A solar charge controller protects your solar panels from overcharging. Instead of charging the battery when the solar array is producing energy, it charges the battery when the solar array isn’t producing energy. If you have a solar power system with batteries, the solar controller acts like a battery charger for the batteries. It ensures that the system battery doesn’t discharge too far and always has charge.
When buying a solar charge controller, you need to understand the basics of selection controller and MPPT vs PWM CHARGE CONTROLLERS before making a decision. This blog covers all aspects of solar charge controllers in depth. You will get an extensive Solar Charge Controller Calculator to make an informed decision.
What is a Solar Charge Controller?
A solar charge controller is a device used to regulate the flow of power from solar panels to batteries. It helps to maintain the battery capacity by preventing over- and undercharging, extending battery lifespan. Depending on the type of solar panel and battery voltage, solar charge controllers can be sized between 100W and 15KW.
Wiring solar panels directly to a single bank of batteries or battery bank is not recommended as it could lead to damaged solar cells or spillover voltage, which could damage other essential equipment. A charge controller is needed to safely charge and discharge the battery bank. They are vital for solar power system efficiency and safety.
Solar Charge Controller Calculator
A solar charge controller is a vital component of a solar power system that controls voltage and current of the solar panel to ensure the solar battery maintains a certain voltage and bank capacity. When shopping for a charge controller, it’s important to consider the voltage of the system. Commonly used charge controller voltages are 12, 24, and 48 volts. An ideal situation is when the solar panel’s nominal voltage matches that of the controller.
The principle to size a charge controller is dividing the total watts of the solar array by the battery system voltage and add 25% safety margins to get the charge controller size.
You can also use this solar controller calculator to size the controller with ease.
Right amp charge controller helps maximize output of solar panels without causing damage. Also, consider the type and size of solar panels used in your system. For instance, a charge controller with higher amperage will be needed for solar panels with higher wattage.
When shopping for solar charge controller, it’s vital to consider factors like efficiency, voltages supported, and so on. Additionally, check if the controller has integrated battery bank management. This will help you manage battery bank of your solar system efficiently.
What size charge controller for 1200w solar panel?
Using the formula mentioned above, to choose the right controller for a 1200W solar panel, divide 1200W by 24V or 48V, which is:
(1200/24)×1.25=60, So if you have a 24V system, you require a 60A charge controller.
(1200/24)×1.25=30, If your system is 48V, you will need at least a 30A solar controller.
MPPT vs PWM CHARGE CONTROLLERS
There are 30A or 60A controllers for both the MPPT and PWM types that can accommodate 1200 watt Panels,
Based on our experience, we recommend the MPPT controller, Especially if your system has lithium batteries, Please read the MPPT vs PWM Controller comparison carefully.
A charge controller is a valuable tool for solar power system owners to regulate the output of solar panels. There are two main types of charge controllers: MPPT and PWM.
An MPPT charge controller offers precise battery bank management and efficient battery charging through built-in solar power monitoring and solar power tracking features. This allows the user to accurately predict and adjust solar array output to meet with battery bank demands. Besides, this type of charge controller allows users to easily connect their battery bank via a USB port for easy monitoring and programming of battery parameters.
On the other hand, a PWM charge controller use the taper charge strategy—inverter regulates voltage based on battery bank state—to regulate battery bank current. This type of charge controller has proven reliability in solar energy systems environments, including solar homes, RV and solar boats.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size charge controller should I buy for a 1200w solar panel?
When purchasing a charge controller for solar panels, the size of the charge controller should be determined by the wattage of the solar panel being used. For solar panels that generate 100 watts or fewer, a charge controller capable of handling 72 amps should be used. For solar panels that generate more than 100 watts and up to 1200 watts, a charge controller capable of handling 120% of the panel’s current output at a minimum should be used. A charge controller capable of handling a 24 volt battery bank is recommended for solar panel panels that generate 1000 watt or more. Larger charge controllers can be used in the future as needed to accommodate future expansions of your solar panel system.
A solar charge controller keeps your battery bank voltage at a set level and prevents excess solar energy from overloading the battery bank. It also helps in regulating battery charging voltages, preventing battery damage and prolonging battery life. The charge controller must be sized properly to ensure the solar panel voltage output is sufficient for the battery bank voltage and that there is no overcharging or undercharging of batteries. We hope this article has helped you understand solar charge controller basics. If you have any questions, feel free to email us.