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solar regulator / controllers for solar panels for camping

see also:

  • I don't sell any of these nor do I receive any remuneration if you buy them, and I have not personally reviewed all of them, they are listed here to give you perspective


  • in order for a solar panel to safely charge your battery system, you need to have a voltage regulator that will output the appropriate voltage to your battery
  • if you are using lithium batteries, this regulator needs to be compatible with lithium batteries (many are NOT compatible, especially those which come with a solar panel as a kit)
  • these will generally require additional input/output power cables such as cables with Anderson plugs
    • consider using yellow plugs for the solar input circuit (athough some solar panels already are pre-wired with grey Anderson plugs or MC4 connectors) and standard grey plugs for the output to the battery circuit so you don't get them mixed up
    • yellow Anderson plugs will not plug into grey Anderson plugs!
  • there are two main options in solar regulators:
    • DC-DC chargers designed for charging battery from car alternator but which also have a solar regulator
    • stand-alone solar regulators
  • additional considerations:
    • MPPT design is around 10% more efficient than the older style PWM devices and will make better use of the solar panel
    • maximum current:
      • a 20A controller is adequate for 260W / 12V or 520W / 24V solar and for lithium batteries >= 20Ah; (AGM batteries must be >= 100Ah);
      • a 40A controller is adequate for 520W / 12V or 1040W / 24V solar and for lithium batteries >= 40Ah; (AGM batteries must be >= 200Ah);
    • maximum input voltage
      • the solar controller input max current should be at least 20% higher than the panel's short-circuit current
      • the solar controller input max voltage should be at least 4% higher than the panel's open circuit voltage.
    • size, weight and cost
    • ability to monitor battery temperature and reduce output if getting too hot
    • ability to send information via Bluetooth to smartphone or a remote meter
    • weathersealing

Stand alone MPPT solar regulator / controller for lithium and lead acid batteries

    • 3m temp probe, opt. BT module (kit $AU139 incl. BT)
    • up to 75V input; operating temperature -35℃ to +45℃; IP32 (NOT waterproof); 1.4kg; 210*151*59.5mm
    • for lithium batteries >= 20Ah; (AGM batteries must be >= 100Ah);
    • 3m temp probe, opt. BT module (kit $AU209 incl. BT)
    • up to 75V input; operating temperature -35℃ to +45℃; IP32 (NOT waterproof); 2kg; 238*173*72.5mm
    • for lithium batteries >= 40Ah; (AGM batteries must be >= 200Ah);
  • Renogy Rover Li 40 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
    • 40A; Max. PV Input Power: 12V/520W, 24V/1040W; Max. PV Input Voltage: 100 VDC;
    • 2kg; IP32; $AU211 opt. Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module
  • Victron Smart Solar 75/15 MPPT Solar Controller - In-built Bluetooth
    • max PV open circuit voltage 75V / 15A PV short circuit current; for 12V/24V batteries;
    • PV terminals 6mm2 / AWG10; Battery terminals - 35mm2 / AWG2; IP43 (electronic components), IP22 (connection area) 0.5kg $AU210
    • 30A Nominal PV Power: 12V - 440W | 24V - 880W;
    • 1.3kg; $AU399
    • opt. Bluetooth-pairing with a LoRaWAN (long-range wide area network) device
  • Victron Energy BlueSolar MPPT 150/60-MC4 Solar Charge Controller
    • for home solar mainly as 60A max and compatible with 12/24/36/48V battery systems
    • Max. PV short circuit current: 50A; Maximum PV open circuit voltage: 150 V;
    • PV terminals are MC4 connectors
    • $AU840

DC-DC chargers with MPPT solar regulator for lithium and lead acid

optional DC-DC / solar hubs

  • these are boxes with separate colour coded Anderson plugs for main car battery system, solar input, auxiliary battery and show the voltages of the two battery systems
  • these then connect to the DC-DC charger but you will still need a wire to the car's ignition wiring
  • eg. AtemPower VABGHUB-AP-HUM
  • a better solution is for DC-DC chargers to have Anderson plugs built in, but no such devices are available at present
australia/solar_regulators.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/31 17:18 by gary1

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