If you are using a solar panel with a battery source then Without a doubt, you absolutely need to be using a solar panel charge controller. Choosing not to use one will leave your battery in a very compromised situation which can be both expensive and dangerous. The very longevity or battery lifespan is controlled by the solar panel charge controller, so turning your back on this important piece of equipment is not a good idea.
If you are not using a battery to store solar energy and instead relying on a utility company then you will not have to worry about investing in a solar panel controller. But if you are not using a utility company and are off the grid then you will already have a battery source and hopefully you are using it with a charge controller. If you’re not then allow me to enlighten you why you most definitely need to start using one.
Let’s face the facts, batteries do not come cheap, so you want them to last as long as possible and to work at their optimum levels at all times. If you are constantly flooding your batteries with an excess amount of energy without them being able to handle it then your batteries will end up dying at a rapid pace. A solar panel charge controller is the ultimate battery saviour. It’s main objective is to prevent the solar power energy from overcharging the batteries.
Solar panels are labelled at a certain voltage but quite often they give out a greater voltage than what they should, even if the value is slighly higher than what the battery can handle, problems will occur. If you are using weak solar panels to power small appliances, then you don’t really require a solar panel controller (but still highly recommended) but if you are powering larger applicances or running your home on solar power then you will need to invest in a heavy duty controller. Especially if you are using twelve volt solar panels which often put out as much as 25% more energy than their rated amount.
If the solar panel array creates a greater amount of energy than which the battery can handle the solar panel charge controller will bring the level down to an acceptable and safe range for the appliance. The worst thing that can happen when you own solar panels is to constanly be worrying about whether you the power generated by the sun is reducing the lifespan of your batteries.
To choose the right charge controller you will need to have a firm grip on a few things. Determining the correct amperage controller is extremely important, and so is determining how many solar panels you will likely be using in the future to meet your energy demands and the size of the battery you will need to meet these demands. Depending on the number of solar panels you want installed and the size of the battery, these two things will determine the solar panel charge controller that is right for your system.