If your RV has a solar panel system with it, you surely need something to regulate the voltage amount and prevent your battery from any kind of damage. That’s where your RV needs a solar charge controller.
An MPPT controller will manage the energy coming from the solar panel to your battery preventing any kind of unnecessary transaction. Also, it makes sure that your battery doesn’t get overheated or low charged.
Whenever you are buying something for your recreational vehicle, it’s really important to get a high-quality product because this will be a lifetime investment and you won’t find it amusing to replace certain products very often.
So, just like any other product, you need to choose the best mppt solar charge controller for RV. To help you with the process, we have shortlisted the finest ones available nowadays in the market that you should really check out.
After immense analysis, we came to an outcome that EPEVER MPPT Solar Charge Controller 40A 150V is one of the best solar charge controller for your RV. This quality RV solar charge controller is easy to install and has Hi-tech materials along with a durable design.
While buying a solar charge controller for your RV, it’s really common to get confused about what factors to look for. So, in this section of the article, we are going to talk about the factors you need to consider while buying a solar charge controller for RV.
This the first and the most important thing you need to consider while buying the best solar charge controller for RV. This is the unit that measures the highest amount of amperage a product can give as an output to the batteries.
The amp rating of your device should be good enough to handle the amperage rate of your battery. Also, you need to see if it has the power to handle the combined powers of your sonar panel and battery.
It’s always better to add 25% more to the power of your solar panel’s highest amount. There will be times when your sonar panel might produce a lot than its average rating. In those days, the extra rating will help you to cope up with the situation. You should know that it’s kind of an essential part of your whole solar charge controller purchasing.
Adjustable Charging Voltage Set Point
This is another important thing to see whether or not your controller comes with an adjustable charging voltage set point. This feature allows you to fix the changing voltage of your battery during the charging process. It depends on the type of battery.
This might seem to be a confusing choice for you. So, it’s to ask your battery manufacturer to get the right information. Mainly, this feature makes the charging process more effective.
Believe it or not, some charge controllers actually don’t have any on/off switch option! But this feature is really important and it can be a real trouble to operate the devices without it. You really need this one unless you would like to turn off your controller every time by taking the fuse away from the battery.
In short, this one makes the operating of the machine much easier. So, whatever model you choose, make sure that one has an on/off switch on it.
Battery Temperature Sensor
If you see a charge controller with a battery temperature sensor, you can be assured of it being a high-quality product. This feature mainly helps to prevent the batteries from getting both overheated or under heated. Thus, keeping those safe from serious damages.
Basically, this option adjusts the charging set point of your batteries depending on the temperature it gets. In this way, it not only prevents plate sulfation but also saves your batteries from excess water loss.
Moreover, it keeps your batteries safe from any kind of unwanted damage. This increases the battery life as well as keeps those batteries as active as possible.
Shore Power Switch
While this not necessary, you should check if your solar charge controller comes with a shore power switch or not. This will aloe you to change the charge set point of your battery from max power to the standby mode.
These modes work in two different situations. You would want the maximum power if you are taking a tour away from the campground. On the other hand, you will need the standby mode if you are in the shore power.
You can also use the standby mode whenever you need to store your RV and maintain the batteries. So, you can see how having a switch will help you to change into modes fast and efficiently.
MPPT solar charge controller price can be a lot of expensive than the PWM ones. So, you will have to make a nice lined budget that will get you the best product with all the required features at a rate you can easily afford.
These controllers are important but you don’t have to give away a large amount from your savings for that. So, you will have to make a nice list of the things you want and the way you can get them at the cheapest rate possible. Exceeding your budget might not be a good idea!
What Are The Best MPPT Solar Charge Controller for RV?
01. EPEVER MPPT Solar Charge Controller 40A 150V PV Solar Panel Controller Negative Ground
The EPEVER MPPT solar charge controller comes with the best features offering a very high tracking efficiency. While it gives a 99.95% guaranteed peak conversion efficiency, the tracking and recognizing power point has a 98% accuracy.
The charge controller of this device comes with an excellent capacity that allows you to minimize the photovoltaic current. In this way, you can handle a bigger number of solar panels in a series. It has a multiple load control method that enables you to configure the load parameters yourself.
Though it functions with a Lithium-ion battery charging, it can also adjust to different lead-acid batteries. You will also get a temperature sensor along with a communication cable form the controller connected to your PC software. While this device uses 40 amps of charge, it can get the sonar panels up to 600 volts.
The 12V/24VDC comes with an auto-detecting voltage system that is programmable for three kinds of battery including gel, sealed, and flooded. The no overload option and maximum PV input power adds more to safety.
This device comes with a remote meter MT-50 that makes it more convenient for real-time data analysis and parameter setting. In short, this one is an excellent choice that gives you a cost-benefit ratio.
