Best RV Solar charger

Best RV Solar charger

SC-2030 Solar Charge Controller

Looking for a very reliable and high performance solar charger for your rig?  Want an amp-hour counting solar charger to adequately charge your AGM batteries and prevent sulfation?  Want a charge controller that also doubles as a current limiting DC-DC charger?

The SC-2030 is a high performance compact PWM Solar Charge Controller that (when used with the TM-2030 battery monitor) offers significant control over the charging process to extend the life of your battery system.

Smart Solar Charger

Our competition calls their solar charger “smart” because it can connect to a smartphone.  We call our controller “smart” because it of its knowledge of electro-chemistry and battery charging principles and its ability to connect to a smartphone.

● Uses Amp-hrs returned in addition to voltage & trailing current criteria to ensure fully charged condition and minimize or delay sulfation – the most compelling reason to use the SC-2030.  Here’s a quote from page 19 of the Sun Xtender AGM Battery Technical Manual – “Typically, between 102% and 110% of the discharged ampere-hours must be returned for full recharge. If the recharge is insufficient, the battery’s state of charge will gradually “walk down” as it is cycled, resulting in sulfation and premature failure.”

● Has a built-in shunt for measuring solar current

● Well suited for use with RV & camper solar installations where high panel temperature cause a significant drop in panel voltage & power.

We recommend the following panels from Newpowa:

100 Watt Newpowa silicon solar panel with Isc of 6.3 Amps – if the controller to panel wiring length is 20 ft -30 ft.

105 Watt Newpowa silicon solar panel with Isc of 7.5 Amps –  if the controller to panel wiring length is less than 20 ft

Please see this illustration for our recommendations on wiring panels to the SC-2030.  These recommendations emphasize reliability & ease of troubleshooting (very important for boondocking).

● More reliable than many MPPT controllers.  When delivering 31 Amps to a battery bank, the SC-2030 consumes under 5 Watts for its operation.  Even the most efficient MPPT controller may consume 20-30 Watts.

● May be used as a DC-DC charger to charge house battery using the vehicle’s battery/alternator, with a 30 second delay. May also be used with a 16 V DC power supply as a high performance shore power charger.

● Compatible with all battery types including flooded cell, AGM, Gel, Nickel Iron, Lithium LFP, etc.  For Lithium batteries:  When using the SC-2030, program the TM-2030 (P8-P21) to adhere to strict charging guidelines.  Contact us for more information.

● For 12 or 24 V battery systems.

● Up to 30 amps maximum solar current. Charger will safely reduce output if panel current exceeds 31 amps.  Note: Open Circuit Voltage limit from panels must not exceed 55 Volts.

● Optional Temperature compensation if temperature sensor is used.

● Small size: 3 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches; 7.6 X 13.3 X 7 cm.

SC-2030 as a DC-DC Vehicle Charger for Lithium Battery:

● Easy programming for charging your batteries:  The TriMetric  has 8 adjustable charging parameters to match any battery type.  Enter your charging data using the TM-2030 based on battery manufacturer recommendations.  Get your charging data here.

● If TM-2030 disconnected, the charger functions as a 3 stage charge with its built-in profiles for AGM and flooded cell batteries.

● When designing the SC-2030 we checked many battery company websites, and spoke with experts in their companies to find out what they recommend for charging before we designed it. Many solar charge controllers have very limited ability to adjust–a few even charge with voltage that is lower than what any battery company recommends.

As a result of this research we’ve added two unusual features to ensure that batteries are not damaged by over or under charging:

1. Amp hour counting: During a discharge period it measures precisely the amount of previous discharge, and then when recharging adds back the same amount plus an additional measured percentage of charge: for liquid electrolyte lead acid batteries about 110-120%–or for AGM types about 104-109%.

2. Also unusual in chargers, but frequently now recommended to maintain battery capacity is an extra higher voltage “mini equalization” finishing stage.  During the last part of the charge it can increase charging voltage (at a regulated low current value) to avoid undercharge during a limited solar day. (This is sometimes called “IUI” charging).

3. Undo the damaging effects of sulfation with an automatic mini equalization stage *every* time the batteries are recharged.

4 Stage Charging Profile
4 Stage Charging Profile

● All of this is controlled by the TM-2030 Battery Monitor located in your living area–connected with a common crossover phone cable to the SC-2030 usually located near the batteries.  In addition to high quality charging, you also get all of the benefits of the TM-2030 monitoring system: volts, battery amps, solar amps, replaced percent of charge compared to previous discharge, extra unused solar power, battery temperature and more.

● The SC-2030 uses “PWM” (“pulse width modulation”) technology, which requires that it be used with what are often described as “12 Volt” (or “24 volt”) solar panels for good efficiency. Some have asked why we used this instead of newer “MPPT” technology for this charger. We explain this in a “Frequently Answered Question” on this web site. If you’re curious, go to the top of this page to “Support,” then “Frequently Answered Questions,” question C.1.

For a wiring diagram, technical details on charging, and to see what’s involved to install it, visit our Support and Applications page.


Made in the U.S.A.