Rogue MPT-3024

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

    Ryan has received the unit and is in the process of installing it today. I thought it would be neat if he could install it on his own system, but it doesn't do 48 Volt batteries, so it's going on a customers' system or similar.

    Marc, are you working with higher output voltage ?

    How are you doing the auxiliary power supply for housekeeping, etc ?
    That seems to be one of the biggies for going to higher input and output voltage.

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

    Bob,

    I would like to eventually do a design with higher input/output capabilities, since that's what seems to be the trend.

    I've been using Maxim's MAX5033 series of monolithic buck regulators for auxiliary supplies. They're good to 75 volts input. I think National makes some ICs that will go to 100 volts and maybe beyond (LM5000 series), but they require more external components (can't beat the MAX5033, with a few resistors, capacitors, and a small inductor). As I'm sure you've found, it can get tricky trying to derive (and regulate) something like a 5-volt bus directly from a high voltage source. Eventually you get down to very small duty cycles and increments. I think at that point it probably makes more sense to do the drop in two (or possibly more) stages.

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

    A much better part is the LM5009, higher frequency so smaller inductor and almost half the cost of the MAX5033 similar part count
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Sorry for my slow reply. I have been without internet for a week. Just bought a blackberry but it is slow going.

    The controller is in and working as advertised. The batteries where almost full but we saw about a 15% increase over the c40. We will watch it closely and update as needed. I will say the quality is good and the manual is great as well

    1/2
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Ryan,

    Good to hear that the controller arrived and is in place!


    Solar Guppy,

    National does make some nice HV switchers. Some of them have come out since I first designed my controller. I can't remember if the LM5009 was available then...probably was. It's main drawback for me is its 150mA limitation (the 5033 is capable of 500mA, and the 5035 of 1A). The backlight for the LCD display alone draws more than 150mA when it's on. The switching speed of the 5009 is quite a bit faster than the 5033, but my inductor is pretty small to begin with. The LM5007 (80Vin max, 500mA out) is more comparable to the MAX5033. But like you say, National's parts do cost less. Certainly something to look at for new designs.

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

    The LM5009 would be the Battery Voltage to 12V rail, that would power the gate drivers and be the source for a secondary switcher(s) and provides 1.8 watts, plenty for CPU/DSP , back light ect. Inductor sizes do matter as the cost is pretty linear with inductance, use 4x the frequency and 1/4 the inductor size, it saves on BOM costs.

    For the Back light, think about a simple 2 transistor switcher run off your cpu/dsp pwm to have a variable voltage control for the Back light can easily get that under 1/2 watt ( XW-Mppt has this and I believe the back light is less than 350mw ) and something like a http://www.onsemi.com/PowerSolutions/product.do?id=NCP1400ASN19T1G for the 12V to 5/3.3V rail

    As you can see, its a bit more to do high voltage controllers but for the cost of your current chip you can do all the above and remove your primary reason for your low voltage limits
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I know that different engineers are going to take different approaches to similar designs, but here's my reasoning:

    I use two separate buck supplies for auxiliaries --

    a) A 5-volt one derived from the battery, so that the uP and conditioning circuitry will always be on, even when there's no input from the PV. It powers everything except the gate drivers.

    b) A 10-volt supply for the gate drivers that's derived from the PV input, so it's on only when there's sun (doesn't need to be on at any other time). A 12-volt supply here is unnecessary and will only waste power because there is no benefit to be had from driving the FET gates beyond 10 volts. Additionally, I have a dual-winding inductor on the output of this buck, with the secondary wired as a flyback. This provides me with a 10-volt isolated supply that can be used for bootstrapping the drive on the upper FET, because it can be referenced to the switching node. Standard diode/capacitor bootstrapping won't work with 100%DC, thus the need for this supply.

    I use a 220uH inductor on the 5-volt supply. It costs me about 50 cents. A 47uH inductor from the same product line is the same size and same price. Actually, all values are the same price in the product line. For large (high current) inductors, you're right -- cost generally increases with inductance.

