What controller and all to use

solar_dummysolar_dummy Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭

Help. I know almost nothing about solar and want to learn...   Looking for some advise on hooking up a solar system in a small fiberglass 14.5' trillium RV trailer and want to hook up a solar panel to keep the battery charged and run some small appliances, 700 watt microwave, charge phones, charge and run 2 laptops, ventilation fan, and led house lights and maybe a small crock pot. Most item would not be used every day as we are boondockers and just need a few luxuries' in the wild.

I have some new solar panel and would like to use the best one and will buy a charge controller to fit the system and upgrade to more batteries in the future but weight and size are a problem until we get a larger rv and tow vehicle. I only have room for I panel.

 the panels I have available are:

1.            Triex U300  300 watt   57Vmp   5.27Imp

2.            Triex U305   305watt   57.5Vmp  5.32Imp

3.            Sunlink 205watt   26.8vmp  7.65Imp

4.            Sunlink 230watt   29.9vmp  7.69Imp

Also, I only have room for 1 Trojan t-1275 battery  12volt  150ah.

I need to know what budget minded controller would give me good service for a few years and then I would use it in an off grid location or sell the trailer and build another system. I have several of the Triex 300 and 305 panels for future use and will spent the extra money for a 48volt battery system and high end controller for a off grid cabin in a couple of years.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and passed on to others.

Triex U305   305watt   57.5Vmp  5.32Imp

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,434Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I would rather you look at 2 smaller panels and get 12 volt nominal panels, they will cost a bit more per watt, but can utilize a much less expensive charge controller.

    Something like these Renogy, while they cost $1.23 a watt,
    https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-Volts-Monocrystalline-Solar/dp/B00KI14U5C/ref=pd_day0_86_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00KI14U5C&pd_rd_r=4EKS75E0PQKQED40WH2X&pd_rd_w=Zi7XA&pd_rd_wg=FDtUz&psc=1&refRID=4EKS75E0PQKQED40WH2X

    they can use an inexpensive PWM charge controller like this;, (I'd likely spend a bit more money, but it has pretty good reviews);

    https://www.amazon.com/XCSOURCE®-Intelligent-Controller-Regulator-LD296/product-reviews/B00KWWSCJC/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_5?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=five_star&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&pageNumber=1#reviews-filter-bar


    For the panels you are looking at, first are they available locally? if not shipping may cost as much as the panel, and they must use a MPPT type charge controller which are more expensive, minimal cost would be something like this (I doubt I'd trust this brand);
    https://www.amazon.com/HQST-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controller/dp/B01B28RV96/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497853490&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=mppt+charge+controller&psc=1

    With an RV be sure to look for a charge controller without a fan but with cooling fins as fan noise is a frequent complaint with RV solar systems.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 1,530Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Since you have the panels on hand and already planning for expansion, in the future,  I would be inclined to use one off the panels you have and go for the cheap MPPT controller @Estragon suggested, I know someone who has one and it seems to work fine. Seems that would be the least expensive route to go. Got to love those Trillium's, used to have one behind a diesel Land Cruiser, so light you didn't even notice you were to towing something.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • AguarancherAguarancher Posts: 268Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017 #4
    Unless your appliances run on 12V you also need an inverter. Inverter output voltage will depend on the country in which you live.
  • nickdearing88nickdearing88 Posts: 96Registered Users ✭✭✭
    I returned that HQST controller to Amazon, spent the money and got a Morningstar ProStar MPPT. I'm very glad I did.

    https://www.solar-electric.com/morningstar-prostar-mppt-controller-meter-ps-mppt-40m.html

    The HQST did *work* but the display does not. Yes, it does physically have a display built-in, but it is not connected.
    Current test system: 4-100w Renogy panels mono/poly, 1 string of 4 panels in series - 24v 100Ah AGM Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries - Morningstar MPPT40 CC - 1500W Samlex PSW inverter
  • solar_dummysolar_dummy Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
    I already own the panels all of them are new, unused. The Triex panels, I paid under $100 each for and have several of them for future use and possible barter to have an off grid system, remote cabin, setup with some of them and trade others for needed equipment and installation. I realize I will have to spend more money to setup off grid and that will be ok. Just couldn't pass up the deal on the panels. Even if I only use half of them and trade or sell the rest I will be way ahead but don't want to sell any until I have the off grid set up built.

    I live in the Mojave desert in winter and northern Michigan in summer, and yes I plan on buying an inverter, 12v 1000watt,  to start that I can use in the future off grid system or larger rv.  

    I am looking at these to go with the 
    Morningstar - PS-MPPT-40M  CHARGE CONTROLLER
    COTEK  SK1000-112 INVERTER. 

    Hope to do something in the next couple of days.
    Triex U305   305watt   57.5Vmp  5.32Imp
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 1,530Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Being that your future plan is to build a 48v system, it may be better to get a controller which has the ability to charge 12, 24 and 48 volts and be able to utilize it in the future, since you're making a good choice and not going the cheap route. For around the same price a Morningstar TS 45 MPPT would offer this flexibility.
    https://www.solar-electric.com/motr45ampmps.html
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • nickdearing88nickdearing88 Posts: 96Registered Users ✭✭✭
    mcgivor said:
    Being that your future plan is to build a 48v system, it may be better to get a controller which has the ability to charge 12, 24 and 48 volts and be able to utilize it in the future, since you're making a good choice and not going the cheap route. For around the same price a Morningstar TS 45 MPPT would offer this flexibility.
    https://www.solar-electric.com/motr45ampmps.html
    Absolutely, I wish I would have done that also. But it never crossed my mind at the time.......hindsight is 20/20.
    Current test system: 4-100w Renogy panels mono/poly, 1 string of 4 panels in series - 24v 100Ah AGM Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries - Morningstar MPPT40 CC - 1500W Samlex PSW inverter
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 4,993Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    search for postings by Shadowcatcher, he has done a bunch of work on his teardrop trailer and Pv system...hth
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • solar_dummysolar_dummy Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
    edited June 2017 #10
    Thank all of you for your help. Unless you buy a package system there are no 2 systems alike from what is see, just what works for you. I took all the information given to me and read reviews and shopped price and quality, imo for what that is worth, and decided on the following. 
     
