Solar charge controllers are an essential element of any solar electric panel system.
These charge controllers prevent batteries from being overcharged and prevent the batteries from discharging through the solar panel array at night. Keep reading to find out how solar panel charge controllers are used.
What is a solar panel charge controller?
A solar charge controller is a solar-powered voltage and current regulator. They are used in off-grid and hybrid off-grid applications to regulate power input from PV arrays to deliver optimal power output to run electrical loads and charge batteries.
Uses of a solar panel charge controller
Solar panel controllers are essential for the devices’ voltage and opening of the circuit. It also stops the charging when the battery voltage ascends to a certain level.
The solar charge controllers can also control the reverse power flow. The charge controllers can distinguish when no power is originating from the solar panels and open the circuit, separating the solar panels from the battery devices and halting the reverse current flow.
Types of solar panel charge controllers
- Simple 1 or 2-stage controls.
- PWM (pulse width modulated).
- Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
Simple 1 or 2 Controls
It has shunt transistors to control the voltage in one or two steps. This controller basically just shorts the solar panel when a certain voltage is arrived at.
PWM (Pulse Width Modulated)
This is the traditional style charge controller, and they are essentially the industry standard now.
Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
The MPPT solar charge controller is the sparkling star of today’s solar systems. These controllers truly identify the best working voltage and amperage of the solar panel exhibit and match that with the electric cell bank.
How to use your solar power controller?
To connect your solar panel controller to your solar panel, follow the instructions below:
- Connect the battery to the charge controller.
- Connect the battery to the charge controller FIRST. Then you connect the solar panel SECOND.
- Now connect the battery cables to the battery terminals.
- Connect the negative first, then the positive.
- Your charge controller should turn on or light up.
- Connect the MC4 Solar Adapter Cables to the Solar Panel.
This step takes all of 20 seconds to do. Locate the MC4 connectors at the ends of your solar panel’s cables.
- Connect the MC4 inline fuse and positive solar adapter cable to the positive solar panel cable.
- Connect the negative solar adapter cable to the negative solar cable.
- Connect the Solar Panel to the Charge Controller.
Now, your battery is connected and your solar panel wires are ready to go. Now, the next thing to do is to connect your solar panel to your charge controller.
To do this, connect the negative solar cable to the “-” solar terminal on the charge controller. Connect the positive solar cable to the “+” solar terminal.
As with the battery connection, the charge controller should light up or somehow indicate that the solar panel is properly connected.
When this happens, they’re all connected. Now it is ready for use.
Solar charge controllers are essential elements for solar panels. It helps in preventing overcharging or undercharging. The steps involved in connecting a solar panel controller to your solar panel include:
- Connect the battery to the controller.
- Connect the MC4 Solar adapter cables to the solar panel.
- Connect the solar panel to the charge controller.