    Using a uP PWM output to drive the LCD backlight seems to add unnecessary complexity to the design (with the additional parts and code necessary to implement it). If you want a backlight that can be dimmed it's an excellent idea, but I just wanted a simple on/off backlight.

    The main limitation to a higher voltage controller (for me) isn't the 75v (or 100v) ceiling of an off-the-shelf auxiliary supply solution -- you're going to have to design a custom solution at much beyond 100v, anyhow. At higher voltages, one would also need to use a larger A/D to maintain acceptable resolution. This increases cost and complexity substantially. Higher voltage FETs also exhibit increasingly larger Rds. You also have to start taking clearances into consideration as you get higher. These can certainly all be overcome if you're looking to design a higher voltage controller. But for a lower-voltage system it makes little sense to design and use a high voltage controller.

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

    Doesn't cost more more 12 bit ADC's , 3 bucks in quantity for the TI chip as a bonus it has MEP so pwm percision isn't tied to the clock speed

    http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/tms320f28023.html

    its about 25 cents to cut the LCD back light power by 2/3rds lowering the housekeeping needs, maybe 20 lines of code to control it

    Just throwing out some idea for you that are used in production controllers ...
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Thanks, I do appreciate the suggestions. Some of it just comes down to preferences on my part. For example, powering the backlight with PWM might save 100mW over dropping the 5.0v-4.6v difference with a resistor, but it's only going to save you power when the backlight is on anyhow (which usually isn't much of the time). For myself, it's just not worth the additional hassle.

    I'll be looking into 12-bit ADC for the future, though!

    Marc
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,811 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hi Marc,

    Interesting Thread. Congrats on your new MPPT CC. Have sent a friend the link to your site. He has been looking for a new CC.

    Your new controller looks very promising.

    Good Luck ! vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    a quick update but the controller is working as stated so far. She has a modest system and runs her generator frequently so she will notice a change quick and she seems to notice here generator time is way down.

    I should give some stats for her system
    2 solar world 165 watt panels wired for 24vdc
    12 6 volt golf cart batteries wired for 24vdc
    sw plus 2524 inverter
    Xantrex C40

    I will be on site myself this weekend when the sun is out good to get some hard date but it looks real promising as of now
    1/2
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    half crazy,

    Any news on this controller?

    Tony
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    yes it has been working as stated i am trying to find time to write a little plug for this. It does everything he has stated and i can say at 330 watts on a 24 volt dc system it doesn't even get warm so i am sensing the temperature thing some where worried about to be a non issue.

    Look for a more detailed reply in a few days but it has really boosted output over the C series Xantrex controller. Acording to her logs she keeps i would say 25% better maybe a little more. I do like the Data that is available on the display as well. My only want would be a voltage controlled relay for a battery vent fan but i have no idea what this would add to the cost?
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Good on ya,

    Pleased to hear that it makes the grade. I await the write up.

    Tony
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Also looking forward to HC's detailed review, I think the Rogue 3024 has a good pitch in the Market Place over the current C Series and Morningstar Tri Star PWM units. It comes with a display as standard and BTS and offers MPPT at 30 amps at 24 volts it will handle a large proportion of my customers needs with array sizes well less than a 1000 watts of PV . It doesnt replace the FM60 and XW60 of this world but there is very much a gap in the market place for such a $300 MPPT charge controller.

    Half Crazy start typing :p
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    a quick update but the controller is working as stated so far. She has a modest system and runs her generator frequently so she will notice a change quick and she seems to notice here generator time is way down.

    Also, we are beginning the long solar days too, could that have something to do with it ?
    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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    At least with my Grid Tied system--we are also starting with hot (and hazy?) weather--so my array is producing slightly less than earlier in the spring (maybe <5% less at this point).

    Always difficult to get accurate numbers when field testing an off-grid solar charge controller unless the load exceeds the panel+charge controller daily output (charge controller will only replace energy used from bank--so total daily output is not dependent on charge controller improvements).

