Electric current is one of the most dangerous factors of electronic devices. Considering this, various devices have been invented and installed in the appliances. A high current flow is harmful to both machines as well as humans. Therefore, you use inverters or stabilizers for managing the fluctuations of electric current. But do you know how to manage and regulate the current reaching your inverter? Have you heard about charge controllers? Today, you will get to know what is solar charge controller load output. What is a solar charge controller no load output?
Who Needs a Solar Charge Controller?
Well, precisely who does not need one? This controller is considered necessary whenever you connect a battery bank to the Direct Current (DC) output of the solar panels. The path covered by the power when connecting a charge controller is as follows:
Power collected by panels -> Charge Controller -> Direct Current Loads -> Battery -> Inverter -> Alternative Loads (AC)
A solar charge controller has the following functions:
- Accepts power from the solar panels.
- The amount of power sent to the battery is controlled.
- The voltage of the battery is monitored, and overcharging is prevented.
- Power only from solar panels is transferred to the batteries.
Solar Charge Controller Load Output
A voltage and current regulator is known as a charge controller. It regulates the current and voltage coming from the solar panels traveling through the wires and then entering the battery. A solar charge controller prevents the batteries from overcharging also. Without a solar charge controller, the inverter batteries get damaged from overcharging.
1. Load output
A feature available on some MPPT charge controllers that enables you to control the load manually is known as load output. Controlling can be automatic also by using certain algorithms. This feature is commonly used in street lighting.
2. Input Terminals
Mostly, there are 3 input or output controllers.
a) Battery Output Terminal
This terminal controls and regulates the battery capacity. This 2-port terminal delivers solar power to the battery, and it gets charged with this power.
b) Direct Current (DC) Load Output Terminal
It also has (+ and -) ports that deliver power for the Direct Current load (DC). It receives power from the load terminal directly through the battery. The power supplied depends on the voltage of the battery.
c) Solar Panels Input Terminal
It is a 2-port terminal with a (+ and -) sign. This terminal is used to receive power from solar panels.
3. Types of Loads to Connect to the Solar Controller
Basically, you can connect the following things to the solar charge controller load output.
- Only Direct Current (DC) load and not Alternative Current (AC)
- Devices that are compatible with the normal voltage of the battery
- Devices should not consume more current than the ratings of the current controller.
- Avoid inductive loads with high inrush currents.
4. Types of Devices
There are a few devices with Direct Current (DC) that you should avoid while others can be connected. But both are decided according to the load output of the charge controller.
- Allowed Devices: Fans, LED lamps, and Refrigerator
- Forbidden Devices: Compressors, Motors, and Solar Inverters
Also See: RV Solar Panels and Solar Kits – Beginners Guide
What is Pulse Width Modulation Controller?
There are two ways to control the power supply to a battery. Therefore, there are 2 types of charge controllers, namely pulse-width modulation and Maximum PowerPoint Tracking.
A pulse-width modulation (PWM) is the simplest and most affordable way of controlling power flow between the solar panels and the batteries. This controller switches the power flow on and off a hundred times per second. This is done to reduce the average voltage that reaches the batteries. This way it reduces the chance of overcharging the batteries. You can easily get one from the market in the range of $15 to $40.
A charger accepting 18 volts from the solar panel will reduce the pulses, so 82% of the time they are On and 18% of the time they are Off. Thus, reducing the voltage by 18%, which is down to about 14.8 volts. These pulses are shortened by the controller as the battery reaches the point of getting fully charged. So, it will reduce the pulses down to 77% of the time which will be 13.8 volts traveling to the battery. Now, let’s learn about MPPT solar charge controller load output.
What is MPPT Solar Charge Controller Load Output?
The term MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracker. It is an electronic DC-to-DC converter used to optimize the match between the solar panels and the battery back, or the utility grid. Simply, it converts the higher voltage output from the solar panels into the lower voltages needed to charge the batteries. These controllers are considered highly efficient and compatible with higher voltage solar panels or arrays.
To make the best possible use of this controller you need to stay within the limits of the ampere rating of the charge controller. You need to calculate the limit, and this can be done with this formula.
Maximum possible output (amps) = Total wattage of the solar array / voltage of the battery bank
Output by solar panels = 100 watts, or 5.5 amps into 18 volts
Total Charge controller converting output = 14.8 volts
Power lost = 5%
Power remaining = 95%
Therefore, 95 / 14.8 = 6.4 amps
The output of the MPPT controller is 6.4 amps, times the 14.8 volts or 95 watts. This should have cleared your understanding about MPPT solar charge controller load output.
