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Solar charge regulator Introduction

Michael / 2014-08-09
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 Solar regulator, solar charge controller, solar panel regulator, solar panel battery charge controller, solar charge controller regulator, and solar panel regulator charge controller are all referring to the same thing. I was blurred the first time I look at all these thing. In this article I will share you the idea on how to choose a solar charge controller regulator.


First of all, it is important to understand the function of a solar charge controller. A solar charge controller or a solar charge regulator is basically a controller that makes sure your battery is always filled with adequate voltage. It prevents the battery from over-charging or over-discharging. It also prevents the battery from reverse charging to solar panels during night time. You don’t want to contribute your battery power back to the sun right? So, now you understand why you need a solar charge controller even you can connect a solar panel to a rechargeable battery directly?


Generally, a basic solar charge regulator has 6 important cable holes – 2 for the solar panels, 2 for battery, and 2 for output such as LED lights or 12v fans. Everything starts from the six cable holes. While most of the solar charge regulator comes with 12v/24v, all you need to choose is the Amps. In the market there are 5A, 10A, 15A, 20A, 25A, 30A, and so on. As the Power/Watts is always equal to Volts times Amps, higher amp is often better. However, do not overlook the Watt produce from the solar panel you choose and Volt from battery (12v/24v). Based on my research, here I categorize solar charge regulator into two categories regardless of their Amps.


A solar regulator (also known as a charge controller) is used in conjunction with a stand alone (off grid) system, or a grid connect solar power system that incorporates a backup battery bank. For a grid connect solar power system that doesn't use batteries, a solar regulator is not needed.


A solar regulator is a small box consisting of solid state circuitry which is placed between a solar panel and a battery. Its function is to regulate the amount of charge coming from the panel that flows into the deep cycle battery bank in order to avoid the batteries being overcharged. A regulator can also provide a direct connection to appliances, while continuing to recharge the battery; i.e. you can run appliances directly from it, bypassing the battery bank; but the batteries will continue to be charged.


As mentioned above, a basic solar charge controller comes with six cable holes, nothing much. It usually has some led to indicate the battery power. There will be led lights for charge/load information. Timers, programming functions, or other advance features? No for sure. My personal opinion is that it is good enough for those who just want to build a simple solar power system at their house. If you are just like me DIY a simple solar power system for 3 to 4 12v lights and a table fan in your house, a 10A 12V/24V solar charge controller is good enough and you can find one for $8.95 from eBay. There are two types of cheap one, the link I share is the one with SOLAR brand and there is a small Q.CPASS on the device that’s why I prefer it. Overload, short circuit, low voltage, lightning, and overcharge protection are all in. Please inform me if you found a cheaper one.


Due to some demand from users, manufacturers tend to place more features into a solar charge regulator such as timing functions, digital LCD screen, USB port (to charge mobile phones or some other electrical things with USB port), timer, auto switch, or digital remote controller. However, these functions are often making a solar charge regulator expensive. I have seen a 20A MPPT solar panel charge controller regulator 12v/24v 2210RN is price at $150. This device is really one of its kind and I would say it is king of solar charge regulator for today’s technology. It comes with a 20A MPPT solar charge controller, and a remote meter with LCD display. If money is not a concern, this is definitely worth to buy. There are even more expensive solar charge regulators out there.


To determine the size regulator you'll require, check the amp ratings of your solar panels and add those figures up and that will give you the minimum size regulator you'll need – or you can use our system builder tool which will tell you the size you'll need based on various selections.


When selecting a solar regulator, it's important to also look ahead – if you think you'll be adding to your system, it pays to buy a regulator rated as high as possible, which can save you money when you add additional solar panels.


Some solar regulators include a Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD) feature. This monitors the battery level and will disconnect any load connected to the battery if the voltage drops to a point where continued draw can cause permanent battery damage. This feature is a great protection for your deep cycle battery investment as a battery that has been discharged too deeply will have a far shorter serviceable life.


How to maintenance Solar regulator? A solar regulator requires no maintenance aside from regular checks of the wired in connections to see that they are tight and corrosion free. A solar regulator should be mounted out of direct sunlight and in an area where there is decent air flow. While the solar regulators of today are extremely robust; performance and serviceable life will suffer in extreme heat.


As a professional solar charge regulator manufacturer and supplier, Wellsee is always trying to develop high quality solar charge regulators, now product covering PWM solar charge regulator, MPPT solar charge regulator, solar street lighting charge controller, three stage charge controller regulator etc., those who need solar regulator please contact Michael by email marketing@e-bluelight.com



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