Best Solar Charge Controllers: 10 Top Selling Solar Charge Regulators for Off-grid Systems
Solar charge controller is an essential part of an off-grid solar or wind power system. As you know, it regulates flow of power from PV panels to battery. It is the way solar power solutions manage to prevent overcharging of the connected batteries. Likewise, solar charge controller blocks reverse current flow from battery to panel. Here we have a list of 10 best solar charge controllers to let you find the best one for your DIY off-grid solar kit.
Roughly speaking, all solar panels over 5-watt capacity require solar charge controllers. In fact, all all-in-one solar generators tout built-in charge controllers. If you put together your own DIY solar generator for camping or home, you must include a solar charge controller. We mainly have two varieties of charge controllers on market, PWM and MPPT. The second one, as you know, is rather advanced with more efficiency and capacity over 60 amps. Meanwhile, small solar power solutions require only the less-expensive PWM controllers.
Below we have a list of 10 best solar charge controllers. We have compiled the listicle after a detailed research. There is a huge number of solar charge controllers on market in different capacities and style. Our list indeed covers all popular variants, containing both PWM and MPPT controllers. Moreover, we have included charge controllers friendly for both camping solar kits and big home-based solar systems. Stay tuned with us.
Best Solar Charge Controllers – 10 Best To Buy
As the above diagram shows, a charge controller acts like an intermediary between panels and battery. Well, it monitors high voltage from the panels and stabilizes it before letting go to the battery. Of course, it increases life of battery and helps charge it fully with no overcharge or discharge. Meanwhile, it also directly discharges energy to power your DC load if you have any. Anyway, below is our list of the best solar charge controllers.
1. Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller
Let us begin with Renogy’s popular Wanderer 30A PWM solar controller. We recently checked out a range of Renogy off-grid solar power kits with Wanderer charge controller. Indeed, it is one of the cheapest in our list today as it is more a basic PWM controller. It works very well with any negative ground system and Renogy has made it ideal for all types of off-grid applications in RVs, boats, camping tents, cabins etc.
Renogy Wanderer works with gel, flooded and sealed batteries. You can easily mount it anywhere by screwing through the four given holes. By the way, one main downsize is that it doesn’t sport a display, instead you have LED indicators to check status. It has a size of 5.5 x 3.7 x 1 inches and it weighs at around 5 ounces. Coming to customer response, it has over 200 reviews on Amazon with a rating of 4.3 out of 5, as of writing this.
2. Renogy 40 Amp MPPT Charge Controller
Renogy Tracer is a typical example for MPPT charge controller. As per Renogy, it offers 30% more efficiency in transfer of energy from PV cells. Well, it works with both 12V and 24V batteries and it auto-detects the battery. Thanks to better electronic protection, it safeguards your battery from overcharge, discharge, load overload and load short circuit rather ideally.
| Link to Buy: Renogy Tracer MPPT Charge Controller |
Of course, Tracer is one of the best-selling solar charge controllers. As of now, it has attracted around 200 customer reviews on Amazon with a good rating. It has a size of 3.9 x 7.4 x 10.6 inches and weight of 5.7 pounds. You can easily mount it anywhere and connect to your off-grid solar power kit to ensure enhanced solar energy production.
3. Outback FlexMax 80 Charge Controller
Different from above models, FlexMax is a high performance solar charge controller. Well, this 80A advanced MPPT controller is programable to charge batteries from 12V to 60V. As you see, OutBack Power has designed it to work with heavy-duty solar power solutions. With 30% better solar efficiency, it is indeed a great pick for all your off-grid power projects. It looks very solid and rugged in build quality.
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FlexMax sports a display to show performance data. Its built-in logged system lets you see data history for the last four months on a touch. Certainly, it also does well when it comes to customer response. It has got around 30 reviews with a good star rating. By the way, it weighs at 15 pounds and has a size of 5.8 x 16.2 x 4 inches.
4. Renogy 20 Amp Rover Solar Charge Controller
It is another Renogy brand in this list of best solar charge controllers. Rover is a 20A MPPT charge controller with good protection features. It safeguards your battery from overcharging and discharging nicely. Through a reliable four-stage algorithm, Rover guarantees quick and efficient charging of your batteries from the panels.
