What is a Solar Charge Controller?
Just a quick recap, solar charger controller is an essential protective device for battery in an off-grid PV system and grid-connected systems with battery backup. (It's a more like our 2 yrs old's nanny while we are away from home.) It helps us to take good care of our deep cycle batteries by preventing it from overcharging. It does that by regulating the flow of electricity to the batteries.
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Top 5 Solar Charge Controllers 2020
[Product info last updated on 2020-07-24 at 15:31 | Affiliate Link | Data obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API]
Solar Charge Controllers Reviews
Here is a look at some of the best solar charge controllers available in the market today. If you want to learn how to choose the best charge controller for solar panel system, check this charge controller selection guide here. We want you to pay attention to each of the power capacity, regulator types (Shunt, PWM, and MPPT), and ease of installation. Now take a deep breath and let's dive it.
1. Renogy The Wanderer - 30A PWM Charge Controller
This Renogy 30A PWM controller is a ground controller, thus is able to effectively cope with any negative ground system. It charges in four main stages, Bulk, Boost, Float and Equalization. These stages are meant to protect the battery from overcharging, overloading, short circuiting and reverse polarity.
Renogy also claims it can accordingly compensate for temperature changes by correcting charging and discharging parameters; in the long run, this prolong the battery’s life.
This affordable controller comes with additional LED indicators to highlight its status. It supports Sealed, Gel and flooded batteries.
Many Renogy's happy customers have praised it for being: suitable for small power needs, durable, well built with a sturdy enclosure and reliable to handle 30 Amps of current.
2. WindyNation P30L LCD 30A PWM Solar Charge Controller
This is a premium grade solar charge controller. It has a digital display that shows all the important system information and from the same place, you can make all adjustments. The WindyNation regulator protects the battery from overcharge and damage by the solar panel.
It is suitable for use where system information is important like on rv’s, boats and tiny cabins among other off grid installations.
3. Renogy Rover 20A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
The Renogy Rover 20 Amp is one of the charge controllers of the Renogy Rover series. This controller features a smart tracking algorithm that maximizes the energy from your solar panels and efficiently charge your battery. Meanwhile, the low voltage disconnect function (LVD) will prevent your battery from over discharging.
The Rover's charging process has been optimized for long battery life and improved system performance. The comprehensive self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions can prevent damage from installation mistakes or system faults.
4. Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller with Built-In Bluetooth
This Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller is able to harvest high amounts of power even in poorly lit conditions. It is equipped with built-in Bluetooth module which allow monitoring of your off-grid PV system with a touch of a smartphone. Device data such as solar panel power and the battery status can be accessed securely over-the-air.
Furthermore, the free smartphone app enable you to set the battery charge algorithm, the timings and light deeming options too.
5. Rich Solar 20A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
Last but not least, this Rich Solar MPPT charge controller features an advanced dual-peak tracking technology, when the solar panel is shadowed or part of the panel fails resulting in multiple peaks on the I-V curve, the controller is still able to accurately track the maximum power point.
Like other MPPT controllers, it has a LCD screen that displays programmable charging parameters.
With its advanced digital power supply technology, its rate of energy conversion is as high as 98%.
Your battery, panel and energy needs will play a big role in determining which type of charge controller will best work for you. Before you click the B-U-Y button, make sure you check the manufacturer’s manual to get the technical details of your solar power system and use this charge controller selection guide to pick the most ideal one. Not to forget, how much you are willing to spend is very important too.
But if you require our opinion on this, we would recommend the Renogy-The-Wanderer PWM solar panel regulator if you have a small power needs and under a very tight budget. It is among our favorites for being not only affordable but also quite efficient. From the very many online product reviews, most buyers are satisfied with the very clear manual and durability.
Another great choice would be the Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controller. With their built-in Bluetooth module, you can enjoy the remote monitoring and control of its extensive features at your fingertips. As long as one does get to the near maximum voltage, all other features are excellent.
If you have any questions regarding solar charge controller selection, please drop your questions in the comment box below or leave a comment on our social pages.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John is a digital marketer and grant writer. He is passionate advocates of telecommuting and the RV lifestyle. With 10+ years of living and traveling full-time in an RV with no end in sight, John is truly an RV Lifestyle Expert. His goal is to help others become more powerful by providing basic information on enhancing your RV lifestyle with Solar Power.