Suggestions/Thoughts on 30amp Controller

YodaRulesYodaRules Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
edited June 2016 in Solar Beginners Corner #1
Researching my first solar setup for my RV. Decided on 3 Renogy 100W panels and would like suggestions, pros and cons of a controller (with visuals). The system will be on the ground with controller within 5-7 feet from my one 12 volt deep cell battery. Future solar uses could be additional 100W panel, switch out the one 12 Volt battery to two 6 Volt Golf Cart batteries.

Thanks for your help and suggestions,


Comments

  • DConlyGuyDConlyGuy Posts: 80Registered Users ✭✭
    https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-charge-controllers/mppt-100-30,, i have this one and 400 watts of panels now and it keeps my to 6 volt golf cart battery's charged easy enough. only thing i dont like is you have to buy the extra meter on it to really set anything on it 
    600 watts of solar panels,Epever 30 mppt , 2 PWHR12500W4FR battery's in 24 volt setup
  • South AfricaSouth Africa Posts: 294Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016 #3
    Hi DConlyGuy,

    All Victron MPPT's can be adjust with a Pc/laptop/tablet. See under VictronConnect app, here: https://www.victronenergy.com/support-and-downloads/software

    You just need a cable from them, then you can monitor the controller all the time. The cables are expensive, but for good reason we learned. I recon you could find one for maybe $55 (SA Rand of R550.00) - worth it when you "see" inside the controller.
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Midnite Kid for MPPT or Midnite Brat for PWM. 
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • VicVic Posts: 2,862Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Hi YodaRules,  Welcome to the Forum,

    I,  too,  had thought that the MidNite Solar Brat PWM CC would be a great,  inexpensive PWM Charge Controller (CC).

    The Brat:
    http://www.midnitesolar.com/productPhoto.php?product_ID=615&productCatName=Charge Controllers - Brat&productCat_ID=49&sortOrder=1&act=p

    It has several Charge profiles for Flooded batteries,  as well as for Sealed batteries (like AGMs).  It has an internal temperature sensor,  which should help keep the charge voltage compensated for at least the ambient temperature.

    Seems to be a simple CC for a small system,  where MPPT CCs would have no real advantage,  IMO.

    Here is a Link to the Wind-Sun listing for the Brat:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/inverters-controllers-accessories/chco/misoclchco/midnite-solar-brat-pwm-solar-charge-controller.html

    There are probably less expensive PWM CCs,  but being made and supported by MidNite Solar is an important plus.   There is a very active MidNite Solar Forum,  with a Brat topic,  as well as other useful general info topics:
    http://www.midniteforum.com/

    With three PV modules,  you would need a Combiner that has a circuit breaker of fuse for each PV module.  This is an important for safety,  when there are three or more PVs in parallel.   And you would want your PVs in parallel,  if you are going to use a PWM CC.

    Combiners:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/installation-parts-and-equipment/midnite/pvarco/mnpv6.html

    The above combiner would have three unused slots for breakers,  when/if you wanted to add PVs later.

    Combiner Breakers:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/installation-parts-and-equipment/midnite/cipr1/stfubr1/mnepv.html

    There are other alternatives for Combiners,  which might save a few dollars,  but would have less flexibility,  if you wanted to expand your system very much in the future.

    Using a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) CC would allow you to run a single string of PVs,  and that would not require a Combiner,  saving some $$,  but in small systems,  MPPT CCs are would probably not produce quite as much power,  and cost considerable more that PWM CCs.

    Yoda,  is your battery Flooded (has easily removable caps),  or Sealed,  like an AGM?

    Some tradeoffs.   FWIW,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • YodaRulesYodaRules Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
    Vic said:
    Yoda,  is your battery Flooded (has easily removable caps),  or Sealed,  like an AGM?


    The battery I'm using at present is a Group 24 deep cell (not a AGM) however, as soon as I an revamp my battery box plan on moving up the a Group 31 AGM.  Am going to purchase a Renogy system of two 100W panels as I dip my feet in the solar power arena with my Class B+ RV. System comes with their Wanderer Controller (PWM) but I want something I can see some visuals as I learn solaring.

    Patsy
    a/k/a  Yoda

     
  • VicVic Posts: 2,862Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Patsy,

    Thanks for the info on your battery.  Sorry,  I had thought that the "visuals"  that you were referring to,  were Links to any suggested CC,  NOT an LCD or similar display being desirable ...   sorry.

    Am certain that you realize that while AGM batteries generally do not require water to be added to them,  but,  there is the disadvantage of AGM batteries,  that one cannot simply measure the State Of Charge (SOC).  SO,  it can be difficult to determine weather one's charge parameters are allowing full charge on AGMs.   AGM batteries can have several advantages,  so,  again,  tradeoffs.

    Good Luck,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • YodaRulesYodaRules Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
    By visuals, I am so new to all this.... am thinking LED information on the CC.  So if I do not purchase an AGM battery and instead upground from my Group 24 12V to 2 6V golf cart batteries.... What is a good and reliable CC under the $100 range?

    Thanks!
  • VicVic Posts: 2,862Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Patsy,

    If you have the space for two 6 V Golf Cart batteries, AND you have a place for them that will allow you to easily see into each cell,  add Distilled Water to each cell,   AND have good access to allow measuring Specific Gravities (SGs)  with a Hydrometer,   then,  golf cart batteries will be less expensive,  and should deliver a longer life,  than AGM batteries.

    Some RVs have batteries hidden in a compartment,  accessible from the outside,  and bordering on impossible to do the above important actions,  about every month,  or so (depending upon battery average temperatures,  how deeply the batteries are discharged,  etc).

    I would still suggest the MidNite Solar Brat PWM CC.  The Link to the wind-sun site shows that this capable but small and inexpensive CC sells for about $90,  plus a bit for shipping:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/inverters-controllers-accessories/chco/misoclchco/midnite-solar-brat-pwm-solar-charge-controller.html

    There may well be some Asian import CCs which would be less expensive.  I do not follow that part of the Solar market,  so would have no suggestion for any other CC.  Morningstar offers a mind-numbingly wide range of CCs,  but trying to make an intelligent choice,  especially while being sensitive to one's possible future upgrades seems daunting.   And,  some here have felt that Morningstar's support was a bit lackluster.

    MidNite Solar has been in the Solar business for several decades (at Trace/Xantrex,  Founding of Outback Power, and at MidNite),  has terrific support,  and that Forum,  mentioned above.   Their Solar products are actually made in the USA (Arlington,  WA).  I have and use a number of their products,  and IMO,  the products and the Company are top-notch.

    That is all for now.   Have Fun,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
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