If you have solar panels on your house, RV, chicken shed, or workstation, you should be entitled to have a controller. Why? Because to control and get the best for your battery and for yourself.
A PWM solar charge controller not only regulates batteries and charge but is also a fail-safe for them. It takes care of overcharge, over current, low voltage, and short circuits. Electrical charging equipment is very delicate and needs constant attention. Which most of us don’t have.
This is why a PWM solar charge controller is a better option for anyone. Getting green energy to keep your house, RV, lodge, shed, or camper up and running efficiently and last your batteries longer, you will have no headache.
There are a lot of different kinds of solar charge controllers in the market. Each of them serves a different purpose. Depending on the power you need, we have gathered the best of them for you.
5 of the Best Pwm Solar Charge Controllers for Small Sheds, Campers, Big RVs, Boats, and House
1. Renogy Wanderer 10 Amp 12V/24V PWM Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller
This 10 Amp solar charger controller from Renogy Wanderer is an intelligent PWM controller for your solar system. It helps your battery charger as well as improves your battery life and performance.
It comes equipped with a comprehensive self-diagnostic system along with electronic protection function that prevents any damage to your battery either natural or by the system’s malfunction. This controller is designed for off-grid solar systems and supports 12V/24V batteries including AGM, flood systems, or lithium batteries.
This system does a 4 stage charging. Bulk, boost, float, and equalization as they call it is done by controlling the temperature which helps prolong the battery life. It has protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, short circuits, and reverse currents.
You can see all the system operations on its Backlit LCD display. It will provide all the system information along with diverse load control and error codes.
Another great feature is that it stops charging but trickles the battery so it stays full all the time.
Installation is easy, you open the hatch, insert the right wires and close the hatch shut. Its compact size makes it easy to install anywhere.
This controller can charge totally discharged lithium batteries.
You can also connect to the device using Bluetooth and keep track of your solar charging system with its smartphone app.
- Easy installation.
- Small size.
- Intelligent system operation and diagnostics can be viewed from the smartphone.
- Bad customer support.
2. 20A Solar Charge Controller Solar Panel Battery Intelligent Regulator with Dual USB Port
This 20A solar charge controller is from Binen. It is compatible with a 12V/24V battery system. The built-in industrial controller automatically manages the works of the solar panel and battery charge at the same time.
One of the best things about it is it has dual USB output of 5V or 2.5A which you can use for phone charging and small devices.
As with other solar charge controllers, it comes with short circuit protection, reverse-polarity protection, reverse-current protection, and overload protection. It also has 3 stages PWM charging management system, so it improves the charge cycle of the battery and life at the same time.
This controller supports batteries like AGM, flooded, and Gel. But the downside is it doesn’t support nickel hydride, lithium-ion, and other batteries.
Its intelligent protection shuts the charging system when the voltage drops below 8V.
The LCD display will give you information about the battery and solar information. You can also configure it to different modes like home, industrial or commercial according to your setup preference.
Although it claims to be able to control over 100 Amp of the electrical charging system, sometimes it fails. So it is only suitable for small setup types.
- Small design, easy to set up.
- Works fine, and has a lot of fail-safe.
- Dual USB output on the front.
- Not capable of handling heavy power systems.
3. Renogy Adventurer 30A 12V/24V Negative Ground PWM Flush Mount Charge Controller
Renogy Adventurer 30A is an advanced solar charger controller. It is programmed to charge lithium batteries more efficiently than its older models. It is so that it can charge the maximum number of lithium batteries on the market.
The adventurer model also has a Bluetooth-enabled interface, so you get to get all the information through your mobile. No need to look at the device all the time.
This controller can charge both 12V and 24V batteries. The PWM charging system helps charge your batteries faster and prolong battery life in an efficient charging pattern. It supports Sealed, gel, flooded, and lithium batteries.
Renogy’s 4 stage charging process and temperature control integrated system makes the battery charge faster and improves system performance. Improved protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, short circuit, and reverse current makes it a more efficient PWM solar charging controller.
