5 Best MPPT Charge Controllers

I spent weeks testing 5 of the best MPPT solar charge controllers on the market.

I tested all the MPPT charge controllers in this review. I also bought all of them with my own money.

I built a custom testing setup and tested their ease of use, power output and voltage accuracy. I also researched their specs and spent time using their mobile app to monitor my system and create custom charging profiles.

Based on all that, here are my reviews and recommendations.

Quick Recommendations: Best MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Here’s the TLDR version of my rankings:

Keep reading for my full MPPT charge controller reviews.

Note: Most of the charge controllers I tested offer models with different charge current ratings, max PV voltages, and/or compatible battery voltages. So if you see one on this list you like, but it isn’t compatible with your system, just search for the other available models and you’ll probably find one that is.

Top Pick: Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30

Rated charge current: 30A Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
Battery voltage: 12/24V Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom
Max. PV input power: 440W @ 12V, 880W @ 24V Max. wire size: 6 AWG (16 mm2)
Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (built-in) Temperature sensor: Yes (built-in)

Pros: Easy to use, built-in Bluetooth, robust mobile app, custom charging profiles, best voltage accuracy

Cons: Expensive, mediocre wire terminals, no screen

Best for: Those looking for the best MPPT charge controller who don’t mind paying top dollar; advanced users who want the most features and customizability

Review

For the sake of everyone’s wallets, I almost hoped the Victron wouldn’t be my favorite. But it was.

Out of the box, I found the Victron to have the most features and be the easiest to use. It’s about as “plug and play” as it gets.

Performing a power output test with the Victron. I connected the Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor to my battery to monitor the peak power output in watts of each charge controller.

Bluetooth is built in to all the models in the Victron SmartSolar MPPT produce line. Once the Victron is installed, you can use the free VictronConnect mobile app to monitor and customize your system.

The VictronConnect app is free and lets you monitor and edit your system settings from your phone.

The Victron was the only MPPT I tested with Bluetooth built in. All the other charge controllers in this review make you buy a $30-40 Bluetooth module for that feature. That helps justify the Victron’s price a bit.

The VictronConnect app has a lot of features. It can be a little overwhelming at first. But, once you learn your way around it, it can be quite powerful. You can use one of the many battery presets or, for advanced users, easily create and save custom charging profiles.

The Victron has lots of battery presets that you can use right out of the box, including one for lithium iron phosphate batteries.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Victron makes all sorts of accessories — sensors and shunts and the like — that can pair with the app as well and communicate with your controller to optimize your system. It’s a solar nerd’s playground.

Looking beyond the app, the Victron had the best voltage accuracy. Its battery voltage reading was on average only 0.075 volts off from my multimeter. For comparison, the other charge controllers I tested were off by around 0.1-0.2 volts or more.

The Victron placed first in my battery voltage accuracy test, with an average discrepancy of only 0.075 volts.

Battery voltage accuracy is important for charging your batteries to the right voltage levels. If it’s too far off, your batteries could be chronically overcharged or overdischarged a slight amount, shortening their lifespan. And we all know how expensive batteries can be to replace.

I also performed a power output test and the Victron placed first — by a hair. I wouldn’t put too much stock in these results because of the variables I couldn’t control (e.g. panel temperature, fluctuations in solar irradiance), but it was nice to see a first place finish from a top-of-the-line MPPT.

The Victron placed first in my power output test with a max output of 146 watts. The Renogy Rover and EPEver Tracer AN tied for last with an output of 142 watts.

I didn’t like the Victron’s wire terminals that much. The screws felt high quality, but the terminals themselves were shallow and a little too close together for my taste.

Otherwise, the build quality of the Victron felt solid. The case and heat sink seem durable. It was also the smallest and lightest controller I tested, if that’s an important factor in your system.

After finding the maximum power point, the Victron output a max of 146 watts according to my battery monitor.

I tested the bestselling Victron SmartSolar MPPT model on Amazon at the time of my research, which happened to be the 100/30 model (100V PV voltage limit, 30A charge current rating).

But Victron has a huge product lineup and sells SmartSolar controllers with a wide range of PV voltages (75-250V) and current ratings (10-100A). So if the model I’ve tested is too much or too little for your purposes, you can upgrade or downgrade accordingly.

Full review: Victron SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller Review

Budget Pick: Renogy Rover 40A

Rated charge current: 40A Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
Battery voltage: 12/24V Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom
Max. PV input power: 520W @ 12V, 1040W @ 24V Max. wire size: 8 AWG (10 mm2)
Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (requires additional purchase) Temperature sensor: Yes (included)

Pros: Great value, easy to use, good mobile app (must buy Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module to use), custom charging profiles

Cons: Poor voltage accuracy, not compatible with Renogy Battery Voltage Sensor

Best for: Those looking for the best bang for their buck

Review

I’ve had the Renogy Rover 40A for over 6 months, and I’ve become quite familiar with it during that time.