02. Victron SmartSolar MPPT Solar Charge Controller 75V 15A with Bluetooth
When it comes to Victron electronics, you can rely on them blindly. They are a world-known manufacturer-branded to produce the most high-quality electronics with advanced features. So, this solar charge controller is not an exception.
If you are a complete beginner to this solar system, this charge controller with an intelligent and lightning-quick system is your best choice. The main unique feature of this model is the wireless Bluetooth management system which enables remote monitoring and settings of software updates through your smartphones.
The MPPT control of this device works in a three-step charging process that improves the battery life and you can program it for equalization on lead batteries. The built-in LED indicator lights allow you to get a real-time view of the whole battery charging process. It also shows you the diagnose system fault situation with an on-off situation and blinking states.
Moreover, the charge can be upgraded with Victron add-ons. The only flaw of this device is the display of less design that many customers found unsatisfactory. Besides that, this solar controller is one of the finest ones available with accurate MPPT tracking and high build quality.
03. Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100-Volt 30 amp Solar Charge Controller (Bluetooth)
This product is another high-quality model by the renowned electronics manufacturer group Victron energy. Their high-grade advanced products are promised to offer a reliable and excellent service to their customers.
When it comes to the best PWM 80-ampmpptsolar charge controller, nothing is better than this model. You can easily control and monitor this device using the built-in Bluetooth system. It’s quite easier to monitor the date and manage the setting options.
The Victron Energy SmartSolar charge controller is the king of efficiency. It offers a top-notch performance when it comes to charging and maintenance capacity while improving battery life.
Undoubtedly, this model is one of the most long-lasting charge controllers available in the market. Besides being strong and compact, it features a portable design allowing you to carry it anywhere.
Not to mention the internal sensor that controls its temperature settings. With this option, you can be assured that the controller will not get overheated.
If you ever get into any problem while operating the controller, the Victron energy’s customer service is always there to support you with the solution.
4. Victron SmartSolar MPPT Solar Charge Controller 100V 20A with Bluetooth
This super intelligent solar panel charge controller has gained a lot of popularity in less time with its lightning-quick system. This one best if you are a total newbie in the field.
The wireless Bluetooth management system is what made it stand out from the crowd. This allows you to monitor and update the settings remotely through your smartphones. The three-step charging process is to be programmed for the equalization of lead batteries while extending the battery life.
You can now get a real-time view of the battery charging process due to the built-in LED indicator lights it features. Moreover, the charge is totally upgradable by Victron add-ons like the battery monitor series which allows you to get information like voltage, current, and watts.
This controller has the ability to produce a big number of powers even in poor situations. The Bluetooth module allows you to monitor the off-grid PV system too on your smartphone. Moreover, you can access some extra data about the solar panel power and battery status from anywhere.
Also, you can set the battery charge algorithm, light deeming options, and timings using the smartphone app. Besides all these amazing features, many customers have complained about no display option with the device.
05. EPEVER MPPT Charge Controller 80 amp - 12V/24V/36V/48V Auto, Negative Ground MAX 200V
This 80 amp mppt solar charge controller comes with a 99.5% of tracking efficiency and an auto identifying system that makes it the best mppt solar charge controller for RV available. It ensures the AC/DC transfer in your devices by recognizing and tracking multiple PowerPoints with a 98.6% accuracy. Not to mention the real-time energy recording.
The high-quality work and low amount of failure are powered by the components of ST and Infineon. It also features a battery temperature compensation that makes sure that your battery doesn’t get overheated.
While the auto control system is limited to charging power and current, it rates the common negative ground and troubleshooting function perfectly. The controller comes with five charging options set along with four types of load timer. This includes an on-off mode, PV voltage control mode, dual time control mode, and time control mode.
You can now get a communications option with this device by a bus interface available for meter and PC controller.
What is a solar charge controller for RV?
A solar charge controller for RV is the main device you will need to control your RV’s solar system. These controllers ensure the smooth functioning of your RV devices by managing as well as changing the voltage and current from the solar panels.
One of the most important tasks of these machines is to ensure that your batteries aren’t overcharged or overheated. You will easily see the damage your battery faces if you don’t have a solar charge controller. These increase the lifetime of your batteries.
You should never attach a solar panel straight to a battery set without installing a solar charge controller first. These are an important part of making your journeys enjoyable.
Why do you need a solar charge controller for RV?
You can never know for sure about what might happen to the weather and therefore, to the solar system on your RV. How would you feel to be energy less in the middle of nowhere on a rainy or winter day? This is where you need a solar charge controller that will keep you safe in any situation.
Now, solar panels can be a great invention of human kinds. But its ability is highly dependent on factors like solar power, time of the day, season, etc. So, it’s possible for the solar panels to stop working and unable to gather enough energy to charge your RV’s battery properly.
