A solar charge controller is a device that regulates the power from the solar array that goes into the battery bank. During the day, this electronic device is responsible to avoid overcharging of the deep cycle batteries and during nighttime, it makes sure that the power is not returned to the solar panels, causing the batteries to be drained. Although some solar charge controllers include extra features, their primary function is to manage electricity.
In a solar panel system with a battery, such as an off-grid system, a solar charge controller is one of the most important components. The solar charge controller guarantees that batteries are not overloaded during the day and that their stored energy is not sent back to solar panels at night. Notably, if your grid-tied home system has a storage battery, you won’t require a charge controller. In most cases, your solar inverter will look after your battery’s health. Charge controllers are ideal for off-grid applications.
Types of Solar Charge Controllers
PWM, meaning “Pulse Width Modulation” is the most readily available and affordable type of solar charge controller. As your battery nears its full capacity, these solar charge controllers steadily decrease the quantity of power going into it. When your battery is fully charged, PWM solar charge controllers constantly keep supplying a small amount of power to keep the battery from discharging.
“Maximum Power Point Tracking” or MPPT solar charge controller measures the panel’s Vmp voltage. Today’s MPPT solar charge controllers are advanced DC-to-DC converters that can track and respond to changing conditions in real time. They can respond dynamically to fluctuations in solar intensity and output voltage dependent on load and temperature using active software algorithms.
Features of Solar Charge Controllers
While controlling the amount of charge entering and departing the battery is the primary job of any charge controller, it is not the only one. Other useful functions of modern solar charge controllers include:
Block Reverse Current
This function allows for a one-way flow of current from the solar panel to the battery during the day and prevents the reverse flow at night. This helps to avoid wasteful battery discharging and extends the battery’s life.
Preventing Overcharging of the Battery
Overcharging batteries can dramatically diminish their lifespan hence, it must be avoided. Solar charge controller are helpful for this purpose as once the batteries are properly charged, the charge controller stops charging them.
Control Set Points Configuration
The solar charge controllers might be used to alter and re-program various set points. This allows you to fine-tune your battery charging and discharging cycles for the best performance and longevity.
Protection from overvoltage
When the batteries have lost 80% of their charge, they are said to be under voltage. It’s best to disconnect the battery from the circuit and reconnect it only when charging. Because the charge level is proportional to the voltage level, the charge controller cuts the battery at a specific voltage level, preventing an undervoltage condition.
Metering and Displays
The solar charge controllers’ display screens can be used to monitor a variety of parameters. Voltage level, Charged %, Current Discharge time at fill load, and other metrics are regularly checked.
Troubleshooting and a History of Events
Some charge controllers include built-in memory that allows them to save events and alerts with a date and time stamp. This history of events and alarms aids in troubleshooting.
Investing in a good charge controller is a wise decision.
Without a question, a good solar charge controller will safeguard and extend the life of your solar system’s batteries, as well as aid in monitoring and troubleshooting. When you use the right charge controller, you may easily extend the life of your battery bank by several months. Because a charge controller is such a small part of the entire cost of a solar energy system, it’s highly suggested to invest in a good one.
Luminous India is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to solar charge controller and other crucial components needed to install a sturdy solar panel system. They also provide the necessary assistance to choose the best-suited product according to your needs and trained professionals for easy installation. Head over to their website to explore the options!