Rogue MPT-3024

cedarpcedarp Registered Users Posts: 9
Hello, Every one!!

This forum has been very informative and has a pleasant atmosphere, the moderators here do a good job of keeping things to the point with a positive attitude, very cool.

I would also like to thank NAWS for having this forum as well the excellent no hassle website, Thanks I'll be back.

I've been researching and watching the solar industry since the mid 80's and am finally in a position to start applying what I've learned (or think I've learned;).

My question here today is about a charge controller and I'm wondering if anybody knows anything about this controller or the company that makes it.

The controller is made by Rouge Power Technologies of Ashland, Oregon the model (the only product they make) is MPT-3024 it's a 30amp MPPT unit. It seems to be brand new to the market. www.roguepowertech.com

I downloaded the manual and it seems to be well written and has some good info in it and has some good pictures of the unit itself (some of you electrical experts out there might be able to gleen some info about quality/durability from the pictures).

On the face of it, it seems to be what I'm looking for i.e. around 400w array, 24v nominal to 12v batt. bank, panels about 75ft. from batteries.

If anyone has any information about this controller or company or opinions thereof I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Bill aka cedarp
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Comments

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I've seen that on eBay ...

    A few thoughts

    Its not UL/CEC listed

    It uses the case for a heat sink, similar to the crappy BZ-500 ... a 30 amp controller requires a way to dissipate heat, the case won't cut it at full current with large Vin to Vout differences

    It has a maximum input of 60V , pretty low for a 30 amp controller

    looks like a one man shop, it might be a good controller, but nothing in the documents make it stand out, all the features are in current controllers that have more backing behind them.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    i'd stay away from it and i could pick apart aspects i see there too, but why give the thing more attention than it deserves.
  • cedarpcedarp Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Niel, Solar Guppy

    Thanks, I kinda got the feeling it was similar to the BZ stuff, so I thought I,d bring it up for myself as well as others, seeings how it's a new product and there's not much info about it elsewhere.

    Before I found this site, I bought a BZ250 that performed somewhat erractically to say the least.:cry::grr I saw some similarity in the construction of the Rogue unit to the bz stuff but that's not my area of expertise. Thanks a bunch.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Two posts both bringing attention to a new product, Id be happier if the designer of said product had brought it 2 our attention without my suspicion of back door advertising hey its suspicion only,:confused:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    yea, maybe so nigel, but after 2 negative posts on it if anybody goes to buy it knowing of the negative posts, they deserve what they get.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hi guys,

    I'm the one that designed the MPT-3024. Yes, I'm basically a one-man show right now (just like Hewlett-Packard in the old days, except I don't work out of a garage). The 3024 has been refined over the course of two years and is nothing like BZ products, from what little I know about them. I have had several production units on trial, have a few sold through eBay, and of course use it exclusively here.

    The case is indeed used as the heatsink. Since this is a PWM controller, the Vin-Vout differential will not have much effect on power dissipated by the MOSFETs, aside from a slightly higher crossover loss as the transistors switch on and off. The inductor bears the brunt of additional heat dissipation in the form of core loss at higher differentials.

    I'm not aware of any negative feedback, nor has their been any "back door" advertising.

    If any of you have questions about it, I would be happy to provide you with some real answers.

    Marc
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    it seems we stirred you here. welcome. the best way you could launch your reputation (besides the long hard way) may be by getting your product reviewed or beta tested by qualified people that are members of this forum. there are a few such ees that have controller designs out there that are members here. it would be up to you and the member(s) involved if they would do such a beta test/evaluation for you. beta testing and product reviews are not commonplace here, but have occurred.

    reminder.
    feel free to talk of your controller, but don't try to sell them from the forum or post links to sell them as that would be taking advantage of our host northern arizona wind & sun. our host wouldn't care if you gave your ccs away though.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    If its a True Mppt unit which having and inductor would indicate your losses will go up as the Vin Vout increases, its called switching losses.

    So is your design a Buck switch mode supply or just a old style PWM controller like the Xantrex C60 ?
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Niel,

    I would be interested in having an impartial, unbiased evaluation of my controller. However, when I read comments on here from people who are totally unfamiliar with my product, like “why give the thing more attention than it deserves?” it doesn’t impart to me a feeling of objectivity.


