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Overview

An MPPT solar controller keeps the batteries safe in a solar setup. Without one the batteries can overcharge and get damaged or worse even possibly overheat and catch fire. The MPPT charge controller is more often used in larger setups. The price of a solar controller depends on what kind it is and also what power rating it has.

Description

What is a solar charge controller and its types (MPPT - PWM)

With a large move to solar power, there are a lot of components that need to be made use of for better efficiency and safety. One of these components is a solar charge controller. A solar charge controller is essentially a regulator, it manages the power coming from the photovoltaic cells to the battery.

There are two main types of solar controllers, one is the PWM kind and the other is MPPT. PWM controllers are more simple, they draw the power at just above the battery voltage and have a switch that cuts the electricity. MPPT charge controllers have more complex components that can track the current and modulate it to reduce voltage and manage it. With an MPPT charge controller, the power is drawn out from the panels at maximum power voltage. There is no clear better kind between these two, both achieve the essential job of keeping the batteries safe. Generally, PWM controllers are cheaper and used in smaller solar setups.

Why a solar charge controller is needed

Setting up ones solar power system without a solar charge controller puts the batteries at risk. A solar controller makes sure that the power is tapered off when the batteries are topped off and keeps the changing maintained at that level. This keeps the batteries healthy and ready.

If there isn't a solar charge controller in the chain, it is possible for the batteries to overcharge and get damaged. Worse is possible if the temperature rises too much and they catch fire.

Power ratings

Depending on how large one's array is they have to calculate which solar controller is needed for their specific setup. Solar controllers come in 12, 24 and 48 volts. Amperage ratings can be anywhere between one and 60 amps and voltage ratings from six to 60 volts. If your solar system's volts were 12 and your amps were 14, you would need a solar charge controller that had at least 14 amps.

These ratings require some technical understanding of one's system which is why talking to an electrician would be helpful before purchase. This will better ensure one has the correct solar controller.

Comments

Which MPPT charge controller is correct for you depends on the above-mentioned information and also the budget you have in mind.

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