Originally Posted by DaveInDenver
There is nothing wrong with a simple battery charger like that. Primarily they protect the battery from over voltage but just realize that they leave a whole lot of energy on the table. With a sophisticated charger you can use a smaller PV array to keep a larger battery fully charged and across deeper discharges. In a word it'll be more efficient.
Wow, thanks. So ok, you're saying a cheapo charge controller essentially leaves energy on the table, compared to a more expensive one. Is there any difference in the way it delivers that energy to the battery, that would affect one adversely? I guess what I'm getting at is, is it cheaper to just add a second panel to offset this, rather than pony up for a better charge controller? Yikes this feels like trying to overcome lack of wheeling skill with more horsepower..
How much is a "good" charge controller anyway? Can you put up a link to a one?