    Solar Guppy,

    The MPT-3024 is a buck PWM controller. Any modern MPPT controller is going to be of a pulse-width-modulated design. The difference between the MPPT PWM controller and the plain PWM controller will, of course, be the presence or absence of an MPPT algorithm. There are some older rudimentary “bucket” type switchers that do not use an inductor, but these are basically just an on/off style of linear regulator and so are not as efficient.

    “Crossover loss” and “switching loss” are for the most part synonymous. Both refer to the I/V overlap present at a switch’s on/off transition. I prefer to use the former because it avoids confusion with the individual factors that contribute to the switching loss (gate charge, gate threshold voltage, duty cycle, switching frequency, rise/fall times, propagation delays, etc.). Switching/crossover losses do not include core losses within the inductor, just as they do not include conduction losses within the resistive elements (including the switches).
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    So at 40V in and 12V out at your units maximum listed current, what is your units switching losses in watts and your expected ability of the case to handle the losses? ( also this test should be run at your maximum rated ambient as the FET's have higher losses with heat )

    As a swag I guess your in the 15-20 watt range for the FETS and the case might handle 5 watts on a continual basis ... that's the concern.

    SG
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    lorelec wrote: »
    Niel,

    I would be interested in having an impartial, unbiased evaluation of my controller. However, when I read comments on here from people who are totally unfamiliar with my product, like “why give the thing more attention than it deserves?” it doesn’t impart to me a feeling of objectivity.


    Solar Guppy,

    The MPT-3024 is a buck PWM controller. Any modern MPPT controller is going to be of a pulse-width-modulated design. The difference between the MPPT PWM controller and the plain PWM controller will, of course, be the presence or absence of an MPPT algorithm. There are some older rudimentary “bucket” type switchers that do not use an inductor, but these are basically just an on/off style of linear regulator and so are not as efficient.

    “Crossover loss” and “switching loss” are for the most part synonymous. Both refer to the I/V overlap present at a switch’s on/off transition. I prefer to use the former because it avoids confusion with the individual factors that contribute to the switching loss (gate charge, gate threshold voltage, duty cycle, switching frequency, rise/fall times, propagation delays, etc.). Switching/crossover losses do not include core losses within the inductor, just as they do not include conduction losses within the resistive elements (including the switches).

    Marc,

    I wouldn't worry about the objectivity of almost anyone here. We will all (and especially the EEs) tell you exactly what we think. The volume of knowledge here from people like Solar Guppy, BoB, Midnight Solar, Neil and BB (sorry if I forgot others) is pretty extensive. If people like that are willing to work with you for product evaluation,, don't turn down the chance.

    As I'm sure you know,, you are in a business that is hard enough to make a living in, and has been over the years, had an over abundance of snake oil salesmen and snake oil hardware. I participate in a number of forums on a variety of subjects of my interest, and this one is far and away the most useful, unbiased and informative.

    Good luck with your endeavor, We wish you much success.

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    we are indeed skeptics here as we like to take the stance of show me. do not worry as i was not asking to test your controller myself. maybe i do have a bad attitude because of the number of bad products out there, but i'm not biased enough not to give your cc a fair chance to show us it is worthy. peace, if you want it.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Solar Guppy,

    FET temperature will have an effect only on FET conduction losses, since the Rds of the FET increases with temperature. It has negligible effect on switching losses. Even so, the Rds of the FET doesn’t increase appreciably unless you get things really hot. It goes from 4.7mOhm (max) at 25degC to 10mOhm (max) at 175degC – which is the junction limit of the device. Note that these are maximums. The typical Rds is 3.7mOhm to 7.9mOhm at the above temps.

    Conduction losses are far greater than switching losses. Using the max Rds at 25degC, the maximum conduction loss at 30A will be 4.23W. At 100degC, which is considered to be beyond the upper operating limit, the loss will be 5.94W. This takes both upper and lower FETs into consideration, since each will be operating for only its share of the duty cycle (i.e. they both share the total conduction loss).

    Worst-case switching loss per switch is 0.47W at 40Vin, for a total of 0.94W for both switches. I also have a third FET which is used for disconnecting the PV array when the controller is sleeping – this one has an even lower Rds (3.2mOhm max at 25degC), so its maximum conduction loss is 2.88W at 25degC and 4.32W at 100degC. This FET has no switching loss since it always on when the controller is operating.

