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DIY Power Station – Part 5 – Controllers

What is Wind Solar Hybrid Charge Controller

Solar-Wind Charge ControllerCharge controllers regulate the output of solar modules, wind generators and other types of electrical generators to prevent overcharging of the battery system. When battery voltage rises to where the battery is completely charged, the control automatically reduces or stops the charge.

A wind solar hybrid charge controller is simply a device that blends and regulates power from the two leading alternative power sources; solar panels and wind turbine. Earlier, we have had large industrial-standard wind turbines only. Today, many brands offer smaller and compact wind turbines for home and other small-scale applications. A hybrid charge controller is an essential part of such a system, for sure.

That is, if you want to use a wind turbine along with one or more solar panels, you need an exclusive charge controller, which combines both the sources of alternative power.

There are indeed many brands that offer high-quality wind solar hybrid charge controllers. You get the devices in various models based on their output, size, capacity, and other factors.

Select a control able to handle a little more than the amperes your solar modules are rated to generate. Though solar modules don’t usually produce more than their rated amperes, they can momentarily produce 15% more on cold bright days.

Electric code recommends leaving a 25% margin, that is, for a 47 amp solar array use a 60 amp control rather than a 50 amp control. And if you plan future expansion of your solar array, allow a lot more headroom to accommodate the added solar panels.

Be sure the model you choose is designed for your battery voltage: 12, 24 or 48 volts. A given control will handle twice as many solar modules watts in a 24 volt system as in a 12 volt. Maximum power point tracking “Boost” and voltage converting controllers are rated for the boosted output to the battery, not the slightly lower solar input amperes.

ZHCSolar has a great description of controllers.

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