A solar controller helps manage the power flowing from the solar panels to the battery bank and is one of the most important components of a solar power system. By helping modulate the amount of energy flowing, it prevents batteries from getting overcharged, reducing the risk of a short-circuit or an explosion. It also prevents battery discharge at night by preventing reverse current flow from the battery to the solar panels.
Your home solar system is incomplete without an efficient solar controller; therefore, you must always ensure that you have a high-quality controller to complete the setup. You cannot discount a charge controller because you don’t often hear about them as much as a solar panel, or a solar inverter, or batteries. They play a crucial role that can’t be ignored, and you should pay as much attention to them as you would when buying any other component of a home solar power setup.
So, in this article, we will look at solar controllers, their types, and things to keep in mind when buying a new solar controller for your home solar system.
Image Courtesy: Luminous
Types of Solar Controllers
There are two types of solar charge controllers that you can choose from:
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)-
These act like simple electric switches by regulating the flow of current from the solar panels to the battery bank and ensuring that the voltages match. Since they are so simple, they are not that efficient and cannot handle bigger solar panels. However, they are affordable.
MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking)-
These make use of more modern technology and are more complex compared to PWM-type charge controllers. They work by tracking the energy flowing from the solar panels to the battery and are more efficient since they can derive the maximum possible output from the solar arrays while ensuring that batteries are protected from overcharging. They can handle bigger solar panels; however, they are more expensive than PWM charge controllers.
Features of a Solar Charge Controller
Multistage Battery Bank Charging:
Multistage charging ensures efficient battery charge management and results in longer service life for the batteries.
Reverse Current Protection:
Reverse current flow can quickly discharge the batteries at night when they are not being charged; hence, current starts flowing from the battery to the solar panels.
Low Voltage Disconnect–
Turns on the attached flow when the battery is charged and switches it off when the battery is low.
Certain charge controllers come with this capability and can turn the attached lights on and off based on the time of day.
Certain charge controllers come with a digital display highlighting various parameters such as battery bank voltage, state of charge, and more.
A solar charge controller is crucial to the overall service life of your home solar system. Getting a high-quality solar charge controller is something that will ensure that your home solar system is safe from being overcharged, thereby reducing any risks of a fire hazard. Therefore, always ensure that you only install the highest-quality solar charge controllers in your system.
Luminous has a range of PWM and MPPT charge controllers built using the best components that ensure a long service life and minimum maintenance.
Moreover, since they are market leaders, Luminous’ products are designed for maximum efficiency and efficacy and offer value for money. So, in case you are looking for the best charge controllers in town, do check out their extensive product portfolio.