Rogue MPT-3024

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Comments

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

    You could do what the BZ controllers do,,, make up the numbers! On the other hand, the BZ gives not only don't show any MPPT gain, they actually show a net loss. Not quite the way I would make them up!


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

    got any dilithium crystals?
    bz=bs dividing both sides by b we get z=s so s is the answer.:roll::p
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hello,

    I've purchased the unit last week after reading this thread.

    I use solar as a hobby and would like to add some Uni-Solar panel to my travel trailer later on.

    I can't wait to replace my cheap Canadian Tire charge controler with the Rogue.

    I want to thank the members of the Forum for their opinions for the great reviews.


    Simon
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,815 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hi Marc,

    Looks like your Rogue MPPT CC is a very nice product. I think that you will do well with it, and nice to have someting for smaller systems.

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

    I had a minor problem with the LCD on my unit. (Lines through one set of info,, you could still read it, but it was irksome). I dropped a quick note to Marc at Rogue and a few days later a new LCD arrive in my Post Box. Installation was a snap. No questions asked, no headache and no hassle.

    Tony
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 385 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    I had a minor problem with the LCD on my unit. (Lines through one set of info,, you could still read it, but it was irksome)
    .
    I had a similar thing happen to my Rogue where I couldn't read all the display. I disconnected the power and restarted the controller and it has been fine since.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Mike,

    If you have any more problems, send me an email and I'll get another display out to you. I think your LCD is from the same lot as Tony's. I had one display from that lot that was DOA (third line missing), but no other reports of failures.

    Marc
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    lorelec wrote: »
    Ah, yes, the UL listing. I would like to move forward on that, but I understand cost can be considerable. It is something that I'm looking into in the near future. I'm also taking that recommendation for an auxiliary output into consideration. :D

    Marc
    The Rogue looks very nice in several ways. I'm mostly impressed.

    I just wanted to ask if by "auxiliary output" on future models that means it will have a Low Voltage Disconnect? I think such an output, supporting at least 15 amps, would be a very useful future addition.

    As for agency approval I'm not sure most of the Rogue's closest competition has it either? I posted some further thoughts on both issues and the MPT-3024 here:

    Best Deal in Panels & MPPT Controllers
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    MorningStar's Mppt controllers are ETL listed and class B FCC compliant. UL is just one of many listed private company's for certification, they all have the same value when it comes to being recognized as a certified and listed code compliant device.
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    MorningStar's Mppt controllers are ETL listed and class B FCC compliant. UL is just one of many listed private company's for certification, they all have the same value when it comes to being recognized as a certified and listed code compliant device.
    Thanks. You're right about the TriStar having ETL. I only checked the MorningStar SunSaver MPPT, and AFAIK, it is not ETL certified (not on the unit itself, datasheet or manual). It only has CE which is *not* equivalent to UL or ETL from a code or inspector's perspective. Morningstar also claims the TS is NEC compliant but makes no such claims for the SS.

    The TS-MPPT-45 is a nice unit, but with internal metering like the Rogue has, it's quite a bit more expensive than the Rogue--$505 vs $300. And, if it uses the same MPPT algorithm as the SS (a fixed offset from Voc and frequently removing the load from the panel to test Voc), I think Rogue's MPPT approach is superior. The efficiency curves on the Rogue also look a bit better-especially at lower power levels.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    The MorningStar Mppt is not fixed % of VOC, that the old BlueSky

    MorningStar Mppt ( both Sunsaver and TriStar ) does full array sweeps in 0.2 seconds, every 3-5 minutes to find the vmp, with other propriety triggers and checks. Harvest wise, there are none better and it doesn't have the issues with inverter ripple, partial shading or secondary vmp humps that will cause issues for most non-sweep based mppt units

    You can get a LCD display for the MS, Yes its more than other controllers, you get a 150V input, higher current ability, communications via RS232 and for the 60 amp unit ~500 price you get fully Ethernet connectivity. Your kind of comparing apples to oranges to other lower cost controllers
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    The MorningStar Mppt is not fixed % of VOC, that the old BlueSky
    You're right! My confusion there. Like I said the TriStar is a nice unit, and the SunSaver is a bargain for 200 watt and smaller systems.