It’s well-priced and easy to use. It’s compatible with all the most common types of solar batteries, plus has the option to create custom charging profiles.

Renogy has a mobile app called Renogy DC Home. To use it with the Rover 40A, you’ll have to buy the Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module.

The Renogy BT-1 and BT-2 Bluetooth Modules. To use the Renogy app with the Rover 40A, you’ll have to buy the BT-1.

The Renogy app is good, but I found it a little less feature-rich than Victron’s. For many users it will have everything you need. I suspect advanced users may want a little more customization, though.

The homescreen of the Renogy DC Home mobile app.

The Rover’s wire terminals were good but not great. The terminals felt roomier than the listed max wire size, but the screws were a little loose and hard to tighten at times.

The Rover’s roomy wire terminals were my second favorite behind the EPEver Tracer 4215BN.

The screen on the Rover 40A displays nearly every system spec I could hope for. It’s also easy to use it to select your battery type, edit load settings, and create custom charging profiles.

In my power output test, the Rover tied for last with the EPEver Tracer 4210AN. They both output a max of 142 watts compared to the 146 watts of the Victron which placed first. I think the difference of 4 watts is negligible.

After finding the maximum power point, the Rover output a max of 142 watts.

My least favorite part of the Rover is its voltage accuracy. When I compared its voltage measurement to a multimeter and battery shunt, it was off by around .17 volts on average.

Normally this would be a cheap fix – I’d just tell you to get the Renogy Battery Voltage Sensor. But the Rover 40A doesn’t have a battery voltage sensor port. You have to upgrade to the Rover 60A or Rover 100A for that feature.

Overall, the Rover 40A is a good MPPT charge controller for the money. It has all the features and battery presets you need to set up your system quickly and easily. And for more advanced users, you can create custom charging profiles and buy the BT-1 Bluetooth Module for remote monitoring.

Full review: Renogy Rover MPPT Charge Controller Review

Honorable Mention: EPEver Tracer 4215BN

Rated charge current: 40A Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 150V
Battery voltage: 12/24V Battery types: Sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom
Max. PV input power: 520W @ 12V, 1040W @ 24V Max. wire size: 4 AWG (25 mm2)
Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (requires additional purchase) Temperature sensor: Yes (included)

Pros: Excellent build quality, my favorite wire terminals, 150V PV voltage limit

Cons: Must make custom charging profile if using with lithium batteries

Best for: Those looking for a charge controller with great build quality; users with lead acid batteries; users with lithium batteries who don’t mind creating custom charging profiles

Review

From a hardware perspective, the Tracer 4215BN — sometimes called the Tracer BN or Tracer BN Series — was my favorite charge controller.

It’s big and heavy and virtually one entire heat sink. The wire terminals were easily my favorite. They felt like tanks. And they’re the biggest in this review – capable of handling up to 4 AWG wire. If you like to overgauge your wires, this is one to consider.

The beefy wire terminals on the Tracer 4215BN were easily my favorite.

It had good voltage accuracy, too. When I compared the reading on the include MT50 screen to my multimeter, it was only off by 0.1 volts on average.

However, the hardware in a charge controller isn’t the full story. They also have a software component, and when that’s lacking, it makes the controller harder to use.

I didn’t test the EPEver app, but from reviews I’ve read it’s a little clunky. The MT50 screen is great, though. It’s easy to view all your system specs and select your battery type. If you’re using lead acid batteries, the Tracer BN is about as plug and play as any other MPPT.

But it has no preset for LiFePO4 batteries. You’ll have to create your own custom charging profile if using lithium. It isn’t that hard to do, but it’s certainly not as easy as selecting your battery type from a menu.

The included MT50 screen doesn’t have a preset for LiFePO4 batteries, but it does give you the option to create custom charging profiles.

These usability hurdles are small, but more noticeable than on the other controllers in this review. If you’re comfortable with technology and product manuals, they shouldn’t be difficult to overcome. And, once you do, you’ll have a great controller that feels like it could last a lifetime.

After finding the maximum power point, the Tracer 4215BN output a max of 145 watts, the second most in my test.

As a final heads up, the Tracer BN’s days might be numbered. While doing research for this article, I tried to find this controller on EPEver’s website, but couldn’t.

From years of product testing, I’ve come to see these removals as the first sign of a product’s discontinuation. For now it’s still available on Amazon, but time will tell.

