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CLEAN ENERGY REVIEWS. Renogy rover 60a

CLEAN ENERGY REVIEWS. Renogy rover 60a

    Renogy Solar Charge Controller Series: A Comprehensive Review Of The MPPT Range

    As RV, travel trailer, motorhome, and camper van owners, we increasingly use solar power for our energy needs.

    Finding a suitable solar charge controller becomes essential to maximize the potential of our solar panels and charge our RV batteries.

    Renogy’s MPPT solar charge controller range is undoubtedly worth considering due to its advanced technology, high efficiency, and excellent value for money.

    Renogy’s range of solar charge controllers includes three series:

    We’ve got our hands on four models from their range series:

    • Rover 100 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
    • Rover 60 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
    • Rover Li 40 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
    • REGO 12V 60A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

    In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the Renogy MPPT solar charge controller range, including the Rover 20A 30A and the Elite series.

    • introduce the range,
    • discuss specifications,
    • features,
    • key benefits,
    • installation process, and
    • compare the models.

    By the end, you’ll clearly understand which model best suits your vehicle and solar power requirements.

    When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, please check our disclosure page.

    Disclaimer: Renogy sent us some MPPT solar charge controllers for this review. However, the content of this post is not sponsored by Renogy, and all opinions are our own.

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    Introduction To The Renogy Solar Charge Controller Range

    Renogy is a well-known brand in the solar industry. They offer high-quality products designed for efficiency and durability.

    The MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) solar charge controller series is no exception.

    These controllers optimize the energy harvested from solar panels, ensuring your RV or camper gets the most out of its solar power system.

    Renogy’s charge controllers offer an outstanding balance between performance and affordability. It makes them an excellent choice for your RV or camper solar power system.

    The Complete Renogy Solar Charge Controller Range

    Rover 60A

    Rover 30A

    Rover Elite 40A

    Key Benefits

    The Renogy MPPT solar charge controller range offers several critical benefits for RV and camper owners:

    • Efficiency: You know, MPPT technology helps you get the most energy from your solar panels, which means more power for you.
    • Versatility: They come in different sizes and work with various battery systems, so they’re perfect for all kinds of solar setups.
    • Ease of Use: With a simple LCD screen and customizable settings, it’s super easy to keep an eye on things and make adjustments as needed.
    • Safety: Built-in protection mechanisms guard against overcharging, short-circuiting, and other potential hazards.
    • Price: Plus, they’re affordable compared to other MPPT controllers on the market. For instance, popular alternatives like Victron’s MPPT controllers often come with a heftier price tag.

    By choosing Renogy, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of an efficient and versatile MPPT controller without breaking the bank.

    Renogy MPPT Charge Controllers Compared: Rover vs. Elite vs. Rego

    The Renogy Rover, Elite, and Rego MPPT charge controllers all offer a range of features and specifications to suit different applications.

    The Renogy Rover is a 12V/24V/36V/48V auto-detecting MPPT charge controller with a maximum solar panel input of 100V and up to 98% efficiency.

    The range offers an output power of between 20A and 100A. When paired with Renogy’s BT-1 Bluetooth module, it can be monitored via the Renogy App or Renogy One.

    The Renogy Elite is a 12V/24V auto-detecting MPPT charge controller with a maximum solar panel input of 100V and up to 96% efficiency.

    Depending on the model, it has an output power of between 20 and 40A. It can also be monitored via Bluetooth when paired with Renogy’s BT-2 Bluetooth module.

    Finally, the Renogy Rego Solar Charge Controller is a 12V-only MPPT charge controller with a maximum solar panel input of 100V and up to 99% efficiency.

    There is currently only one model in the range, the 60A, with an output power of 60A. It can be monitored via Bluetooth out of the box.

    All three series are highly reliable, so you can be confident, no matter which series best suits your RV solar panel system.

    How do you determine which Renogy MPPT charge controller best suits your needs?

    There are only a few differences between the series, so we’ll FOCUS on those differences in the following sections.

    System Battery Voltage

    Most campers, RVs, and van conversions run with 12v batteries, with a smaller number running 24v systems.

    If you run a 12v setup, the entire range is compatible.

    For 24v systems, the Elite and Rover series are suitable.

    clean, energy, reviews, renogy, rover

    For the few RVers running 36 or 48v systems, only the Rover series will suit.

