What is a Charge Controller?

Selecting the right Charge Controller

The Charge Controller is a crucial yet straightforward component of your Solar System. Positioned between the Solar Panel and the Battery, it performs three fundamental functions, along with numerous other technical operations. If you dont fit a Charge Controller you can cause a lot of damage.

As a battery’s voltage decreases from usage, solar panels are brought into action by the Charge Controller to recharge it. Then when the voltage is back to the correct voltage the charge or current is turned off.

If you want to learn more then read our guide here or read our longer document on how charge controllers work

10a Charge Controller


PWM Explained

PWM, which stands for Pulse Width Modulation, is commonly utilized as a method for float charging. It operates by delivering a series of brief charging pulses to the battery, resembling a rapid “on-off” switching action. The controller continuously monitors the battery’s condition and voltage to decide the frequency, duration, and width of the pulses.

When a battery is fully charged, it may only “tick” every few seconds, sending a short pulse to the battery. In contrast, when a battery is very low or completely discharged, the ticking may be nearly constant, a state referred to as “full on.”

One small downside of a PWM Charge Controller is that it can also create interference in radios and TV’s due to the sharp pulses that it generates. But the location of the Charge Controller to these products will eliminate this.

MPPT Explained

MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracker, which is a high-frequency DC to DC converter. It takes the DC input from solar panels, converts it to high-frequency AC, and then changes it back to a DC voltage and current that precisely match the battery to the solar panel. Be sure when selecting a MPPT Charge Controller

MPPTs operate at very high audio frequencies, typically within the 20-80 kHz range. High-frequency circuits have the advantage of allowing the design of75-10 blue highly efficient transformers and smaller components. However, designing these circuits can be complex due to issues such as parts of the circuit acting as a radio transmitter and causing interference with radio and television signals. Consequently, noise isolation and suppression are crucial, but these issues can be effectively engineered out.

MPPT Charge Controllers are good where the Solar Panel is a long way from the Charge Controller. This is because of the losses in voltage over the long length of wire. The MPPT Charge Controller can compensate for this.

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