Solar Charge Controllers for Telecommunications

Why Morningstar?

Today’s telecom infrastructure is increasingly located in remote, isolated areas—from mountain tops to desert regions— which are usually far from any electrical grid and rely on on-site power generation to operate. But between fuel and maintenance costs, generators are expensive to own and operate. For communications providers, the ultimate goal is to establish self-sustainable mobile networks with higher efficiency and profitability and remain competitive in a lower Average-Revenue-Per-User (ARPU) environment.

That’s why telecommunications providers—both wireless service providers as well as BTS tower operators– are turning to solar PV and PV/Hybrid (PV + a secondary energy source) power solutions to achieve their business objectives. Unlike generators and wind turbines, photo-voltaic (PV) solar has no moving parts—so consequently, no downtime. And solar electric systems never need fueling or an overhaul. This type of system can be sized and installed as the primary source of power for a remote telecom site, and the hydro, wind, and/or generator-based systems can supplement PV output should “days of autonomy” be insufficient for the installation’s powering needs.

As more of the telecommunications industry shifts to solar, Morningstar’s extensive line of solar controllers and accessories are more frequently found at the core of their systems. In such a system, the charge controller is both “heart and brains” of the outfit, controlling the PV/solar-generated electricity flowing from the panels, or modules, into batteries for storage as well as the DC output to power connected loads, maintaining both system operation and battery health.

In remotely powered telecommunications installations, what matters most is efficiency and reliability. Efficiency is paramount for systems that may need as much autonomy as possible to get through long stretches without sunlight or refueling. Morningstar’s proprietary TrakStar solar harvesting technology and fanless design make for inherently more efficient systems. And with over four million Morningstars installed in the field since 1993, there’s no brand in the solar industry that’s more proven or accepted in terms of reliability.

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Solar at your Telecommunications Site?

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Solar & Hybrid Energy Solutions

Apollo Hybrid Solution Morningstar brings 30 years of experience engineering the core power electronics and controls into a fully-integrated and factory-tested solar and hybrid energy solution for ESCOs, TowerCos, or MNOs to meet sustainability and uptime requirements while reducing operating expenses.

The Apollo Series solar and hybrid energy solution delivers reliable and sustainable energy management for any telecom site incorporating solar and battery storage. It can be deployed in a retrofit application to add solar and battery storage to existing site infrastructure or for network expansion to new sites. Apollo was designed from its inception to integrate with existing site hardware including diesel generators, rectifiers or legacy battery systems.

The Apollo Series solar and hybrid energy solution is highly refined – already in it’s 5th Generation – and extensively proven across 1000’s of sites globally. It is engineered specifically for unattended, remote sites in harsh high-temperature environments where downtime is unacceptable. Throughout 30 years of designing ultra-efficient power electronics into solar and hybrid energy applications for telecom we’ve helped thousands of customers achieve unparalleled uptime – while refining a customizable energy management platform to meet virtually all tower site requirements utilizing solar and battery storage.

Typical Telecommunications solar electricity applications

  • Remote towers and systems
  • Back-up systems
  • Repeater stations
  • Base transmission stations (BTS)
  • Two-way radio
  • Telephone exchanges
  • Rural telephony
  • VSATs
  • Satellite earth stations
  • Thermal Management
  • Configurable based on Load Demands
  • Supports all battery storage types / Hybrid 
  • Remote Energy Management
  • Comprehensive Cloud/NMS Monitoring Platform
  • Full Featured Data Analytics Supports Predictive Alerting
  • DC and AC Load Distribution 
  • -48V Positive Ground 
  • Panel Mount or Rack Mount

Features & Benefits

  • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology to extract every bit of electricity possible from the solar source, by converting extra voltage into useful amperage. Morningstar MPPT controllers have industry-leading TrackStar technology on board for that purpose
  • Industry-leading technical support from a US-based company
  • Easy system integration with generator control
  • Remote access and control
  • Selected models support industrial-standard networking, monitoring, and communications protocols including MODBUS, MQTT, and SNMP when used with Morningstar’s Ethernet MeterBus Converter (EMC) accessory
  • Data logging to record charging/load Amp-hours and alarm/fault notifications
  • Full programming to enable a high level of system customization
  • Built-in communications and diagnostics capabilities
  • Temperature charging protection and advanced charging algorithms to protect expensive storage batteries, both lead-acid and advanced types including lithium. Dead battery recovery feature helps reduce system downtime
  • Designed for trouble-free operation in extreme temperature and weather conditions. Epoxy-encapsulated circuit boards and 60C ambient temperature ratings to handle harsh environments including tropical, coastal, and arid regions. Weatherized construction; no cooling fans to fail
  • Simple, out-of-the-box operation and easy installation
  • UL and IEC listing on most models; FCC Class B certification
  • Load and rectifier compatibility
  • Low noise operation
  • Safety features built-in, including alarm/fault notifications, miswiring protection, lightning protection
  • Parallel capable charge control
  • 24V and 48V (Positive Ground) system capability

Monitoring Systems

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a secure local and remote monitoring capabilities through a modern, complex network incorporating Ethernet switches and wireless access points (WAPs).

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How It Works

During the Day:


Sunlight is converted into DC electricity in the solar modules or panels.


The DC electricity from the panels flows into a charge controller, which both provides perfect battery charging and powers DC-operated loads.


Smaller systems and systems with consistent sunlight (little shading or seasonal variation) usually feature PWM (pulse-width modulation) charge controllers, which are simple and reliable. Larger systems and systems where there is variation in sunlight due to seasonal changes or shading often use MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controllers, which are more complex but also are more effective at harvesting solar electricity.

During the night:

The solar charge controller keeps working—by preventing any “reverse current” flowing from the batteries to the PV modules, and (if equipped with load control) disconnect power to the loads if the battery voltage dips too far, which can quickly kill batteries.

Additional Resources for Telecommunications Solar

Watch the recorded webinar to see how Morningstar solar controllers are used in a variety of off-grid telecommunications applications throughout the world.

From densely populated urban centers to remote isolated areas far from any electrical grid, solar electricity makes telecommunication operations easier and more cost-effective.

Since 1993 Morningstar has been supplying solar charge controllers to regulate batteries in off-grid industrial projects throughout the world.