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How and why to use a Battery Charge Controller

Charge Controller Home for information regarding charge controllers, DC battery chargers, and load controllers. What is a Charge Controller?
A DC Battery Charger.

A Charge Controller is designed to take a DC charge within a range of amperage and voltage, and uses the power to charge a battery. A charge controller is very similar to a battery charger except that it uses AC power input rather than DC power input when used in this manner. Charge controllers are often seen in grid tied arrangements as a solar, DC array battery charger.

What is a DC Load Controller?

A Charge Controller can also be referred to as a DC load controller, which is designed to run a load from a battery, and protect the battery from over discharge. Similar to a meter for a battery, the charge controller senses the batteries inability to drive the load any longer, thus turning off the circuit, protecting the batteries from over discharge.

Diversion Charge Control or Dumpload Control Charge controllers also have the ability to charge batteries, and then when the batteries are full, divert the load of power to a dedicated auxillary load. This arrangement is designed to protect the batteries from overcharging in an arrangement not hooked up to the grid. This system, often seen in cabins and other off grid properties, ensures long battery life, keeping the batteries charged, but not overcharged.

Charge controllers also have the ability to equalize batteries, have exquisite programming functions, or can be as simple as a few resistors. This site will try to go over some of the major topics involved in using and installing charge controllers, and should serve as a basic introduction to the concept.

Please click on one of the topics below to continue:
  • How a Charge Controller Works.
  • Charge Controllers and Solar Panels.
  • Pulse Width Modulation.
  • Pulse vs Consistent Charging.
  • What is a Dumpload.
  • 2-Stage Charge Controllers vs 3-Stage Charge Controllers.
  • Charge Controller as a DC Battery Charger Installation Scheme.
  • Charge Controller as a Diversion Load Controller (dumpload) Installation Scheme.
  • Charge Controller as a Load Controller Installation Scheme.

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