    Bluetooth Monitoring

    The Renogy Rover and Elite series can connect to Bluetooth, but you must buy a separate Bluetooth module.

    The Rover series uses the older BT-1 module, and the Elite needs the BT-2 module. These Bluetooth modules cost around 40 and are straightforward to set up.

    Finally, there’s the Rego MPPT, which has Bluetooth built right in without additional accessories.

    This makes installation much more straightforward than with the other two models.

    Once connected to Bluetooth, all three charge controllers can be monitored via Renogy’s mobile app or the Renogy One.

    With these features, users have greater control over their solar systems and can easily monitor their performance.

    Conversion Efficiency

    Renogy Rover, Renogy Elite, and Renogy Rego MPPT charge controllers are all excellent options when it comes to converting solar energy into usable electric energy.

    The conversion efficiency of the Renogy Rover and the Rego series is 98%, and the Renogy Elite is 96%.

    These values reflect how well each product can convert solar energy into usable electric energy and how this affects the overall performance of off-grid solar systems and RVers.

    clean, energy, reviews, renogy, rover

    The Renogy Rego Rover MPPT series stand out due to their superior conversion efficiency of 98%.

    That means more solar energy is converted into usable electric energy, producing higher output power for an off-grid solar system or RVer.

    Load Terminals

    Only the Rover series offers a load terminal feature.

    It comes with a 20A load terminal so you can plug a USB device directly into the controller, enabling it to charge straight from solar power instead of relying on the battery.

    However, for RVers who spend most of their time traveling, this feature may not be as essential as it seems.

    We never found ourselves using this feature in our five years of full-time travel.

    Most RVers have access to other charging options, making the direct solar charging option less of a priority.

    While the load terminal feature of the Renogy Rover is an exciting addition, it may not be crucial for RVers as we usually have more convenient charging points.

    Max Input From Solar Panels

    Each of Renogy’s MPPT charge controllers has a maximum amount of solar panels it can handle measured in watts.

    We’ve listed the maximum watts the largest model in each series can handle.

    The Renogy Elite is designed for smaller solar systems, supporting up to 520 watts at 12 volts. This makes it suitable for smaller setups or those with limited space for solar panels.

    The Renogy Rover 100A can handle a considerably larger wattage, supporting up to 1300 watts at 12 volts.

    That makes it ideal for more extensive solar systems or those looking to expand their solar capabilities in the future.

    Lastly, the Renogy Rego offers a middle ground between the two, supporting up to 800 watts at 12 volts. This option caters to users who require a moderate solar system size that balances power generation and space requirements.

    Regardless of which series you choose, ensure you read the model’s specifications to ensure it has the proper wattage input for your solar system.

    Max Input Volts From Solar Panels

    When comparing the max input volts from solar panels supported by the Renogy Rover, Renogy Elite, and Renogy Rego MPPT charge controllers, it’s essential to understand how this feature relates to your solar panel wiring configuration.

    The way you wire your solar panels, either in series or parallel, will directly impact the voltage entering the charge controller.

    The Renogy Rover 100A supports a maximum input voltage of 150V, making it suitable for most series solar panel configurations with up to about 6 or 7 panels.

    The Renogy Elite 40A, on the other hand, supports a lower maximum input voltage of 100V. However, as it can only handle up to 520w of power, 100V is more than enough.

    The Renogy Rego supports a maximum input voltage of 100V too. You must be careful here if you’re wiring your panels in series.

    If you have 8 x 100w solar panels, their input voltage is around 20V each. So while the Rego could support 800w, it can’t support 8 x 20V (160V) input voltage. In this case, you’d need to install 4 x 200w panels which will likely result in less than 100v.

    Check your solar panel specifications carefully.

    Operating Temperature

    There’s some difference between the series’ operating temperatures.

    Both Rover and Elite series can handle temperatures as cold as.35°C /.31°F while the Rego needs to be a relatively toasty.25°C /.13°F.

    At the other end of the scale, both Rego and Elite series’ can cope at 65℃ / 149°F while the Rover operates up to about 45℃ / 113°F.

    All that said, it’s unlikely that the operating conditions will ever be that cold inside your camper (at least if you’re in there with it).

