A solar regulator or charger controller works with a grid connecting solar power system to a battery backup bank. A solar controller is a box of system of circuits placed between the batteries and the solar panel. The main function of the controller is to systematize the amount of charge running from the panel to the battery bank; as it may lead to battery overcharge. A solar power charge controller also provides connectivity to the appliances while also recharging the batteries.
Features of a solar controller
Size of the regulator – While buying a charge controller, you need to keep in mind the amp ratings of the solar panels installed at your place. Add the figures of the ratings and the result will give you the size of the controller. It is advised to always buy one with slightly higher power than is required. In future, if you need to add more panels to your system, you wouldn’t have to change your solar regulator due to overload.
Regular maintenance – Although solar regulators don’t need any special maintenance, regular checks are important to ensure that the wires are intact and corrosion free. Some simple tricks will keep your regulator long lasting. They should be kept away from direct sunlight, at a place where the air flow is good. The performance and service life of these are long lasting due to its robust nature but they can be affected in extreme heat. Add a fuse between the solar panel and the regulator to protect from fire.
Low voltage disconnect – Low voltage disconnect is an additional feature to a charger; it monitors the battery level. If any appliance voltage drops to a certain level and continuous draw of power from the solar panel is destructive, the charger will disconnect the appliance. The feature protects your batteries from discharging heavily and reduced service life and performance.