Charge controllers come in various types. Solar Charge Controllers regulate and optimize the charge from a solar panel array to a battery bank. Solar lighting controllers allow you to control DC lights while simultaneously charging a battery bank from solar panels. AC charge controllers allow you to charge your battery bank from an AC source (e.g. household current). Dump load or Diversion load controllers are often used with wind turbines and microhydro systems to regulate battery charging with the addition of a resistive load for excess energy. altE also offers some unique DC voltage regulators for original DIY projects. Be sure to add in the appropriate temperature sensor for you charge controller for optimal performance!Read more +
Charge controllers can have quite a few different applications. We've tried to categorize them for better understanding. Check out the brief descriptions for each:
People often ask us how charge controllers actually work, what does it really do in a solar power system. Or, why do I need a solar charge controller? Can't I just connect my solar panels up directly to my batteries? We answer these questions plus more like what's the difference between an MPPT solar charge controller and a PWM solar charge controller in our educational article simple title "What is a Solar Charge Controller". Check it out.
Since renewable energy power systems almost always gather power and store it in batteries, almost every system requires a charge controller. A solar charge controller will protect your batteries from being overcharged by your solar panels and it will block any reverse current (from the batteries) as well. Solar charge controllers will actually protect every aspect of your solar power system from your batteries to your solar panels. Temperature sensors are an inexpensive addition that help the charge controller more accurately regulate the charge of the battery bank.