Best Solar Charge Controller 2017

Best Solar Charge ControllerIf you are already part of a community of alternative energy protagonists, then the subject of solar charge controllers won’t be out of the ordinary. Basically, everybody who understands the use of solar energy (or has a battery backup for their grid-tied system) knows that finding the best solar charge controller just might be the difference between extending the lifespan of their battery and putting them at risk of damage.

NOT SURE Why You Need the Best Solar Charge Controller?

The ultimate goal of the solar charge controller is properly charging the batteries as well as giving them the longest possible lifespan. They accomplish this by automatically controlling other equipment according to the battery voltage and also carrying out other functions. Solar charge controllers also prevent overcharging and equalize log, store and send detailed charging information to a computer or the internet. Thus, a choice for the best solar charge controller will leave you with an equipment that can even take things a notch higher and optimize system performance.

How to Choose the Best Solar Charge Controller

The first, and perhaps most important thing to understand when choosing a solar charge controller is its usage – knowing the value and importance of the device is bound to influence your choice, and how it could ultimately impact the delivery and lifespan of your solar system, and overall – your life.
There are however, other factors to put into consideration including –

  • Voltage Requirements

Another factor critical to choosing the best solar charge controller is the current of the solar panels in use. Therefore, To choose the right product, it is best to follow the instructions on the device with regard to determining the required voltage. A variety of solar charge controller voltage options are available, but a 12V charge controller is a popular choice. Also, Charge controllers with a rating voltage of 12V or 24V typically have a charging current of 10A with power supply of 11.8V or 23.6V. Finally, in purchasing – keep in mind that too much or too little voltage will not meet you required need.

  • Types of Solar Charge Controllers

There are several types of charge controllers – most of which stem from these two; the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) solar charge controllers, and the maximum power point tracking (MPPT).
The major difference between either of the charge controllers is that with the MMPT is a higher likelihood of obtaining up to 30% higher efficiency than the PWM controllers.

MMPT controllers also feature modification that allows an array of panels to be connected in series for panels of higher voltage. On the other hand, the PWM is the perfect (and cheap) solution for small systems – especially when the solar cells are between 45 -75 degrees in temperature. Overall, the PWM simply lowers voltage of the array to near that of the battery while the MPPT (being more sophisticated) adjusts the input voltage and transform power obtained from the solar array to supply varying voltage requirements.

  • Other Features

Features such as control relays, communications options, digital display and remote metering are also available on some solar charge controller models. These additional modifications allow for optimized performance with features such as digital display making it easy to monitor PV array performance, the control relays feature allowing other tasks to be performed and so on.
Ultimately, the best solar charge controller should provide most (or all) of these features– but it is best to get the most features for the best price.

Best Solar Charge Controllers – Top Picks

ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller

Allpowers 20A solar charge controllerManufacturer: ALLPOWERS
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A
Over charge Protection: 14.4V/28.8V
USB output: 5V/3A
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 5.6 x 3 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 7.2 ounces

The ALLPOWERS solar charge controller manages the overall performance of a solar panel and battery. With a discharge current rated at 20A, it provides multiple electric protections and a reliable battery to charge and discharge period management. This charge controller is also only suitable for lead acid batteries, and offers an adjustable power rate with dual USB ports as well as a 4-stage charge management and 4-stage PWM charge. Overall, with its featured short-circuit and overloading protection, built in reverse protection as well as good heat dissipation – you can be assured of that your battery’s lifespan will be significantly prolonged.
Additionally, the controller provides the digital display feature which provides information on the status and data of the controller, so that it can be conveniently switched between varying modes and its parameters reconfigured.

Price: $18.99

Pros
Equipped with an STM microprocessor which helps to control the charger
Also, it features multiple electric protection
Ease of set up and use.

Cons
Digital display is not too impressive

Docooler 10A Solar Charge Controller

Docooler 10A Solar Charge ControllerManufacturer: Docooler
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 10A
Rated Load Current: 10A
Voltage  stop : *10.8V or 21.6V
Resume  Voltage: *11.8V or 23.6V
Operating Temperature: -20oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 5.6 x 3 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces

 

The Docooler 10A 12V/24V solar charge controller is significant in performance for its overloading. It helps in short circuit protection and in reverse-polarity protection and reverse discharging. It offers system protection from lightning strike and overall prolongs battery life cycle. Users rave about its ability to control loads and with a circuit board that insulates from the environment you are guaranteed of an experience that is not impaired by weather or related conditions.

Price: $9.99

Pros
Quite cost effective and easy to use
Also, its Indicator lights displaying load

Cons

Indicator lights can get quite random when the controller has been in use for a while.

Mohoo 20A  Solar Charge Regulator

Mohoo 20A Solar Charge RegulatorManufacturer: Mohoo
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A
Float Charge: 13V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

The Mohoo 20A charge controller features PWM battery charging and is designed to specifically meet rural electrification needs. It functions to protect voltage overshoot and discharge. It also stops output when the voltage is too low and restore discharge voltage when necessary.

The solar charge controller features LED display, PWM battery charging and adjustable system parameters that enable customized use. Also worthy of note is the fact that the regulator is only suitable for lead acid batteries – and the battery must have enough voltage for the controller to recognize it.