    And there are many ways to keep your RV cool in summer, so neither you nor your charge controller cook.

    Battery Charging Parameters

    The Renogy Rover MPPT charge controller offers a unique feature that allows users to select a battery with custom parameters instead of being limited to regular lithium or lead-acid batteries.

    By enabling custom parameters, the Renogy Rover ensures that the charge controller can efficiently and safely manage the charging process for various battery types, optimizing performance and extending battery life.

    This feature is essential for any RVer utilizing a non-standard battery, as it ensures compatibility between the charge controller and the battery, preventing potential damage or inefficiencies caused by using incompatible components.

    Battery Voltage Sensor

    The Renogy Elite is compatible with the battery voltage sensor.

    It’s a small cable that more accurately detects the battery’s voltage to improve the charging from the controller.

    The Rego nor the Rover are compatible. However, charging profiles are probably superior to the Elite, and they don’t need it.

    LCD Display

    One notable feature that the Renogy Rego 60A MPPT charge controller lacks is an LCD, which could be considered a downside for some.

    The absence of an integrated display may make it more challenging to monitor system performance and access essential information quickly.

    However, the Renogy Rego compensates for this with Bluetooth connectivity, so you can access real-time data and system settings via your mobile device.

    That makes the lack of an LCD arguably less critical.

    Terminal Connectors

    When it comes to connecting cables, both the Renogy Elite and Renogy Rover use screw terminals, which can be a bit trickier to install compared to other types of connectors.

    You might need pin crimps and extra care during installation to ensure everything is securely connected.

    Remember that these screwed terminals could come loose over time because of vibrations or temperature changes, so you’ll want to check them now and then to keep your system running smoothly.

    On the other hand, the Renogy Rego has these neat Anderson connectors that make installation a breeze.

    They’re designed for fast and secure connections, so you won’t have to worry about them coming loose as much.

    But there’s one thing to remember – you’ll need to buy compatible Anderson connector cables separately, which means an extra cost compared to the other models.

    The price of these cables can vary based on their length and quality, so remember to consider this when comparing the overall costs of different charge controllers.

    Size/Volume

    The Renogy Elite is the smallest and lightest among the three series, making it an excellent choice for those with limited space or prefer a more compact setup.

    Its reduced size and weight can simplify the installation process and allow for easier integration into tight spaces, ensuring a seamless fit into your solar system without sacrificing performance.

    The Renogy Rego, on the other hand, is almost a quarter smaller than the Rover 60A model, offering a more compact design while still maintaining its advanced features and capabilities.

    This balanced approach between size and functionality makes the Rego attractive for those seeking versatility and space-saving benefits without compromising performance.

    Lastly, the Renogy Rover 100A is the largest in the Renogy range, with its considerable size reflecting its higher capacity and more robust feature set.

    While this massive solar charge controller may be suitable for larger solar systems, it’s essential to account for the additional space requirements when planning your installation to ensure a proper fit within your RV camper.

    Price

    When comparing the costs of the Renogy Rover, Renogy Rego, and Renogy Elite solar charge controllers, it’s crucial to compare appropriate model sizes across the series to ensure a fair assessment.

    The Renogy Elite series has two models priced similarly to their comparable models in the Renogy Rover series.

    This similarity in price means you can FOCUS on the specific features and capabilities that best suit your solar system’s requirements, such as the smaller size of the Elite or the custom battery parameter support provided by the Rover.

    When comparing the 60A models in the Renogy Rover and Renogy Rego series, the Rover 60A is typically around 100 cheaper than the Rego 60A.

    This price difference may make the Rover 60A more appealing to those on a tighter budget or with smaller solar systems.

    However, it’s essential to consider the additional features and capabilities of the Rego 60A, such as the ease of installation and extended warranty.

    Warranty

    The Renogy Rego stands out with a generous 5-year warranty, providing extended peace of mind and protection for your investment.

    This extended warranty coverage can be particularly appealing, as it ensures support and assistance from the manufacturer in case of any issues or defects within the warranty period.

    In contrast, both the Renogy Rover and Renogy Elite solar charge controllers come with a standard 2-year warranty, offering a more limited duration of coverage compared to the Rego.

    While this shorter warranty period may be sufficient, it is worth considering the potential benefits of the longer warranty offered by the Rego when making your decision.

