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Solar Charge Controllers for home

Solar Charge Controllers is an electronic device that manages the power going into the battery bank from the solar array. It ensures that the deep cycle batteries are not overcharged during the day and that the power doesn’t run back to the solar panels overnight and drain the batteries. Some charge controllers are available with additional capabilities, like lighting and load control, but managing the power is its primary job.

 

A solar charge controllers is available in two different technologies, PWM and MPPT. An MPPT charge controller is more expensive and highly efficient than a PWM charge controller, and it is often worth it to pay the extra money.

12v solar charge controller installation image

  • PWM Solar Charge Controllers: A PWM solar charge controller stands for “Pulse Width Modulation”. These operate by making a connection directly from the solar array to the battery bank. A 12V solar panel can charge a 12V battery. A 24V solar panel or a solar array is needed for a 24V battery bank, and a 48V array is needed for a 48V bank.
  • MPPT Solar Charge Controllers: An MPPT solar charge controller stands for “Maximum Power Point Tracking”.  It will measure the Vmp voltage of the panel and down-converts the PV voltage to the battery voltage. When the voltage is dropped to match the battery bank, the current is raised, with a 20V solar panel, you can charge a 12V battery bank.

If you try to charge a 12V battery with a 24V solar panel, you will be throwing over half of the panel’s power away. If you try to charge a 24V battery bank with a 12V solar panel, you will be throwing away 100% of the panel’s potential, and may actually drain the battery as well.

The Key Features of a Solar Charge Controller are:

  • Multistage charging of battery bank – changes the amount of power set to the batteries based on their charge level, for healthier batteries.
  • Reverse current protection – stops the solar panels from draining the batteries at night when there is no power coming from the solar panels.
  • Low voltage disconnect – turns off the attached load when the battery is low and turns it back on when the battery is charged back up.
  • Lighting control – turns attached light on and off based on dusk and dawn. Many controllers are configurable, allowing settings for a few hours or all night, or somewhere in between.
  • Display– may show the voltage of battery bank, state of charge, amps coming in from solar panel.

What is the difference between PWM and MPPT Solar charge controllers?

Parameters PWM Solar Charger MPPT Solar Charger
Efficiency PWM controllers are less efficient, the maximum efficiency goes up to 65% MPPT is the highly efficient charge controller with an efficiency of 95%
Size These controllers are smaller in size with a maximum capacity of 60 Amps These controllers are designed specifically to be largely supporting bigger solar panels in an efficient manner
Market Appearance PWM has been in the market for a long time and is therefore tried and tested MPPT is a relatively new technology but trending in the market
Limitation It can’t be used with bigger solar panels (>10 panels) In bigger, solar systems, MPPT is recommended controller due to its higher efficiency
Cost The cost of a PWM controller is half as compared to MPPT Controller MPPT Controller is relatively an expensive one-time investment

Solar Charge Controllers Price and Brands:

There are three brands in India making solar charge controllers. The rating of the charge controller starts from 6 amps – 60 amps with PWM and Mppt technology. Smarten is the only brand that makes Mppt solar charge controller, the rest of the brands make PWM solar charge controller. Here is the latest price list of LuminousMicrotek, Smarten solar charge controllers.

Luminous Solar Charge Controller Price

The solar charge controller model selling price
6 amps, 12 volts, PWM ₹ 600
10 amps, 12-24 volt, PWM ₹ 1,050
20 amps, 12-24 volt, PWM ₹ 2,500
20 amps, 12-24 volt, PWM ₹ 2,500
50 amps, 48 volts, PWM ₹ 7,500
50 amps, 96 volts, PWM ₹ 11,000
50 amps, 120 volts, PWM ₹ 15,500

 

Microtek Solar Charge Controller Price

The solar charge controller model selling price
30 amps, 12 volts, PWM ₹ 1,600
30 amps, 24 volts, PWM ₹ 1,900
60 amps, 12 volts, PWM ₹ 2,500
60 amps, 24 volts, PWM ₹ 3,300

Watch Video and understand, special features available in PWM Solar Charge Controllers?

Top 10 Solar Charge Controllers For Solar System With Price List in India

Find out the top 10 solar charge controllers, what it does, how it works, and how to select the correct size for an off-grid solar power system. It is basically a voltage and/or current regulator to keep batteries from overcharging. It regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery. Most 12 volt panels put out about 16 to 18 volts, so if there is no regulation the batteries will be damaged overcharging.

FAQ – Solar charge controllers

Q. Is it mandatory to add a solar charge controller in an off-grid solar system?

Ans. It is strongly recommended to add a solar charge controller for charging the battery in an off-grid solar system. In the Absence of solar charge controllers, Battery life will reduce due to overcharging, deep discharging of the battery. There is a high risk that connected appliances such as DC Fan, DC Bulb, and DC Freeze may fuse due to high power flow from solar panels.

Q. What is the latest technology in solar charge controllers?

Ans. There are two techniques in charge controllers, (i) PWM – Pulse with modulation and (ii) MPPT – Maximum power point tracking. MPPT solar charge controller is the latest technology product with 99% power efficiency.

Q. How to select a solar charge controller rating for my solar panels?

The rating of the solar charge controller depends on how much current solar panel will produce when sun power falls at solar cells. You will find solar PV panel current, voltage information on the technical sticker passed on the backside of solar panels. The charge controller rating must be 20% higher than the maximum current produced by solar panels.

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