Renogy Rover Elite 40A

Rated charge current: 40A Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
Battery voltage: 12/24V Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded
Max. PV input power: 520W @ 12V, 1040W @ 24V Max. wire size: 6 AWG (16 mm2)
Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (requires additional purchase) Temperature sensor: Yes (included)

Pros: Cheapest MPPT tested, good mobile app (must buy Renogy BT-2 Bluetooth Module to use)

Cons: Worst voltage accuracy, no custom charging profiles

Best for: Those who want a cheap MPPT and only plan to use preset battery charging profiles

Review

Based on its name, I wouldn’t fault you for assuming the Renogy Rover Elite is a more advanced version of the Renogy Rover. I know I certainly did.

But you’d be wrong. It’s actually a cheaper version. (Whose idea was that?)

The Rover Elite was close to being one of my recommended picks. It has a lot going for it: It’s the cheapest MPPT I tested. It’s compatible with all the main types of solar batteries. And, if you buy the Renogy BT-2 Bluetooth Module, you can connect the Rover Elite to the Renogy app to monitor your system from your phone.

Based on that, I think it’s a good budget option for DIY solar beginners, or users who just plan on using the battery presets.

The Rover Elite is compatible with all the main types of solar batteries. It doesn’t let you create custom charging profiles, though.

But if you want to create custom charging profiles, know that the Rover Elite doesn’t have that option. I know from plenty of reader emails and comments that advanced users like to customize their charging setpoints.

The other drawback is that the Rover Elite ranked last in my battery voltage accuracy test. Without solar panels connected, my multimeter measured a battery voltage of 13.39V. The Rover Elite measured 13.1V. Once I connected some panels its accuracy improved only slightly: my multimeter measured 13.54V and the Rover Elite’s reading jumped back and forth between 13.3 and 13.4V.

This problem has a cheap fix, though. You can buy a Renogy Battery Voltage Sensor and connect it to the Rover Elite. That will improve the controller’s battery voltage reading and increase battery life.

After finding the maximum power point, the Rover Elite output a max of 144 watts, the third most in my test.

I’ve tested a handful of Renogy products over the years, and I always seem to come to the same conclusion: they’re good quality for the price. The Rover Elite is the same. Overall, it’s a good cheap MPPT.

EPEver Tracer 4210AN

Rated charge current: 40A Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
Battery voltage: 12/24V Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, LiNiCoMnO2, custom
Max. PV input power: 520W @ 12V, 1040W @ 24V Max. wire size: 6 AWG (16 mm2)
Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (requires additional purchase) Temperature sensor: Yes (included)

Pros: Good voltage accuracy, fast power point tracking, custom charging profiles

Cons: Not the easiest to use, mediocre wire terminals

Review

The Tracer 4210AN — sometimes called the Tracer AN or Tracer AN Series — is a solid controller.

But, when pitted side by side against the others, it didn’t stand out to me in any way. I’m not sure what type of user I’d recommend it for.

I think it’s a good value for the money, but not as good as the Renogy Rover. The build quality is solid but not outstanding. I think the wire terminals are subpar.

It did have the second best voltage accuracy. And, on startup, it tracked the maximum power point the fastest of any controller tested (in about 9 seconds on average, compared to the 57 seconds of its sibling, the Tracer 4215BN, which placed last).

It has a good screen and, on Amazon at least, the 40 amp model comes with the MT50 display included.

After quickly finding the maximum power point, the Tracer 4210AN output a max of 142 watts, tied for last with the Renogy Rover.

But I do want to underscore that this is a well-made unit. It works well, is solidly built and even has the lowest power consumption of those tested. EPEver claims ≤12mA (it doesn’t say at what voltage), which is less than the 30mA (at 12V) of the Victron, the next closest.

If this controller is on sale, or you just prefer the EPEver brand, I’d say go for it. If it was the only MPPT I owned, I expect I’d end up being perfectly happy with it.

How to Choose the Best MPPT Charge Controller for Your Needs

Rated Charge Current

Also called: rated battery current, battery charge current or rated output current

The rated charge current is the maximum amount of current (in amps) that the charge controller can charge the battery at. It’s such an important number that it’s often included in the product name (e.g. Renogy Rover 40A — “40A” is the rated charge current).

<30A: MPPTs with charge current ratings in this range can usually handle around 400 watts of solar or less at 12 volts and 800 watts or less at 24 volts. They’re best used with lithium batteries of 60Ah or greater and lead acid batteries of 100Ah or greater.

