If you’re looking for an entry-level charge controller for off-grid solar applications, the Wanderer Solar Charge Controller from Renogy is an excellent option. This simple controller regulates the power coming in from the solar panels and uses it to charge a deep cycle solar battery.
Here’s a video review that we made.
Using the Renogy Wanderer
To use the Wanderer, you connect the solar panels’ plus and minus cables to the battery. It’s important to connect the battery first before plugging in the panels, as doing it the other way around can cause issues.
The Wanderer also has a temperature sensor option, so it can compensate for battery temperature. You can purchase a temperature sensor separately if you want to install one.
Once everything is connected, the Wanderer’s lights will come on. It has very simple color-changing LEDs to indicate the battery’s voltage. It can charge three different kinds of battery, including a lithium version. To select the battery type you’re using, press and hold the select button to cycle through the battery options.
Is the Renogy Wanderer Good?
In my experience, the Wanderer works fairly well. You don’t have any voltage monitoring on it, so you’ll need to use a multimeter plugged into the battery to get a good reading of your battery’s state of charge. However, it does keep the battery at a safe level of discharge, and charges it up to about 12.6 volts, which is a good level for a full charge.
If you’re looking for an entry-level charge controller, the Wanderer Solar Charge Controller from Renogy is a great option. It’s simple to use, and with the temperature sensor, you can ensure your battery is kept at a safe temperature during charging.
Plus, it’s very affordable, and is often one of the least expensive controllers on the market.
Ease of Use: 4/5
How We Tested it
To test the Wanderer Solar Charge Controller from Renogy, we used it with Renogy solar panels connected to a deep cycle battery for about three months. It worked well during that time, and kept the battery charged without appearing to damage it.
Where to Buy
You can buy the Renogy Wanderer on Amazon.
You can also buy directly from Renogy.
Reviews from Our Readers
Our readers chimed in with feedback on the Renogy Wanderer.
Richman1959 wrote “I’ve been “boondocking” for 5 years running this controller. Works great! I don’t know what some people expect for $30 but this does an excellent job. If you’re someone who needs a read-out, get the one with the rs232 jack and get a blue tooth module BT-1″
On the other hand, Steve C wrote “The first one I got worked for a little while charging a car battery then went berserk and quit, letting the battery go dead!”
The Wanderer can handle up to 50 volts DC on its input.