from this thread on the Vanliving forum (nee CRVL):
All the suitcase panels I’ve looked at come with charge controllers attached.
Digression: panels with built-in solar charge controllers are niche products for niche use cases, and may be a good fit for people who mainly need to run real-time loads or recharge small power packs for later use. They are also used in Zamp-style “solar ready” RVs so the user doesn’t have to wire in a controller.
They aren’t used for General Purpose because:
- charge controllers are typically installed as close as practical to the battery banks they charge, due to voltage sag. Sag can cause both slow charging and chronic undercharging.
- charge controllers don’t like heat, and solar panels typically run ambient +50F in full sunlight
- they typically aren’t great charge controllers, and none are configurable AFAIK
- they can prevent multipanel arrangements
- solar generator thingies are expecting to do their own charge controlling
- perhaps other reasons I can’t think of mid-coffee
twitter comment thread for this post