    Therefore total FET losses are 8.05W at 25degC and 11.20W at 100degC. Using a relatively low switching frequency and very-low-Rds FETs is what accomplishes the low losses. I can give you the data if you want to check my figures.

    To keep the temperature rise from exceeding the 85degC limit of the controller, Rh-a needs to be 4.1degC/W maximum (this is with a 40degC ambient and taking into consideration the worst-case dissipation noted above for the FETs).

    According to data by Keith Billings (Switchmode Power Supply Handbook), a flat painted 1/8” plate with an area of 64sq inches has a thermal resistance of around 3.0degC/W maximum (good for about 28 watts in my case). This is the size of the back plate of the MPT-3024, and doesn’t take into account the remaining metal that is spot-welded to the back plate to form the enclosure, of which there is approximately 128sq inches, not including the front panel.

    Thermal tests that I conducted with a 34V input and 30A output resulted in a 25.8degC rise over ambient after about four hours at the thermal bridge between the transistors and the back plate. This would indicate an Rh-a of between 3.2degC/W and 2.3degC/W, still well under the 4.1degC/W limit.


    Tony,

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the well-wishes!


    Neil,

    All's well. Skepticism is fine so long as you don't offer criticism before it's due. I've worked long and hard on this design, dumped a ton of money into it, and so it's frustrating to hear someone who knows nothing about it try to discourage a potential customer. I don't claim that my product is the best out there, but it works well, has some features that other mid-range controller don't, and I think it's a great value. My first trial customer likes it better than his MX-60. I'm certainly open to comments, questions, and suggestions on how to make it even better.

    Marc
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 940 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I think it's cool that one can now get an MPPT controller as a kit if they want to. I wonder how many out there these days are capable of getting it going though ?? Most of those that could, would be a candidate for hiring because good technical people that do this kind of stuff at home are soooo hard to find ! Of course, those that design this stuff at home (as you did, Marc) are even harder to find. Keep it up ! I hope you sell a bunch ! Now's the time.

    boB :D

    PS, is this the controller that I saw on Otherpower fairly recently ??
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    At least Marc & Rouge are willing to put themselves out there for scrutiny. Unlike others (BZ Products) who continue to sell crap to unsuspecting souls. Let's put Marc and his products to the test and hope that they pass.

    Tony
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    lorelec wrote: »
    According to data by Keith Billings (Switchmode Power Supply Handbook), a flat painted 1/8” plate with an area of 64sq inches has a thermal resistance of around 3.0degC/W maximum (good for about 28 watts in my case).

    Why painted aluminum (I'm assuming aluminum)? Why not chem film or anodized? To paint aluminum, it still has to be acid etched, and some nasty chromate primer. Just use chem film (electrically conductive) or any color of anodized? Either can still be spot welded, and much lower thermal resistance - paint is a thermal insulator
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    marc,
    seeing as how you are here i'll start with some general questions many users may see fit to ask.

    i'm curious why you had put together a cc of your own and what swayed you to try and market it?

    do you trust some people to assemble the cc as many aren't adept to doing that or is that a case of you're on your own because of no warranty on a kit? (or is there another type warranty for the kit?)

    6 stages of charge? please elaborate.

    what ambient air temp operating range would you list for the controller that would be warranted seeing as how the cc can be located in unheated or uncooled areas like a garage in the desert or even in the tundra?

    are the voltages adjustable? (i have to ask)

    what mv/c/cell settings are available?

    is the backlight an led(s)?
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Bob & Tony,

    I would be willing to supply a controller for evaluation if I could be reasonably assured of an objective review (and return of the controller once the evaluation is done, of course). Could you recommend someone?

    Mike,

    Painted metal was used purely for economical reasons. In order to keep costs down I had to find a ready-made enclosure, and the best match was powder-coated. Yeah, this does add a little to the thermal resistance, but probably no more than the Kapton films that find use as insulating pads between semiconductor and heatsink. The front panels are custom-cut and I have a local company powder coat them. They use no etchant or primer, but sandblast the metal first. The result is a very durable coating that holds up extremely well.

    Marc
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Niel,

    To answer your questions:

    1) I decided to put together a controller from scratch since I already live and work off-grid. I thought that the high-end controllers out there were too expensive and had way more features than I needed or wanted (many of the people I talk to agree on this), but I wanted something better than the basic on/off controller. It developed into something that I thought would be marketable. I have an underlying passion for both electronics and renewable energy, so it seemed like a good match.

