Day 22 of #100daysofsolarnuggets
What is a charge controller?
A charge controller is a device that controls the charging of the batteries in the battery bank. It is placed between the battery and the solar panel. The main purpose of a charge controller is to prevent the batteries from getting overcharged. It regulates the current flowing in and out of the batter,this is done to ensure your batteries last long and more importantly this is done for users safety.Charge controllers come in different shapes sizes and color.
Features of a charge controller
Below are some of the feature of a charge controller, some charge controllers have more features than the other.
.1) Prevents the battery from overcharging.
This is the main function of a charge controller, batteries are very sensitive components, so care must be taken not to overcharge them. The charge controller regulates the voltage and current coming into the battery.
.2) Blocking reverse current.
At night when the solar panels are not producing anything, the battery has a higher voltage than the panels because of this higher voltage, current from the battery would try to find its way back to the solar panels and if this is allowed,it could damage our solar panels. The charge controller prevents current from flowing from the battery to the solar panel. (newer models of solar panels also come with a way of blocking reverse current in built as a precaution)
.3) To prevent deep discharging.
Discharging your battery below 50% significantly reduces the lifespan of your batteries, the charge controller monitors battery usage and alerts you, when your battery is about to be discharged below the recommended level.
.4) data logging
Some charge controllers record the values from your solar systems such as the maximum power generated from your solar panels, current , voltage, battery levels and the likes, this is done on a daily basis and it stores this data in the memory of the charge controller .This helps you to monitor your solar system and detect any fault that may arise early enough. It also enables you to have a record and keep track of the performance of your system.
There are two types of charge controllers
.1) PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)
.2) MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking)
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