    That said, the Rogue clearly has a niche as well and offers more bang for the buck--especially for anyone wanting a display. Reports are the MPPT techniques in the Rogue seem to work very well in the real world and I suspect are very close to the Morningstar TS performance.

    For a smaller system, and in cloudy weather even with a bigger array, I suspect the Rogue's DC-DC converter will probably yield slightly higher efficiency than the TS-45 as the graphs show. The higher the max current of a DC-DC converter the less efficient it is a low power. So while it can handle 45 amps, the TriStar is probably at a disadvantage when the array is only producing 50 or 100 watts.

    My application is with a smaller array, far north, with lots of cloudy weather. So low power efficiency matters to me more than it does to someone in say Arizona.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    SolarGeek wrote: »
    For a smaller system, and in cloudy weather even with a bigger array, I suspect the Rogue's DC-DC converter will probably yield slightly higher efficiency than the TS-45 as the graphs show. The higher the max current of a DC-DC converter the less efficient it is a low power. So while it can handle 45 amps, the TriStar is probably at a disadvantage when the array is only producing 50 or 100 watts.

    Nope, the TriStar Mppt is a multiphase unit, at lower power levels it operates with only with a single phase, this along other design features it has the lowest idle and tar loses of any unit on the market
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    Nope, the TriStar Mppt is a multiphase unit, at lower power levels it operates with only with a single phase, this along other design features it has the lowest idle and tar loses of any unit on the market
    Well the efficiency data provided by both companies show the Rogue more efficient below about 50 - 100 watts. The Rogue also, according to the mfg data, has lower self consumption.

    Datasheets of DC-DC converter specs with efficiency graphs clearly show what I'm talking about. The magnetic design, mosfet drive requirements, waveform duty cycle, and other aspects of a higher power DC-DC converter cause it to be less efficient at lower power levels. Just one example is the gate charge of the output MOSFETs. You need bigger (and/or more) MOSFETs in a 45 amp converter. They require more charge to turn on and off regardless of the load on them. And that's happening tens of thousands of times a second. So the extra power adds up. It's like using a sledgehammer to kill an ant or putting a 200 horsepower engine on a lawnmower.

    A 15 amp converter that runs 98% efficient at 15 amps, like the one in the SS, should be more efficient at 1 amp than the 98% 45 amp converter in the TS will be at 1 amp. And I'm willing to bet the 30 amp Rogue will beat the TS at lower powers as well--just as the graphs show.

    In a multi voltage system the only way around the above is to either have two (or more) completely different converters and use one for lower power and switch to the other at high power. Given the DC-DC converter is, by far, the most expensive part of a MPPT controller, that's not very likely in the TS. If you're implying by "multiphase" the TS has multiple DC-DC converters, or some similar advanced scheme, that would be a big deal and I'd expect them to mention it among all the other features? But I can't find any mention of anything like that anywhere.

    If the panel voltage is nominally the same as the battery voltage you can of course shut off the converter and just connect the panels directly to the battery with only the MOSFET DC losses at low power levels. But in a system with a higher nominal panel voltage than the battery voltage that method will only improve efficiency at *really* low power levels. Otherwise you want the DC-DC converter running.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I don't know the accuracy of the non MorningStar Data your looking at, the MorningStar data was recorded using a Yokogawa Power analyzer that was calibrated and certified just for these tests and resulting data. The internal measurements on the Yokogawa is 0.1% accuracy

    The TriStar Mppt is Multiphase, that means yes, parallel buck converters, the software to improve the switching losses turns off the second and third ( 2 phase 45 amp , 3 phase 60 amp ) switches at lower power levels.

    The TriStar Mppt has many features to have the best efficiency of any controller on the market, multi phase switching, no relay, the use of IR's Direct Fets and the very best FET available for lower switching and rdson loses.

