Best Solar Charge Controller

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According to Fortune Business Insight, a team of expert researchers, the increasing demand for batteries has increased the market growth of solar charge controllers. This is because they reduce the high battery maintenance and reduce the power bills that may be incurred while using an electrical charge controller.

Forbes home, home improvement experts with decades of experience state that solar charge controllers work by reducing the energy from the solar panel to the battery connected hence avoiding damage to the battery. A solar charge controller halts the charging of a battery when the battery voltage reaches a certain level.

There are two types of solar charge controllers; the Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) controller and the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller. PMW is better suited for small solar systems, and MPPT is suited for solar systems with over 170 watts.

When purchasing your solar charge controller, you must consider its ease of installation and use, its Amperage and Voltage, the climate the charge controller is compatible with, and the type of battery the charge controller is suitable to use.

We took three weeks to test one hundred devices to get the best solar charge controllers in the market. We checked the ease of installation and accessibility from a far distance. We also checked these charge controllers’ advantages, disadvantages, effectiveness, and efficiency. Below are the findings of the tests.

Best seller: [Upgraded] 30A Solar Charge Controller

30A Solar Charge Controller / MOHOO



What we liked

Easy to install
Cheaper compared to other topping models
Comes with handy features
Great customer support

What we did not like

Only works with lead-acid batteries

The high quality and great price of this solar charge controller make it the best seller in the market. It is straightforward to install and use.

It has a built-in industrial microcontroller that records the previously set parameters. This makes it easy for users, as they do not have to reset the parameters every time they use the charge controller. It also has USB ports that you can use to charge your phone and computers.

For the controller to function, a battery must be connected to the controller first before connecting the solar panel for safety precautions. It has extra features such as temperature compensation, LCD screen, PC software, supports remote meter, four-stage battery charging, and multiple load control methods.

When testing, we noted that it only works with lead-acid batteries. When the voltage of your battery drops below 8V, the solar charge controller turns off automatically to protect your battery.

It has an LCD screen that displays essential information for the user. Moreover, it is equipped with short-circuit protection, overcurrent protection, inverse connection protection, overcharge protection, and low voltage to prevent any danger that may occur as you use it. It will help improve your battery lifespan and improve the system’s efficiency.

Voltage: 12V/24V|Overcharge protection: 14.4V/28.8V|Over charge Floating charge: 13.7V/27.4V|Max input power and voltage: 390W /12V; 780W/24V|Over discharge Protection: 10.7V/21.4V

Best for going off-grid: RENOGY 10A WANDERER




What we liked

Can be used to charge lithium batteries.
It has an automatic detector for non-lithium batteries
It is very safe to use

What we did not like

The display is hard to read at a glance.

What we liked about this solar charge controller are its multiple battery adaptions. It can charge sealed, gel, lithium, ad flooded batteries. It has been designed for off-grid applications. This wanderer controller assimilates effective PWM charging to escalate battery life and improve solar system performance.

It has an automatic detector for 12V and 24V DC system voltages. It detects the charge in the batteries and displays them on the LCD screen. The LCD shows essential information such as customizable parameters, error codes, and battery operation information. It has intelligent protection against overcharging, short-circuit, reverse polarity, and reverse current. This enables the reduction of danger when using it.

It is straightforward to monitor this charge controller since it has a BT-1 Bluetooth module that can be connected to a smartphone app and Renogy ONE M1 to deliver real-time data. You should connect to the batteries and the solar system for efficient functionality.

Rated Charge Current: 10A |Max Gauge Size: Up to 12AWG |Nominal Voltage: 12V/24V |Self-Consumption: <10mA |Max PV Input: 130W / 12V; 260W / 24V |Max. PV Input Voltage: 50 VDC |

Best for High Tracking efficiency: Renogy Rover 30A 12V/24V Auto DC Input MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Renogy Rover 30A 12V24V Auto DC Input MPPT Solar Charge Controller / Renogy



What we like

99% tracking efficiency to charge the batteries at the maximum power point
Has self-diagnostic capability for errors
Can work on cloudy areas

What we did not like

The manual’s guide is very confusing

The Renogy 30A Rover MPPT Charge Controller is the most competent and efficient to use in most places. With up to 99% tracking efficiency and 98% conversion efficiency, this charge controller ensures maximum power point solar charging that gets more energy to your battery bank. This makes it efficient even in cloudy weather.

It can also measure the battery’s voltage and temperature to adjust for customized charging. It is also compatible with various battery options such as sealed, gel, flooded, and lithium batteries. It has safe protection against overcharging, short-circuit, over-discharging, and overload.

This solar charge controller has an RS232 port that allows the Rover to communicate with the Renogy DC home smartphone app that the user can use to monitor the device.

The LCDs display information the user uses to know the device’s functionality. It also has a self-diagnostic capability to highlight system errors using radical fault-targeting technology. It also has another temperature cable sensor port, though you must purchase the cable separately.