    2) The kits are a much more recent development. Certainly not everyone has the skills to assemble a kit, but I'm confident that many people with an interest in renewable energy also have some background in electronics. There are also undoubtedly many people who appreciate saving a few bucks by doing the work themselves. Naturally, there is no warranty on the kits because it would be impossible for me to ascertain the skill or workmanship of the builder. That's a pretty standard industry policy.

    3) Six stages of charge: MPPT/bulk, absorb, float, full, equalize, sleep -- as explained in the manual. Granted, "sleep" is not an active mode, but it is part of the overall charge routine.

    4) I list the ambient operating range as -20 to 40degC. The lower end at -20 is mostly to comply with the minimum operating temperature of some of the components. In reality, -20 is much lower than the controller would likely see because it certainly wouldn't be a recommended battery charging temperature. The upper end at 40 allows a 45 degree rise in heatsink temperature, which should be adequate for worst-case operation at maximum expected output. The controller will shut down if the heatsink reaches 85degC.

    5) Yes, all setpoint voltages are adjustable using the buttons on the front panel (absorb, float, equalize). The current threshold for transition from absorb to float is also adjustable, as is the maximum time to transition. There is also an adjustment for the maximum allowable temperature-compensated charging voltage. Battery voltage is automatically detected upon startup (12v or 24v nominal). The controller will set defaults for all of the setpoints upon intial startup based on the detected battery voltage. If you make adjustments after that ppint, your adjustments will be saved even when power is disconnected and reapplied. If you change your battery voltage (i.e. go from a 12v to a 24v bank or vice-versa), the default setpoints will be reconfigured for that voltage when you once again power up the controller. The manual has a much more detailed explanation of all these points, and includes the default values and ranges for all setpoints.

    6) The temp compensation is set for 5mV/cell and is not adjustable.

    7) The backlight is an LED array. It can be manually turned on (to stay on) using one of the pushbuttons on the front panel, and it will automatically come on if you invoke a menu (it will go off after about 30 seconds when you exit the menu). The backlight will turn off if a manu is displayed for longer than 60 seconds with no activity, at which point the menu also closes and returns to the default status display.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    "I would be willing to supply a controller for evaluation if I could be reasonably assured of an objective review (and return of the controller once the evaluation is done, of course). Could you recommend someone?"

    Solar Guppy or BoB,,,

    Tony

    PS I would love to test one at -40 for you,,,LOL!, although all I can do for test is to do a side by side comparison to my existing set up,,, not very scientific, probably not very useful either.

    T
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Ryan ("halfcrazy") has offered to do an evaluation of my product. I'm going to send one out to him Monday...and we'll await his results!

    Marc
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    1) I love the idea of kits (Heathkit fan here)
    2) I'd be very interested in a 48V version.
    3) I'd be more interested in a higher voltage input limit, as many times, there is a long wire run needed, and better to trade voltage for amps, and let the MPPT convert it at the end of the run.
    4) can't use it in an insured house, as it's non UL (as SG pointed out) I guess I could use it at an outbuilding.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Mike,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll keep them in mind for the future. I wanted to keep things somewhat simple for my first design. If things go well with this one, I'll work on another design that will appeal to a broader range of people.

    Marc
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    The controller was delivered to Ryan almost a week ago, but I haven't heard anything from him. No reply to my message from a couple days ago, either. Is he still around?

    Marc
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    if you mean halfcrazy, yes he is still around and was last here yesterday april 18th. i might suggest you send him a pm or if you have his email to send it that way to see if he received it ok.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I PM'd him two days ago, no reply. I don't have his email.

    Marc
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    don't know what to tell you, but hang in there.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 940 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I talked with Ryan the other day and his internet ISP link has been down. He has had to drive down the street to check email. I think his service should be back up in a day or two.

    Don't know if he received that controller yet or not. I should talk to him tomorrow and will ask him... If he hasn't already responded to this by then.

    boB
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    lorelec wrote: »
    I PM'd him two days ago, no reply. I don't have his email.

    Marc

    I'm not critisizing, but I find it strange that you are sending out hardware to someone to test without even trading phone numbers.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    dwh,

    I researched him some before I sent the unit to him and felt that he had enough of a reputation that I was comfortable dealing with him. I just found his phone number (and he already has mine), so no worries.

    Marc
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