We have seen a number of new solar charge controllers coming out recently, we thought it would be helpful to go over some of the new options available for your off-grid or grid tie battery backup hybrid solar power system. The solar charge controller will manage the power coming from your solar panels into your deep cycle battery bank.
Midnite Solar has released a new version of their Classic charge controller. It has most of the features of the Classic, with a few exceptions, creating a lower cost product. The Classic SL is only for solar charging, it does not have the hydro or wind charge controlling capabilities of the full blown Classic. It does have the graphics panel and ground fault but no arc fault or Ethernet capabilities. This is the perfect charge controller for you if you have a solar system that you do not need arc fault protection or remote monitoring from a PC or the internet, or, you have multiple Classics, and only need the ethernet on one of them to remotely monitor the solar power system.
Magnum PT-100 Solar Charge Controller
Magnum-Dimensions has been well known for their power inverters for years. They have just released a new solar charge controller that is the first 100 amp (A) charge controller in the industry.
The PT100 can be used with 12, 24, or 48 volt (V) DC battery systems with automatic detection of system voltage. Because the 100A rating of the charge controller is for both the input and the output, you need to calculate what the current out will be to determine what size solar array you can put in. For example, for a 24V battery bank, 100A output would allow you to put as much as 2400 watts (W) into the charge controller. For a 12V battery bank, you can put up to 1200W in.
Its High Efficiency provides higher than 99% conversion efficiency and uses less than two watts of power in nighttime mode. It’s got a lot of safety features built in, including GFDI, which is an Integrated PV Ground-Fault Detection and Interruption/Indication. It also has AFCI: An integrated PV Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter that detects, indicates, and extinguishes series arcs. It has Extensive Electronic Protection including Over-temperature protection, power derating when temperature is high, PV short circuit and high PV input shutdown, output overcurrent protection and night-time back-feed (reverse current) protection.
The optional ME-ARC50 Remote works with internal data-logging functionality that keeps energy harvest information and battery Amp-Hour and Watt-Hour data for up to 255 days.
Outback Power Smart Harvest Solar Charge Controllers
Outback Power’s SmartHarvest product line is a family of smaller, low cost solar charge controllers for 12V and 24V off-grid solar power systems. There are four charge controllers available, two PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) and two MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). For the PWM, the SCCP05-050 is 5 amps, and the SCCP10-050 is 10 amps. For MPPT, the SCCM10-100 is 10 amps and the SCCM20-100 is 20 amps.
All models have load control and low voltage disconnect, with the ability to turn a light on and off from dusk to dawn, and automatically turning off your DC load if the battery voltage gets too low. The PWM charge controllers have an added feature which has a USB power port, which allows you to plug in your phone or other USB device to charge from the solar charged battery.