Price: $18.98

Pros

  • LCD is clear and easily readable
  • It also has a menu button, that allows you to toggle between the displays and settings
  • Finally, Solid and sturdy construction

Cons
LCD display doesn’t show you the wattage that the panel is producing (but shows most anything else that is relevant)

Renogy Wanderer 30A Negative-Ground BEST Solar Charge Controller

Renogy Wanderer 30A Negative-Ground BEST Solar Charge ControllerManufacturer: Renogy
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 30A
Rated Load Current: 30A
Float Charge: 13V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Voltage Stop: *14V or 28V
Operating Temp: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

 

The Renogy Wanderer is by all standards, a leader of the pack in the subject of solar charge controllers – is a negative ground controller with the potential to function effectively with virtually any negative ground system which is the most typical way of grounding. The charge controller features a 4 starge PWM charging with LED indicators that indicate the charge controller status and additionally, over charging and over discharging features that provides protection against overcharging, overload, short-circuit, and reverse polarity.

Additionally, the Negative grounding controller ensures the broader off grid applications and safety, especially to be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis. Thus an additional investment this charge controller will generate a much higher return and prevent system failure guaranteed

Price:$44.99

Pros
Easy hook up and is reliable
Also, its Display uses LED’s to indicate charging status
Finally, Controller offers numerous options that determine when the load is powered

Cons
The battery LED may flicker sometimes

Renogy Rover best Solar Charge Controller – 40 Amp

Renogy Rover best Solar Charge Controller - 40 Amp
Manufacturer: Renogy
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 40A
Rated Load Current: 40A
Float Charge: 13V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Voltage of stop charging: *14V or 28V
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

 

As an upgrade from its counter parts, the Renogy 40Amp solar charge controller features a smart tracking algorithm that maximizes the energy from the solar PV module(s) and charges the battery – Additionally, it also features reverse protection and low voltage disconnect function which prevents the battery from over discharging.

Overall, with its Innovative MPPT technology and high tracking efficiency up to 99% and peak conversion efficiency of 97% – you are guaranteed top notch experience with the solar controller, complete with comprehensive self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions that can prevent damage from installation mistakes or system faults.

Price: $169.99

Pros
Die-cast aluminum design for heat dissipation
Also, Compatible with multiple battery types
Additionally, it is self diagnostic with the capability to detect error codes.

Cons
Doesn’t display sufficient information about current/voltage coming in and battery condition

XCSOURCE® 30A Solar Panel Charge Controller

XCSOURCE® 30A Solar Panel Charge Controller
Manufacturer: XCsource
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 30A
Rated Load Current: 30A
Float Charge: 13.6V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

The X-source solar panel charge controller lives up to its name as an ‘intelligent’ charge controller. It comes equipped with precision enhancing features and provide over-charge, over-discharge and over-load, as well as unique electron short circuit protection and connection-reverse protection. it has an LED display screen that indicates the working state of solar battery, storage battery and load as well as the adjusted parameter – on this basis, users can select the proper working mode based on varying conditions. Its intelligent control is achieved by a microprocessor and control calculation, and With the PWM fuzzy control in charging, the charge efficiency is improved significantly.

Price: $11.99

Pros
It has Five load working modes
It also Features two LED displays and one-button operation to complete settings
Also, equipped with microprocessor to achieve intelligent control

Cons
Manual is quite unclear

HQST 30 Amp PWM  Solar Charge Controller

HQST 30 Amp PWM Solar Charge ControllerManufacturer: HQST
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 30A
Rated Load Current: 30A
Float Charge: 13.6V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

This multi-functional and intelligent 30A solar charge controller is comes equipped with a dual USB ports design to charge electronic devices – a significant addition to the regular solar charge controllers without this feature. The product provides overcharge and overload protection as well as short-circuit and reverse-connection protection.

Additionally, it provides a dot matrix graphic LCD screen and human machine interface with a key that makes operation on the interface quite convenient. charging parameters can be automatically adjusted with tempreture compensation, and a wide range of load working modes facilitate the product’s application. Also, By virtue of an advanced load starting method, large-capacitance loads can be started smoothly.

Price: $28.99

Pros
Gives great information on screen display
Also, it Eliminates the need for separate volt and amp meters because it is all there on the home screen
Additionally, it has a tempreture compensation feature

Cons
Screen Is not illuminated

Esky 30A BEST Solar Panel  Charge Controller

Esky 30A BEST Solar Panel Charge Controller
Manufacturer: Esky
Voltage: 12V/24V
Rated Charge Current: 30A
Rated Load Current: 30A
Float Charge: 13.6V
Discharge Stop: 10.7V
Operating Temperature: -35oC – 60oC
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces

The 30A Esky solar charge controller is an intelligent little device that comes equipped with an STM 8 microprocessor to control and charge the discharge process. It also features multiple load control modes and is adaptable to different situations. It also features Excellent heat balance design and natural air cooling 4-stage charge management; charging temperature compensation functions. Additionally, it features multiple electronic protection and also a Comprehensive and reliable load control mode can identify the day and night. Overall it is Well-designed charge loop can effectively improve the efficiency of charge and discharge; did we mention that already?

Price: $29.99

Pros
Well built, sturdy construction
USB outlets also provide a nice touch
Additionally, it also features  Charging temperature compensation

Cons
Again, English manual is poorly written