Its latest comprehensive self-diagnostic system can analyze any anomaly in the wiring or installation mistakes to prevent any sort of damage to the battery and the electrical equipment.
You get to see the information from the LCD display if you are not with your smartphone.
Its sleek flash mount design makes it easy to mount on any wall or surface anywhere.
- Easy to install and mount.
- Intelligent diagnostic system for self-diagnostic.
- Supports a wide variety of batteries in the market.
- Processes lithium batteries charge with special care.
- If not connected properly, may malfunction or not work at all.
4. 30amp Charge Controller, PWM Solar Controller by PowMr
PowMr makes an outstanding 30amp solar charge controller. It supports a huge range of voltages. It is able to work with 12V/24V/36V/48V batteries. This is a good option if you are going to install a heavy-duty solar charging system.
It supports a lot of kinds of batteries. Be it sealed, gel, flooded or lithium, it will work with them efficiently.
There are multiple load control modes in it. Work control, light control, dual time, and light control system are the default ones found in them. You can also customize the controls yourself according to your preference.
In terms of protection, it gives out temperature compensation protection, reverse polarity, battery reverse protection, overheating, overload, over-current, and low voltage light protection.
The 4 stage PWM is here for intelligent charging. It charges in bulk, absorption, equalize and float.
There is a double USB output in the front which gives 5V/2A output for your phone or other device charging.
It comes with a backlit LCD display to show its diagnostics and information.
- Supports a huge number of batteries.
- Customizable battery charging option.
- Works with different voltages of batteries.
- Solid charger and protection.
- Not on the durable side.
5. Morningstar – Tristar 60A PWM Solar Charge Controller
One of the heavy-weight lifters is the Morningstar – Tristar 60A PWM Solar Charge Controller. This one is not here to joke around. It works great maintaining power to your RV or camper. Do you have air conditioning, a microwave, a refrigerator? All your worries are over if you have a Tristar 60A PWM solar charge controller.
Why is this so? It is designed that way. It can connect parallelly with your batteries and bring out the maximum load from your solar panels. You will need good wires though. Without a good gauge wire, it will be a complete waste of your efforts. Give it some good gauge of wire and it will treat you well.
This one is an off-grid controller. It can be cloud-controlled via network system communication protocols.
It also comes with not only charging but also load control and diversion regulation. Extensive protections include protection against surge, short circuit, over-current, and reverse polarity. As it is heavy duty, it has advanced self-diagnostics, that warn about errors of installation or charging. It has a custom programable system that you can track with your PC. And logging data can be stored for up to 256 days.
It supports all kinds of batteries and I mean big ones. So no mentioning about that. Just get this one if you have heavy-duty equipment running in your home, lodge, or RV.
There is a hiping 5-year warranty. Which is a lot considering others don’t have any on the front.
- Heavy duty, can power up and control a whole RV, house, or more.
- PC programable network and diagnostic system.
- Long-term warranty.
- Best value for money and history in the market.
- Works poorly if you use low gauge wiring.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many batteries can a solar charge controller handle?
A. Depends on the controller output. The more Amperage it has to control the bigger the solar controller gets. A normal solar charge controller gets to control up to a 40A battery.
2. What size solar controller do I need for a 100W solar panel?
A. If you have a 100W solar panel, you will be needing a 10A solar charge controller to be safe.
3. What voltage of output should a solar charge controller be set at?
A. By default the solar charge controllers come with a 16V-20V output, depending on the battery need. It is wise to consult with your provider and the size of your battery for this matter.
4. What should I do to get the most out of my solar charge controller?
A. It is best to use the best gauge wire for your solar charge controller. The best compatible gauge you use, the better output you get. The lower gauge means more heating up and low voltage output for your batteries.
A PWM solar charge controller is best as it’s programmed and wired. The better equipment you get, the better output. There is one for all different types of output. Do calculate your accessories and solar panel capacity. Then you can settle down for a good solar charge controller.