30A-40A: Many popular MPPTs (including all the ones I tested) fall in this range. They can usually handle between 400-500 watts of solar at 12 volts and 800-1000 watts of solar at 24 volts. They’re best used with lithium batteries of 80Ah or greater and lead acid batteries of 130Ah or greater.

>40A: MPPTs with charge current ratings greater than 40 amps are designed for large solar systems. They can usually handle greater than or equal to 600 watts of solar at 12 volts and 1200 watts at 24 volts. Some may also be compatible with 36V and 48V batteries and capable of handling even greater PV power inputs at these voltages.

Note: Charge controllers with load terminals may also list a rated discharge current (aka rated load current). This is how much current the controller can output through its load terminals.

Maximum PV Voltage

Also called: maximum PV open circuit voltage, maximum input voltage

Use our solar panel voltage calculator to calculate the maximum open circuit voltage of your solar array. Then, pick a charge controller with a maximum PV voltage greater than this number.

<100V: It’s rare to see MPPTs with less than a 100V PV voltage limit. Usually they can handle up to 2-3 12V solar panels wired in series.

100V-150V: This is the most popular PV voltage range for MPPT charge controllers. Models in this range can usually handle 3-6 12V solar panels wired in series.

>150V: MPPTs in this range are designed for large solar arrays. They can usually handle 7 or more 12V solar panels wired in series.

Note: Estimating the max voltage of your solar array is not as simple as multiplying open circuit voltage by the number of solar panels wired in series. This is because solar panel voltage increases as temperature drops. To get an accurate estimate, you’ll have to correct for temperature.

Battery Voltage

Also called: system voltage, nominal battery voltage

This number refers to the nominal battery voltage the controller is compatible with. You may see the word “auto” next to the battery voltage — e.g. “12/24V Auto.” This means the charge controller automatically detects whether you’re using a 12V or 24V battery bank.

12/24V: Many popular MPPT models are compatible with 12 and 24 volt batteries. Indeed, these are the compatible battery voltages of all the models I tested for this review.

12/24/48V: There are higher-end MPPTs compatible with 12, 24 and 48 volt batteries. These are usually MPPTs with higher charge current ratings.

12/24/36/48V: Some brands sell models that are also compatible with 36 volt batteries.

Note: Some charge controllers also list a max battery voltage in their spec sheet. As you’d expect, you don’t want your battery voltage to exceed this number.

Compatible Battery Types

Make sure the charge controller you’re getting is compatible with your type of battery.

Here are the most common types of solar batteries:

  • LiFePO4 (Also referred to as lithium iron phosphate, LFP, or simply “lithium”)
  • Gel
  • AGM/Sealed lead acid
  • Flooded lead acid

If a controller is compatible with a type of battery, it essentially means it has a preset charging profile for that battery chemistry that you can select when you set up the controller.

Custom charging profiles: Many MPPT controllers also offer the ability for you to create custom or “user” charging profiles. These let you select all the voltage setpoints — such as absorption voltage and float voltage — so you can tailor it for your specific battery.

In essence, custom profiles make the controller compatible with all main types of solar batteries. Many advanced users also like to adjust these numbers to try to maximize their battery lifespan.

Maximum PV Input Power

“PV” refers to solar panels, so this number is the max solar array wattage you can connect to the controller.

You’ll notice that the controller has different max PV input power ratings for different voltages. This is because watts is based on both volts and amps (W = V * A).

If you’re having trouble figuring out what charge current rating you need, you can also refer to this number for guidance.

Bluetooth Monitoring

Being able to monitor and control your solar system from an app on your phone is great convenience. MPPT controllers fall into three different buckets here:

Built-in: Some controllers have Bluetooth built in, meaning you don’t need to buy anything in order to start monitoring your system from your phone. Of the controllers I tested, only the Victron SmartSolar came with Bluetooth built in.

Additional purchase required: A lot of controllers require an additional purchase before you can use Bluetooth monitoring. You have to buy a Bluetooth module that connects to the controller. These typically cost $30-40. The remaining 4 controllers I tested fall into this bucket.

No Bluetooth: Some cheap MPPT charge controllers come with no Bluetooth capabilities at all. The only way to monitor your system with these is through the screen or LED lights on the controller.

Other Considerations

Wire Terminals

Look for good wire terminals with quality screws. Cheap charge controllers skimp on their wire terminals and you’ll notice right away. They’re easier to strip and you can’t tighten the screws down as much. They may loosen over time.

Some people also like to over-gauge their wires, in which case you want to pay attention to max wire size.

Temperature Compensation

A good charge controller should adjust its charging parameters based on temperature. This feature is called temperature compensation. To have this feature, the controller needs to have a temperature sensor. The sensor will either be a built-in internal sensor, or an external sensor included in the box or available as an additional purchase.

