The latest solar charge controllers available in the market

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The term ‘charge controller’ refers to a standalone device or control circuitry integrated either within a battery pack, a battery-powered solar device or a battery recharger. The controller is for off-grid solar systems. This protects the battery from getting overcharged by the solar module and over discharged by the loads. Its function is to regulate the voltage and current from the solar arrays to the battery in order to prevent overcharging and over discharging

By Belal Khan

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Types of solar charge controllers
There are three different types of solar charge controllers:

  • The simple one- or two-stage controls
  • PWM (pulse width modulated)
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)

Applications

  • Solar streetlight systems
  • Solar home systems
  • Hybrid systems
  • Solar water pump systems
  • Solar portable lights
  • Rooftop solar solutions
  • Residential: Backup power and grid-tie
  • Small commercial establishments: Backup power and grid-tie
  • Off-grid solar
  • Community electrification

Products available in the market

Schneider Electric
The MPPT 80 600 solar charge controller offers a set of integration features that allow for large PV array systems to be easily installed and connected to the battery bank at a low overall cost. Installing one MPPT 80 600 is faster than installing multiple smaller charge controllers; it lowers overall costs further by utilising fewer PV strings, less wiring and conduits, and eliminates the need for PV combiner boxes and DC circuit breakers. Longer distances from the array site to the battery bank are also easier to handle than with smaller charge controllers. Advanced fast sweep MPPT charging technology helps harvest the most energy available from the PV array, even in partial shade conditions. 80A of battery charge current allows for the connection of PV arrays rated up to 600V STC (2560W for 24V systems, 4800W for 48V systems).

Product: MPPT 80 600 solar charge controller

MPPT80 600Key features

  • Easy to install
  • Fewer string wires
  • Smaller AWG wire
  • No need for combiner box or GFI circuit breaker
  • Flexible
  • Availability of remote monitoring and configuration features
  • Compatible with any brand of PV module and any grounding method
  • Standalone application or full integration with Conext XW inverter charger system
  • High return on investment because of the following reasons:
    1. Installs faster with fewer costly components
    2. Improves battery life with selectable multi-stage temperature compensated charging
    3. Harvests more energy with Shade Tolerant Fast Sweep MPPT algorithm

Contact: www.schneider-electric.co.in


Systellar Innovations
Systellar Innovations manufactures the widest range of advanced and reliable solar charge controllers in India. The company claims its MPPT solar charge controller provides some industry-first features like user settable three-stage battery charging parameters, boost voltage, absorption time and a trickle voltage inbuilt power meter to display various solar power generation parameters like PV current and voltage, battery current and voltage, solar units generated daily and cumulatively, battery charging stage, etc.
This charge controller has all the protection features including reverse polarity for PV and battery connections, lightning protection, reverse flow protection, short-circuit protection, temperature compensation for battery charging, etc.

Product: MPPT solar charge controller

MPPT CC Product photoKey features

  • Microprocessor based advanced MPPT product design
  • MPPT charging technology gives up to 25 per cent extra power
  • 16 x 2 back light shows detailed information
  • Users can adjust battery charging voltage and set maximum charging current
  • Four-stage battery charging
  • Equalising charging mode for equalising two or four battery banks
  • Reverse polarity protection with LED indication
  • Battery overcharge protection and battery temperature compensated charging
  • Charge controller auto shutdown to prevent battery deep discharging
  • Rugged, compact and attractive product design
  • Solar panel input up to 150V DC (suitable for thin film panels also)

Contact: www.systellar.in


UTL
UTL’s MPPT solar charge controller is an advanced model with rMPPTTM technology, which is a better solution for off-grid solar PV systems. rMPPTTM technology based solar charge controllers are much more efficient in tracking the MPP of PV panels than the ordinary solar charge controller, the company claims. It continuously tracks the I-V curve of the PV panels to extract the maximum power from them in every condition. It not only continuously tracks the I-V curve but tracks it at lightning speed so that it catches up with the MPP within a very short period of time and does not waste valuable solar power.
UTL’s rMPPTTM technology based solar charge controller provides the highest peak efficiency of 95-96 per cent, which is the best in the industry, company sources claim.

Product: MPPT solar charge controller

MPPT PS 4820Key features

  • Saves money due to the use of UTL’s rMPPT technology
  • 30 per cent more efficient than normal charge controllers
  • Has protection from high voltage and current
  • Establishes a shield between PV high voltage and battery
  • The system will start automatically when high voltage reduces to a safe level
  • Protection from short circuits
  • Continuously monitors fault conditions
  • Automatic battery detection
  • Removes build-up of sulphate to increase battery life
  • Users can run DC load with UTL’s solar charge controller
  • Protection from reverse flow of current from battery to panel
  • Load output: Overload, short circuit
  • Battery: Reverse polarity (no battery removal)

Contact: www.upsinverter.com


Su-Kam
Su-Kam’s solar charge controller is a system with advanced MOSFET based PWM technology. The charging process has been optimised for long battery life and improved system performance.
The comprehensive self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions prevent damage from installation mistakes or system faults.

Product: Solar charge controller (PWM)

Solar-Charge-Controllers-pwmKey features

  • Good EMC design
  • Nominal system voltage, automatic recognition
  • Highly efficient series PWM charging, which increases battery life and improves the solar energy system’s performance
  • Uses a MOSFET as an electronic switch, rather than any mechanical switch
  • Widely used, automatically recognises day and night
  • Graphic dot-matrix LCD screen and HMI (human-machine interface) with four buttons, integrated menu display and operation
  • Ergonomic and people-friendly browser interface for convenient operation
  • Full control parameters setting and modification, diversified load control mode
  • Gel, sealed and flooded battery options
  • Adopts temperature compensation and correction algorithm for charging and discharging parameters automatically, which improves battery life
  • Electronic protection from overheating, overcharging, over discharging, over load, and short circuit.
  • Reverse protection: any combination of solar module and battery

Contact: www.su-kam.com

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