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C12 Charge Controller

The C12 has a LED status light displaying both charging functions and battery charge state at a glance. This controller is used worldwide in a variety of applications.

Product Info | Specifications | Datasheet


12 Amp 3-stage Solar Charge, DC Load and Auto Lighting Controller

The C12 charge, lighting, or load controller is uniquely sophisticated. As a charge controller, it features three-stage charging, user definable voltage parameters, and automatic equalization. Standard in the C12's load control circuitry are field adjustable low voltage disconnect and reconnect points, along with a five minute low battery disconnect warning. The C12 also functions as a lighting controller. Lighting run time is adjustable from 2 to 8 hours or can be set from dusk to dawn operation. It is used worldwide in a variety of applications, including remote village lighting systems and automatic outdoor lighting in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. An optional battery temperature sensor ensures precise battery charging regardless of battery temperature fluctuations.

Product Features

  • Ensures your batteries are always charged
  • Silent, pulse width modulated microprocessor control (maximizing battery life)
  • Field adjustable voltage and battery set points
  • Electronic protection against short-circuit, overload, over temperature and reverse polarity conditions.

Optional Accessories:
Battery Temperature Sensor (BTS)

The C12's field configurability and feature packed design makes it the only small PV controller you need!

Photovoltaic Charge Controller

  • Silent, solid state, series pulse width modulated (PWM) charge control with 3-stage (bulk, absorb, & float).
  • Field adjustable setpoints with removable knobs to reduce tampering (bulk range: 13.0 to 17.0 VDC).
  • Electronic short circuit, overload, overtemperature and reverse polarity protection improves reliability.
  • Automatic reset of overload protection system--eliminates problems of tripped breakers and blown fuses.
  • High efficiency, "No diode" design without electronics in the negative conductors (as per NEC code).
  • Optional plug-in/replaceable temperature compensation sensor -- ideal for sealed batteries.
  • Continous rating of 12 amps @ 113°F /45°C and 8 amps @ 150°F/65°C for severe environments.
  • Designed for 15 amps of short-circuit PV array current (typically about four 50 watt modules).
  • Two stage lightning and surge suppression through both active and passive protection components.
  • Equalize mode (@ bulk+1DC for 2 hours) with automatic activation every 30 days or if LVD is reached (defeatable).

DC Load Controller

  • Automatic low voltage disconnect (LVD) with adjustable setpoint (LVD range 10.5 to 12.5 VDC).
  • Automatic low voltage reconnect (LVR) with adjustable setpoint (LVR range 12.0 to 14.0 VDC)
  • Selectable automatic or manuals reconnection of loads after low voltage disconnect accurs.
  • Electronic short-circuit, overload, overtemperature and reverse polarity protection improves reliability.
  • Continous rating of 12 amps @ 113°F /45°C and 8 amps @ 150°F/65°C for severe environments.
  • Low voltage disconnect warning system--blinks loads on-off-on when the battery voltage is below the low voltage disconnect setting after a two minute delay. Loads are then disconnected after a 5 minute additional time delay unless loads have been reduced and voltage has risen above the low voltage disconnect setpoint.
  • Manual reset switch on bottom of enclosure allows one-time 10 minute grace period for operation of DC loads after reset has accurred. Additional pushes have no effect until voltage reaches the low voltage reconnect setting.

Automatic Lighting Controller

  • Automatic control of lighting systems with nighttime detection by using the PV array as a photocell.
  • Adjustable run duration from 2 to 8 hours or "dusk to dawn" all night operation of lights, unless LVD is reached.
  • Electronic short-circuit, overload, overtemperature and reverse polarity protection improves reliability.
  • Continous rating of 12 amps @ 113°F /45°C and 8 amps @ 150°F/65°C for severe environments.
  • Manual reset switch on bottom of enclosure allows testing of lights during daytime or after LVD has accured.


  • Village Power
  • Cabin/Vacation Homes
  • Outdoor Area Lighting
  • Sign Lighting
  • Bus Shelters
  • Telecommunication


Technical Specifications

Electrical Specifications

PV Amps (Max.)

12 A at 12 VDC only

DC Load (Max.)

12 A with auto reset

Operating Voltage (Min.)

6 V

Voltage Drop - PV to Battery (Max.)

0.3 V

Voltage Drop - Battery to DC Load (Max.)

0.15 V

Regulation Setting

13 to 15 VDC

Equalize Setting

Bulk plus 1 V for two hours

Consumption while charging (typical)

0.007 A

Consumption at night (typical)

0.003 A

Consumption with load disconnected (typical)

0.003 A

Stranded wire size (Max.)

#10 AWG stranded (5.4 mm2)

General Specifications

Allowed Temperature Range

32° F to 104° F (0° C to 40° C)

Enclosure Type

Powder coated steel with strain relief for wiring and knockouts for up to three 1/2" conduits

Unit Weight

2 lb (0.9 kg)

Shipping Weight

2.5 lb (1.13 kg)

Dimensions (H x W x D)

6.25 x 4.3 x 1.5" (16.5 x 11 x 4 cm)

Shipping Dimensions (H x W X D)

8 x 4.6 x 1.6" (20.3 x 11.7 x 4 cm)


Vertical wall mount - indoor


Two years

Part Numbers

C12 - charge controller

BTS - optional battery temperature sensor

Features & Options

Regulation Method

Standard - three stage (bulk, absorption and float), solid state, pulse width modulation

Field Adjustable Control Setpoints

Standard - removable knobs and calibrated scales

Setting Protection

Standard - knobs can be removed to prevent tampering


Standard - provided for each setting

Automatic Equalization

Standard - every 30 days or after voltage reaches low voltage disconnect - can be disabled

External Battery Temperature Compensation

Optional - battery temperature sensor (BTS)

Short Circuit Protection

Standard - fully electronically protected with auto reset and manual reset switch, protects both the loads and PV array from damage from short circuits - a fuse for the battery is still advised to protect the battery wires if located separately

Reverse Polarity Protection

Standard - fully protected

Low Voltage Disconnect

Standard - adjustable automatic or manual operation, manual reconnection includes warning flash of loads five minutes before and ten minutes grace period

Note: Specifications subject to change without notice.