# How many watts can a 40 amp charge controller handle?

As a guide, the maximum number of watts that a 40 amp PWM charge controller can handle is approximately 480W for a 12 V battery system and 960W for a 24 V system provided it is mounted in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating.

For MPPT controllers, the maximum number of watts may be higher.

Take the EPEVER 40A MPPT controller as an example, the maximum number of watts:

• at 12V is 520W and 1040W at 24V

against

• 480W for 12V and 960W for a 40A PWM!

Always consult your charge controller manual to confirm the actual watts that the model can handle.

The total number of watts is a hard limit that should not be exceeded otherwise you will damage your controller.

## How temperature affects the watts a charge controller handles

The surrounding temperature affects the number of watts a controller can handle and its longevity. In fact, the controller may stop working as a self-protection measure against failure from overheating.

Charge controllers should be installed in a cool, well-ventilated area usually not more than 40°C/104°F (confirm with your controller manual) to perform as designed and prevent damage from overheating.

If the controller is installed in a higher temperature environment (not recommended), the number of watts needs to be lower.

## How to choose a solar panel (Watts) for a charge controller rating (amps)

Easy method
You can use the calculator below to easily work out the PWM or MPPT charge controller amp rating
that can handle the selected solar panels sizes connected in series or parallel.

Note: This is a guide only – always consult a Solar system professional for guidance. To use the calculator, you need to know the maximum operating voltage Vmp and maximum operating current Imp for each panel. These can be found in the solar panel’s technical specification

Detailed (longer) method
Here I outline the detailed method, step by step, on how to check if the solar panel sizes can work with a charge controller.

For solar panels to work effectively with the charge controller and no damage, first,

• make sure the equivalent voltage of the solar panels connected in either parallel or series is less
than the maximum input voltage of the controller.
• the current generated by the solar panels connected in either parallel or series is less
than the maximum input current of the controller.

Using a 40 amp controller as an example

Scenario#1 Will a 40 amp PWM charge controller handle 2, 100 W solar panels in series

First note the charge controller maximum input voltage and current values

• maximum input current of controller: 40A
• maximum input voltage of controller: 23V

Each 100W, 12 panel generates 100/12=8.3A. 2 panels in series generate: 8.3A which is less than the charge controller maximum of 40A.

Each 100W, 12V panel generates ~23V. 2 panels in series generate: 46V which exceeds the controller voltage.

No, this controller will not work!

Scenario#2 Will a 40 amp MPPT charge controller handle 2, 100 W solar panels in series

First note the charge controller maximum input voltage and current values

• maximum input current of controller: 40A
• maximum input voltage of controller: 100V

Each 100W, 12 panel generates 100/12=8.3A. 2 panels in series generate: 8.3A which is less than the charge controller maximum of 40A.

Each 100W, 12V panel generates ~23V. 2 panels in series generate: 46V which is less than the controller maximum voltage.

Yes, this controller will work!

Related questions – how many watts various charge controller sizes can handle

Note: This is a guide and actual values may differ from this – consult your charge controller manual to be sure.

## How many watts can a 30 amp charge controller handle?

A 30 amp PWM solar charge controller can handle approximately 360W for a 12V battery system and 720W for a 24V battery system. For MPPT controllers, the maximum number of watts may be slightly higher.

## How many watts can a 20 amp charge controller handle?

A 20 amp PWM solar charge controller can handle approximately 260W for a 12V battery system and 520W for a 24V battery system. For MPPT controllers, the maximum number of watts may be slightly higher.

## How many watts can a 10 amp charge controller handle?

A 10 amp PWM solar charge controller can handle approximately 120W for a 12V battery system and 240W for a 24V battery system. For MPPT controllers, the maximum number of watts may be slightly higher.

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