Solar charge controllers are crucial for most of the solar-powered systems that make use of the batteries to operate. They work well to regulate the power as it moves from the solar panels to the batteries. Using the right charge controller helps keep the batteries from being overcharged.
The simplest type of charge controller operates to monitor the battery voltage and opens the circuit to prevent the charging process while the voltage level reaches out to a certain level. In the early charge controllers, this aspect was accomplished with the use of a mechanical relay.
Eventually, PWM (pulse width modulation) turned out to be a standard for the charge controlling mechanism. This is a method by which the amount of the power transferred to a battery goes slowly reduces as the battery reaches the maximum charging limit. PWM is beneficial in extending the battery life more, as it reduces stress on the battery itself. It is even possible to make use of a PWM charge controller that helps keep the batteries in a complete charge state or ‘floating’ for as long as you like. These charges are a lot more complicated, but they tend to be a lot more durable, as they do not rely on any breakable mechanical connections.
The latest advancements in the solar controllers have lead to an MPPT or maximum power point tracking. The prime benefit of having an MPPT controller is that they have the feature to convert additional voltage into amperage. This feature offers numerous advantages.
Most of the solar panels make use of 12-volt batteries, which are similar to the ones being used in cars, but these benefits hold regardless of the voltage. Most of the panels generate more voltage than what is required by the batteries. This additional voltage is them converted into amps; the charge voltage stays at optimum levels, though the time it takes to completely charge the batteries trims down. As a result, the solar system helps maintain the highest level of efficiency.
An MPPT charge controller helps eliminate the amount of power loss that solar panel experiences. As low-voltage electricity moves along the wires, it may experience a higher level of loss, which reduces the efficiency of the entire system. The power consumed by a PWM controller in a system with 12-volt batteries is in most cases around 18-volts. With the help of an MPPT controller, the voltage happens to be considerably higher. This indicates that MPPT controllers are more energy efficient, less costly, and highly recommended.