Solar PV Charge Controllers - Charge Regulators
An Introduction To Solar PV Charge Controllers
Solar pv charge controllers, also known as solar charge
regulators, are used in solar pv and wind energy systems to
protect the battery from being overcharged and over-discharged.
Either condition will damage a lead acid battery.
Some solar charge controllers also offer an LVD (low volt
disconnect) feature. This function is useful on remote solar pv
systems to ensure that the connected loads don't discharge the
battery to the point where it would get damaged.
Selecting a Solar PV Charge Controller
All solar pv controllers need to be selected according to the
maximum amount of current going through them. Current in amps is
calculated by wattage divided by voltage, which is taken from the
solar pv panel or array specifications.
With an MPPT solar controller the voltage to use for the above
calculation is the voltage of the battery bank (e.g. 12V). However
with a non-mppt unit use the peak power output voltage of the
solar panels (e.g. 17.5V).
It is normally recommended to oversize the controller by approx
20% to allow for peak outputs, although some manufacturers have
already de-rated their units (in particular Morningstar).
If the charge controller also has an Low Volt Disconnect (LVD)
function, then you also need to ensure that the load current does
not exceed the load rating on the controller. Inverters are
normally connected direct to the battery bank as they have their
own internal LVD system.
We supply a comprehensive range of solar controllers from the
world's leading manufacturers. If you need any friendly advice
selecting the best controller for your application, please feel
free to contact us.
Video Interview - Blue Sky MPPT Controllers
Blue Sky tech, Richard Cullen interviewed about their new duo MPPT controller which also has a dump load facility which enables a single controller to be used for solar pv and wind or hydro turbines.