    I just order a Tristar MPPT 45 and TS-RM-2, charge controller and remote meter. Not Quite sure of an inverter yet but it can wait a few days to order it. 
    Now I need to know about placement and sizes of fuses in the system with what I have. 1-Triex U305   305watt   57.5Vmp  5.32Imp panel, 1- trojan t-1275 12volt 150ah battey, and the above cc and for now an unknown brand pure sine 12volt 1000watt inverter. Yes, the some of the equipment may seem like over kill but I plan on using with more panels and batteries in the future. They say buy once, cry once. 
    I read a lot of each of your post to have better ideas of what I may want to build into my systems in the future as I see everyone has more then one system for special applications.
    Triex U305   305watt   57.5Vmp  5.32Imp
  • mryimmersmryimmers Posts: 111Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re inverter, I bought my Exeltech inverters on eBay, all of them at a small fraction of the cost of new.
    510 watt pv, TS-MPPT 60, Exeltech XP1100, XP600 & XP250 @ 24V, 4x Trojan 105RE, Trimetric 2030, Yamaha EF2400i gen.
  • LumisolLumisol Posts: 374Registered Users ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017 #12
    I recently did what you are talking about. I chose the Tristar mppt 30 controller and Cotek 2000 watt inverter. I put an RV outlet on the inverter and plug in the RV to that as if it were shore power. I went with 48 volts for the system voltage to be more cost effective.
    I used breakers in the system with a 60 amp between the controller and bank and a 70 amp between the bank and inverter.
    I used a combiner box I built myself with 2 circuit breakers rated for the panel strings I used (2x 580 watt strings)
    And I chose a 225 ah bank of 8x 6volt batteries. (Vmax tanks)
    I used the advice of the members her to make the choices I did.
    I run a refrigerator, tv-DVD combo, small microwave, evaporative cooler and led lights.
  • nickdearing88nickdearing88 Posts: 96Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    I recently did what you are talking about. I chose the Tristar mppt 30 controller and Cotek 2000 watt inverter. I put an RV outlet on the inverter and plug in the RV to that as if it were shore power. I went with 48 volts for the system voltage to be more cost effective.
    I used marine type breakers in the system with a 30 amp between the controller and bank and a 70 amp between the bank and inverter.
    I used a combiner box I built myself with 2 circuit breakers rated for the panel strings I used (2x 580 watt strings)
    And I chose a 225 ah bank of 8x 6volt batteries. (Vmax tanks)
    I used the advice of the members her to make the choices I did.
    I run a refrigerator, tv-DVD combo, small microwave, evaporative cooler and led lights.
    Lumisol, what circuit breakers did you use that are rated for DC 48V? I just bought some from our host but there are only rated up-to 48V (not the 60V+ that would be required for a 48V system). I'm currently using a 24V system but will be upgrading in the future.
    Current test system: 4-100w Renogy panels mono/poly, 1 string of 4 panels in series - 24v 100Ah AGM Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries - Morningstar MPPT40 CC - 1500W Samlex PSW inverter
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,028Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    > @nickdearing88 said:
    >
    > Lumisol, what circuit breakers did you use that are rated for DC 48V? I just bought some from our host but there are only rated up-to 48V (not the 60V+ that would be required for a 48V system). I'm currently using a 24V system but will be upgrading in the future.

    Most of the dc breakers sold by our host are rated for much higher than 48vdc. The few rated for 48vdc would be for 12v systems that never see higher voltages. If you're at 24v and planning to go 48v, I would return the breakers and order some better suited to your application.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • nickdearing88nickdearing88 Posts: 96Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    > @nickdearing88 said:
    >
    > Lumisol, what circuit breakers did you use that are rated for DC 48V? I just bought some from our host but there are only rated up-to 48V (not the 60V+ that would be required for a 48V system). I'm currently using a 24V system but will be upgrading in the future.

    Most of the dc breakers sold by our host are rated for much higher than 48vdc. The few rated for 48vdc would be for 12v systems that never see higher voltages. If you're at 24v and planning to go 48v, I would return the breakers and order some better suited to your application.
    I bought the MRCB ones: https://www.solar-electric.com/mr60ampdccib.html

    They seem to be nicely made and perfect for my 24v system. I guess I should have stated without a distribution box, bus bars, etc.
    Was just curious what Lumisol used.
    Current test system: 4-100w Renogy panels mono/poly, 1 string of 4 panels in series - 24v 100Ah AGM Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries - Morningstar MPPT40 CC - 1500W Samlex PSW inverter
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,028Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    They probably are well made, and I'd be happy to use them on my 12v boat system, or 12v night cabin system. I wouldn't use them for a 48v system though. I'm also curious what @Lumisol used.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Posts: 812Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    The only way to plug in your shore power cable into an onboard inverter would require you to disable the converter in the system, otherwise your batteries will be trying to charge themselves off of themselves and eventually the system dies.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • LumisolLumisol Posts: 374Registered Users ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017 #18
    I use an inverter to plug shore power into. You do not use the battery cables in the RV to connect the bank.
    The panels connect to the controller and the controller to the bank and the inverter to the bank and then plug in the power to the inverter.
    Disconnect the battery cables from the RV panel.
    The converter stays connected to power the DC loads.
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