What is a Solar Charge Controller Load Output?
A solar charge controller contains a Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD) that is usually used for smaller loads, including small appliances and lights. It is recommended to use the LVD output with very small inverters to prevent the controller from blowing off. The rating of the controllers can be between 6 and 60 amps.
Note: The LOAD or LVD output is used with a charge controller mostly in RV and small remote systems. Like a camera, monitor, etc., where the site is left unattended.
Some solar charge controllers are equipped with a pair of sense terminals that carry very low currents. Around 1/10th of a milli-amp at max, so there is hardly any voltage drop. It looks at the battery voltage and then compares it with the output of the controller. In case of a drop in the voltage between the charge controller and the battery, sense terminals raise the output to compensate for the same. For a sense terminal, you can use #16 or #20 AWG, out of these #16 is recommended due to its high durability.
Also See: How to Fix Solar Light Sensor
How to Connect a Load To the Solar Controller?
There are multiple steps that need to be followed for the purpose, but the first one is to wear rubber gloves before touching anything.
Step 1: Calculate the total operating current of your load along with the inrush currents.
Step 2: Operating voltage of each device should be determined. (The voltage mentioned on the back of the device)
Step 3: Turn off the controller load switch before beginning the wiring process.
Step 4: Carefully look at the terminals and their (+ and -) points to start the wiring process. Remember to connect the loads in parallel, to maintain the same voltage for all devices by the solar charge controller load output.
You have a 20A 12 volt solar controller and here is the list of Direct Current (DC) devices you want to connect.
- 3 Fans 12-volts 1A
- 1 iPhone charger 60-watt 12-volts 5A
- 5 Light bulbs 9-watt 12 volts 1A
- 1 Refrigerator 4.3A 12 volts or 2.2A 24 volts
Sum up all data with the help of the following table, including inrush current and operating currents.
|Device||Voltage (V)||Operating Current||Inrush Current|
|3 Fan||12||1A * 3 = 3A||1.5A * 3 = 4.5A|
|5 LED bulbs||12||1A * 5 =5A||5A|
In the above table, you will not include the Direct Current refrigerator with 24V because the batteries can handle a load of just 12 volts. The total load voltage towards the end remains 12 volts instead of 60 volts because you will connect the load in parallel. In this way, the voltage will remain the same for all devices.
It is a sudden burst of current supplied by certain loads. Electric motors or incandescent bulbs present such currents when you turn them on. These currents are capable of manifesting themselves in the circuit irrespective of their location. Also, an inrush current can exceed 10 times the normal current that is flowing.
Also Read: How to Use Solar Panel Directly Without Battery?
What Are the Features of a Good Solar Charge Controller?
Common features present in all good solar charge controllers are as follows:
- The ability to set the voltage of the battery bank and the type of battery
- Setting up the indicating lights that show the phase of the charging (bulk, absorption, or float)
- Advanced versions of the controller have
- Small LCD for data and programming
- Heat sensor port for monitoring battery percentage
- A communication port that connects the charge controller to an external display or a computer
- The newest generation solar charge controller load output has a Bluetooth connectivity option along with an app to customize and monitor settings.
Why Solar Charge Controller No Load Output?
If your charge controller is not supplying any load, it means that it does not have the low voltage disconnect (LVD) function. This function is also known as low voltage load disconnect. Also, other things that you need to check and that could solve the no-load issues are as follows:
- If your charge controller is rated 25% more than the amps of the solar panels
- Properly rated fuse or breaker at the battery (+) terminal
- Wires of suitable durability and length
The rating of a charge controller is the number of amperes that the controller can handle. For example, you have a charge controller rated at 30 amps of current. A single 100-watt solar panel puts about 5.5 amps of current at 18 volts. Here, the amps supplied are lesser than the rating of the charge controller so, it can easily handle the output of a 100-watt solar panel.
So, today you learned about solar charge controller load output. Now you know the reason behind that fluctuation faced by the inverter of your solar system. Do not forget to get an MPPT solar charge controller because now you know what is MPPT solar charge controller load output. Also, it’s important for your solar power system. Also, the reason behind the solar charge controller no load output is the absence of a LOAD.
Recommended: How Many Batteries for 1000 Watt Solar System?