Rover is up with a cool design also. It is compact and durable to endure rough outdoor conditions. Plus, it has an LCD screen that lets you set programmable charging parameters. And it stores performance data for one year. It has a size of 5.9 x 8.3 x 2.3 in and weight of 3.5 pounds. Of course, doing well in customer feedback.
5. SolarEpic MPPT 40A Solar Charge Controller
SolarEpic’s MPPT charge controller, Tracer-BN is a 40A powerful solution. The negative ground system offers maximum 150V solar input. Equipped with advanced features, the controller works well against overcharging, over temperature, solar and load short and over current of battery. Of course, as you can see in the image, it is very durable, solid and friendly for outdoors.Furthermore, it features low voltage disconnect function (LVD) to give rather safety for your battery from over discharging. By the way, EpicSolar also sells 10A, 20A and 30A variants of the charge controller. It touts a size of 11.9 x 2.5 x 7.2 in and weight of 6.4 pounds. Also, it enjoys good customer reviews with good rating.
6. Eco-worthy 20A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
The sixth in our list of the best solar charge controllers comes from Eco-Worthy, a leading maker of portable solar panels. It is a high-speed MPPT charge controller with a conversion efficiency of 96%. Enhanced electric protection makes it one of the cool charge controllers to safeguard your battery from overcharge, discharge, overload, and short circuit protection.
Eco-Worthy charge controller features a built-in timer that lets you set periodic discharge timing for systems like solar street lights and son on. Well, the strong built charge controller has a size of 8.7 x 8 x 2.9 in and it weighs at just 1.1 pounds. With around 30 customer reviews on Amzon, it has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
7. HQST 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
HQST’s 30A MPPT solar controller is yet another cool pick in our list of the best solar charge controllers. The company offers an awesome efficiency of 99.5% for the advanced MTTP solar controller. Further, HQST has made it with quality components to make it nice for rough outdoor uses. Also, it touts a reliable automatic limit function to ensure no overload.
Besides, HQST charge controller features a dual display function. First, you have it with a local display to show performance data, and a remote meter. Amazingly, thanks to Modbus communication protocol interface, it is quite easy for customers to expand solar systems and monitor performance in fields. It has a size of 2.9 x 7.2 x 10 inches and weight of 3.4 pounds.
8. EPever MPPT Solar Charge Controller
It is yet another cool solar charge controller. It works quite fine with your off-grid system with its strong and solid design. Well, the charge controller goes with both 12V and 24V batteries and it automatically detects battery. EPever offers an efficiency of 95.5% for the positive ground solar charge controller. The controller touts multi-function displays to show performance data. It has also good customer reviews on market.
9. WindyNation TrakmMx Solar Charge Controller
WindyNation’s TrakMax is a heavy-duty 30A MPPT solar charge controller. It features a battery temperature sensor and works with 12V, 24V, and 48V battery units. WindyNation claims the solar charge controller can give 30% power increase in charging batteries. You get it with an LCD screen and LED indicators to let you easily access all system and performance data.
What’s more, the WindyNation charge controller features an optional remote meter. You can mount it up to 20-feet away. Thanks to the advanced electronic protections, you certainly get your batteries more safe and secure. It has a size of 6.3 x 13.4 x 17.8 inches and weight of 6.35 pounds.
10. Grape Solar 165W Solar Charge Controller
Here comes the last item in our list of the best solar charge controllers. The Grape Solar charge controller is, in fact, a basic PWM unit. Hence, it is the cheapest in the list. You get it with a display to show performance data. By the way, what makes it nice is it supports parallel connection of tiny solar panels. Yes, it is ideal for less powerful solar panels like 160W Grape Solar panels or less.
Moreover, Grape Solar charge controller sports a pair of USB ports to let you charge portable devices directly. That said it is perfectly nice for all your off-grid portable solar solutions. Coming to size, it measures at just 1.5 x 3.1 x 5.2 in and is the lightweight one in this list of the best solar charge controllers with just 0.45 pounds.