    The SunSaver Mppt is a two phase design and it also turns off one of the phases at lower power levels. There isn't much difference between the two for idle switch or tar losses ( TriStar vs SunSaver ) mostly due to the SunSavers internal power is a powered by linear regulator as the TriStar ( and higher battery voltages support ) uses a very high efficiency sepic converter for the internal power
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    I don't know the accuracy of the non MorningStar Data your looking at, the MorningStar data was recorded using a Yokogawa Power analyzer that was calibrated and certified just for these tests and resulting data. The internal measurements on the Yokogawa is 0.1% accuracy

    The TriStar Mppt is Multiphase, that means yes, parallel buck converters, the software to improve the switching losses turns off the second and third ( 2 phase 45 amp , 3 phase 60 amp ) switches at lower power levels.
    Thanks for the added info. I wish I could justify buying several controllers and performing detailed measurements on them. It's not rocket science to accurately measure the current and voltage in, and the current and voltage out.

    I have high accuracy data logging equipment that can simultaneously log all 4 values over time and dump the results to a spreadsheet so you could calc real time efficiency at any operating point in time. I also have the necessary power supplies and electronic loads including a huge 0-60volt 0-20amp supply that could provide a variety of inputs at up to 1200 watts. So if anyone wants to loan me a controller I'd be happy to test it and publish the results here?

    I looked, and at least as far down as their graphs go, you're correct about the SS and TS having similar efficiencies at lower power levels. That's impressive.

    Even if the TS shuts down a switching FET or two, that still only solves part of the low power inefficiency problem. The magnetic design in a 45 amp converter is obviously different than in a 15 or 30 amp converter. The amount of inductance, for example, is always a compromise. You have to optimize it for a given amount of current as well as be able to work at the maximum current spec. The optimum switching frequency might change as well, you can also use faster catch diodes with lower losses in smaller converters, etc. So if Morningstar found a way to optimize all that across a really wide range, I'm impressed.

    As I said, I think Morningstar does a nice job. They also have a great website with lots of useful content. But I also think Rogue has an impressive offering right out of the gate. I suspect the real world performance is very similar with a 600 watt or less array. The Rogue, however, is significantly less expensive.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    SolarGeek wrote: »
    Thanks for the added info.

    Even if the TS shuts down a switching FET or two, that still only solves part of the low power inefficiency problem. The magnetic design in a 45 amp converter is obviously different than in a 15 or 30 amp converter. The amount of inductance, for example, is always a compromise. You have to optimize it for a given amount of current as well as be able to work at the maximum current spec. The optimum switching frequency might change as well, you can also use faster catch diodes with lower losses in smaller converters, etc.

    The TriStar has separate inductors for each phase, its a synchronous design so there isn't "catch" diodes but there are parallel schottky diodes for lower losses on the lowside mosfets.

    Power analyzers are an order of magnitude more accurate than a dvm and shunts. It does all the measuring in parallel and will even temperature compensate for the shunts as they heat up ( resistance changes with temperature ).

    I hope these responses gives a better insight into how the MorningStar products are designed and why they deliver actual best in class performance.
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    Power analyzers are an order of magnitude more accurate than a dvm and shunts. It does all the measuring in parallel and will even temperature compensate for the shunts as they heat up ( resistance changes with temperature ).

    I hope these responses gives a better insight into how the MorningStar products are designed and why they deliver actual best in class performance.
    In this case as long as the measurement technique is the same for the input and output, a power analyzer has little advantage.

    If you can measure the MPPT controller under static lab conditions (i.e. fixed supply, fixed load) you can use the same instrumentation on the input and output so any instrument error is canceled out. And if you use the same set up to compare 2 different controllers, you care most about repeatability not absolute accuracy.

    You can easily correct for any external shunt error. But for checking efficiencies at the lower power levels we're discussing here (i.e. < 10 amps) I have high-end Fluke and Agilent bench DMM's that can measure below 3 amps to 0.02% and below 10 amps to 0.15% accuracy with their compensated internal shunts.

    My 6 1/2 digit Agilent 34110 can measure voltage to 0.0015%. I also have a high-end Fluke 30 amp DC current probe (the i310s) accurate to +/- 0.05 amps which would work reasonably well for measurements above 10 amps without having to use shunts. All this is NIST traceable accuracy. I do this stuff for a living.

