solar controller load connection

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:21
ThreadID: 96942 Views:5946 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
This Thread has been Archived
Sorry that this is such a basic question, but what is the load outlet used for on the solar controller. The solar input and battery connection points are obvious, but the badly interpreted chinese instructions make no sense.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: skid - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:48

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:48
I know exactly what you mean. I'd like to know as well. My self installed seems to be charging ok without this terminal connected to anything. I am talking about one of them $15 10A controllers from ebay

I await a reply as well.

John
AnswerID: 491187

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:55

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:55
The load connection is just that.
It is where the things that use power are connected so that the controller knows how much power you are useing.

Different controllers have different capabilities, but better ones count power into the batteries and out of the batteries. If the loads are connected direct to the batteries it can not do that and therefore does not know what the state of charge of the batteries is.

To understand the actual capability of your controller and how to wire it to get the most information from it you will need to read and understand the manual.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 491188

Follow Up By: bks - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 11:05

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 11:05
Thanks for that Peter, It makes sense. I had been running the fridge of the battery via a battery box. I will get some more cable and connectors.

Just thinking about this would not the extra cable to the fridge just increase the problem of voltage drop?
0
FollowupID: 766639

Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 11:53
Hi bks,

Is the solar controller located on your solar panel or mounted inside the vehicle or van near the battery? If it's located on the solar panel I wouldn't worry about using the load terminals on the controller to connect the fridge. If the controller is mounted close to the battery then it might be worthwhile to connect the fridge to the load terminals as the controller can monitor usage (depending on the type of controller you have). There's no point in running two sets of wire from the controller on the solar panel (one to the battery and then a second to the fridge) if you already have the fridge located close to the battery supply.

I've mounted my solar controller in the C/T near the battery and use the load terminals on the controller for the electrical circuits within the trailer. That way I can keep an eye on my battery usage via the remote display monitor I've installed with the solar controller.

Cheers

Rob K
0
FollowupID: 766644

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:47

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:47
Just be careful connecting loads direct to the solar controller without knowing how much current the controller can handle through the load connection.
As an example some controllers can handle 40A input from solar but only 4 or 5 amps through the load terminal.
Most of the better controllers can use a shunt to monitor load currents.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 491194

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 15:13

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 15:13
Aah Soo, instructions do make sense to Chinee interpreter though.
Chinese electron could be different to Aussie electrons.

The load connection is for things which will flatten the battery and the LOAD is disconnected to prevent the battery being discharged too much when insufficient charge or for use during periods of no sun.

It doesn't really monitor anything, and doesn't read what is going in and out,it just cuts off supply to whatever is connected to it to protect the battery when it gets down to the preset voltage..
Unfortunately these are usually not very suited to running a fridge, or anything drawing a few amps directly from the LOAD terminal and if used should be to activate a relay which runs the fridge. The relay then adds to the usage.

More sophisticated charge controllers do remember what happens and will bulk charge according to useage to keep the battery/ies in the best state of charge.
AnswerID: 491201

Reply By: bks - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 15:31

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 15:31
Thanks everyone for your help. Basically I should keep doing what I have been doing and ignore the load connectors
AnswerID: 491204

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 17:38

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 17:38
The correct/best answer depends on the solar controller you are using and what it is capable of.
We can only guess at that so far.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
0
FollowupID: 766666

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 13:23

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 13:23
Hi bks,

"Basically I should keep doing what I have been doing and ignore the load connectors"

That appears to be the best advice and it is what most of us are doing.

The load terminals are for safeguarding the battery from too low a drain. It will cut out the load at a predetermined level to save the battery from overdischarge.

Seeing as you have solar and most days the battery is fully charged the chances of over discharging are slim, I would suggest.

Cheers, Bruce
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 766715

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)