Solar Charge Controllers
MPPT charge controllers for charging solar batteries safely
Solar panel arrays which are used to charge batteries require a charge controller. A charge controller regulates the DC power coming from the solar panels to the battery storage bank. Also, a charge controller is very effective to increase the lifespan of the batteries. There are three types of charge controllers available for solar applications namely: Pulse width modulation controller, simple on-off charge controller, and a maximum power point tracking charge controller. JC Solar Panels can provide MPPT and PWM charge controllers to all our customers. Send us a request and we’ll immediately provide you with an affordable quotation.
MPPT charge controller
Maximum power point tracking or MPPT charge controllers are a much more advanced charge controller. MPPT charge controllers are much more efficient compared to PWM and on-off charge controllers. MPPT controllers are advanced in the manner that they are able to convert excess voltage into useable current. The excess current would normally go to waste by PWM charge controllers.
Solar panels produce a much higher voltage to charge batteries in the battery bank. Most batteries are configured in 12V, 24V or 48V. A 12V panel for charging will produce 16 to 18 volts which is more than a 12V battery requires. Only 14.6V is required to charge a 12V battery. This is where the MPPT controller comes in. The MPPT charge controller converts the extra volts into more current which can be used to charge the batteries in a quicker and faster rate. Thus, making the system much more efficient.
MPPT charge controllers can accommodate for much higher voltage setups from solar arrays. Therefore, voltage drop and line losses are decreased. So, you can basically add more solar panels into series. Thus, increasing the input voltage which would allow you to implement smaller wires. Also, the distances between panels and charge controllers can also be larger due to MPPT charge controllers.
Using maximum power point tracking charge controllers, you can implement much larger solar panel arrays than you would normally have with PWM charge controllers.
In grid-tied solar configuration systems, a MPPT charge controller is the only device which can handle the higher voltages. To use your grid-tied solar solution and you want to make use of battery storage, a MPPT charge controller is the correct device for your needs.
MPPT charge controllers are 94% to 99% efficient. Thus, they are more than 30% efficient compared to PWM charge controllers.
MPPT charge controllers are a new technology which is widely adapted around the world. With all the benefits we get from MPPT charge controllers, the downside is, MPPT controllers are expensive.
However, MPPT charge controllers are an excellent solution in situations where solar panels might struggle to generate electricity, such as cloudy days or cold winter times. MPPT charge controllers can extract all the solar energy that is available to charge the batteries.
Beware as there are many MPPT controllers that are cheap products and can not live up to standards. Always ensure to do your research into MPPT manufacturers and products before you buy the very affordable MPPT charge controllers.
Types of solar charge controllers
PWM charge controller
Pulse width modulation controllers or PWM charge controllers are more efficient when charging the batteries compared to simple on-off controllers. PWM controllers will taper the voltage down as the battery charges to maximum capacity. If the battery is fully charged, the PWM charge controller switches to a float charging profile which allows a trickle current to keep the battery in a charged state. PWM charge controllers are more efficient in prolonging battery life than simple on-off charge controllers.
On-off charge controllers
On-off charge controllers work very simplistically. These charge controllers determine and detect the voltage of the batteries and switch on or off the power.