Charge Controllers

The Evolution of the Solar Charge Controller

December 3, 2016
charge controller revolution

A charge controller is a piece of equipment designed to prevent the batteries in your system from overcharging. It is similar to the voltage regulator in a car. However, unlike a voltage regulator in an automobile, charge controllers have advanced in ways never even imaginable to the hippies in Northern California, USA in the 1970s… […]

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The MPPT Charge Controller | How it has Changed Everything!

July 23, 2016
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The maximum power point tracking… MPPT charge controller … has got to be one of the most innovative, game changing and misunderstood components in the solar industry. There is so much misinformation, it is time to clear up the myths of the MPPT charge controllers, explain what they do and explore what they cannot do. […]

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How To Make Your Batteries Last as Long as Possible

September 12, 2015
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Your battery bank will likely be one if the most expensive components of your “off the grid” energy system. They are also the only piece of the system that will need replacing on a regular basis. Every extra day you can squeeze out of your battery bank will reduce the overall cost of your renewable […]

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Dump Loads for Solar, Wind and Microhydro

May 2, 2013
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Dump loads a.k.a. diversion loads are are an important part of the off grid electric system. Almost all wind and water turbine installations will require them and most solar installations can benefit from a dump load. As we discussed in the dump load intro, a dump load is simply an electrical device (load) to send […]

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Skystream Automatic Disconnection

April 22, 2013
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Southwest Windpower’s Skystream can be used to charge batteries but a circuit must be present that will shut the turbine down as the batteries reach a full state of charge or a circuit to dump the extra power. If you could hire someone inexpensively to shut the breaker off as the batteries “top off” that […]

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Skystream Battery Charging How To

April 18, 2013
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The Skystream made by Southwest Windpower is a grid tie wind turbine that is designed to produce 240 volts AC at 60HZ (or 50HZ)  no matter what speed the wind is blowing. It does this by taking the wild AC from the alternator, rectifying it to DC and inverting back to AC. It is quite […]

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Dump Load / Diversion Load Intro

April 16, 2013
Solar doesn't NEED a load but it can be handy if your battery bank is full and you want to make some free hot water.

Since there is a lot of confusion about diversion loads, we will discuss what they are and why they are used. A dump load is nothing more than a resistor (heating element) that is used for dumping electricity when it is not needed or to prevent your battery bank from being overcharged. It could be […]

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Using an Electric Heater as a Dump Load

April 12, 2013
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A common question I get asked is “Can I use a standard 120/240 AC heating element or hot water heater element as a DC dump load for my wind turbine/water turbine/solar system?” (Wondering what a dump load is? Click here) (More advanced diversion load info for solar, wind and water power) The answer is yes […]

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