Solar Commander 16 Amp
Series IV - Model FM16C
Solar Battery Charge Controller


Kyocera's FM16 models are advanced products designed for intermediate size PV systems used specifically for recreational vehicles, boats, and small rural electrification. The controller utilizes a solid state design with no relays. The FM16 series features a pulse width modulation circuit which will ensure a well controlled bulk and taper charge of the battery at all times. The FM16C is a charge only model, and the FM16D features a second charge output for trickle charging an engine starting battery.


Photovoltaic Charging

Photovoltaic charging of a battery is best achieved by employing a pulse width-modulation (PWM) circuit to control the switching of power mosfets. The charging voltage and current are precisely controlled by the PWM action so a discharged battery is charged at full power from the solar panel(s) in the beginning of the charge cycle and the charge current is gradually tapered off as the battery approaches a fully charged state. Once the battery is fully charged, the FM16 series PV controllers use the PWM circuit to maintain the battery at a fully charged state.

The voltage regulation points are different for flooded lead acid type batteries and sealed gel cell batteries. The FM16 series is field selectable for either type of battery by a jumper plug on the back of the unit.

Battery voltage varies with temperature. The voltage regulation points of the charge controller must change with the temperature of the battery in order to avoid undercharging or overcharging the battery. The FM16 series have a built in temperature sensor and a temperature compensation circuit to enable optimal battery charging over a temperature range of -30 degrees to +70 degrees C.

Polarity Protection

The FM16 series has a special protection circuit to protect the unit from accidental polarity reversal of the PV array, the battery, or both upon installation. No damage to the controller will result, and a red LED will light up to warn of the wrong connection.


Digital LCD Meter

A digital LCD meter is standard on the FM16 series models. The meter normally reads battery voltage. There is a push button switch on the right hand side of the controller front panel which allows the meter to display PV current.




All FM16 models have the following ratings
Battery voltage: 12 Volts
Max. PV current: 16 Amps


Installation Procedure


1. Make sure the PV current rating is within the rating of the controller being installed.
2. Confirm that the battery voltage is 12 Volts.
3. Check the type of battery the controller will be connected to. If the battery is a sealed gel cell, no change needs to be made to the controller. If the battery is a flooded lead acid battery, you will need to remove the jumper plug on the back of the circuit board by pulling it off with long nose pliers.
4. Connect the battery to the charge controller terminals marked B+ and B- Look at the red LED on the front panel which is labeled Reverse Polarity. If it is on, the battery has been connected with reverse polarity. Remove the wires and reconnect them to the proper terminals.
5. To connect the wires from the PV panel to the controller, first either cover the panel with something which will block light, or turn the panel upside down. Then connect the wires to the terminals marked PV+ and PV-. Next, expose the panel to sunlight and check the Reverse Polarity LED on the controller. If it is on, correct the wire connections. Observe the green LED labeled Charge, which should be on.
6. Install the controller into a cutout for flush mounting or an enclosure box for surface mounting. This completes the installation procedure.


LED Indicators

Reverse Polarity
This red LED is on if either the battery or the PV panel is connected in reverse polarity.

Battery On
This green LED is on when the battery is properly connected.

This green LED is on when the battery is being bulk charged.

Battery Full
This yellow LED is on when the battery is at or near full charge and the PWM circuit is keeping the battery fully charged.

Battery Low
This red LED is on when the battery voltage is below 11.4 Volts.


Technical Specifications


CONTROL SETPOINTS (AT 25C) Sealed Battery Flooded Battery
Regulation voltage: 14.1 V 14.4V


System Features


Pulse Width Modulation charging
Battery temperature compensation
Low battery voltage warning
PV reverse polarity warning and protection
Battery reverse polarity warning and protection
Flooded/Scaled battery selection
Transient voltage protection
LCD meter for battery voltage and PV current