Renogy Rover MPPT Charge Controller Review

This is my hands-on review of the Renogy Rover MPPT charge controller.

I spent weeks testing it on its own as well as alongside 4 of the best MPPT charge controllers on the market. I installed it in my basement, tested out its mobile app, and compared its voltage accuracy and max power output to the competition.

After all that, I think the Renogy Rover is the MPPT that offers the best bang for your buck. It works with the main types of solar batteries (including lithium), lets you create custom charging profiles, and — for an additional purchase — pairs with your phone via Bluetooth for remote monitoring.

And you get all those features for a good price.

Full review: Best MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Budget Pick

Renogy Rover 40A

A well-made and affordable MPPT charge controller

The Rover offers the best bang for your buck of all the MPPTs I tried. It’s best for 12V systems of 520 watts or less and 24V systems of 1040 watts or less.

Check Price
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)

Renogy Rover Review

Unboxing & First Impressions

Here’s a quick unboxing video of the Rover 40A.

Here’s what came in the box, in order of appearance:

  • Product manual
  • Warranty card and marketing materials
  • Renogy Rover 40A charge controller
  • Temperature sensor
  • Mounting brackets

In addition to all the standard MPPT features, the Rover 40A has a screen, load terminals and ports for connecting the Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module (an additional purchase) and the included temperature sensor.

Installation

I took the Rover down to my basement to install it in a test system.

To test it out, I installed the Renogy Rover in a solar power system in my basement.

I used four screws to mount it to a wooden board I use as a mounting surface. Next, I connected a 12V LiFePO4 battery to the Rover and selected my battery type.

To select your battery type:

  1. Press the down arrow button until you get to the battery voltage screen
  2. Hold the right arrow button until the battery type selector starts flashing at the bottom of the screen
  3. Press the down arrow button to cycle through the options
  4. Once you’ve selected your battery type, hold the right arrow button to lock in your selection.

Here’s a video of the process:

Then I connected a 100 watt solar panel to start solar charging the battery.

The wire terminals are okay, but not my favorite. At first glance, they looked spacious and well-made. During installation, though, the screws felt loose. If I unscrewed them too much, it was hard to tighten them back down again.

It’s a minor gripe overall. And the wires never slipped out during use.

Bluetooth

To pair the Rover 40A to your phone, you need to buy the Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module.

The Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module, an additional purchase, is required to pair your Rover to your phone via Bluetooth.

Once you do, you plug it into the Rover’s RS232 port. Then download the Renogy DC Home mobile app.

Download: iOS | Android

Note: There is an older version of the Renogy app called Renogy BT that you can still find on the app stores as of this writing. Do not download that version.

To pair your Rover to your phone using the app:

  1. Open the Renogy DC Home app
  2. Create an account or log in, if needed
  3. Tap the plus sign (+) in the top right corner
  4. Tap “Add Devices” and wait for the app to search for your device
  5. Tap “Confirm” when the app finds your device. The app will take you back to the home screen and you’ll see the Rover appear in your list of devices.
  6. Tap on the Rover from your list of devices
  7. Browse your system’s specs on the screen that appears. You can see numbers like PV watts and battery charging voltage. At any point you can pull down to refresh for the latest numbers.

Here’s a video of the process:

You don’t pair it by going to your phone’s Bluetooth settings. It’s a different process than most Bluetooth devices.

Now you can monitor your solar power system from your phone. After pairing, mine told me my 100 watt solar panel was outputting a measly 2 watts — due to it being overcast at the time. It also showed my battery was sitting at around 13.1 volts.

You can also edit some system settings from the app, such as battery type, and view your energy production over time.

To select your battery type from the app:

  1. Open the Renogy DC Home app
  2. Click on your device
  3. Tap the 3 horizontal dots in the top right corner
  4. Tap “Settings”
  5. Tap the down arrow to the right of the Battery Type setting
  6. Select your battery type from the list of battery presets, or select “User” to create a custom charging profile
  7. Tap “Confirm” to lock in your selection

Here’s a video of the process:

As a simple test of the Rover’s Bluetooth range, I went to the second story of my house to see if my phone would still connect. I’d estimate I was 30-35 feet from the Rover, and the Bluetooth still connected just fine.

Voltage Accuracy

Charge controllers measure battery voltage, but oftentimes their measurements aren’t exact. The size and direction of the error can affect how good your controller is at charging your battery to the right levels.

So I checked the voltage accuracy of all the MPPTs I tested against a multimeter at the battery terminals.

