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How to choose a controller for a solar battery

Which charge controller for solar batteries to choose?

Any autonomous system that contains its composition of batteries must necessarily provide for the means of controlling the charge and discharge of batteries.

The charge controller circuit for solar batteries is based on the chip. It is a key part of the entire device. The controller itself is a key element of the heliosystem. The controller monitors the work of the entire device, in addition, it leads the charge of the battery battery.

Types of controllers

Heliosystems are equipped with three types of controllers.

On/OFF Controller

The most budgetary and easiest option. The principle of operation on/off the controller is that when the upper voltage is reached, it disconnects the block of the solar panels from the battery. Charging in this case is suspended.

Despite its advantage in the form of low cost, the ON/OFF controller is rare. The use of such equipment prevents the full charge of the battery, on average it is carried out only by 70%, which subsequently increases the speed of wear.

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Shim- (pwm-) controller

The PWM controller (ShIM) got its name due to the fact that a wide-pulse modulation was taken as the basis for its work. Unlike ON/OFF controller SHIM after the battery charging cycle does not completely turn off the panel, which allows the battery to charge entirely. Such equipment is used for installations with a capacity of up to 2.0 kW.

MRRT controller

The principle of operation of this device is based on the determination and control of the maximum power levels. MRRTs are the most advanced and expensive at the same time. In the work, such equipment regularly monitors current and voltage levels. Due to the calculation of the optimal ratio of parameters, the microprocessor reaches maximum production.

MRTR controllers allow the use of wiring with a small cross section, converting even a large voltage to the optimal. This type is rightfully considered the most effective and significantly reduces the payback time of the solar panels.


The advice of experts, as well as ordinary users who have become owners of solar power plants, will help to avoid mistakes when choosing a fairly expensive device:

  • one. By power, the device should exceed solar panels. The best option is to exceed the indicator by 20%. Otherwise, in the absence of protection, the device may fail. The greatest risk is associated with heliosystems operating in low temperatures.
  • 2. If the power of the solar panels and the controller is lower than that of the battery, the shortage of the battery is possible with the subsequent decrease in its resource.
  • 3. The temperature of the battery affects the charge voltage. Avoid overheating of the controller allows a built.in or connected sensor and a temperature compensation system of charging voltage.
  • 4. Protective functions exclude the failure of the equipment in case of improper connection, short circuit, thunderstorm discharges, overheating, overstrain at the input.
  • 5. Depending on the type of battery, they need certain charge conditions. The simplest controllers do not always support the necessary modes. While ShIM devices work with any type of batteries.

Interested in the cost of the controller, one should not neglect information about the manufacturer. Preference is given to well.known companies whose specialization is focused on the release of heliosystems. Europeans and Americans are considered leaders in this area. Russian technology occupies the “gold” middle in relation to the price and quality. Although most Chinese devices are attractive in price, their effectiveness and reliability leaves much to be desired.

Overview of solar battery controllers: varieties

Four types of controllers are distinguished by their device (not counting homemade):

  • ONOFF. disconnects the charge to reach the upper voltage limit;
  • PWM. to lower the charging current at maximum loads;
  • MRRI is a complex system that relieves high voltage from the batteries followed by optimization of the load;
  • Hybrid. created for combined systems (solar modules) to discharge excess energy.

The more complicated the model, the higher its cost. Therefore, ONOFF devices will always be cheaper than MRRI. It is not necessary to buy the last new technique if you need a simple controller for a solar battery in the country. In these cases, the ONOFF models will be enough. If you need to take care of a heliosystem working on an ongoing basis and serving to provide electricity to a residential building, then you should think about acquiring a PWM or MRRT of models. Hybrid models are relevant only for owners of combined systems. They are built on the basis of MRRT or PWM with the difference that they use voltamper.per calculus systems.

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Which controller to choose for a solar battery

Based on the description above, you can understand that on/offf the controller is not suitable for long.term use. It can only be installed as a tester for the work of the entire system. We do not recommend using it, because the of the battery remember everything.

It is better to look at Shim or PWM or MPPT, they are more functional. Of course, the cost bites on them, but it’s worth it. Speaking for MPPT technology, it significantly prolongs the life of the battery, because the charge holds at the level of 93-97%, the PWM or PWM has 60-70%.

Any solar power plant is collected only for savings, so to overpay extra money to buy expensive components is bad. Interesting how to choose an inexpensive battery for solar electrostation.

We have collected for you the two most popular controllers for solar panels, which are universal and best in the price/qualities:

  • MPPT Tracer 2210RN Solar Charge Controller Regulator it costs 75, universal, recognizes day/night, there are quality certificates and excellent efficiency. 93%.
  • Solar Controller 20a we allocated it due to the low price-only 20. It works using ShIM or PWM technology, you can manage using a computer. A simple and understandable integration is installed, it allows you to easily install all standard settings.

What parameters of the controller must be taken into account

To determine the criteria when choosing a controller, it is necessary to formulate the functions that he performs, they can be attributed to them:

  • Ensuring the battery charge;
  • Disconnecting the battery with full charge in automatic mode;
  • Shutdown of loads with minimum charge in automatic mode;
  • Connecting loads when restoring the charge;
  • Connection of photocells when charging a battery in automatic mode.

