From solar panels to inverters and more, a solar power system has several types of essential equipment required to make it operate. But is a charge controller one of those essential pieces of the system, or is it optional? Here's what you should know to determine if your system requires a charge controller:

  1. Does it have batteries? The first thing to take a good look at is whether or not your system has batteries. If you have an off-grid system or hybrid system with a battery bank, then you will likely need a charge controller. 
  2. What about grid-tied solar? Grid-tied systems don't need charge controllers. Excess power is stored in the city grid, which functions as its own charge controller. 
  3. Does your inverter have one? Check your inverter to see if it already has one or if you need a separate one. It's worth noting that many modern solar inverters (an essential piece of equipment for every solar system) have charge controllers built into them. 
  4. What type of charge controller? You'll also need to determine the right type of charge controller: PWM or MPPT. PWM charge controllers are usually best for very small systems, but for most residential systems, you'll want MPPT. 
  5. Do you need additional charge controllers? If you have a large battery bank, you may need more than one charge controller. Consult with a solar expert to determine if your batteries can be charged from a single charge controller. 


To find the charge controllers and other equipment you need, or to learn more about building a solar power system, contact The PowerStore, Inc. today