Charge Controllers

Charge Controllers with worldwide shipping

What is a Charge Controller?

PWM and MPPT charge controllers are both widely used to charge batteries with solar power.

The PWM controller is in essence a switch that connects a solar array to the battery. The result is that the voltage of the array will be pulled down to near that of the battery.

The MPPT controller is more sophisticated: it will adjust its input voltage to harvest the maximum power from the solar array and then transform this power to supply the varying voltage requirement of the battery plus load. Thus, it essentially decouples the array and battery voltages so that there can be, for example, a 12V battery on one side of the MPPT charge controller and panels wired in series to produce 36V on the other.

It is generally accepted that MPPT will outperform PWM in a cold to temperate climate, while both controllers will show approximately the same performance in a subtropical to tropical climate.

Maximum power point (MPPT) solar charger controllers from Victron Energy

SmartSolar charge controllers include Bluetooth for wireless communication with smartphones or tablets.

Blue Solar charge controllers do not have Bluetooth. They can be retrofitted to have Bluetooth by connecting the VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle.

Sizing options:

  • Suitable for a variety of battery voltages. Most models connect to 12, 24, and 48V batteries, some only connect to 12 and 24V batteries, or only to 48V batteries.
  • Charge currents rating from 10A all the way up to 100A.
  • Maximum PV array Voc voltages ranging from 75V up to 250V.
  • Multiple chargers can be used in parallel, for large systems we recommend to use the models with a VE.Can communication port.

In the MPPT model names, for example MPPT 75/50, the first number is the maximum PV open circuit voltage. The second number, 50, is the maximum charge current.