Charge Controllers

After choosing the best marine solar panels available, the charge controller is the next most important decision. The charge controller regulates the battery charge, protects from over-charging and prevents reverse current flow at night. Combined with MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking), your charge controller is able to prolong the life of your battery by providing an efficient charging regime.

MPPT is a significant step in controlling the output of a solar panel. With changes in irradiance (amount of sunlight) and temperature, a solar panel will produce different amounts of power (amps) at a particular voltage. By analysing the panel output and combining this with the voltage of the battery, it is possible to calculate the best power output for maximum charge. As light conditions change constantly throughout the day, ideal charging conditions will also change. Monitoring and determining the best power output is referred to as maximum power point tracking (MPPT). A controller with MPPT technology is able to increase charge efficiency by 10 to 40% over standard regulators.

We supply and strongly recommend the use of MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) solar controllers for use with Solbianflex panels rather than conventional PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) regulators.

For small systems up to 100 watts, 12 volts

The Solbian/Genasun SGB-8 MPPT charge controller is used for solar power systems up to 8 amps input and is specially designed for Solbianflex solar panels. This is a step up/step down MPPT controller, adjusting the charging voltage to maximise efficiency. Lightweight and compact, it is the perfect choice for a small solar system up to 100 watts at 12 volts. An inbuilt LED indictor provides information about the rate of charge or if an error has occurred and maintenance is required. The SGB-8 weighs just 200 grams and measures 130mm X 60mm X 30mm.

For medium size solar systems up to 225 watts (12 volt) or 450 watts (24 volts)

The Western WRM-15 charge controller is a complete solution for solar power systems up to 15 amps input. It contains an automatic voltage selector to charge either 12 or 24 volt batteries. The controller uses MPPT technology to maximise the charge to your battery as light conditions change throughout the day. The LED display contains all the information you will need including battery voltage, panel voltage, panel current, battery accepted charge, cumulative power and battery temperature. With a selection for either flooded or gel filled batteries, the WRM-15 is our most popular solar controller. The WRM-15 is 160mm X 135mm X 50mm and weighs 515 grams.

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