Basic knowledge of charging controller, solar converter and inverter
Hello friends, recently, I received many emails from those who confused about charging controller, solar converter, and inverter, it's a little hard for beginners. Here, I will introduce them in an easy way. You'll know what differences between them, do you need order one for your solar panel.
Look at the solar power system, it contained solar panel, charge controller, battery and inverter.
⑴ What the charge controller does?
A charge controller, or be called charge regulator, is basically a voltage and/or current regulator to keep batteries from overcharging. It regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery. For example, the output current of the solar panel is 5A, the input current of the battery is 2A, then the charge controller will help only 2A could be input into the power station, avoiding damaged the power station.
⑵ Do you need to buy a charge controller for your portable power station?
Generally, all portable power stations in the market would have a built-in charge controller, MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) or PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). How did these controllers work? I don't want to send you complicated concepts, just take BEAUDENS 166Wh portable power station as an example, 166Wh equipped with MPPT, the solar panel input data is 13V-22V/2A Max, BEAUDENS 100W solar panel output data is 18V/5A, the current is higher than 2A, MPPT will regulate the input data at 2A, avoiding overloading problems. Pay attention that the solar panel voltage can't higher than 22V, the MPPT will compare the output voltage and input voltage, then 166Wh would stop the charging process, starting protected mode. Overcharging batteries will at the least significantly reduce battery life and at worst damage the batteries to the point that they are unusable.
⑶ Choose MPPT or PWM?
Price: the price of the portable power station with MPPT would be higher
MPPT controllers offer higher conversion efficiency up to 30%, especially in cloudy weather, MPPT could produce more power than PWM.
MPPT Increase charging efficiency by at least 20% compared to PWM.
PWM array limit for most people is 400W. For any solar panel over 400W, you should use MPPT.
The inverter is the component converts DC power (Direct Current) into AC power (Alternating Current), for using the daily appliance. The energy from your Panels or your Batteries are fed to the inverter, then, in turn, handles that energy by transforming the DC power to AC.
All portable power station has a built-in inverter, it also helps regulate the voltage, take BEAUDENS 166Wh UK version as an example, 166Wh AC output voltage is 110V, DC output is 12V. The AC output voltage wouldn't decrease with lower and lower battery, because the inverter could regulate the voltage. But DC output voltage would decrease slightly when the battery is low.
The solar converter is what you need when you connect the power station to a solar panel, like you need an AC adapter when you charge the power station through the AC socket. looking at the following picture.
Normally, you can get one solar converter when you order one portable power station, you don't need to buy an external converter.
Now you may know this three components better, normally, you don't need to worry about solar converter and inverter, but you need to pay attention to the charge controller, check which charge controller the portable power station has, then choose the one you preferred.
If you have any problem about this topic, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org