to Select A Solar Charge Controller?
This is the age of science and every day we’re experiencing technological advancement in our day-to-day lives. In our ancient times, due to lack of technologies people were deprived of various benefits.
Due to the gradual evolution of the generation, people are getting the chance to reap the rewards from different kinds of technologies.
One prime example is the solar panel. With the help of the Sun and its solar energy, the solar panel helps to store energy directly from the sun through a battery. This energy is then transferred to electrical energy which is then used for whatever purpose we require.
This article will talk about solar charge controllers and how you can select the ideal one according to the size that will meet with your requirements. Before selection, you must understand the function of the controller as this will give you a clear direction about the kind of controller that you should go for.
Read the article to get a full view of the overall guideline.
What Is the Function of a Solar Charge Controller?
We all know the purpose of a battery. It stores energy. Same goes for storing energies from solar panels. But storing energy directly is not considered efficient, as there are multiple problems that might occur.
This will be discussed later on. To overcome the trouble, a solar charge controller is connected between a solar panel and the battery. The controller takes energy from the panel and transfers it directly to the battery for storing.
As the energy comes from the panel, the controller can regulate the energy according to the capacity of the battery. It will make sure that the battery is not overcharging. If the incoming charge crosses the limit, it will automatically block the transfer of energy.
The reason for using the controller is to control the flow of energy as well as to prevent any damages to the overall solar power system due to overcharging. With the help of this little device, the lifetime increases as well as efficiency.
Size of The Controller
The sizing of the controller is not as complicated as it sounds. It is a very easy process if you have good understandings about the voltage and current related issues.
Your main understanding should be on the fact of how much your controller can handle regarding the amount of current and voltages that will be generated from the solar panel.
Know your overall voltage of the system and select the right controller. Solar charge controllers come in different voltages; 12, 24 and 48 volts are the standard ones to go for.
The selection will be dependent on the wiring according to the one done on your batteries. If the wiring on the battery is done for 48 volts, you have to use a controller for 48 volts. Same goes for the current. If the current in the wiring is 15 amps, you have to use a controller having at least 15 amps or more.
It is not a problem if you are using a high amp controller; it is quite the opposite. Higher amped controllers won't face any excessive current, and if you plan to expand the solar panel system in the future, this will come in handy. There are different kinds of controllers.
Some are made with a fixed voltage which means you cannot alter or replace any voltage. Others are more advanced one. It can detect the kind of voltage coming from the solar panel and adjust accordingly. You will be able to use it freely with different kinds of voltage settings.
Types of Controllers
There are mainly two types of controllers. They are PWM and MPPT controllers. PWM stands for ‘Pulse-width modulations,' and MPPT stands for ‘Maximum Power Point Tracking.' Both of the controllers will be discussed below.
This is considered as the older version. For it to work properly, you need to use it in a place where there is proper sunlight. This one is cheaper to buy, but it is not very much efficient like MPPT.
If you use it, 30% of the power will be lost which will result in the power loss of your solar panels. Don't get scared of this negative feature. It is still in use by many people.
You can easily use it if your solar panel is small. Many cars use small solar panels, and PWM will be the right fit for this. You can't use it for your home or other large areas as large panels will be a necessity in this case.
So, use it only at times when you have small solar panels. One thing to keep in mind is that PWM will only function when the panel and the battery are in the same voltage or are in equal range.
This one is the best controller to go for as it is highly efficient and long-lasting. MPPT is very popular among the people, and if you go and check the market, the availability of MPPT controllers is in abundance.
Controllers of this kind are used when the solar panel voltage is higher than the battery voltage. This converts and lowers the voltage to match the battery voltage. If you have large solar panels, MPPT can easily adjust with it because it can adapt with large voltages.
MPPTs will benefit you in a massive way as you don't need extra cables for voltage management. You will save a huge amount of money due to that. As the controller will take in and deliver power entirely to the batteries, there will be no loss in power as it happens in the PWM controllers.
You have to increase the budget if you go for MPPT controllers as these are expensive than PWM. The controller is applicable for home or any other areas where large panels are mandatory.
As you have read the article up to this point, you now have a clear idea about the kind of controller you will need to buy. Go and have a look around the market and know their offer. This will help you to adjust your budget according to the offer. Go for the durable and best quality one.
Best of luck!