Benefits of Using a Charge Controller for Solar Panels
Batteries are essential components of robust solar-powered systems. Without power cells, energy converted by the solar panels could not be stored, resulting in wasted energy. As a result, it is important to keep batteries maintained to ensure large amounts of power can be stored for use when sunlight is not available. Solar charge controller is a critical monitoring tool used to preserve battery performance by regulating the flow of current (by switching energy on or off, as well as through gradual reduction of current flow).
Learn more about the application of such devices below.
Preventing Overcharge, Improving Lifespans
Solar charge controllers are mostly used to reduce risks related to overcharge and overload. At a full state, batteries cannot receive and store energy beyond their capacity. This results in an increase in voltage and water loss. Furthermore, overheating could occur, which could also affect the performance of connected equipment, such as lights, electronic devices and communication systems. This causes unnecessary strain and degradation to the solar-powered system.
A solar charge controller can be used to make incremental adjustments to the battery-charging process, based on voltage. When it decreases, the unit will allow the power cell to charge.
PWM and MPPT
The two types of solar charge controllers available today are pulse-width modulation (PWM) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT). PWM utilizes a two-stage regulation process, allowing the power cells to first reach full capacity. Afterwards, it goes into trickling mode to complete the charging process. This ensures the power components stay fully charged with minimal damage or stress.
MPPT controllers, which may also serve as a DC-to-DC converter, are mostly applicable to large solar-powered units. The accessories can boost efficiency rates by up to 30 percent. Using a powerful algorithm, the voltage-regulating devices are most suitable for cold-temperature locations and for power cells that are prone to deep discharge.