The Best Solar Charge Controllers Reviews
There are many different charge controllers available on the market. Their prices, method of operation, and capacity vary widely. No one controller will be best for every situation. But we have collected these PWM & MPPT charge controller reviews to help find the best charge controllers available in several categories to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
Renogy Voyager - 20A Negative PWM Waterproof Charge Controller
The Renogy Voyager is one of the best solar charge controllers in the 20A capacity. It won’t provide the charge control that you need for a large, whole-home type system. But for portable applications like running a small array to an RV battery, or controlling flow to a portable power station from a suitcase solar panel, this is a quality little controller.
The Voyager works with 7 types of battery, including lithium-ion, gel, flooded, and more. The backlit LCD display and LED charging bar provide easy access to reliable information about how your solar power system is performing.
The PWM charge controller monitors power and protects your battery from overcharge when full, while optimizing charging when it is low on power.
Additionally, this system is created with a waterproof design, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor use in camping, boat docks, or other places where water or weather are an issue. The same manufacturer also makes a 30A model at a modest price increase, but with very similar features if you need something with a slightly higher amperage capacity.
• LCD display is easy to read
• Versatile – works with many battery types
• Limited power of 20A
How to Choose the Best Solar Charge Controller
The capacity, functionality, compatibility and price can vary widely among charge controllers. There is not a single charge controller that is best for every situation. The best solar charge controller for your system is going to be very individual.
To help you decide, consider a few different factors so that you’ll better understand which of the solar controller reviews above has the right choice for you.
PWM vs. MPPT Charge Controller Reviews. Which is Right for Me?
One of the biggest differences between charge controllers is PWM versus MPPT.
PWM or Pulse Width Modulation charge controllers slowly lower the power applied to your battery as it reaches capacity. This allows the battery to charge fully, without stressing the battery and therefore extends it life.
PWM is somewhat more complex than MPPT, and is also a more common method of operation in modern charge controllers because it is more affordable.
MPPT, or Maximum Power Point Tracking, is a different way of controlling the flow. It helps to convert excess voltage into amperage. This keeps the solar panel from overloading the battery with too many volts of energy, while also lowering the time it takes to reach a full charge.
An MPPT system also protects against battery discharge at night.
MPPT charge controller reviews usually include the fact that they run on this system because it is better and more efficient overall. It is, however, more expensive.
Both MPPT and PWM systems will work with most setups, however, when you are choosing the best solar charge controller for you, pay close attention to the capacity of your system. Consider what voltage and amperage you need.
If you are working with a large system, charge controllers with amperage up to 80 may be available. For smaller systems, 20-30A may be plenty.
Also note the voltage of your battery. Some charge controllers will work with both 12V and 24V batteries, but not all. And make sure the charge controller you are considering will be compatible with the kind of battery you have–lithium, lead acid, etc.
Solar Power Safety and Security
Once you know your needs for power control, you can choose from one of the PWM or MPPT charge controller reviews above to get the best device for your system.
You can then begin enjoying your solar power with the confidence that you’re doing everything necessary to protect your system from overload, drain, or other power wasters. A charge controller can help you make your solar array the most efficient it can be.