Solar Regulators / Charge Controllers
Solar regulators, also known as solar charge controllers or battery regulators, are an essential part of any off-grid solar system. Grid-connect solar systems with battery backup also requires a solar regulator. Solar Regulators transform or cut the voltage and amps coming from your solar panels. The primary task of a solar regulator is to control the current flow from the solar panels into the batteries to prevent overcharging. Most regulators also prevent excessive discharges. Your solar charge controller should be mounted close to the batteries so it can measure the batteries' temperature (or ambient / room temperature) to optimise charging rates.
You will notice two different types of regulators available to choose from, this is how they differ:
- PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) - Operates at around 70% efficiency. PWM regulators clip excess solar voltage, resulting in a loss of total power
- MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) - Operates at up to 97% efficiency. MPPT is a newer technology, instead of clipping excess solar voltage it transforms it to the required voltage with an increase in current
When considering which style of regulator is right for your application (PWM or MPPT) compare the additional cost of an MPPT regulator versus the cost of adding additional panels, and ease of installation. SPS Solar would in most cases always recommend MPPT where budget allow's.
For expert, tailored, no-obligation advice call our friendly team on 1300 727 422.