Best Value MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Adding a MPPT Charge Controller to your system not only protects your battery but it also gives a boost to the power produced in the system. Any MPPT Controller you get can will work provided it meets some basic technical standards. But they don’t come cheap and you don’t want to get stuck with one that doesn’t fit with purpose.

LCD Display, Battery Compatibility, Design and lately bluetooth and remote control applications are some of the features that may distinguish the good, the bad and the ugly (but works). That is depending on your preference and budget.

Our PicksProductPriceRating
Best OverallEPEVER 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller4.2
Best BudgetRenogy Rover 40 Amp 12V/24V DC4.1
Best PremiumVictron 50 amp Controller4.5
Best Budget AlternativeRich Solar 40 Amp MPPT Controller4.0

We take a look at this features and more to grade this controllers and help you make the right choice and get value for your money.

Features of a good MPPT Charge Controller

Below are some of the features you should look for to get the a controller that will work for you and avoid any inconveniences. 

Auto-Identifying Battery type

This feature allows the system to recognize the battery plugged in and automatically load the settings for the battery type.  This may not apply to lithium batteries and you may have to customize the settings for Lithium Batteries according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

LCD Display

The LCD Display is a life saver and allows you to monitor the Solar Panels and Battery Voltage, the Load Current and the Charging as well as temperature of the system. The screen can also display error codes if something is amiss alerting you if you’ve done improper wiring or temperature is too high.

LED Indicators

LED indicators are important to show if the system is charging and whether the system is on bulk or float charging. LED indicators can also indicate errors and it either blink or turn colors to show an error.

Die-Cast Aluminum Design

Heating up is one of the biggest impediments to an efficient controller. A die-cast design allows the controller to dissipate heat effectively. The controller must also be mounted in an area with sufficient ventilation.  

Battery Compatibility

The controller should support all Deep Cycle batteries including SLA, Gel and Flooded Lead Acid Batteries. It should also support Lithium Batteries. Modern controllers also support Lithium Phosphate (LFP) and can also charge over discharged lithium batteries.

Electronic Protection

The Charge Controller should protect the battery from overcharging, over-discharging and also overloading. It also prevents a short circuit in the system.

Remote Display

Some Controllers have a separate monitor to for displaying the performance of the system. New systems come with Bluetooth that allow you to install software you can use on your phone or computer and monitor the system from anywhere.

Renogy Rover 40 Amp 12V/24V DC

The Rover Charge Controllers are made in the USA by Renogy power.  You can select from 20A, 30A or 40A controllers with an option of Bluetooth Module that pairs with the Renogy App. You can change settings right from the comfort of your couch with your phone or Tablet.

If this is your first time setting up a controller the Rover is definitely the best choice.  It is an easy to install Controller which comes with a helpful manual from Renogy. The Display has various options for customization. The LED indicators can help detect errors in the system and any type of short circuiting the system.

Pros

Can Support Gel, Sealed, Flooded and Lithium Batteries

Automatically Detects Battery Voltage (12V or 24V)

Remote Temperature Monitoring

Optional Bluetooth Module with App

Equalization feature

Can Awaken an Over Discharged Lithium battery

Cons

Can take some time to set up Bluetooth or App

EPEVER 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

A good replacement for the old and reliable tracer series controllers with added features including the LCD Display, Negative Ground and Support for Lithium battery, the EPEVER is a great addition to any small solar system.

The communication port also allows you to connect to the Remote Display Screen or Laptop Computer that allows you to monitor the systems performance. You will get all the information from the system including the Temperature, Solar Panel Voltage and Battery Voltage and Input from the Solar Panels. 

Pros

4 Stage Battery Charging (Bulk, Boost Float and Equalization)

Auto Detects 12V and 24V systems

Supports Lead Acid and Lithium Batteries

Multiple Load Control Method

Die Cast Aluminum Design

Cons

No display on the controller has to be bought separately.

RICH SOLAR 40 Amp MPPT Charge Controller

Rich Solar Charge Controller takes temperature regulation a notch higher it comes included with a cooling fins at the back and battery temperature unit. Just like the Rover it is easy to install and comes with an option of a Bluetooth module.

On the downside it comes with really bad instructions filled with direct translations but if you are looking to save a dollar and not new to controllers this is a controller for you. Don’t let the price fool it comes with a sturdy design and is built to last.

Pros

Compatible with Lithium, Gel, Sealed and Flooded Lead Acid batteries

Automatically detects 12Vor 24V systems

Can Charge Over discharged Lithium Batteries

Die-cast aluminum design for heat dissipation.

Cons

Bad Instructions

Victron 50 amp MPPT Charge Controller

The Victron Charge Controller is a Premium Choice built for big PV Offgrid systems.  With options of up to 100 amps and 250V this is the safest bet when you are planning to consistently add panels to your system.

While it doesn’t come with a LCD display screen it makes up with the Android Victron Connect Mobile app which regularly monitors the controller with clear illustrations from a user friendly interface. You can view how much power was draw and how much power was spent and can send yourself the information over email or export it to a CSV file.

The Victron Charge controller can operate with battery voltage as low as 0 recharging a severely depleted battery provided the battery is not damaged.  While most of controllers don’t have a heat sink the 100 amps controller comes with a heat sink which makes for better temperature control.

Pros

MPPT Technology

Bluetooth Capability

User Friend Interface

Smart Networking Capabilities

Compatible with Most Batteries including Gel, Lead Acid and Lithium

Cons

No display on the controller you have to connect to Bluetooth for display and monitoring

Beleeb 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Last but not least is the Beleeb 30A Charge Controller. An easy to install controller with straightforward terminals for connecting  the solar panel,  battery and load. It also comes with a remote temperature sensor that provides precise temperature compensation and optimizes the system’s voltages.

A great budget option that works pretty well but it doesn’t come with a Bluetooth option or any apps for remote monitoring.  The display also has limited info and you’ll just see the voltage and current.

Pros

Temperature Compensation Feature

Automatically Detects 12V/24V Sytems

Supports  Lithium, SEL, GEL and Flooded Acid Batteries

LCD Display Screen

Offers Battery Protection

Cons

Limited Information on Screen

Why go for a MPPT Charge Controller

There are two types of Charge controllers you can find in the market PWM and MPPT Controllers. It is important to know the difference in order to pick the best one. PWM or Pulse Width Modulation Charge controllers are common in battery charging systems.

PWM Controllers are cheap and will do the work if you just want to charge your batteries. Just like MPPT they have different charging modes including Bulk charge, Absorption charge, Float Charge and Equalize. But there is one thing that they can’t do as is the reason you should go for a MPPT Controller:

MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking it a smart controller and will deliver 10%-30% more power from the Solar Panels to the Batteries. How does it do this?

Because Sunlight intensity changes throughout the day Solar Panels produce different amperages and Voltages. But every panel has maximum power point. This is the point at which the amps and Voltage peak. This is where the MPPT Controller comes in.

The MPPT Controller will track the Solar panels Voltage as it varies with weather Condition.  Remember that Current flows as a result of the potential difference between the battery and the Solar Panels.  When the Voltage of the Solar panels increases the Controller will step down the Voltage and convert the difference to an amperage boost.

So the Solar Module could be producing 8 amps but you’ll be getting 10 amps to your battery.  A PWM Controller will step down the Voltage but not convert the stepped down voltage to a current. This extra energy is therefore wasted.

Depending on your system changing your system from a PWM controller to a MPPT controller will be like adding an additional panel to your system.