The Sunforce 7 Amp Charge Controller is designed for solar panels that are used to charge 12-volt batteries. When used in conjunction with 12-volt solar panels, the charge controller prevents the batteries from overcharging. It is rated at up to 7 amps of array current and solar electricity of up to 100 watts. The device features two LED light indicators: one to indicate a currently charged battery and one to indicate a fully charged battery. The unit measures 2.5 inches wide x 4 inches high x 1 inch deep and weighs only 1 pound.
Ease-of-use: The Sunforce 7 is simple to use, but it could have been made simpler by equipping it with screw-on terminals for the connecting wires. Instead, it simply has connector wires, and these are not of the best quality. Of course, they are designed for low current use, but stronger connector wires would mean they last longer, especially if the unit is to be moved around.
Another problem with Sunforce 7 is that LED colors and code flashes are nowhere explained in the manual. Steady green means fully charged, but the fast amber blinking, slow amber blinking, and steady amber light could mean just about anything. Otherwise, once they are installed, there is nothing really operate.
Maintenance: The Sunforce 7 stands up well as long as one condition is met: it has some sort of protection from the elements. This unit is not weather-proof. It could become inoperable in precipitation, and it will show signs of wear quickly if left in the open. Water can easily get inside the case where the front and back panels meet. It may require cleaning if left out for long, but these units are so inexpensive, it is not that big a deal. If kept out of the weather, there is no maintenance required except for an occasional dusting.
Functionality: This charge controller does exactly what it claims to do. It keeps 12-volt batteries from becoming overcharged, and it also prevents the charge from leaking out of the batteries during times when no charge is possible, such as at night or on overcast days. Once the unit is connected, it simply works and will work for as long as the circuits remain free of corrosion and damage.
• Simple to use
• Works as advertised
• Low price
• Low quality connecting wires
• No screw terminals
• Not weather-proof
• Indecipherable LED codes