The solar controller is one of the essential components of a solar system, It works together with solar panels, solar battery and inverters to provide users with an uninterrupted supply of clean energy.
Without it, the off-grid systems cannot work. It relies on the solar controller to correctly and safely deliver the electricity generated by the solar system to the batteries.
There are several Solar Charge Controller Requirements that must be met in order to use a solar generator safely and efficiently.
What are the requirements for a solar charge controller?
The use of a solar controller is very important for the correct operation of a solar system, so solar controllers must meet requirements in terms of type, size, voltage, battery type, gird or off grid, applications and so on.
They must be compatible with the current system in order to do their job properly.
Size of the Solar Charge controller
The size of the solar controller must be adapted to the configuration of your current system—not too small and not too large.
People usually name a solar controller by amp, which is the maximum current it can handle.
The solar controllers are available in sizes from 10A, 20A, 30A up to 100A and can even be used in parallel.
Check the product specification or use this Calculator to see what size you need to buy.
Solar Charge Controller Volt Matters
In addition to the amperage, we also refer to the solar controller by the voltage, which is equal to the voltage of the system.
The solar array voltage and the battery system voltage determine the voltage selection of the solar controller.
The solar charge controller voltage must meet or exceed the battery voltage required by your system.
The solar charge controller voltage ranges from 12v,24v to 48V, depending on the volts of battery you are using in your system.
Check your charging power requirements before you buy a solar controller!
Different voltages require different wattage solar controllers to work correctly and safely (check product specifications).
Higher voltages of the solar battery required a bigger volts charge controller.
The Right Type of Solar Controller
Solar controllers can be divided into two types: PWM and MPPT, depending on the technology used to convert solar energy.
It used to be that PWM dominated the market, but since MPPT came along, it is gradually becoming the MPPT controller of choice.
The MPPT charge controller uses maximum power point tracking technology to capture and convert solar energy, allowing maximum energy to be collected into the battery bank.
While PWM controllers are uses Pulse Width Modulation technology to collect the solar energy.
Compared to PWM controllers, MPPT controllers improve conversion efficiency by 30% or more.
The MPPT controller is also available with additional features. These include an extra display and a remote control component.
We recommend the MPPT controller if budget is available.
Suitable Battery Type
Both off-grid and grid-tied solar systems require batteries to store electricity, and the difference in batteries requires the use of different solar controllers.
Lead-acid batteries are the most common and universal battery type, and almost all solar controllers support charging of lead-acid batteries.
In addition to lead-acid batteries, AGM, GEL, Deep Cycle and lithium LifePo4 batteries can also be used in solar power systems.
There is a difference between dedicated lithium ion battery solar controllers and AGM solar controllers, and the choice depends on the type of battery available.
The choice of solar regulator should be a function of the type of battery system being used.
Suitable Use Scenario
Off-grid solar systems are widely used in homes, outdoors, camping site, RV, Boats, caravans, sheds, communications, farms, street lighting and many other applications.
In most cases the solar controller can be used in these applications, but sometimes a special solar controller is required.
A dedicated caravan solar controller is not the same as a dedicated streetlight solar controller. They have their own design purpose and function differently.
In off-grid solar systems, The location of the solar controller is also important. It needs to be ventilated, protected from rain, dust-free and easy to operate manually.
The solar controller should be mounted in a location where it will always point the module at the sun and not too far from the solar panel.
Solar Charge Controller Protections
Both MPPT controllers and PWM charge controllers come with a protection function that not only protects the controller itself, but also the solar PV and batteries.
During the Charge and Discharge, the solar charger will detect the solar battery status in real time to avoid the battery into low voltage or overvoltage. Thus prolong the battery life.
To protect the charge controller itself, it has an overvoltage, overcurrent protection to withstand high voltage power input, if the input voltage excess a certain value, the charge controller will cut off the connection.
To protect the solar panel array and storage system, it has a Reverse polarity protection, To prevent fire problems caused by incorrect wiring.
The solar inverter is another core component in an off-grid solar power system.
and it converts DC Battery energy into usable AC power to drive home appliances.
In a grid-tied solar system, the grid-tied inverter takes input from the utility grid and uses Alternating Current to turn photovoltaic electricity into usable household voltage on your battery bank controller panel.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big of a charge controller do I need for a 200 watt solar panel?
If you are using a solar panel that is rated at 200 watts, then you will need a charge controller with 20A at least for the 12V system, if the system is 24V, then a 10 Amp MPPT Charge controller is required.
Is a solar charge controller required?
Yes, a solar charge controller is required for grid-tied systems as well as off-grid solar power systems.
A charge controller is used to manage battery voltage, solar panel power input and grid power input. It helps keep your system working efficiently by protecting the batteries and solar panels from over-use or improper wiring.
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