    In this case, because the customer uses a genset quite often--it is probably a nice place to see a system improvement by using a "better" charge controller (less generator time + with similar loads could indicate more efficient charge controller).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I vote longer days on this

    System is 330 watts STC , this time of year Mppt might give a 15% boost in harvest ( 50 watts in theory )

    Since this is in Maine, the difference is huge between winter & summer in daylight time it also never get hot there ... so with the long moderate days, PWM or MPPT one will easily get 2X the harvest in that location this time of year
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    How about we let our skepticism lie until we read 1/2's report?

    I would like to keep an open mind about a new player in the market,,, especially a smaller one.

    Tony
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    ok i am typing i will post in a little while
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Don't hurry,,,, inquiring minds can wait,,,

    Tony
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Ok here is my awaited review of the Rogue 3024

    I will start with a little info on the test sight. It is an offgrid house with a small system. The system is fairly imbalanced, the loads usually over take the solar input. The system consists of the following:

    12 6 volt golf cart batteries
    2 solar world 165 watt panells
    Xantrex 2524 SW+
    Midnite Solar Mini DC
    Xantrex C series Charge Controller
    Coleman 5,000 watt generator

    After a couple of months running with the Rogue controller, I can say it is a definite improvement over the C series. I would say maybe 25% but this is a hard thing to say as we are coming into the longer days here. But based on the actual numbers from the display we definitely noticed more output compared to the C series. I will try to get some better numbers by maybe switching controllers on the fly on a good sunny day?

    I do wish the controller had an aux relay for a battery fan. The display has all the info you would need and appears to be pretty darn accurate. I say this because it would surprise you how far off I have found a few Outback controllers.

    The initial sweep of the array voltage seemed a little long but I think some of that is a start up process. During this startup/sweep it does a count down so you don't actually see the sweep on the display. But watching it on the Fluke it does do a full sweep near the end of the countdown just like you would see on the Outback display for example. It did settle on a MPPT voltage that made sense considering the temperature etc. It was stated in the manual that the controller constantly tracks and adjusts the array voltage and we did a few tests to see how it handles simulated clouds passing etc. The controller seemed to handle the shading tests ok.

    The controller has functioned flawlessly every day without getting stuck or failing to go to sleep, etc. We are only running it with 330 watts of PV but we haven't noticed the case getting warm, so I feel the controller will dissipate the heat of 30 amps. We will run the controller closer to the 30 amps and maybe directly beside a C series as well.

    So in closing if you want a smaller MPPT controller I think this may be a viable option. It is a definite improvement over the C series. The Owner's Manual is very well thought out and the Controller is very roomy to work on. I also like the fact that it is available as a kit for the people that can solder etc.

    I will set up a test to run it a little harder and maybe right beside a C series to try to get a better hold on the percentage of gain. Feel free to ask questions or suggestions on tests you would like to see considered.

    1/2
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    that's great that it works well, but i'm sure he knows that his biggest obstacle is getting it certified. he will have trouble until then as many areas will not allow non-certified components and this was my main reasoning for saying to skip it to others before. it may even be a better controller than many of the comparable ones that are certified, but without it that's trouble.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 717 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    You may be right Neil. I wonder if non listed would pose any issues with home owners insurance?
  • cedarpcedarp Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hello everyone,

    I started this thread awhile ago hoping to gain some information...Wow,,,and I kind of hate to use this phrase,,,Mission accomplished.

    I think it's fair to say that Marc has a better than average sense of what he's trying to create and from the testing done so far it looks like he's on the right track if not there already...cool.

    The size of this unit really appeals to me as I have a small hybrid system(offgrid) not too disimilar to the test system and at the moment unbalanced as well, but it's the best I can do at the moment:blush:.....anyone else having fun with this economy thing:cry:

    The two main thoughts or concerns, I should say with what I would like to do to my system this summer concerning choosing a charge controller are:
    A: 85ft. wire run
    B: Panels will be basically ground mounted but on a south facing lake shore and though I'm in the pacific northwest I get way more winter sun than Seattle, so I believe I need to factor in reflection. Lake was frozen 2 months last winter, cold panels double sun. I know Tony has had some experience with this sort of thing, is there any kind of formula to help figure this out?

