Solar Regulators are also called Charge Controllers
A solar regulator (also referred to as a charge controller) is a small box that consists of solid state circuitry which is strategically placed between solar panels and the solar batteries.
The function of the solar regulator is to be utilised in conjunction with stand-alone systems that are off the grid or a grid-connected solar system that combines a backup battery bank.
For a grid-connected solar power system that does not make use of batteries, a solar regulator is not required.
Today’s technologically-advanced solar regulators are extremely efficient and will be able to out-strip any three-stage mains power battery chargers.
The function of a solar regulator include:
- The primary function of the solar regulator is to regulate the incoming charge from the panel that flows into the deep cycle battery bank.
- This is to prevent the batteries from becoming overcharged.
- Regulators can also offer direct connectivity to appliances while recharging batteries.
- This will bypass the battery bank although the batteries will be charged simultaneously.
How to choose your solar regulator:
- First and foremost – it is important to check the amp ratings of your solar panels.
- Once you have tallied up the figures, this should give you an idea of the minimum size charge controller required.
- If you think your solar system will be added onto sometime in the future, it might be best to plan ahead for future growth.
- This will save you money in the long term when adding more solar panels onto your system down the line.
Explaining low voltage disconnect:
Once the voltage drops below a certain point and they continue to draw power, this will cause untold battery damage.
Solar regulators should be equipped with LVD – Low Voltage Disconnect features to avoid damage.
LVD will monitor battery levels and will automatically disconnect the load that is connected to the battery if the voltage levels drop.
You need never maintain your solar regulator – although it might be a good idea to check the wire connections from time to time to ensure they are taut and free of corrosion.
It is also advisable to mount your solar regulator away from direct sunlight and heat where there is good air flow.
For safety purposes always ensure there is a suitable fuse between the solar panel and the solar regulator.
It is important to acquire a professional’s opinion before ordering any equipment.