The best solar charge controller or charge regulator is basically a voltage or current regulator to prevent batteries from overcharging. It controls the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery. As most “12 volt” panels deliver out about 16 to 20 volts. So if there is no regulation, the batteries might get damaged from overcharging. Most of the batteries need around 14 to 14.5 volts to get fully charged.
When installing off-grid solar power, a solar charge controller/solar regulator will work as the brain of your solar system. This essential device connects the solar panels to the batteries. So when energy is produced from sunlight, a controller regulates this flow to protect the panels from overcharging the batteries.
By monitoring high and variable voltage, the best solar charge controller also protects your batteries from damage & even fires. Whether you’re installing solar power in your small size home, shed, or off-grid cabin—or are using it to power backyard lighting and water-pumping applications. A solar charge controller is an integral piece of your renewable energy system. The best solar charge controller will help to maximise the efficiency of your panels, so less energy is wasted.
Not often, but usually. Generally, there is no requirement for a charge controller with the small maintenance or trickle charge panels. For example, as the 1 to 5-watt panels.
Best Solar Charge Controller: Our Ultimate 5 Picks
Have a look at our top pick list! As it has a few of the best solar charge controllers along with their brand names.
1. DIY Solar For U
DIY Solar For U is a small mom-and-pop business. It offers high-quality products with features not found in any other solar charge controllers. The highlighted point: is the global MPPT tracking in the Sol Buck Boost 20 Amp MPPT controller.
This added feature detects the global MPPT operating point and then ignores the false maximum. Which is often triggered by partially-shaded panels, resulting in overall profits in the charge current. Whereas some solar-powered systems struggle in cloudy weather, Sól still manages to extract power from low-light conditions, utilising available energy.
2. Loom Solar
Not only the solar charge controller is required to charge the battery using solar panels. But also, the other use of these controllers is to run DC load. Their Fusion 1024 charge controllers are PWM based controllers with 98% efficiency. It also has a USB charging option for mobile charging & dusk to dawn feature. The Dusk and down feature is used in street light applications—where lights are switched off in the morning, and Automatically it turns on in the evening.
Loom Solar’s best solar charge controller comes with Electronic & Software controlled protections. It is also pretty maintenance free. Including USB mobile charger output. Also, if you want to save more, apply our Loom Solar Discount Code.
If you’re searching for an MPPT controller at the lowest rate. The WindyNation TrakMax40 Amp controller uses a software algorithm to maximise the energy production for your solar panels. They are compatible with flooded lead acid, sealed lead acid, gel, and lithium 12V or 24V batteries. This charge controller comes with adjustable settings for fine-tuning to a specific battery manufacturer’s algorithms.
The LCD display gives all system information, such as amps, volts, solar voltage, battery temperature, and load control. The TrakMax is designed with virgin PC and ABS plastic. It also features electronic protection against overvoltage, reverse polarity, overcurrent, excessive temperature, and short circuits.
If you have a shortage on the budget but are searching for a solar controller for a simple off-grid solar system. For example, like a sailboat or powerboat. The Renogy 10A Voyager can be a great option with a simple interface that’s so simple for beginners to use. However, if you do need guidance on installation, Renogy has a few resources on its website.
Like other similar Renogy controllers, it also provides protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuit, and reverse current. Plus, it can be used on many types of batteries, including lithium. However, the Voyager has the additional advantage of being iP67 waterproof rated, so it can be installed outdoors.
5. Victron Energy
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Victron Energy is known as a world leader in power electronics. Whereas it also specialises in manufacturing equipment required for off-grid and stand-alone power systems. Victron has been making solar energy system components for 45 years and provides top-built quality devices using the latest technology.
The SmartSolar 30 Amp MPPT controller maximises the energy absorbed from the sun to quickly recharge a battery. Whereas at the same time maintaining battery health and extending its life. The SmartSolar charge controller can also recharge exhausted batteries with voltages as low as zero (as long as the cells aren’t damaged or permanently sulphated).
The best solar charge controls come in all shapes, sizes, features, and price ranges. They vary from the small 4.5 amp (Sunguard) control up to the 60 – 80 amp MPPT programmable controllers. Some of them also come with computer interfaces. In choosing a controller, you must first check how much power your panels will be producing before evaluating the size of the controller needed. So for this, we have gathered five of the best manufacturers that will surely solve your issue. Winding up this article now. Thanks for reading, folks!