It’s pointless to invest in high-quality solar panels if your charge controller isn’t up to par. We put three of the greatest charging controllers up against each other to see who comes out on top.
Best MPPT Solar Charge Controller* Outback FLEXmax FM80. A good solar charge controller is an important component of any solar energy system that uses battery packs.
It maximises the efficiency of the solar panels and guarantees that the batteries are charged quickly and safely. In many circumstances, changing the charge controller can significantly enhance the energy efficiency of a solar system.
We’ll look at the most efficient solar charge controllers in today’s guide.
Maximum Power Point Tracking, or MPPT, is a technology used by all of these devices.
Because of their greater efficiency and capacity to harvest more power in low light circumstances, more advanced MPPT charge controllers are now favoured over classic PWM ones.
We’ve Best MPPT Solar Charge Controller* Outback FLEXmax FM80 put together a helpful buyer’s guide to show you how to pick the proper controller size. We also examine three of the most popular models to determine which is the best.
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Reviews of MPPT Solar Charge Controllers
In this part, we’ll look at the top three solar charge controllers on the market right now.
We’ve only included MPPT charge controller evaluations because they’re the most efficient and, as a result, the best solar controllers.
MPPT is the way to go if you want to get the most out of your solar installation. In low-light situations, an MPPT controller improves performance while lowering transmission loss.
The most efficient MPPT controllers have efficiencies of around 94-98 percent and can save you a lot of money, especially in larger solar projects.
Before reading more about the top models, take a quick glance at how they compare in the comparison table.
Best MPPT Solar Charge Controller* Outback FLEXmax FM80 4.5 star rating
Features: Flexmax MPPT software algorithm, 12V-60V battery voltages, +98% peak efficiency, less than 1 Watt power consumption, active cooling, intelligent thermal management cooling, backlit 80 character display, remote monitoring and programming, appropriate for practically any battery type
Charge controllers from FLEXmax are among the best on the market. The FM80 can handle a wide range of battery voltages and can even step-down high-voltage solar panels to recharge low-voltage batteries.
It can withstand up to 150 volts from a solar array when stepped down to 12 – 60 volts (direct current). It’s a very adaptable device that can work with a variety of battery types and voltages.
When it comes to customization and programmability, it’s also one of the most powerful controllers available. Though the number of options may appear daunting at first, once you understand the parameters, your solar array will function more efficiently than before.
When compared to previous approaches, MPPT technology enhances the power yield of a solar array by up to 30%. The FM80 can run at full current rating in temperatures as high as 104°F thanks to active cooling and thermal management cooling.
The system is incredibly energy efficient, requiring less than 1 watt of power to operate. In smaller solar installations, self-consumption of power in controllers is a problem, but the FLEXmax range is designed to address this.
The backlit LCD display on the built-in unit can display up to 80 characters on four lines. The display provides the current system status as well as data from the previous 128 days’ performance.
The MATE system display can also be used to remotely monitor and programme it. The FM80 can be controlled remotely from any internet-connected device.
A 5-year warranty (extendable to 10) is also not to be overlooked. These devices must be dependable, and Outback clearly believes in their product.
The Outback FLEXMax FM80 is a higher-end charge controller with a higher-end price tag. It is, nevertheless, a reasonable investment due to features such as internet access and low power consumption. There aren’t many solar controllers that work as well as this one. For those with the financial means, this is the greatest solar charge controller.
Renogy Rover 40 Amp *Extremely Good Value* Rating: 4.4
The cost is $
Features: Auto detects 12/24 Volt systems, error code detection (for self-diagnosis), compatible with a variety of batteries (lithium, sealed, gel, flooded), 4-stage charging (Equalization, Boost, Bulk, and Float), LCD display, programmable charging parameters, die-cast aluminium casing, battery temperature monitor, and remote monitoring.
The Renogy Rover 40 Amp MPPT controller has a 99 percent efficiency rating. It comes with a number of useful functions, such as error code detection, which allows you to diagnose the system’s setup and avoid any damage caused by installation errors or system flaws.
It has a number of safety features to keep your operation safe. Overcharge, overdischarge, short circuit, and overload protection are among them. Heat is dissipated rapidly and efficiently because to the die-cast aluminium body.
The LCD display is easy to see and understand. A number of LED indicators support this, displaying crucial information such as error codes. LEDs are also utilised for metering and to free up space on the LCD screen. The unit is simple to programme and the parameters can be changed as needed.
At all times, the MPPT technology gets the maximum amount of electricity from the panels. The MPPT tracking algorithm is totally automatic and does not require any programming.
The Renogy Rover MPPT can switch between four different battery charging algorithms. Each has a distinct function.
Bulk charge is used to charge batteries on a regular basis. It makes advantage of all available solar energy and delivers the highest possible current to the batteries.
When the battery hits a voltage threshold, the system switches to constant charge mode. This lowers the current and keeps the battery from overheating. This also contains a Boost charge, which keeps the battery charged for an additional two hours (default). The user has the ability to change this.
The controller reduces the battery voltage during a float charge. When the battery is fully charged, this occurs. It keeps the battery charged at a low level. When necessary, the system will revert to bulk pricing.
The purposeful overcharging of the battery is known as equalisation. This occurs in a regulated manner every 28 days. This helps to balance the chemicals in some batteries. This increases their effectiveness while also extending their life lifetime.
As we mentioned in the buyer’s guide, this model has a reliable load control system that helps protect any connected DC loads. This keeps the batteries from overdischarging.
The Bluetooth Module is a fantastic add-on that comes with the Renogy Rover. The controller can now be linked to Renogy’s remote monitoring app. This means you can monitor the operation of your system from the comfort of your living room. It also allows you to make adjustments to the settings.
A one-year warranty doesn’t excite me, especially when compared to the five-year warranty offered by the last Outback model we tested. However, keep in mind that this is less than a third of the price of the previous model.
The Renogy solar charge controller is well-designed and simple to operate. It’s designed to get the most out of a solar installation and includes a number of automatic safety mechanisms to keep things running smoothly. It’s also the most cost-effective MPPT charge controller.
Rating: 4.1 for SolarEpic MPPT 40A
Features include four charging options, numerous safety features, PC monitoring software, a maximum input voltage of 150 volts, and intelligent self-diagnosis.
SolarEpic’s solar charge controller is in the mid-to-low price range. It’s ideal for an off-grid solar setup because it regulates battery charging and discharging. It maximises the energy yield of the solar energy system by using MPPT technology.
This model has been tuned for long battery life and high efficiency. It incorporates a number of safety features to ensure that everything runs properly at all times. Overcharging, over current, and over temperature protection are also provided, as well as a low voltage disconnect to prevent the battery from overcharging.
It employs clever self-diagnostics to keep track on the system’s performance, highlighting and preventing errors and flaws. It also uses the RJ45 communications interface to communicate with any optional external accessories.
There are four charging options available: flooded, gel, sealed, and user-defined. It has a maximum input voltage of 150 volts.
The lack of an LCD display limits the amount of information provided, although the LED lighting system is adequate. This also has the advantage of using very little energy.
Bottom Line: It isn’t the most flashy controller, but it is reliable and efficient. This is especially useful for tiny solar arrays.