If it’s an external sensor, You plug it into the temperature sensor port on the controller and then tape the probe to the battery.

Operating Temperature Range

Pay attention to operating temperature range if your charge controller will be experiencing wide temperature swings — such as if it’s located in a boat, RV, or campervan without AC. The higher-end models are typically able to handle wider temperature ranges.

MPPT vs PWM Charge Controllers

MPPT charge controllers are more expensive, but more efficient. Most are around 95% efficient.

PWM charge controllers are cheaper, but less efficient. They are around 75-80% efficient.

What’s more, MPPT controllers often have higher charge current ratings, such as 30 amps or more. This means you can connect more solar panels to them. (The MPPT models included in this test, for instance, can handle solar arrays of 400-1000 watts depending on system voltage.) They also have higher PV voltage limits, so you can connect more panels in series which can save you money on wiring.

PWM charge controllers usually have lower charge current ratings, such as 10-30 amps, making them best suited for solar arrays of 400 watts or less. They often only have high enough PV voltage limits for 1-2 12V solar panels in series. If you’re using lots of solar panels with a PWM, you’ll probably have to wire them in parallel which can increase wiring costs.

Full comparison: PWM vs MPPT Charge Controllers

The Bottom Line

I liked all of the MPPT charge controllers I tested for this review. I’d be happy to have any of them in my system. Alas, the job of a reviewer is to rank the options from best for worst.

After testing 5 MPPTs side by side and comparing their spec sheets, I think the Victron SmartSolar MPPT is the best MPPT charge controller on the market. I thought it had the best build quality and was the easiest to set up and use.

The Renogy Rover 40A has the best bang for your buck. It’s a well-made model that can be paired with Renogy’s mobile app if you also buy the BT-1 Bluetooth Module.

Lastly, the EPEver Tracer 4215BN is built like a tank and has the best wire terminals of any charge controller I’ve ever used. It’s not compatible with lithium batteries out of the box, but you can use the included MT50 screen to create a custom charging profile.

As a reminder, all the charge controllers I tested offer models with different charge current and PV voltage limits. If you like the Victron, for instance, but need a higher current rating, consider the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/50. It has a 50 amp current rating, compared to the 30 amp rating of the model I tested.

A small ask: If you found my MPPT charge controller reviews helpful and are planning to buy one, please consider buying through one of my affiliate links below. I’ll get a small commission (at no extra cost to you) which will help fund more reviews like this one. Thank you! 🙏

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Alex Beale
Alex Beale
Hi, I'm Alex. I started Footprint Hero to help people reduce their environmental impact. My current obsession is DIY solar power projects, which I've been building since 2020.

7 thoughts on “5 Best MPPT Charge Controllers”

  1. Great summary, and totally agree about the Victron. I started a solar project (powering my landscape lighting) with the Renogy Wanderer to control some 10 year old panels with 24 – 48v output, and an ExpertPower LiPo4 battery.

    The Renogy could not deal with these old panels and kept giving me all kinds of warnings. The Renogy support by email was not helpful. So upgraded to the Victron 100/20amp 12/24/48v controller. Hooked up the panels and they immediately worked fine.

    Basically the Renogy could not handle the high voltage. The price difference was steep, but I feel that the Victron was plug and play, has great software, and the app is excellent. I feel like I have room to grow with the Victron. Thanks for the reviews!

    1. Thanks for sharing. Yeah the Renogy Wanderer has a much lower PV voltage limit, so I wouldn’t expect it to be able to handle that many volts. Cool to hear you’ve had a good experience with the Victron as well.

    1. Hey Zach, good question. Morningstar charge controllers just aren’t that popular in the DIY solar space — at least not compared to the brands I tested. So it wasn’t worth the $300-400 to me to buy and test one. I’ve tested one of their PWMs, though, and it was well-made. I’d bet their MPPTs are also good quality.

  2. Hi Alex

    Great work you do here, i wanted to ask if you have tested hybrid inverter systems.
    Being on a low budget it makes sense to my pocket to buy an all in one system.

    I have been looking at the Epever upower 2000w / 24v system

    And the

    Iconica hybrid inverter 2000w / 24v
    I have looked at so many reviews but looking for someone who offers unbiased real reviews.
    If i could go with Victron i would but way out of my price range.

    Kind regards Sophie

    1. Hi Sophie, unfortunately I haven’t tested any all-in-one systems yet, so I can’t make any recommendations on which one to get. Your comment is the second I’ve gotten about them, so they’re definitely on my radar! I’ll try to get my hands on some soon.

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