A solar charge controller is an essential part of an off-grid solar or wind power system. As you know, it helps regulate the flow of power from source to the 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 the battery to the source. 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.
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10 Best Solar Charge Controllers
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 the 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.
A charge controller acts like an intermediary between panels and battery. Well, it monitors high voltage from the panels and stabilizes it before moving to the battery. Of course, it increases the life of the 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.
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By the way, one main downside 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 now.
2. Renogy 40 Amp MPPT Charge Controller
Renogy Tracer is a typical example of MPPT charge controller. As per Renogy, it offers 30% more efficiency in the transfer of energy from PV cells. Well, it works with both 12V and 24V systems 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. Of course, Tracer is one of the best-selling solar charge controllers.
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As of now, it has attracted around 200 customer reviews on Amazon with a good rating. The charge controller has a size of 3.9 x 7.4 x 10.6 inches and weight of 5.7 lbs. 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 the above picks, FlexMax is a high-performance solar charge controller. Well, this 80A advanced MPPT controller is programmable to charge batteries from 12V to 60V. As you see, OutBack Power has designed it to work with heavy-duty solar power solutions.
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 the build. FlexMax sports a display for performance data.
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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 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 on 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.
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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 overcurrent of the battery.
Of course, as you can see in the image, it is very durable, solid and friendly for outdoors. So you can mount it with your off-grid solar power systems with no worry. Follow the link below to buy a unit of the MPPT charge controller.
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Furthermore, it features low voltage disconnect function (LVD) to give more 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.
6. Eco-worthy 20A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
The sixth on 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 protect your battery from overcharge, discharge, overload, and short circuit protection.
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Eco-Worthy charge controller features a built-in timer that lets you set periodic discharge timing for systems like solar street lights and so on. Well, the strongly built charge controller has a size of 8.7 x 8 x 2.9 in and it weighs just 1.1 pounds. With around 30 customer reviews on Amazon, it has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
7. HQST 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
Furthermore, 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.
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Besides, HQST charge controller touts 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 in and weight of 3.4 lbs.
8. EPever 40A MPPT Charge Controller LCD Screen
Here is EPever’s Trace A series 40A charge controller. It features advanced MPPT control algorithm to ensure better performance. Clearly, it could track MPP point more accurately and fast in any condition. Well, the result is you get high energy efficiency and maximum energy from sunshine.
This charge controller is fit for 12V 520-watt and 24V 1040-watt solar panels and it offers maximum input voltage of 100 volts. Certainly, it works with both 12V and 24V batteries. Use the link below to buy a unit of the charge controller.
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Coming load support, it could run small DC devices like LEDs, fans, and etc. For AC load, as you know, you should connect with an inverter. As you see in the title, it is up with an advanced LCD screen that shows system data intuitively. Overall, for an averagely powerful off-grid solar power system, this kit is the finest option you could find from the best solar charge controllers.
9. Jnge Power Wind Solar Hybrid Charge Controller
What about a hybrid solar charge controller? It is going to be a great option for you if you want to set up both solar and wind sources for energy. This 1000W hybrid charge controller is 40A unit that supports 600-watt wind and 400-watt solar power sources.
It uniquely has a feature called Booster to ensure charging efficiency of low-power vertical wind turbines. You have an LCD display to see the system data. And the charge controller weighs just 84 lbs and it size goes 6.5 x 7 x 4 inches.
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You could mount it anywhere easily and connect to your off-grid power set-up. Its maker guarantees good protection for the controller from anti-charge, lightning, reverse charging, and etc. Hope you love this cool hybrid charge controller to build up an off-grid power system in your home or caravan.
10. Grape Solar 165W Solar Charge Controller
Here comes the last item on our list of the best solar charge controllers. The Grape Solar charge controller is, in fact, a basic PWM unit. So, it is the cheapest on the list. You get it with a display to show performance data.
By the way, what makes it nice is it supports the parallel connection of PV panels. Yes, it is ideal for less powerful solar panels like 160W Grape Solar panels or less.
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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.
That was our list of best solar charge controllers. Of course, we have more awesome solar chargers available on market. We have picked some cool items based on popularity on retailing sites. I am sure you will get one perfect solar charge controller from the list above. Thus, you could make your own off-grid solar power kit with the required power and capacity. Hope you have enjoyed our list. Make your comments below.