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Quite a few charge controls have a "PWM" mode. PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation. PWM is often used as one method of float charging. Instead of a steady output from the controller, it sends out a series of short charging pulses to the battery - a very rapid "on-off" switch. The controller constantly checks the state of the battery to determine how fast to send pulses, and how long (wide) the pulses will be. In a fully charged battery with no load, it may just "tick" every few seconds and send a short pulse to the battery. In a discharged battery, the pulses would be very long and almost continuous, or the solar charge controller may go into "full on" mode. The controller checks the state of charge on the battery between pulses and adjusts itself each time.

The downside to PWM is that it can also create interference in radios and TV's due to the sharp pulses that it generates.