If you use solar energy to power your home, it is important to have a Solar Charge Controller in the system, especially if you have installed solar panels with high power ratings. Solar Charge Controllers help protect batteries from damages caused by overcharge by the solar panels or excessive discharge. If you need to know more about them and to help you find one that will be suitable for you to buy, we have made a list of the best Solar Charge Controller brands to buy in Kenya. They are available in various sizes, prices, and amperages.
How Does a Solar Charge Controller Work?
During the day, when the sunlight is strong, the batteries might get fully charged. At this point, the Solar Charge Controller stops the battery from absorbing more power from the solar panels until they begin to discharge. The Solar Charge Controller also stops the batteries from discharging at night by preventing the power from running backward from the battery to the solar panels.
There are two different types of Solar Charge Controllers: Pulse With Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). They work differently, but their primary purpose is to protect the batteries in a solar power system from being overcharged or undercharged. The MPPT Solar Charge Controller is more expensive but more efficient than the PWM.
List of the Best Solar Charge Controller Brands to Buy in Kenya
1. Morningstar Solar Charge Controller
Morningstar is one of the best Solar Charge Controller brands that can seamlessly connect with other brands of solar panels and batteries on the same solar system. They produce a variety of models that use both MPPT and PWM technologies. Depending on the size of your solar panels, their smallest Charge Controllers are rated 10Amps while their largest, 60 Amps.
Some of Morningstar Charge Cobtroller’s popular models include Sunguard, Ecopulse, Sunkeeper, SHS, Prostar, Tristar, Ecoboost, Sunlight, and Sunsaver.
2. Phocos Solar Charge Controller
Phocos is one of the best and most reliable Solar Charge Controller brands that you can buy for your home solar power system. They are tough and can withstand extreme conditions. According to the models, their charge controllers have various controls like voltage dimming, time dimming, and automatic seasonal adjustments.
Whether you want an MPPT or PWM, they have a wide array of models to choose from. Phocos Solar Charge Controller models are designed to satisfy specific needs. Some of their Solar Charge Controller models that you can buy include CXN, CML, CIS, ECO, and Multipurpose. The models are designed for purposes ranging from mobile charging to industrial uses.
3. Solar Max Charge Controller
If you need to protect your solar batteries from damage, you should install a reliable Solar Charge Controller brand like Solar Max in your solar system. It is a trusted manufacturer of some of the best solar energy products. Solar Max manufactures various Solar Charge Controller models of MPPT and PWM types. Its charge controllers are easy to install and operate. Some of their models can help protect your batteries when their voltage drops below 8v.
Their charge controllers have a simple user interface with LCD and easy-to-use control parameters that you can use to adjust your settings. They have built-in industrial micro-controllers that allow them to perform well even in extreme weather conditions like high temperatures, low temperatures, and humidity. Some Solar Max Charge Controller models have two USB ports that can be used to charge mobile phones and other portable devices.
4. Generic Solar Charge Controller
Generic is a Solar Charge Controller with many intelligent features designed for battery safety. It has a wide range of models designed to be compatible with various sizes of solar panels and batteries. Whether you would like to buy an MPPT or PWM solar charge controller, you will always get a Generic model that can work effectively with your solar system.
Some of the key features across models of the Generic Solar Charge Controller brand include:
- Adjustable control parameters
- Large LCD screen for temperature display
- Fast tracking speed
- Dual USB ports
- Short circuit and overheating protection
- Easy to install and operate
- 99% tracking efficiency
- Resetable parameters
5. Outback Charge Controller
Outback is Solar Charge Controller brand that produces high quality, durable, and efficient products. Their charge controllers can be installed in advanced solar systems. It has a built-in display with backlights that communicates the current status of the system and an active cooling system that help to keep the temperatures down. Outback Charge Controller can extract the maximum amount of energy produced by the solar panels.
6. Victron Smartsolar
Victron Smartsolar is a high quality Charge Controller manufactured by a Netherland based company called Victron Energy. It has an intelligent and fast system. Victron Smartsolar is a great choice for those unfamiliar or new to solar system installation. Its main attraction feature is the bluetooth management system for remote monitoring through smartphones.
The MPPT controller on this device is configured for a three-step charging process to extend battery life. It has a built-in LED indicator lights that provide real-time view of the battery charging status.
7. Renogy Wanderer Charge Controller
The Renogy Wanderer is an advanced charge controller suitable for off-grid solar applications. It can be used with different types of batteries in the system, as long as they are 12 volts or 24 volts and have a charging capacity of up to 10 Amps. The Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller helps increase battery life and improve system performance.
Renorgy Wanderer is equipped with self diagnostics and electronic self-protection functions such as overcharging, overcurrent, short-circuit, reverse current, and reverse polarity. This prevents damage that can be caused by mistakes during installation or system faults. The charge controller also has a four types of battery charging: efficient, rapid, and safe battery charging.
8. Windynation Charge Controller
Windynation offers some of the best WPM and MPPT charge controllers. Some of their models feature complete digital visualisation of the system’s most important information as the user interface. They are ideal for 12v and 24v batteries. Some of them have automatic detectors that identify the battery’s voltage upon initial connection and offers a maximum of 30 Amps.
They have built-in circuit protection system to protect against overload, reverse polarity, short circuit, reverse current, overcharging and undercharging. The Charger Controller includes a battery temperature sensor. The enclosure is made up of durable with visual LCD graphic symbols to provide indications of charge, battery status, and system faults.
All Solar Charge Controllers are designed with the sole purpose of protecting the batteries in the solar system against damages and to extend their lives. It is important to have them in place to avoid losses that might occur. The solar charge controller brands we have discussed above are some of the best you can find in the market. However, it is up to you to choose one that fits your preferences.