Battery regulators, also known as solar regulators or charge controllers, are an essential component of an off-grid solar system. Grid-connect solar systems with battery backup also require a battery regulator.
The core task of a regulator is to control the current flow from the solar panels (or turbines) into the batteries to prevent overcharging. Most regulators also prevent excessive discharges. It should be mounted close to the batteries so it can measure the batteries' temperature (or ambient temperature) to optimise charging rates.
We group our regulators in 4 sub-categories:
- Simple - a simple charge controller checks the battery voltage and stops charging when a set level has been reached.
- Budget PWM - Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) regulators adjust charging rates depending on the battery's voltage.
- Premium PWM - like Budget, but with the addition of Data Logging and LCD display.
- MPPT - Maximum power point tracker (MPPT) regulators monitor both battery and solar panel voltage which results in an additional 10-15% of charging capability.