Nominal System Voltage: 12/24V| Rated Load Current: 130VDC | Max. PV Input Voltage: 100 VDC| Altitude<3000m| Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.95 x 2.69|

Best for people unfamiliar with solar charge controller: Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/50 Charge Controller

Victron SmartSolar MPPT 10050 Charge Controller / Victron



What we liked

It is perfect for RVs due to its advanced technology
Performs well in cloudy areas
Can be used with a depleted battery

What we did not like

Requires an additional purchase for full battery monitoring

The Victron Smart solar controller is easy to install and friendly to those unfamiliar with solar system installation. This is because the company offers a very easy-to-follow manual guide.

The device has extra features such as Bluetooth, battery monitor compatibility, and a remote management portal. The built-in Bluetooth connects to any Bluetooth device, such as a phone. The Victron remote control management uses an internet connection from the portal app anywhere. The only problem we found while testing was that the app does not save past data, so it’s impossible to check its previous performance.

This charge controller is perfect for a depleted battery. When the voltage of your battery drops below 8V, the solar charge controller turns off automatically to protect your battery.

Rated Charge Current: 100A |Max Gauge Size: Up to 12AWG |Nominal Voltage: 12V/24V |Self-Consumption: <10mA |Max PV Input: 130W / 12V; 260W / 24V |Max. PV Input Voltage: 150 V|

Best for a cheaper price: MOHOO 30A Charge controller

MOHOO 30A Charge controller / MOHOO



What we liked

Very cheap
Easy to install
Can be used with both 12V and 24V systems

What we did not like

It cannot be used to charge lithium batteries.

Being the cheapest option on our list, it is suitable for charging small system devices such as house lighting and small digital devices. This charger has extra features such as an LCD screen display, Auto shut-off, safety protections, and USB ports. The LCD screen displays essential information on the specifications that the user may need and the information on the batteries it is charging.

We found that this charge controller provides bulk charging of 80% capacity, and the remaining 20% is for float charging. It will auto-shut when the battery drops below 8V. The controller has a moisture coating that protects the unit from damage caused by nesting insects and humidity. The DC ports and USB ports are used for charging. The USB is used when charging small devices such as cell phones. The DC ports can be used to charge computers.

The only disappointing thing is that the controller uses lead-acid batteries, not lithium or other element batteries. This charge controller can be used at home since it is straightforward to use and install. It has safe protections against overcharging, short-circuit, over-discharging, and reverse currents.

Voltage: 24V | Item Dimensions: 7.09 x 3.94 x 1.97 inches | Load Current: 30A|Waterproof: IP32

What to look for in a solar charge controller.

The Voltage and Amperage rating.

You should make sure that the controller is large enough to handle the amount of power and current that is being produced by your solar panels.

The number, size, and type of batteries it is suitable with.

Check the battery that the controller is suitable with, so be well-matched with your batteries.

Safety protection

Look for devices with safe protection from short-circuit that may cause damage.

IP rating

This will enable the charger controller to be waterproof. Always look for a 30+ IP rating.

Installation information

This enables the user to have fewer complications when installing the charge controller. Look for a straightforward manual for your DIY project.

FAQS Section

What is the difference between an MPPT controller and a PWM controller

The MPPT is used with solar panels with more than 170, while the PWM is used with small solar systems with fewer watts.

Is the MPPT controller better than the PWM controller?

It is not better since it depends on the system you will use it with. PWM is perfect for those opting to use their controllers with small devices.

What does a solar charge controller do?

It is used to keep the battery from overcharging by controlling the voltage and current coming from the solar panel.

What is the difference between a solar charge controller and a solar charge regulator?

There is no difference between these two devices since they are used for the same function.

How do I choose a solar charge controller?

Choose the solar charge controller according to your solar array’s current and the solar system voltage.

What happens when the batteries get full and are connected to a solar charge controller?

The solar charge controller will stop absorbing power from the solar panel.

What are the two main types of solar charge controllers?

The two main types of solar charge controllers are Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).

Is a solar charge control necessary?

Yes, they are essential elements of any solar panel system.

Is it safe to connect a solar panel to a battery without using a solar charge controller?

Connecting the battery directly to the solar panel is unsafe since it may damage the battery.

What charge controller do I need for a 100Ah battery?

You need an MPPT charge controller since it is used for large solar systems.

  • Nichole Hutt

    Hi, I'm Nichole! 👋
    I always felt close to nature during my childhood. Preferring to spend my time alone playing with backyard animals at my family farm. 🐷
    In 1997, I attained my electrical engineering degree at the Oregon Institute Of Technology, graduating top of my class. Several years later, I qualified for my M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering, also at OIT. 🎓

    Combining my love for nature and passion for engineering, I have worked for solar panel manufacturer's in my state, most notably as a PV solar engineer for Zamp Solar.

    I founded RenewableSystems to share my knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy field and help save this beautiful little planet of ours. ☀️🌎

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