What are the Different Types of Solar Charge Controller?
Posted: Feb 08, 2020
A solar charge controller is a device that is used to keep the batteries from overcharging. The rate of current and voltage that comes from solar panels to the batteries is maintained by the solar charge controller. In other words, these controllers act as a gateway to your battery. The main purpose of this regulator is to minimize the damage that can be caused to your energy storage system. Since, the batteries are rated for their voltage capacity, if the voltage exceeds the capacity, then it can cause permanent battery damage.
You will be glad to know that charge controllers are required only in specific cases, say, for example, if you have an off-grid solar system, then you will have to install a solar charge controller as well. If you have an off-grid solar system, and a solar charge controller, then once your battery is full, excess energy will be directed to the grid, which will further prevent overloading of your battery. You might also be interested to know about the different types of solar charge controllers that are available in the market. There are two types of solar charge controllers, PWM and MPPT. They differ in the way they perform in a system.
1. Pulse Width Modulation solar charge controller
Commonly known as PWM, this solar charge controller is simpler and less expensive than the other kind of controller which is MPPT. This controller slowly reduces the amount of power that goes into your battery. The catch here is that with a PWM controller, your home battery and solar panel system should have matching voltages. These controllers are more appropriate for small DIY solar systems that have a small battery and low voltage panels. For small batteries with low output panels (5-10 Watt), a PWM charge controller acts fine.
2. Maximum Power Point Tracking
Commonly known as MPPT, these controllers are a more expensive and complex form of controllers. MMPT charge controllers don not need matching voltages from the panel and batteries. The input gets adjusted here so that the maximum power from the solar array can be reached. MPPT controllers are believed to be more powerful and efficient than PWM controllers. They utilize the full power of the solar panels more effectively in order to charge a home battery system. For more complex solar projects that come with higher output panels, MPPT controllers are better.
In a nutshell, it can be said that a solar charge controller plays a vital role in managing the power that goes to the battery bank from the solar array. Because of these controllers, it is made sure that the deep cycle batteries do not overcharge during the daytime and also that the power doesn’t run backwards to the solar panels during the night time, causing the batteries to drain out. The latest solar charge controllers also come with additional capacities like load control and lighting, but the primary job is to manage the power.
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