    Installation Process

    Installing a Renogy MPPT solar charge controller in your RV or camper is relatively straightforward. Here’s a simplified step-by-step process:

    • Determine the ideal location for the charge controller, ensuring it’s close to the battery bank and away from heat sources.
    • Mount the charge controller to the wall using the provided mounting holes.
    • Connect the battery cables to the charge controller’s battery terminals, taking care to match the positive and negative polarities.
    • Connect the solar panel cables to the charge controller’s PV terminals, again paying attention to polarity.
    • Connect the load cables to the charge controller’s load terminals if applicable.
    • Turn on the charge controller and configure the settings using the LCD.

    Always consult the user manual for detailed instructions, and consider hiring a professional if you need clarification on any part of the installation process.

    Comparing The Most Popular Sizes

    When choosing between the Elite, Rover, and Rego series, consider your vehicle’s size, solar power system requirements, and future expansion plans.

    Here’s a quick comparison of the three:

    • Elite: Ideal for smaller RVs and campers with modest power needs. Best suited for 12V/24V battery systems and solar arrays up to 520W with a max input voltage of 100V.
    • Rego: A versatile option for mid-sized vehicles with larger solar arrays. Compatible with 12V battery systems and solar arrays up to 800W with a max input voltage of 100V.
    • Rover: Perfect for large RVs and campers with extensive power requirements. It can handle 12V/24V/36V/48V battery systems and solar arrays up to 1300W with a max input voltage of 150V.

    Final Verdict and Noteworthy Takeaways

    The Renogy MPPT solar charge controller range is:

    The best model for you will depend on your specific needs and system requirements:

    • Choose the Elite series for smaller vehicles and modest power needs.
    • Opt for the Rego series if you have a mid-sized vehicle with larger solar arrays.
    • Go for the Rover series if you own a large RV or camper with extensive power requirements.

    No matter which series you choose, always FOCUS on safety during installation and consult the user manual for detailed guidance.

    Welcome!

    Hey there! We’re Angela Graham. We live travel full-time in our DIY Sprinter van conversion, Baloo. We’re using our little corner of the internet to help you convert your own camper and inspire a few adventures too. We’d love for you to join us!

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    This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. And as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, please check our disclosure page.

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    January 7, 2022 Jason Svarc

    Best mid-range MPPT solar charge controllers up to 40A

    In this article, we review six of the most popular, mid-level MPPT solar charge controllers commonly used for small scale solar power systems up to 2kW. These are more affordable, lower voltage (100-150V) units, which are generally designed for 12V or 24V battery systems, although several can be used on 48V batteries. A number of these charge controllers also feature inbuilt load control terminals for basic DC lighting and other loads.

    In this review, we don’t list simple PWM controllers used for DC lighting and basic systems since there are many sites already covering these entry-level PWM controllers. For high-performance MPPT solar charge controllers with higher input voltages up to 300V and current ratings from 60A to 100A, see our high-power MPPT solar charge controllers review.

    What is a solar charge controller?

    A solar charge controller, also known as a solar regulator, is a battery charge regulator connected between the solar array and battery. Its job is to regulate the solar output to ensure the battery is charged correctly and not overcharged. DC coupled solar charge controllers been around for decades and are used in most small scale off-grid solar power systems.

    Top 6 Solar Charge Controllers

    Mid-level solar controllers up to 40A

    Smaller capacity MPPT solar charge controllers with a current rating from 20A to 40A are used for many different applications including off-grid cabins and homes, RV’s, boats, caravans, telecommunications and remote site backup. These mid-range MPPT solar charge controllers are available from many different manufacturers, but this review will FOCUS on the most popular and best quality charge controllers from the most reputable manufacturers which have been on the market for several years.