Here are my results:

The Rover placed fourth in this test with an average voltage discrepancy of 0.175 volts. Compare that to the Victron SmartSolar MPPT which placed first with an average of 0.075 volts.

Power Output

I also used the Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor to measure the max power output of all the MPPTs when connected to a 200-watt solar array.

Performing a power output test with the Victron SmartSolar MPPT

Here are my results:

The Rover tied for last in this test with a max output of 142 watts. The Victron SmartSolar MPPT again placed first with a max output of 146 watts.

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

A difference of 4 watts between first and last isn’t that big, especially considering the variables I couldn’t control — such as moment-to-moment fluctuations in solar irradiance and solar panel temperature. Changes in both of those affect solar panel output.

Key Specs

Note: These specs are for the model I tested, the Renogy Rover 40A. Renogy has a whole Rover product line with different charge current ratings, PV voltage limits and compatible battery voltages.

  • Rated charge current: 40A
  • Maximum PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
  • Battery voltage: 12/24V
  • Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom
  • Maximum PV input power: 520W @ 12V, 1040W @ 24V
  • Maximum wire size: 8 AWG (10 mm2)
  • Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (requires additional purchase)
  • Temperature sensor: Yes (included)
  • Power consumption: ≤100mA @ 12V, ≤58mA @ 24V
  • Operating temperature: -35 to +45°C (-31 to +113°F)

What I Like

  • It’s a good value. I think the Rover offers the best bang for your buck of all the MPPT charge controllers I’ve used.
  • It’s compatible with all the main types of solar batteries. It has presets for the most common types of lithium and lead acid batteries. It also lets you create custom charging profiles.
  • For an additional purchase, you can pair your Rover to your phone for remote monitoring. If you buy the Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module, you can use the Renogy DC Home app to monitor your system from your phone.

What I Don’t Like

  • It placed second to last in my voltage accuracy test. Good voltage accuracy helps the charge controller charge and your battery to the right levels. Normally I’d just recommend buying the Renogy Battery Voltage Sensor. But it isn’t compatible with the Rover 40A.

Who This Charge Controller Is for

  1. You want the best bang for your buck. After testing 5 of the best MPPT charge controllers side by side, I think the Rover offers the best value for the price.
  2. You want Bluetooth monitoring. For an additional purchase, you can add Bluetooth capabilities to the Rover. It’s a great upgrade, and one that isn’t available on most cheap MPPTs.

Who This Charge Controller Isn’t for

  1. You want a top-of-the-line MPPT and are willing to pay for it. In that case, I’d recommend the Victron SmartSolar MPPT, my overall favorite MPPT charge controller.

Renogy Rover vs Rover Elite

The Renogy Rover 40A (left) and the Renogy Rover Elite 40A

Despite its name, the Renogy Rover Elite is actually cheaper than the Renogy Rover. Beyond price, here are the main differences I noticed between them:

I recommend the Rover if you want to create custom charging profiles for your batteries, or if you already own the BT-1 Bluetooth Module. The Rover Elite is a good budget option if you only plan on using the battery presets.

Top Alternatives

  • Renogy Rover Elite 40A. If you only plan on using your charge controller’s preset battery profiles, you could save some money by going with the Rover Elite. It’s a little cheaper and still compatible with all of the most common types of solar batteries. Also, it still has the option for Bluetooth monitoring if you buy the Renogy BT-2 Bluetooth Module.
  • Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30. This is the MPPT I recommend if you want the best of the best. It was my favorite of the 5 MPPTs I tested. It has Bluetooth built-in and the Victron mobile app has tons of features and customization options. It is quite pricey, though. Read my full Victron SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller Review.
  • Renogy Wanderer 30A. If you instead just need a PWM charge controller, I’d recommend the Wanderer. It’s best for small 12V solar power systems of 400 watts or less. PWMs are less efficient, but much more affordable. Check out my comparison of PWM and MPPT charge controllers if you’re unsure which type to get.

The Bottom Line

After testing 5 of the best MPPT charge controllers on the market, I think the Renogy Rover offers the best bang for your buck.

It has all of the features that I want to see in an MPPT — compatibility with all the main types of solar batteries, custom charging profiles, optional Bluetooth monitoring and a good mobile app.

And, compared to other top MPPTs, the Rover gives you all those features for a pretty fair price.

A small ask: If you found my Renogy Rover MPPT review helpful and are planning to buy one, please consider buying through one of my affiliate links below — I’ll get a small commission 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.

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