Solar Charge Controller Cape Town
A solar charge controller manages the power going into the battery bank from the solar array. It ensures that the batteries are not overcharged during the day and that the power doesn’t run back to the solar panels overnight and drain the batteries.
Solar Charge Controller Types
Solar charge controllers come in all shapes, sizes, features, and price ranges. They range from the small 4.5 amp control, up to the 60 to 80 amp MPPT programmable controllers with a computer interface.
Often, if currents over 60 amps are required, two or more 40 to 80 amp units are wired in parallel. The most common controls used for all battery-based systems are in the 4 to 60 amp range, but some of the new MPPT controls go up to 80 amps.
PWM VS MMPT
You can have the best batteries and best modules in the world, but they’re only as reliable as your controller. A poor controller can cause battery failure and complete failure with your entire solar system. The best solar charge controllers extend battery life for many years beyond their normal life expectancy, whereas inferior controllers cause premature battery failure and can render your PV system inoperable.
- PWM types are relatively simple, using a switch between the PV array and the battery. The switch is able to open and close rapidly, thus being able to pulse or “throttle back” the electricity coming from a solar panel in order to taper off the charge current as the batteries become full.
- MPPT controllers are comparatively more sophisticated. They can adjust (or track) the input voltage and current of the PV array to find the optimum operating voltage that will generate the most power at a given moment.
The solar charge controller cape town generally represents about 10% of your total off-grid system costs, whereas batteries can be about 40% of your first-time cost and 80% of your lifetime costs. So, the small amount of money you might save deploying a cheaper charge controller will pale in comparison to the money and time wasted on battery replacement.
How Do Solar Charge Controllers Work?
In most controllers, a current passes through a semiconductor which acts like a valve to control the current. They also prevent your batteries from being overcharged by reducing the flow of energy to the battery once it reaches a specific voltage. Overcharging batteries can be particularly damaging to the battery itself so controllers are especially crucial.
Solar charge controllers Cape town also offer some other important functions, including overload protection, low voltage disconnects, and blockage of reverse currents.
How Do I Size The Controller?
There are several factors that you need to consider when sizing your solar charge controller for your system. You can start by first determining your system voltage.
Will this be a 12V, 24V, or 48V system? If you are starting from scratch and need a gauge to help determine your system voltage, a good rule of thumb is:
- 12V systems – under 1200 watts
- 24V systems – 1200 watts – 3000 watts
- 48V systems – above 3000 watts
Solar Installation In The Following Areas:
Langebaan – Vredenburg – Saldanha – Hopefield – St Helena Bay – Velddrif – Jacobs Bay – Moorreesburg – Yzerfontein – Cape Town