    No# image Model Current A Max Voc Batt Voltages Price range
    1 Victron SmartSolar MPPT 35 A 150V 12V 24V 36V 48V 350 to 480
    2 EPever TRIRON Series 40 A 150V 12V 24V 150 to 250
    3 Morningstar ProStar MPPT 40 A 120V 12V 24V 460 to 540
    4 EPever XTRA Series 40 A 150V 12V 24V 36V 48V 130 to 190
    5 Renogy Rover 40 A 100V 12V 24V 150 to 190
    6 EPever BN Series 40 A 150V 12V 24V 170 to 250

    Comparison Criteria

    In this review, we rank the various charge controllers according to a number of important criteria including build quality, MPPT tracking speed, battery voltage range, operating temperature range (heat dissipation), monitoring, real-world performance and price. In our reviews, we generally rank performance and quality over affordability, so in this case, we rate the unit price lower than other criteria. This may come across as bias towards the more expensive models, but based on real-world results, testing and performance monitoring, the higher-end controllers have proven to out-perform the cheaper models.

    Read more about selecting and correct sizing a solar charge controller in the MPPT solar charge controllers explained article.

    Victron SmartSolar

    Victron Energy is considered a world leader in power electronics and specialise in manufacturing equipment required for off-grid and stand-alone power systems including, inverters, batteries, chargers, monitors and of course, solar charge controllers. Based in the Netherlands, Victron manufacture many products in India and have become well known for producing quality, reliable off-grid battery inverter/chargers and a wide range of quality MPPT solar charge controllers.

    Victron offer a huge range of solar charge controllers, from small 10A PWM models, to high-performance 100A MPPT varieties with high voltage inputs up to 250V. The MPPT 150V models appear very simple in design, and may not have a display or load control terminals like many others, however, where Victron out performs the competition is in MPPT tracking performance, communications and monitoring.

    Victron have by far the most advanced system monitoring with inbuilt Bluetooth connection offering easy programming and configuration, plus remote firmware updates which add extra features and options. The display-less design may not please all users, but the fast, accurate MPPT tracking, high build quality, and V.E. Smart networking options are stand-out features.

    Smartsolar MPPT 150V 35A

    • Fast MPP Tracking
    • 150V max Voc
    • 12V, 24V or 48V batteries
    • Compatible with LiFePO4 Lithium batteries
    • Very advanced monitoring app
    • Wide operating temperature up to 60°C
    • Inbuilt temp sensor
    • Optional wireless battery sensor
    • Easy remote firmware updates
    • 5 Year warranty

    See the detailed Victron Energy Review

    EPever TRIRON Series

    EPever was founded in 2007 and has grown rapidly to become one of the largest Chinese manufacturers of cost-effective power products including a wide range of MPPT solar charge controllers. The Triron series is the next evolution to the well-known Tracer series of MPPT’s.

    The TRIRON series from EPever is a much more advanced and user-friendly version of the original AN series of charge controllers. The TRIRON controllers have a unique swappable display module as well as a swappable interface module with an RS485 communication option that can be used for a number of different applications. Note, maximum PV voltage is either 100V or 150V depending on the model. The 5 button display module is very easy to use and provide all the important information you need about the PV, battery and load. Wireless access is available via the eBox-BLE Bluetooth adapter or the Wi-Fi adapter is available for remote monitoring.

    TRIRON Series MPPT 150V 40A

    • Fast MPP Tracking
    • 150V max Voltage Voc (TRIRON 3215N 4215N)
    • Easy to use with a large clear display
    • Compatible with Lead-acid and Lithium batteries
    • 40A Load control
    • Swappable display and interface modules
    • RS485 Interface for communications and remote control
    • USB Port and relay control options
    • Optional Temp sensor

    Morningstar Prostar MPPT

    Morningstar are a well-established company based in the US with 25 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing high-performance solar charge controllers. Morningstar is widely recognized as developing some of the best quality products on the market with high levels of protection against extreme environments, lightning surges and high operating temperatures.

    The Prostar range of MPPT charge controllers are available in 25A and 40A versions with a 120V input voltage limit. The extremely fast MPP tracking can perform a full voltage sweep in less than 1 second using the Trakstar technology. The device features good size terminals protected under a front cover, including load control output terminals rated up to 30A, plus a clear backlit LCD display and can easily programmed using the 4 large buttons. However, the very high price tag means the Prostar MPPT series is out of reach for many users.

    Prostar MPPT 120V 40A

    • Very fast MPP Tracking
    • 120V max Voc
    • Compatible with LiFePO4 Lithium batteries
    • Wide operating temp up to 60°C
    • 30A Load control
    • High surge protection
    • Optional Battery sensor
    • 5 Year warranty

    EPever XTRA Series

    EPever, also known as EPsolar, was founded in 2007 in Beijing, China and has grown rapidly to become one of the largest manufacturers of cost-effective solar power products including a wide range of MPPT charge controllers. The XTRA series of MPPT’s released in early 2018, have only recently become more popular due to the low cost, easy setup, and lithium battery compatibility.

