Solar charge controller grounding is vital for people going solar since it helps redirect the stray electric charge. It is an essential practice that people going solar must understand for the security of the solar system and its appliances.
Solar charge controller ground is a common earthing practice using positive or negative ground. For this article, we focus on the negative ground solar charge controllers.
When to use a negative ground solar charge controller, and what does it mean? We answer this question and other related matters, so ensure that you check it out!
What Does the Negative Ground Solar Charge Mean?
Solar charge controllers are important in protecting your batteries from overcharging. However, what happens when your solar panels have an extreme electric charge surge?
Such a situation can lead to damages due to short-circuiting and other matters. In that case, grounding in a solar charge system is important to help earth the excess electric charge to someone safe.
With that, your devices and solar system are safe. A solar charge controller utilizes the equipment grounding since it works on earthing the controller.
You can tell from the information above that there are negative and positive options. In this case, we define what it means to have a negative charge ground on your solar controller.
In solar charge controllers, the positive and negative ground theory focuses on the controller’s internal wiring and what you must do during the rounding process.
Negative ground solar charge means the negatives are hard-wired together, and the internal switching will happen on the positive. The ground solar controller delivers power to a battery connected to the system on a negative terminal.
When Can I Use the Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller?
After understanding what it means to have a negative solar charge controller, we can now focus on when you need the negative ground solar charge controller. In what situation do you require your solar charge controlled to be negatively grounded?
If you ground the battery at the negative terminal and the solar panel at the negative terminal, you would use the negative ground solar charge controller.
Choosing to use the negative ground solar charge controller means that the battery’s negative terminal is connected internally and has similar power with the electrical potential with the solar controller positive terminal.
A negative ground solar charge controller is the best option for solar PV systems with the battery negatively connected internally. After all, it is the best chance to keep the batteries’ internal chemistry well-protected.
If you use the positive ground solar charge controller, the batteries will experience internal damage leading to permanent damage. After all, the negative round controller avoids such a situation by taking the positive side of the solar panels and closing it with its negative side.
With that, the batteries are in series to the solar panels making negative ground solar charge controllers excellent for the job. The negative ground option is safer since it doesn’t need a connection to external electric power sources to work.
Why Use a Positive Ground Charge Controller?
The details above highlight that the negative ground solar charge controller is effective and a great choice for people going solar. But does this fact suggest that the positive ground charge controller doesn’t work and isn’t effective?
The positive ground solar charge controller works similarly to the negative ground charge controller. Its only difference is on the terminals’ charge and how you bond them together.
You use the positive ground solar charge controller similar to the negative ground solar charge controllers. But, when connecting the terminals, they should be the opposite of what happens in a negative ground charge controller situation.
If you ground the battery at the positive terminal and the solar panel at the positive terminal, the positive ground solar charge controller is the right option.
However, note that there are a few situations where you must never use the positive ground charge controller, including:
If You Use the Load Terminal in The RV Chassis Where It Is a Negatively Grounded System
It is important to note that a positively grounded charge controller is a terrible choice in this situation. Going for positive ground won’t do the job and will lead to other problems.
When You Need a Negative Grounded Controller
The definitions above indicate situations where you must invest in the negative ground solar charge controller. It is crucial to remember that when you have a negative ground battery and negative solar panel ground, you need a negative ground charge controller.
Remember these differences and only invest in the negative ground solar charge controller when needed.
What Is the Difference Between Negative and Positive Ground In The Solar System?
Negative ground means the grounding is referenced to the solar panel’s negative terminal, while positive ground means the grounding process is referenced to the solar panel’s positive terminal.
It becomes negative ground when the battery’s negative side is earthed. The negative ground is a special controller that delivers power to the battery connected to the solar panel via the negative side.
Are Solar Panels Positive or Negative Ground?
The information above explains how the negative and positive ground solar charge controller work. But, in those cases, it involves connecting to the solar panels.
In that case, defining whether solar panels are positive or negative ground is crucial. Solar panels typically use the positive ground solar charge controller.
A positive ground solar charge controller ensures that solar panels connect to your battery and will start to charge it.
Devices with 12 and 24 volts’ polarity have +12 and +24 volts DC which is the negative ground. But devices with the 48 volts polarity often need the positive ground solar charge controller because their configuration is often positive.
Some with the 48 volts setting require the negative ground setting.
Choosing the ground setting of your solar charge controller is important and has everything to do with your solar panels. Thus, it would be best to research what you are getting to and identify the necessary negative or positive ground.