20A Charge Controllers

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20A Charge Controllers

It’s important to add a charge controller to any solar system with an energy storage. By using it, you prolong the lifetime of your battery and increase the overall safety of your system. The size of the regulator depends on your array. For small solar systems we’re glad to offer 20A solar charge controllers.

What is a 20A Charge Controller?

A solar regulator performs a number of functions that keep your battery and entire solar system safe:

  • A controller lowers the voltage of the solar array so it doesn’t hurt the battery.
  • It keeps your energy storage from overcharging and deep discharge.
  • It blocks reverse currents which may flow from batteries back to panels at night. Reverse currents potentially can start a fire on your roof.
  • Displays the battery’s load and its state.

How to choose the right 20A controller?

A 20A solar regulator is a good addition to small installations. It can be a good pick for an RV or a boat solar system. To size it right, you have to calculate the voltage and current in your system. Keep in mind that these values depend on the type of connection that you choose. When you connect panels in series, add together the voltages of all panels in the string. The current in this connection stays equal across panels. It is the opposite with a parallel type of connection: currents of all panels combine, but the voltage stays low. By combining two types of connection, you can adjust the amps and volts in the system to your needs.

A controller has a maximum amperage and voltage, both numbers you can find in specifications for a model. In cold weather panels tend to reach their peak production levels. This is why it makes sense to pick a controller with a size 25% bigger than the amperage that the system produces. For example, if your system gives out 12A of current, the size of your controller must be 12A * 1.25 = 15A and a regulator solar 20A is an excellent choice here.

Average Price of 20A Charge Controllers

The price of a regulator depends primarily on its price and type. PWM controllers are cheaper: they range from approximately $50 and $150. They tend to live longer than MPPT controllers, because they are less complex. Their lifespan is somewhere between 10 to 20 years. However, they lose a fair amount of power: their efficiency is around 75-80%. Plus they aren’t suitable for every installation. Check the current prices for 20A charge controllers in our store.

MPPT-controllers often give you more control over the system and let you customize the charging process. They cost anywhere between $100 and $1000. They are usually 20-25% more efficient than PWM-regulators even in systems where both types can be used. Their lifespan is somewhere between 10-15 years and overall efficiency goes up to 90-95%.

Panels and batteries suitable for 20A Charge Controllers

20A regulators are good in small installations and usually only work with 12V panels. It’s important to know that PWM controllers lose too much energy when voltages of panels and batteries don't match. The losses with a PWM regulator are minimized in a system with:

  • 30-cells panels and 12 V batteries
  • 60-cells panels and 24 V batteries
  • 120-cells panels and 48 V batteries

For example, our Morningstar 20A charge controller can be paired with KiloVault 150Ah Solar Battery or KiloVault Advanced AGM 180Ah Solar Battery and a small 30-cell panel.

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