Solar Power: Charge Controllers

by:CTECHi     2019-11-26
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If you are using a solar panel, the charging controller is essential to protect the battery system.
There are a lot of huge differences in choice and cost, which makes it very confusing to choose the right controller.
Why use the charging controller? The controller solves a basic mismatch.
The properties of photovoltaic solar panels are very different from those that are most suitable for charging batteries.
If you look at the power curve of a typical solar panel, you can see that solar energy is a constant current device, where the current established is based on the amount of sunlight.
The first problem you will have is a waste of power!
The panel wants to provide a maximum power of 30 V, and the 24 V battery may be at 24 V.
The difference of these 6 volts represents a 20% loss of power available for charging.
The second problem is that when the battery is fully charged, nothing can disconnect the panel from the battery.
There is also no way to evaluate when the battery charge is complete.
Charging a BatteriesA deep cycle battery for energy storage requires a different amount of current to charge normally.
Overcharging the battery will shorten the life of the battery and even completely damage the battery.
The battery is expensive and takes a long time to use.
Different battery types and temperatures change the battery charge.
Making the most of these key technologies requires a well-designed charging system that can take all factors into account and provide optimal charging.
Your battery will last longer, which will save you money!
Modern charging controllers usually have a three-stage charging system.
The first is the \"block\" mode to provide fast charging, the second is the \"absorb\" mode to provide final charging, and finally the \"float\" mode to keep the battery in a very small charging state,
The lower cost controller usually has two stages, first \"block\" and then switch to \"float \".
If you have a small system with a limited budget, it may be your choice.
You should probably use the generator for a balanced charge once a month, which is a good idea anyway, but more important in your case.
Balanced charging is designed to cycle acid in the battery.
Water tends to settle at the bottom of the battery and charge evenly (
Overcharging or deflating)
Make charging bubbles that help water and acid to cycle in the battery and improve the distribution of acid.
Phase 3 charging reduces the need for a balanced charge, but should still be done on a regular basis.
For more information on the recommended length and cycle, please consult the battery supplier.
Extracting the maximum power from the panel requires you to get power at the maximum power point of the panel and convert that power to the voltage and current that best suits the battery system.
The device that uses this idea is called PPT (
Power point tracking)controllers.
They are more expensive, but can make a very big difference in the amount of electricity you collect from the panel, the life of the battery, and the number of panels you need to reduce your power needs.
When you look at the charge controller, you see that a common term is PWM.
This represents pulse width modulation, a way to provide charge regulation without wasting power.
The high-quality PPT controller will use PWM as part of its design, but it does provide an important step forward from the cheapest regulator used today.
When selecting the controller, please be careful to purchase the regulator whose current and voltage ratings match the panel.
You need a current rating that matches the current generated by the array.
If you collect the current of 40 amps, you will want a PPT regulator of 60 amps.
Your array will generate more power than there is no regulator, so you will need to allow for increased output.
The PPT controller allows you to increase the voltage of the array by means of a series panel.
This reduces the wire size and current and allows the system to start up faster in the morning, charging a little longer.
If you would like to do so, make sure that your panel meets the regulator\'s specifications in the series configuration you would like to use.
For very large systems, OutBack and others use a small computerized device to coordinate charging for your system and create a charging controller that can be combined.
I think it might be good to explain another regulator called a shunt regulator.
The splitter is usually used in large wind power systems, but works well for solar panels as well.
This regulator is great because the power supply \"diverts\" to another load when it is not necessary to collect the energy of the system.
It can be a space heater or a water heater.
In my system, I use both the PPT regulator and the splitter.
The PPT regulator allowed me to get the maximum power from the panel, and the shunt regulator provided a little heat to my home office during the winter months.
The power supply that usually does not need to charge the battery is unused.
From the point of view of system efficiency, diversion adjustment is a better choice.
If you want to worry about whether your system is small or large, it is important to choose the right charging controller
A free system that maximizes your solar investment.
Take your time and make the best choices.
The equipment will last for many years, and your patient return is considerable!
Sampling power curves for high quality solar panels.
Amazon price for Sunforce 7 Amp charge controller: $29. 99 $17. 72 Buy Now(
Prices as of April 14, 2016)
Very cheap 12 v controller.
Efficient NonPPT controller.
Schneider Electric 60 charging controller 60A 12/24/48 VDCAmazon Price: $253. 99Buy Now(
Prices as of April 14, 2016)
A good PPT controller with optional display. Morningstar TS-MPPT-
Price: $783. 78 $524. 20 Buy Now(
Prices as of April 14, 2016)
A very good PPT controller.
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