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There are two types of controllers that are commonly used in RV solar energy systems: Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).


A PWM charge controller efficiently charges your RV battery by tapering solar power intake according the battery’s needs. Instead of an all or nothing charge rate, the charge controller regulates the appropriate amount of energy needed for your batteries. The end result is less stress and a longer life for your batteries.


Maximum Power Point Tracking, or MPPT, increases solar energy harvest by up to 30%. Talk about efficient! MPPT controllers do the same job as PWM controllers however, they also check the output of the solar panel. Solar panel output depends on the amount of sunlight, temperature, shading, where it’s pointing, and its angle. These cutting-edge capabilities convert excess voltage into usable power. Does it get any better than that?

It’s critical for RVers to know how much power the battery has and, how much power the solar panels are producing. Without this information, you might be woken up at 2:00 am with the gas detector squealing because of a discharged battery. At Sunlight Solar, we’re committed to helping you understand this complex relationship. This is the kind of stuff we love. So, before you head out on your next adventure, give us a call and we’ll happily walk you through the steps of understanding your charge controller so you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy your time away.


The charge controller, or regulator, sits between the solar panel and the battery in your RV. It ensures that the solar panels don’t overcharge or undercharge the batteries. Overcharging or undercharging batteries reduces battery life and can render them useless.

Controllers can be either flush mounted, surface mounted, or hidden in an RV.

Flush mounted controllers sit in a cabinet, usually near the microwave or refrigerator. For installation, a hole is cut where the controller is recessed. It doesn’t protrude except for a thin metal face plate. All the wires come in through the back so they aren’t visible.

Surface mounting situates most of the controller on the surface of the cabinet, so it sticks out a little more. Wires are also visible with a surface mount.

Lastly, new bluetooth technologies allow the controller to be hidden somewhere near the battery. A blue tooth signal allows for a phone app to give you information about the panels and the batteries.


Choosing the right solar panel for your RV can be involved and at times, confusing. At Sunlight Solar, our RV solar panel experts are here to help you understand the process inside and out, and help you make the best choice for your individual needs.

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