The Best MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

  • Jul 25th 2018

If you want to set up your own solar power system for camping, RV, marine or just off the grid living the part that is the least known is the solar charge controller. A charge controller or charge regulator as they are also called is a voltage and current regulator to keep batteries or power banks from overcharging. This component of the solar power system is not a must like the solar panel charger or power bank, but if you want to extend the lifespan of your batteries or solar generator you should consider using a charge controller.

Quick Navigation

  1. MPPT solar charge controller
  2. Comparison table
  3. Renogy Rover
  4. PowMr Charge Controller
  5. Victron SmartSolar
  6. EPEVER Charge Controller
  7. Conclusion
There are two types of charge controllers: MPPT (Maximum power point tracking) and PWM (Pulse-width modulation). MPPT is by far the most efficient with a conversion over 99%. PWM controllers are usually cheaper but we believe in paying a little bit extra for better quality and performance. So in this article, we have exclusively looked at the best MPPT solar charge controllers. All chargers in this article are rated 20-30A and got 4 stage charging technology. We have only picked solar charge regulators that are suited for systems in the range of 50-200W solar charger with a 200-350Wh solar generator. The reason we have narrowed it down is to make them relevant to our recent articles about Solar Chargers for Camping and Solar Generators for Camping.

Comparison Table

Renogy Rover


A really solid regulator with all the features you would want and still reasonably priced. The Rover is furnished with several features, LCD screen with programmable parameters, giving you the power to adjust your settings. Error code detection which lets you self-diagnose your controller by simply looking up the error code shown. It has a die-cast, aluminum casing for heat dissipation and 4-stage battery charging algorithm, the Rover 20 amp charge controller is the perfect addition to any solar power system. This is why we think this is one of the best MPPT charge controllers currently available.

Specification

System voltage: 12V/24V Auto Recognition
Rated Battery Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A
Max. Battery Voltage: 32V
Max. Solar Input Voltage: 100 VDC
Weight :3.08 lbs.
Dimension:8.27 x 5.94 x 2.34 in

Pros

  • LCD screen
  • 4-stage charging
  • Built in heat dissipation
  • Charging data storage

Cons

  • No Negative Ground
  • Software and Bluetooth buggy

Check out Renogy Rover on Amazon

PowMr Charge Controller


PowMr is a powerful, 30A controller for solar chargers. It features 4-stage battery charging which provides optimal charging for your battery or power bank. The solar charge regulator will automatically select between 12 and 24 volts on the output. The charger can also be negative grounded and have a temperature sensor. If you have high Ampere needs this is an affordable solar charge controller and a good pick.

Specification

System voltage: 12V/24V Auto Recognition
Rated Battery Current: 30A
Rated Load Current: 30A
Max. Battery Voltage: 35V
Max. Solar Input Voltage: 14.5 V
Weight: 1.06lb
Dimension: 7.44 x 7.16 x 2.28 in

Pros

  • Negative ground
  • LCD screen
  • 4-stage charging
  • Built in heat dissipation

Cons

  • A few reported defective units
  • Mediocre instruction manual

Check out PowMr Charge Controller on Amazon

Victron SmartSolar


The Victron SmartSolar does not have any LCD display but it comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This has the advantages of saving space and weight and at the same time giving you the ability to control and monitor the controller remotely. The SmartSolar can control up to 290 watts of solar panels at 12 volts or 580 watts at 24 volts. With a maximum open circuit voltage of 100 volts. It will automatically select between 12 and 24 volts on the output. The unit will also save all charge data for the last 30 days. We think the Victron SmartSolar has a great build quality and the 5-year warranty makes this our pick for the best solar charge controller in 2018.

Specification

System voltage: 12V/24V Auto Recognition
Rated Battery Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A
Max. Solar Input Voltage: 100 VDC
Weight: 1.54 lbs.
Dimension: 8.3 x 5.9 x 2 in

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • Bluetooth and free App
  • Charging data storage
  • 4-stage charging
  • Built in heat dissipation

Cons

  • No LCD display

Check out Victron SmartSolar on Amazon

EPEVER Charge Controller


EPEVER is a 20A controller for solar power chargers. It features 4-stage battery charging which provides optimal charging for your battery or power bank. The solar charge regulator will automatically select between 12 and 24 volts on the output. The charger can also be positive grounded and comes with a intuitive LCD display. This solar charge regulator is the only one in this article that comes with an external display realizing real-time data checking and parameters setting. This solar power regulator is best suited for a permanent installation since you need to mount 2 boxes instead of just one. We believe that this is a solid pick and one of the best MPPT charge controllers.

Specification

System voltage: 12V/24V Auto Recognition
Rated Battery Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A
Max. Solar Input Voltage: 100 VDC
Weight: 2.87 lbs.
Dimension: 9.84 x 5.91 x 6.3 in in

Pros

  • LCD screen
  • 4-stage charging
  • Built in heat dissipation
  • External display

Cons

  • Best suited for permanent installation

Check out EPEVER Charge Controller on Amazon

Conclusion

We think that the best solar charger controller in 2018 is the Victron SmartSolar. It has a lot of smart features such as Bluetooth monitoring and control which also makes it smaller, lighter and more durable as a bonus. If this was not enough, we see the 5-year warranty as a statement about the high quality and durability of the SmartSolar. The other chargers in this article are all solid picks and they all fill their respective niche. For example, we listed the external display of the EPEVER Charge Controller as a con since it makes it less portable, but if you want to have a more permanent installation this could turn into a pro. If you want more information about how charge controllers work in detail check out this article: 4 Stage Battery Chargers Explained