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Solar Charge Controllers
Solar Charge Controllers regulate the energy generated from solar panels. It adjusts the current and the voltage then sends it to the batteries. Charge controllers prevent over charge and over discharge of the batteries. Therefore, it protects the system. Each solar energy systems requires a charge controller.
The two types of charge controllers are; PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking).
What are the differences between a PWM and MPPT?
The main difference between PWM and MPPT charge controllers is that the MPPT devices are more efficient. MPPT solar charge controllers are 30% more efficient in charge efficiency according to PWM type. Panel voltage and battery voltage should be matched in PWM systems. In MPPT systems, the panel series are allowed to have higher voltage than the batteries, overall this means more flexibility for system growth.
On the other hand, MPPT charge controllers are more expensive than PWM controllers. Because of that, in small systems where the efficiency is not critical using a PWM charge controller is more than sufficient.
The size of the solar energy system is important when choosing a charge controller. MPPT charge controllers are the best for professional applications. PWM solar charge controllers can provide sufficient performance in small applications using for example, a single panel. The efficiency difference between PWM and MPPT charge controllers may not be sufficient to justify the price difference in small projects. However, in big projects, it plays a huge role in how well the system will perform.