Solar charge controllers are designed to do two primary things within a solar power system: optimize the charging of your deep cycle batteries by the solar panels and prevent electricity from the batteries from going through the solar panels when there is no sun.
Many of the solar charge controllers we offer have additional features, including the ability to automatically turn DC powered loads off or on, such as lights. Others may be used with relatively high voltages of strings of solar panels. Additionally, some solar charge controllers can provide monitoring of your batteries' voltage and amp-hours left and even connect to your home data network for remote monitoring.
How Do Solar Charge
How to Size a
PWM & MPPT?
Solar charge controllers are specified by both amperage and voltage. You will need a solar controller that can support the voltage of your solar panel array, and then output to the battery bank's voltage (usually 12, 24 or 48VDC). Next, you'll want to make sure the solar charge controller has enough capacity to handle the current (in amps) from your solar panel array. Take the wattage of your solar panels and divide it by the battery bank's voltage to get a rough estimate of how many amps the controller needs.
Be sure to protect this important part of your system with appropriate overcurrent protection before and after the solar controller (see Enclosures, Electrical & Safety for options).
Additionally, some solar controllers offer adjustable control voltage set points, low voltage disconnect, overload protection and metering. If you plan to run a DC load, you can connect it directly to the solar charge controller. If the solar controller is equipped with a low voltage disconnect (LVD), then the solar charge controller can detect when the battery is low and shut off the DC load until the battery is charged.