    The XTRA series is available in 10 different options with 3 display types, current ratings from 10 to 40A, battery voltages from 12V to 48V, and input voltage limit up to 150V. In comparison to the older AN series which had a 100V input limit, the XTRA series features lithium battery compatibility and a higher input 150V voltage (Voc) on the 30 and 40A models, plus a modern look and concealed screw terminals. Note, the two-button version with LCD is basically the older AN series controller in a modern package.

    XTRA Series MPPT 40A

    • Good MPP Tracking
    • Three display options with a clear simple LCD
    • Compatible with most Lithium LiFePO4 batteries
    • 40A Load control
    • Optional MT50 display
    • Optional Temp sensor
    • Optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module
    • Low cost

    5. Renogy Rover

    Renogy, founded in the US in 2014, recently became a very popular choice for solar enthusiasts across the world due to the low-cost, easy setup and good MPPT tracking. Renogy manufacture a wide range of affordable inverters, DC converters and solar charge controllers in China.

    The Rover series from Renogy is a feature packed MPPT controller with a clear inbuilt display, plus a low-cost (optional) Bluetooth adapter which provides a great, easy to use interface with many configuration options. Load control terminals are built-in, although the output is limited to 20A. The overall build quality is quite good, however there are some area’s which could be improved, most notably the cable terminals which are far too small for a 40A controller.

    Rover MPPT 100V 40A

    • Good MPP Tracking
    • Clear Simple display
    • Compatible with Lithium (12.8V LiFePO4)
    • 20A Load control
    • Advanced Bluetooth app and user settings
    • Temp sensor included
    • Low cost

    6. Outback BN series by EPever

    The Outback Power Flexmax40 is made by EPever and is commonly known as the Tracer BN series which is a well known affordable MPPT controller.

    clean, energy, reviews, renogy, rover

    EPever one of the leading manufacturers of cost-effective power products including a wide range of solar charge controllers. The well-known Tracer and TRIRON series of MPPT’s are a very popular choice for solar enthusiasts across the world due to the easy setup, good MPPT tracking, and low cost.

    The first generation AN series is the best-known MPPT in the range, being a low-cost 100V unit with an inbuilt display. However, the BN series is the more expensive higher-performance version with many extra features including a 150V input voltage limit, heavy-duty robust design, large heatsink, and huge input terminals which can accept a cable size up to 50mm2 (1 AWG).

    The obvious feature lacking from the BN series is the display. However, monitoring and configuration is available via the additional remote MT50 display which features a good clear LCD screen showing all the basic information required. Wireless access is also available via the eBox-BLE Bluetooth adapter.

    Tracer BN Series MPPT 150V 40A

    • Very large screw terminals
    • Large heatsink and wide operating temperature range
    • 12V, 24V batteries
    • 150V max Voc
    • Wide MPP voltage range
    • 20A Load control
    • Remote MT50 display with settings and load control
    • Optional Temp sensor

    Renogy Rover MPPT Charge Controller Review

    Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one, at no extra cost to you I may earn a small commission.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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:

    • Press the down arrow button until you get to the battery voltage screen
    • Hold the right arrow button until the battery type selector starts flashing at the bottom of the screen
    • Press the down arrow button to cycle through the options
    • 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.

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

    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:

    • Open the Renogy DC Home app
    • Create an account or log in, if needed
    • Tap the plus sign in the top right corner
    • Tap “Add Devices” and wait for the app to search for your device
    • 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.
    • Tap on the Rover from your list of devices
    • 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:

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

    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.

    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.

    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 Don’t Like

    Who This Charge Controller Isn’t for

    Renogy Rover vs Rover Elite

    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:

    • The Rover has custom charging profiles. The Rover Elite does not.
    • The Rover is compatible with the BT-1 Bluetooth Module, while the Rover Elite is compatible with the BT-2 Bluetooth Module.
    • The Rover Elite is compatible with the Renogy Battery Voltage Sensor. The Rover 40A is not.

    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.

    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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