Having decided on the functions for which the controller is responsible, you can formulate parameters that must be taken into account when choosing a device.

Two main parameters, this is:

  • The voltage that is fixed at the entrance. The maximum allowable voltage can be 15. 20% than at the “idle” of the solar panel.
  • Nominal current indicators. For PWM (PWM) controller, this quantitative indicator should be higher by 10% of the current indicator with a short circuit in the solar panel. The MPPT controller is selected by power, which should be higher than the product of the output current of the regulator and the voltage of the entire system, plus 20% of the resulting value, to create a power reserve during periods of the active sun.
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Modern models of controllers are equipped with a variety of protective mechanisms and the ability to work in different modes. The presence of such elements in the design of a particular device does not affect the main parameters when choosing it, but additionally stimulates the acquisition of a particular model.

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Such protection elements include:

  • Protection against connecting incorrect polarity;
  • Protection at the input from cases of short circuit;
  • Protection during stress from short circuit;
  • Protection against overheating;
  • Protection at the inlet from high voltage loads;
  • Protection against lightning blows;
  • Schemes for preventing night discharge of batteries;
  • Electronic fuses.

What is a controller of a sunny battery

Modern generating systems for transmitting developed energy to batteries, direct sources of consumption, use different scenarios for connecting current sources. In particular, advanced algorithms created on the basis of microprocessors are used. The task of the controller of the charge of the solar battery is to ensure a stable current supply, protect the elements of the chain from overvoltage, short circuit, and other negative factors.

Two types of PWM and MPPT are on sale, each has positive, negative nuances.

PWM controllers

A device with a wide-pulse modulation, which is considered an obsolete. The controller of the PWM is based on the voltage by differentiation of the well.being of the generated signal.

PWM controller removes the voltage at the input, from the circuit of the DC-DC transformer. Thus, support for the voltage set by the user is ensured. As a rule, this is 12-14 volts, but there are models where you can install other parameters. PLIM pulses are transmitted to high.frequency transistor keys responsible for the control of the throttle.

The latter resulting in quick voltage changes, whose amplitude is more than input parameters. At the exit, the voltage is leveled by the capacitor, stabilized by the diode.

PWM controller is designed for solar power plants of small power. Due to low energy efficiency, it is recommended to be used in areas with increased solar activity.

MRTR controllers

MPPT, according to its principle of operation, is a modernized version of PWM, only for the generation of pulses is not responsible for PWM, but a microcomputer consisting of a processor and internal memory. This decision offers advanced possibilities, in particular, control of current and voltage strength, both at the output and at the input of the converter. The microcontroller is also able to track the temperature of the internal elements of the chain, excluding overheating.

Comparing Sizing MPPT vs PWM Solar Charge Controller

accurate control of incoming/outgoing parameters increases the performance of the solar panels, actually excluding heat loss at the stage of lighting scraping.

MRTR controller is used at large enterprises, industrial solar power plants.

Comparison of MPPT and PWM controllers (ShIM)

In the solar and wind plants for the production of electric energy, two types of controllers are used, these are MRRTs, which were written above and PWM (PWM) Cotrollers.

PWM devices are cheaper devices, the principle of operation of which is based on the use of latitudinal module modulation. Devices of this type are divided into shunt and consistent.

In order to choose the most suitable for a particular system, you need to compare them to study the advantages and disadvantages of each type of such devices.

Advantages of devices of different types:

  • The possibility of using in various systems that differ in the source of energy (solar, wind, combined systems)
  • High efficiency.
  • The creation of optimal working conditions for batteries allows you to extend their operation.
  • The high voltage at the input allows you to reduce the section of cables and wires used to connect the elements of the system or increase the distance from the energy source to the controller.
  • The use of devices of this type can increase the efficiency of the use of solar batteries, which is due to the ability to charge batteries with low illumination.
  • PWM controllers.
  • Low cost.
  • Conservative models: allow the use of various energy sources simultaneously and create low heating during regulation;
  • Shunt models: minor power losses during operation, weak electromagnetic interference and low voltage drop in keys.

Disadvantages of devices of different types:

  • MRRT controllers.
  • High price.
  • complex technology, in accordance with analogues.
  • PWM controllers.
  • Conservative models: with full charge, the energy source is turned off, significant losses in successive keys, electromagnetic interference.
  • Shunt models: significant heating during operation, the inability to use with other sources of energy, except for solar panels.

How to do it with your own hands

If necessary, having an idea of ​​electronic devices, knowing how to work a gun and the ability to make a printed circuit board for the installation of components, you can make a charge controller yourself. This will be the simplest type of controllers, which has a slight power and a small set of adjustments and settings.

The basis of the operation of such a device is the principle. when the voltage on the battery reaches the established level, the charging stops, and when the voltage is reduced at the batteries, charging is resumed.

A similar device can be assembled according to the following scheme:

The charge controller assembled according to this scheme will have the following characteristics:

  • The voltage of the battery charge is adjustable, the nominal value is 13.8 V;
  • The consumer disconnection is configured, the nominal value is 11 V;
  • Turning on the load at voltage on the battery in 12.5 V.

The electronic components of the circuit can be replaced by analogues, without changing physical properties.



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