    And yes, thanks for the added input. Do you have some connection to Morningstar? You seem to have "inside" knowledge of their products and design methodologies?

    Speaking of which, is the TriStar made offshore like the SunSaver is? That's another thing I like about the Rogue. It's made in the USA with locally sourced labor and parts where possible--off grid no less!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Solar Guppy has been a consulting design engineer on several major Solar Charge Controllers here (as I understand, that includes the Xantrex GT line, Xantrex XW MPPT controller, and the new TriStar 45/60 amp MPPT controllers).

    Of course, comparing/evaluating the competition is a major source of data for the design process too.

    I have no connection with SG or any of the companies mentioned--just from reading here over the last few years.

    I am not speaking for anyone here or not...

    -Bill

    PS: Solar Guppy has several matched solar arrays setup at his home/design lab to allow him to measure operating parameters under dynamic conditions...

    It is those dynamic conditions that can really hurt other designs. Tracking on random power fluctuations, interference from loads (120/100 Hz ripple from inverters, etc.) have been shown to dramatically affect overall collection vs static lab conditions.

    --Again, I have no connection with SG or any of the other folks talked about here--But this squares very nicely (dynamic vs static test conditions) with my own experiences in development and production engineering.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    BB. wrote: »
    Solar Guppy has been a consulting design engineer on several major Solar Charge Controllers here (as I understand, that includes the Xantrex GT line, Xantrex XW MPPT controller, and the new TriStar 45/60 amp MPPT controllers).

    <snip>

    PS: Solar Guppy has several matched solar arrays setup at his home/design lab to allow him to measure operating parameters under dynamic conditions...

    It is those dynamic conditions that can really hurt other designs. Tracking on random power fluctuations, interference from loads (120/100 Hz ripple from inverters, etc.) have been shown to dramatically affect overall collection vs static lab conditions.
    Ah! Thanks for the added info. I'm (obviously!) new here and still learning my way and who's who.

    And I agree all sorts of things can crop up in real-world use that may not show up in static bench testing. But both have their place.

    I'm hardly an expert on solar systems, but I know my way around test instrumentation and, as an EE , have done lots of hardware design and testing. My approach would ideally be to both make static measurements, simulate some dynamic conditions in a repeatable way, and use data logging equipment to monitor both the simulations and performance in the real world with a real solar array and battery bank.

    I can calibrate my data logger to accuracy well beyond what's required for this sort of testing and it can sample many times per second if desired. So on the bench or under real-world conditions, it would be fairly easy to monitor the performance of any controller under lighter load conditions.

    Data logging is great as it eliminates lots of potential sources for human error and lets you easily run all sorts of useful analysis on the data after wards including graphing and presenting it in helpful ways.

    Mother nature is a bit too much of an unknown to ever make really accurate real world comparisons. Having matched arrays is probably about as good as you're going to get. But even then how closely matched are they? What if a cloud keeps one in the shade longer than the other? What if a flock of crows decide to hang out on one for a while? Are the battery banks in exactly the same condition and did they start out at identical charge levels? It gets very difficult to tightly control all the variables in the real world.

    Obviously if one controller harvests 20% more energy from matched arrays under carefully controlled conditions you have a clear winner. But if you're talking about one DC-DC converter running at 98% efficiency vs another at 96% efficiency, all the potential sources of real-world error could easily mask that small 2% difference. The same is true for using two sets of measuring equipment with insufficient accuracy. Or, worse as is often done here, relying on the internal readings of the equipment being tested.

    Anyway, you and others here may know all of the above already, but for the benefit of everyone else, I think it makes sense to take as much of an objective approach as possible. It's easy to let subjective impressions cloud our judgment or to be unaware of potential errors in measurements.

    So I'm relatively comfortable putting a charge controller--PWM or MPPT--through its paces. I wish it were as easy to test solar panels! There most of us are at the mercy of mother nature and panels are more difficult to deal with on many levels.

