Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Buy a Solar Panel Charge Controller

When you're going solar, whether it's whole house off the grid solar or you just want some backup for your RV, you'll need a solar panel charge controller. A solar panel charge controller enables you to monitor your battery charge and avoid overcharge and discharge. Here's how to buy a solar panel charge controller that's right for your application and budget.


1. Analyze your solar power usage. If you are powering you home with solar, you'll be using a more sophisticated charge controller than if you're powering an electric fence for your livestock.

2. Determine what features are important to you. Decide if a digital display is important to you, and take into account placement and design features, especially if it will take a prominent place in your living area.

3. Decide the proper amperage controller for the situation. Choosing the proper controller will increase battery life and therefore keep replacement costs down.

4. Make sure your controller is compatible with your battery system. Most solar panel charge controllers are designed for 12 volt battery systems. Make sure the one you choose is for your type of system.

5. Set a budget. Knowing that your panels are your most costly item in your system, keep in mind not to scrimp on your charge controller. This piece of equipment helps protect you from the costs of replacing the batteries in your system. Expect to pay anywhere from 30 to 500 dollars depending on features, intended use and brand.

Courtesy of eHow.Com

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  1. Getting the best out there is so hard to find when now there are so many options. I say the best way to go now after being in this field for since last year or so. I have 24/7 access to web and loads of hrs research. One thing to add to this is get a high voltage MPPT inverter that backs high voltage back to 12 or 24 volts. This allows long runs from where panels to where the controller at. If not you lose power the longer the distance. To keep from this happening you would have to spend mega cash on heavey wire. Money better spent on controller. Be prepared to spend around 500 or so give take. Ultraghostrider

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