Solar Charge Controller Kits
A charge controller is an electronic component that goes between your solar panel array and your batteries in an on or off grid system. Depending on the model, the charge controller provides both overcharge protection, so that your batteries do not receive more than the proper charge during any given day, and can also provide additional functions like automatic on and off for lighting at night (like outdoor lights) and load diversion (like taking excess energy from a full charge and heating water) and a number of other uses including remote monitoring.
The most sophisticated Phocos charge controllers use what is known as MPPT, which is Maximum Power Point Tracking. Phocos' MPP-Tracker ensures maximum performance from your solar array at all times and in all weather conditions. MPPT can yield an energy gain of up to 30% from your PV array (with the average gain being 10%-25%). MPPT includes a sweep-function which runs through the whole solar-panel voltage range once every 2 hours to find the point of the absolute maximum power output The temperature-compensated three-stage I-U curve charge regulation algorithm significantly extends the lifespan of your battery or battery bank. The possibility to use less expensive grid-feed-in solar-panels with up to 95V open circuit voltage for 12V or 24V stand-alone systems will significantly reduce the cost of the total system. What this means is that with MPPT you can use higher voltage solar panels (which means smaller wire and longer connection distances without loss of amps) and the controller will sense your battery bank voltage, typically 12 or 24 volts for smaller off grid systems, and automatically step down the charging voltage to match the batteries.
Phocos also manufactures solar charge controller high capacity systems that will handle 100 to 300 amps of array or wind turbine or micro-hydro current.
What Phocos offers that competitors don’t is the intelligence of built-in data logging. All of our just above basic controllers have it in some way or another.
The value of data logging becomes important when there is a failure in your system. For example, you might experience a failure by noticing that you battery is deader than a door knob. The question is why?
With a data logging controller, you can find out what happened in the system quickly and make the necessary changes to prevent a future occurrence. Data is stored on non-volatile memory. So, even when you lose power, the controller remembers what happened.
In addition, you can tell where you have excess energy available for other uses.
Some controllers allow for access of data via PC interface (Phocos CX, CXN, MPM, PL and Dingo series). Others models also allow for some data to be viewed on an onboard LCD (models Dingo and PL). Some other models offer data with the use of a remote display (models CXN and CXM).
Data is powerful and it makes Phocos controllers more intelligent than the competition.
Why be dumb when you can be totally smart at a competitive price?
Solar Charge Controller Kits Available
Rather than list all of the models and prices available (which are many and very price competitive), what we can tell you here is that there is a Phocos charge controller or combination of modular controllers for larger systems that will fit your application.
Phocos makes a series of very low end controllers to compete in the bottom tier of the market which do not include overcharge protection. We don't sell them. Why? Because saving $10 on a controller that shortens the life of $500 or more worth of batteries is a VERY bad idea. We are here to help you do the best you can do, not take your money for something that you might think is a good thing (being thrifty) but isn't.
The range of Phocos charge controllers and charge controller kits starts out at 6 amps for about $40 plus shipping and goes up from there. Please take my word and hard earned experience that you DO NOT want any brand of controller that does not include overcharge protection.
Even the lowest cost Phocos units include features like an electronic circuit that is equipped with a microcontroller that provides high-efficiency charging technology together with a number of outstanding status display, warning and safety functions. The temperature-compensated three-stage PWM (Pulse Width Modulation = a switch-mode control method used to control voltage and current to obtain higher efficiency than linear control which is typical of most cheap charge controllers) charging method (boost-equalization-float) is now adjustable to sealed and vented lead-acid batteries. They also allow either a SOC (state of charge) or voltage controlled low voltage disconnect function. The battery status is clearly indicated by three LEDs. Phocos is the first product line in the low price range that comes with an acoustic low voltage load disconnect pre-warning feature.
The goodies available go right on up from there, pretty much anything you want or need.
A Heart of Your Solar Energy System Component
Solar panels are solar panels and batteries are batteries (unless you are using Sun Xtender AGM solar batteries), but the charge controller and charge controller kits that are available are one of the most important components to the long term life, performance and financial success of your solar installation. If you are going to cut corners financially, don't do it with your charge controller.
The first experiment I tried with solar energy included several hundred watts of cheap panels (which is OK) and about $400 of lead acid deep draw marine 12 volt batteries (which is also OK) and a $20 charge controller which as on sale at half price discount, purchased at a nationwide agricultural big box store chain. Moral of the story, the panels are still in use, the batteries lived only 2 years rather than 7 to 10 years and the cheap controller is in the land fill.
If you will contact us and tell us what you want to do, we will help you choose EXACTLY the right Phocos charge controller for your solar application. You will be glad you did, and we will be happy to help. Without customers, we have no business. With happy customers who come back for more and who tell their friends about us, we have the best business in the world. And, you will have the best charge controller in the world: Phocos.