    I would love to see some consistent independent testing of panels. I suspect the results might be rather interesting with differences (compared to the manufacture's specs) of far greater magnitude than for controllers and inverters. The panels are by the far the most expensive part of a solar system, but I've not seen much in the way of detailed analytical comparisons.

    I mean wouldn't it be nice to know how the cheaper Chinese panels compare to say Kyocera or Mitsubishi side by side under a variety of temps, incident angles, and irradiance levels? From what I've seen, most rely on rather uncontrolled anecdotal information, and the manufactures specs, for panel performance.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Unfortuatually, detailed test results of panels is not going to be public knowledge with private companies...

    Since the physics of the silicon solar cell is pretty much fixed, you are left with manufacturing differences that affect panel life time...

    There was an interest article about UL testing of solar panels from the San Jose Mercury posted by "Russ" a few weeks ago. For me, this was an interesting data point and may actually show that UL (and other NRTL's if they follow similar testings procedures) are at least doing some basic quality testing of the panels:

    $50,000 and 6 months of testing to pass a panel.
    Chris Paxton, who manages much of the solar testing at the lab, says the majority of "failures" occur with the "humidity freeze" test. The panels go through a 10-day testing cycle where they are exposed to 85 percent humidity — much like the environment in the tropics. Wet modules are then brought down to frigid temperatures of negative 40 degrees Celsius, where the moisture freezes and expands. UL technicians then scour the panels for any defects or inconsistencies in construction.
    That sounds like a very difficult test to pass.

    In general, when we tested for "UL" on our "computers"--there is no testing that checks for long term function/reliability/suitability for application--And, in fact, they do not care if our equipment even functions for its designed task or not--It could have been a self heating 2,000 lb paperweight. All they do is check for safety (will it "kill or set anyone on fire" -- and did we use "listed sources" for anything that was around AC Grid Power or Telephone Networks).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    By the way, here is a thread with a few comments about how Solar Guppy went about making matched arrays (something like 5kW or so).

    -Bill

    (again, not trying to answer for SG--but I probably have a bit more free time than him).

    SG, let me know if I am going "too far". -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    BB. wrote: »
    There was an interest article about UL testing of solar panels from the San Jose Mercury posted by "Russ" a few weeks ago. For me, this was an interesting data point and may actually show that UL (and other NRTL's if they follow similar testings procedures) are at least doing some basic quality testing of the panels:
    Thanks. That's interesting reading. UL tends to be rather brutal on products. They're not so much concerned about function, but failure modes that could pose any sort of hazard. Some of their tests involve such extreme things as pouring a burning flammable liquid into the device and the device required to safely extinguish the liquid. So a full UL approval of a product (not just some portion of a product being UL approved) can be a very big deal.

    The article does make me more likely to buy panels that have full (and genuine) UL Approval. At least you know it's not as likely to fail in the ways they test for.

    I don't want to treat any company, or country, unfairly, but it's well documented that Chinese manufactures and suppliers are more likely to have products that do not meet their published specifications compared to suppliers in countries like the USA, Europe, and Japan. An extreme example is selling toxic melamine as protein powder for baby formula. If they can get away with that for over a year, they can just as easily publish false solar performance specifications or even claim UL approval when they have none. They won't get away with it forever, but they likely will long enough to make a bunch of money.

    I have personal experience with many Chinese electronic components not meeting their published specifications--sometimes failing by wide margins. Many of the companies selling substandard product just close down when the word gets out, or someone tries to take legal action. They simply re-open as a new business entity later and resume their questionable way of doing business. There's little chance of holding the smaller ones legally liable so some, apparently, choose to cut corners in the interest of greater profits.

    The Chinese electronics market is fiercely competitive and there's immense pressure to have the best product at the best price. So, in my opinion, you get many companies that "cheat" in various ways to win business--especially in this soft economy.

    So, I'm not sure that panel lifetime is the only concern with some panels. It would not surprise me if the specifications for some of the panels being sold are based on the top 1% of their production, or otherwise "enhanced" and not representative of what they're actually shipping in volume.

