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Solar Charge Controller

Solar Charge Controller

A Solar Charge Controller is, in fact, a voltage or current regulator. It is used to prevent the batteries from being overcharged. It controls the voltage and current coming from the solar panels that move to the battery. Mostly “12-volt” panels deliver approximately 16 to 20 volts. But if there is no current/Voltage regulation, the batteries will be damaged when overloaded. Most batteries need between 14 and 14.5 volts to fully charge.

Generally, you do not need a charge controller with small maintenance or slow-charge panels.  Such as ranging 1 to 5-watt panels. A common rule is that if the panel produces approximately 2 watts or less per 50 amps per battery, you do not need one. For example, a standard overdraft golf car battery uses approximately 210 amps per hour. Therefore, to maintain a series torque 12 volts, just for maintenance or storage, you will want a panel that is approximately 4.2 watts in power. The popular 5-watt panels are strong enough and do not need a controller. If you maintain AGM deep cycle batteries, such as the Concorde Sun Xtender, you can use a smaller 2 to a 2-watt panel usually.

How to Select a Solar Regulator

To determine the measurement of Solar Regulator you need, check the amp values of your solar panels and add those numbers. This gives you the minimum charge controller you need. You can also use our system builder that will tell you the size you need based on different selections. While choosing a solar controller, it is important to look forward as well. If you think you are adding to your system, it is worth buying the highest possible controller, that can save you money if you add additional solar panels.

Guidelines About Maintenance

A solar controller requires no maintenance. A solar controller must be mounted outside of direct sunlight and in an area with adequate airflow is available. Today’s solar controllers are extremely robust. Performance and life will suffer in conditions of extreme heat. As an additional safety mechanism to protect the charge controller, its batteries and devices and reduce the risk of fire. It is advisable to place a fuse of sufficient quality between the solar panel and the controller.