Also, there might be a time when the sun is at its best and your RV’s battery is producing too much energy than required causing damage to the battery life. That’s why you need a solar charge controller that will manage the energy traffic from the solar panel to your RV’s battery.
In that way, it will make sure that your battery doesn’t get overcharged or low charges that might cause long-lasting damage. In short, the controller will ensure an effective solar energy system in your RV.
I hope, now you know how important it is to get these devices in your vehicle.
What are the different types of RV solar charge controllers?
There are two types of solar charge controllers available on the market: MPPT and PWM. In this article, I am going to discuss both of these types of RV solar charge controller in brief.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
MPPT solar charge controllers come with the most advanced technology and work more proficiently than the PWM. However, that also makes their manufacturing a lot complicated and the operation a little tricky.
MPPT mainly converts the extra voltage into more amount of current when your RV’s solar panels produce more voltage than the battery can handle efficiently. After that, it uses the extra current with a lower voltage whenever necessary without losing any power.
Moreover, this one is most compatible with batteries and solar panels that use higher voltages. Also, it does an excellent job when the solar panel and battery’s voltage are having different powers.
While these controllers are quite tempting, they come at a rather expensive price. So, unless you need to use it frequently, buying this type is not a good choice.
But on the other hand, if your RV’s solar panel uses high voltage or the voltages don’t match frequently, you should spend those extra bucks on an MPPT model.
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
This one is like the pioneer of the solar charge controllers. They are designed very simply and cone at cheaper price too. Its work is to regulate the current along with the voltage passing to your battery from the solar panel. In this way, it passes the right amount of current needed for your battery’s voltage size.
Once your battery gets a sufficient amount of current, the controller breaks it from the panel to ensure a stable position. Moreover, these devices work great when it comes to preventing overcharging or overheating.
However, it does have some flaws in its work. The extra energy produced by the solar panel after your battery has reached its required point gets lost. Hence, the PWM models are not the best rely in. However, it does a good job when you are searching for low budget models.
What size solar charge controller do I need?
Charge controllers mainly depend on your solar system’s voltage and solar array’s amperage. So, it might be not that difficult to figure out what size solar charge controller you will need for your RV. Mostly, you have to get a controller that has sufficient power to handle the amount of current and energy produced by your RV’s solar system.
Generally, you can find three types of volt ratings for the charge controllers: 12, 48, and 24. However, you might see some ratings range between 6 and 60. On the other hand, the amperage ratings of these controllers vary from 1 to 60 amps.
You should always choose the rating that can support the highest amount of either current or voltage of your vehicle. For example, if you have a solar system with 20 voltage and 25 amperage rating, you will need a device that can at least support the 25 amps.
However, you also need to consider the light image along with the sporadic increased current levels occurring, and many other factors. While keeping these facts in mind, you should add 25% more rating to your charge controller.
You should know that it’s okay to get a charge controller with a high amperage rating. In fact, experts always recommend getting the one with a little extra amp in case you need it in the future.
Now that you how important it is to install controllers in your vehicle, finding the best solar charge controller for RV is a necessity. We understand how difficult it can be to find the finest one among all of the models available in the market.
Hence, we have made your job a lot easier by making a list of the best mppt controllers you should check out this year. Even if you don’t choose something from our review list, it will still give you a good idea about what to look for while buying one of these.
But whatever model you choose, make sure that one can fulfill all your requirements and does your job as efficiently as possible. You will also have to keep your budget in mind as you don’t want to give away all your money on a single controller.
I hope this article has helped you to take a good decision for yourself!
Is MPPT better than PWM?
In many ways, yes. PWM maybe simpler and easier to use but the MPPT comes with high quality and advanced features. However, MPPTs are a lot expensive than PWM. So, which one is better depends on the work you need to be done and the budget you are holding.
Are MPPT controllers worth it?
MPPT controllers are mainly best if you have a large solar system on your RV that might need some extra energy from controllers to work efficiently. Also, it does an amazing job when your solar system array’s voltage doesn’t match the array bank voltage. So, considering those situations, MPPT controllers are worth it.
What does an MPPT charge controller do?
The maximum power point tracker (MPPT) is the type of solar charge controller that converts electronic DC to DC while managing the energy sharing between the sonar panels and battery arrays.
Can you use a 24v solar panel to charge a 12v battery?
Yes, you can. To charge a 12V battery, you need a minimum of 17V to start the charging. So, though slowly, the batteries will be charged eventually with a 24V solar panel.
What will a 100-watt solar panel run?
With a 100-watt solar panel, you can run a Wi-Fi router full day, 60 w laptops, lights, and lamps that need 14 w and some small things perfectly.