    Anyway things to ponder.

    Niel, You bring up a good point on the UL listing, but I think for my situation I wouldn't be mounting it on/in my house. Besides everyone starts somewhere, but a valid point nonetheless .....Maybe if he sold a few..........

    Good luck on the testing 1/2. I look forward to reading more.

    Thanks to everyone who has posted their questions, answers and opinions in this forum, it's been educational as well as interesting.

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

    for A, consider your wiring needs with the aid of the voltage drop calculator.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=29
    it is in the excel format. if you have trouble with it i can calculate something for you.
    for B, those are variables and i doubt you will see anywhere near a 2x gain, but it would be nice if your circumstance proved me wrong even once in awhile.
    as to the thread giving you knowledge, great.:D
  • cedarpcedarp Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Thanks Niel,
    I'll play with the calc for awhile and see what I come up with. When I need help, and I will, I know where to go.

    There are no cookie cutter solutions to this game which is one of the things I love about it;)
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    The Trace/Xantrex "C" series [C-30, I expect?] is a simple PWM controller, it's not a MPPT, so a gain WOULD be expected.

    Also, slight differences in setpoint calib for the 3 different charging stages, will differ a lot, as what gets pumped into a battery.

    Knowing it does not have a lockup problem, and doesn't do bad things is good, but to compare apples to oranges, and say they taste different, well, that's expected.
    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 ,

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Understanding that this is not a Flex mate/MX nor a Midnight largre mppt controller, it would be nice to see a side by side comparison between it's direct competition in the small ~25 amp controller market. Both against conventional controllers like the C series as well as the mppt controllers,, like the Morningstar, Bluesky series and even the hated BZ series.

    It seems to me that HC has established that this is a well built, well thought out, probably reliable unit. Now lets get some of you guys who have the test facilities to really compare apples to apples. For example why not some simple tests with side by side controllers in real time,, switching from one to another. And/or hourly tests recorded via amp/hour meters or watt/hour meter from something even as simple as a tri-metric.

    I do a similar "test" on my controller all the time by having a series of ammeters wired so that even thought the controller won't display the information,, I can see what the panels are putting out at any given time,,, vs what the controller is getting into the batteries net/net at the same time. In my case there is a clear advantage from the BS mppt system the lower the batteries are, (and mine are never very low!) and how cool the morning is,, usually around 12-15%. Without knowing exactly how and how fast the algorithm works,, I can see in real time how fast the net/net meter reacts.

    The reality is that there is lots of (often justified) skepticism when new player enter the market,, and many here seem to come down often on the side of maximum performance. Personally, speaking as one who lives in the real world, cost considerations, ease of use,, features, and above all reliability issues are number one in my world,,,maximizing performance is somewhat distant.

    So it seems that Lorelec needs to find a couple of people he can loan controllers to,, and will offer to do some real world testing.

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

    Agency certification (UL or whatnot) would probably help...no doubt. At this point I'm thinking it would be too expensive, especially while I'm just trying to recoup the money that I've put into this venture. I don't want to get in too far over my head! That said, there seem to be plenty of people that don't mind the lack of certification. Something to think about for the future, though.

    A relay for controlling a vent fan would be an easy and inexpensive enough addition, but I'm out of space on my current board and I'm pretty sure that all of the I/O on the microcontroller are being used. So it would mean a board redesign around a new uC -- I'm not sure it's worth it at this point. I'm compiling the suggestions I get, and some of them may go into the next design.

    Thanks to everyone (especially halfcrazy) for helping to evaluate this. I don't mind the skepticism, because I would probably be the same with a new product (hello, Solarmagic). Some tend to be a little more impartial and objective than others, but I guess that just comes with the territory. As with any new product, there are bound to be some glitches and bugs that will need to be worked out. It's impossible to conceive of and test for every possible scenario under which the product might be used. But I stand behind my product and if something needs to be addressed, I want to make sure that it's ironed out.

    Marc
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