Off the shelf charge contollers?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by spinnaker, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    I am looking at adding a charge controller to my solar garden light timer project. I don't need much. My panel is probably only about 10W and the battery is only a 5AH SLA. Most of the below are probably overkill but if this all works out we may invest in a bigger panel and battery.

    I have looked at:

    The Sungaurd

    Which claims to be very efficient.

    The Sunforce

    Even their website does not have much data. But it can be bought at Radio Shack.

    This one

    No name or anything. No telling how efficient it is.

    Any thoughts? Or maybe recommendations on another charger?
  2. timrobbins

    Active Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Have you checked if the battery can be ever overcharged with the PV panel (worst-case charge current versus time)? You may need no controller at all except for a series diode.

    Ciao, Tim
  3. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    Friend had the Sunforce, worked fine up until he was doing something and hooked the power up backwards. That model didn't have polarity protection in it.
  4. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    How can I test that?
  5. nickelflipper

    Active Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    I have the Morningstar Sunsaver 10A controller in my pickup slide-in camper, it has worked well for the last five years. Have used 60W to 135W of panel power, into a 100ah flood lead acid, and lately an AGM type battery.

    To my knowledge, the Sunsaver (like the Sunguard?) is an analog pwm type of controller with temperature compensation. It has a voltage limit, but not real sure as to what amount of hysteresis is built in.