Solar charge controller

A solar charge controller is a device that manages the power transmitted into the battery bank from the solar panels. A solar charge controller plays a vital role in a solar installation as it makes sure that the batteries connected to the inverted are not overcharged. It is also known as a voltage or current controller. It is a commonly observed fact that the batteries usually need around 14 to 14.5V so that they can be completely charged. Solar charge controllers range from 4.5A to 80A.  

Types of solar charge controllers

There are usually three different types of solar charge controllers.

  1. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) Charger

    It is a traditional type charge controller, also on par with industry standards.

  2. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)

    They are currently in demand now for solar systems. They have the ability to identify the right voltage and amperage of the solar panels. It suits solar installations that are over 200 watts.

  3. Simple 1 or 2 controls

    It comprises of shunt transistors to manage the surge of voltage control. Unlike the above-mentioned chargers, they are not that popular.

The functions of solar charge controller

One of the primary functions of a solar charger is to control the voltage of a device in case it’s charging voltage increases to a certain level. The solar charge controllers also have the ability to control reverse power flow. It also facilitates multistate charging of the battery. In other words, it is able to alter the power amount set to the batteries for healthier batteries. It also turns off the attached load in case the battery is low and usually turns it back on in case the battery derives its charge.

Why are solar charge controllers required?

A solar charge controller is required with a grid-connected solar system that comprises a backup battery bank. Following are the reasons behind the requirement of a solar charge controller:

  1. It gives you a proper indication when the battery is charged
  2. In case, there is an overload, it usually cuts off that load and saves the battery from overcharging
  3. It monitors the voltage of the battery when the voltage supply is inadequate

How to choose the right solar charge controller?

In case you are wondering whether you need a solar charger, here is a simple way to find out. You can always take the battery amp hour capacity and divide this by the solar panel power amp rating. In case the quotient is above 200, you do not need a controller. In case the quotient is less than 200, you need a solar charger.

It is also important to note that each time you charge a battery with solar panels, it is important for you to use a charge controller. Here are the two steps that you can use to select the solar charge controller.

Step 1: You should always select a charge controller which is compatible with the system voltage. Some controllers are specific to voltage and on the other hand, the sophisticated ones also include a voltage auto-detect feature.  

Step 2: This is based on the current capacity. This is the reason that you should select a charge controller which can handle the maximum output current. The maximum possible current that a solar PV panel can generate is the short circuit current.

Generic prices of solar charge controllers

S. No. Name of the Solar Chargers Price
1 Solar Charge Controller 192V-40A Rs 12,500
2 Solar Dusk To Dawn Controller Rs 500
3 PWM Solar Charge Controller Rs 1000
4 10 Amp Solar Charge Controller Rs 250
5 Eastman ESM10K 120V Solar Off-Grid MPPT PCU Rs 13,500

Note: The data given in the above table is to help you to avail proper information. The actual price of the solar charge controllers may vary from state to state. The practical efficiency may also vary depending on the manufacturer and size of the product.

If you too are interested in buying solar charge controllers, stay tuned to our blog for more updates.

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