The 10 Best Solar Charge Controllers
This wiki has been updated 4 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Solar power systems can be quite sophisticated, and several components need to be in place to keep them performing properly. One of these is a charge controller, which manages the electric current going to the battery bank from the panels. Here we rank these devices for functionality, safety features, reliability, and price. Be sure to hire a licensed installer for the setup. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best solar charge controller on Amazon.
March 25, 2019:
A reliable charge controller is necessary for a well-functioning solar power system, as it ensures the batteries do not become overcharged, and that the power doesn’t run backwards and drain the batteries during the night. There are two different types of these devices. First off, pulse width modulation (PWM) models make a connection directly from the panels to the battery bank. In order to do so, they have to convert the voltage from the array into a lower one that the battery can handle. They’re the more affordable way to go. Plenty of these made our list, including the Bluetooth-enabled Renogy Adventurer and the user-friendly PowMr 30A. The second type of controller is the newer, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) model. While pricier up front, they’re more efficient than PWMs, as they utilize more of the available power from the modules. The highly efficient Epever 80A made our top spot, as it delivers a quick charge while providing plenty of built-in controls and protections, and it’s equipped with a convenient remote panel, to boot. Or, consider the Victron Energy SmartSolar, which offers a handy app by which you can view your usage stats and program its operation. In addition to the PWM and MTTP factor to consider, some selections have additional capabilities like lighting control, such as the Mohoo with Dual USB port, which is featured on our list. This enables it to automatically turn the attached light on at dusk and off at dawn. Whichever you choose to go with, make sure it has the features you desire and is compatible with the other components of your system.