Charge Controllers

Every off-grid (battery-based) renewable energy system requires a charge controller. A solar charge controller keeps your batteries from overcharging by opening the circuit between the batteries and the solar PV array when it senses the battery voltage reaches a set point. As battery voltage drops, the solar charge controller turns back on, ready to defend your batteries again – and greatly increasing their lives. A wind or hydro charge controller works much the same, except instead of opening the circuit, it diverts excess power to another load (called a diversion load).

Real Goods offers off-grid charge controllers with the latest technologies like pulse width modulation (PWM controllers) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT charge controllers) from top brands like OutBack, Morningstar, MidNite, and more.

"On average, an MPPT solar charge controller delivers about 15% more energy per year than a standard controller. And it does its best work in winter, when most off-grid homes need all the charging help they can get."

Solar Living Sourcebook 14th Edition
Chapter 4: From Panel to Plug

Charge Controllers & MPPT Controllers from Real Goods