All charge controllers from Xantrex feature a
3-stage PWM charging algorithm which is a big step up from the older
relay style controllers. The C12 is a small 12V/12A unit that is unique
in that it can operate as a charge controller and 12 VDC load controller
at the same time (something most other controllers can't do). The C12
also has a built-in automatic lighting control circuit that will turn a
12VDC light on at dusk and run it for a user adjustable time period or
from dusk-to-dawn if there is enough energy stored in the battery bank.
Add to this the fact that the C12 has user adjustable voltage set points,
a tri-color system status LED, battery temperature sensor option,
is outdoor rated and has a very versatile 12V charge/load/light
controller. The C12 measures 6.5" H x 4.3" W x 1.5" D and
features a two-year warranty.
The C35, C40, and C60 C-Series
controllers are 3-stage PWM controllers, but unlike the C12 they only operate as a charge controller or a load controller; they cant do both at the same time.
The C35 and the C60 can be used in 12V or 24V systems, while the
C40 can be used in 12, 24, or 48V systems.
Their amperage capacity is indicated by the model designation at 35, 40, and 60 amps
controllers can even be used as diversion regulators for hydro and wind
systems by sending excess power to an external heating element if the
batteries are full. All three of the C-Series controllers use the same enclosure,
but the C40 and C60 have an external heat sink on top to help dissipate
heat at high amperage levels. Xantrex
also offers an optional battery temperature sensor (15 or 35) as
well as a very handy digital display that can be used on all three C-Series
controllers. This display
shows array/load amperage, battery voltage, and cumulative amp-hours--very helpful information
when monitoring system
performance or doing trouble shooting.
This display can be mounted directly on the face of the C-Series
controllers or 50 to 100 away with the appropriate cable.
The C35 measures 8 H x 5 W x 2.5 D (w/o heat sink) while
the C40 & C60 measure 10 H x 5 W x 2.5 D (with heat sink). The Xantrex C-Series controllers feature a 2-year warranty
and have been the workhorse in the controller market for many years,
making them our top pick in medium- to high-capacity PWM controllers.