    With electronic components, we request samples and they meet the published specs (and our needs). Then we go into production and buy what are supposed to be the same parts in volume, and have all kinds of problems. Investigation often reveals the samples we tested were "ringers" i.e. hand picked, and sometimes even specially hand made, examples of the product.

    Anyway, that said, there are some very reputable Chinese manufactures. But wouldn't it be *really* great if we had a way of knowing who they are and the typical real-world performance of what's actually being sold?

    I can find many detailed independent reviews that document that performance of lots of things like say a computer hard drive. You can find out how a given drive does on a variety of benchmarks, it's real-world power consumption, noise levels, etc. And it's a $100 item. But for someone who wants to spend $50,000 on a big solar system, they have no independent resource to compare the panels they're buying to the competition. There's something wrong there.

    Anyway, sorry to deviate off topic. The more general point is I'm all for verifying manufactures claims and specifications. Verifying the basic operation and efficiency of an MPPT controller is a relatively easy thing to do. I'd love to do a test-bench showdown between the Rogue and the TriStar or an Outback. The differences would likely be small, but at least it would help with buying decisions and give the losing manufacture some feedback to improve their future products. Independent testing does wonders for increasing competition and ultimately improving products in ways that matter.
  • RWBRWB Solar Expert Posts: 168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Interesting discussions guys.

    I'm all for testing, logging, and documenting Solar Panels Actual Outputs, especially with these Foldable Panels where there basically is no good data on most of these panels. And for sure no good comparison between all of them.

    Its nice to know SolarGeek has all the proper equipment to do proper testing on alot of stuff. I might be interested in seeing the differences between the latest solar Charge Controllers expecially the Tristar 60 and the Flex Max 60.

    The Sunsaver MPPT is a great Charge Controller, I only wish I could get it in a 25-30Amp version instead of having to step up to the 45A version which is much larger.

    It's nice to know that the Sunsaver MPPT is top of the class when it comes to MPPT harvesting. Just received 2 more of them 2 days ago, for a total of 10 of them so far.
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    RWB wrote: »
    The Sunsaver MPPT is a great Charge Controller, I only wish I could get it in a 25-30Amp version instead of having to step up to the 45A version which is much larger.
    I think the Rogue MPT-3024 is the closest you'll find to a 30 amp version of the Sunsaver MPPT (assuming you're not using a 36 volt array).
  • RWBRWB Solar Expert Posts: 168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Yes it is but one thing I don't like about it the way it is right now is that every time it loose power and turns back on again you have to push a button before the unit starts working again from what I understand. The Sunsaver MPPT will just start working as soon as it receives power again, its only important to us because our portable solar power systems have on/off switches and we do not want the end user to just turn the unit on and have everything working.

    The owner of Rogue said the software could probably be changed to make it work differently but I'm not sure I want to start messing with its software or not.

    I do agree it seems to be the perfect 30amp MPPT Controller, especially like the LCD display and how its laid out.

    A 30A load output with LVD would be killer.

    The Rouge is on the large side it looks like, the Sunsaver MPPT is about as small as it gets for 15Amps, The Genasun MPPT Charge Controllers are the smallest units below 10 amps but have way less features.

    I'm not against using a Rouge unit but I would have a hard time choosing between the Rouge and a Tristar 45 MPPT.
  • SolarGeekSolarGeek Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    RWB wrote: »
    Yes it is but one thing I don't like about it the way it is right now is that every time it loose power and turns back on again you have to push a button before the unit starts working again from what I understand. The Sunsaver MPPT will just start working as soon as it receives power again, its only important to us because our portable solar power systems have on/off switches and we do not want the end user to just turn the unit on and have everything working.

    The owner of Rogue said the software could probably be changed to make it work differently but I'm not sure I want to start messing with its software or not.
    Yeah, most would leave the batteries connected except for maintenance or an emergency disconnect, etc. So I can see how that's unusual for your application.

    I'll second your feedback to Rogue to make that change in a future revision of the firmware. The firmware in the controller likely already checks that everything seems to be connected properly, and should not overcharge the batteries with normal use, so I don't see any good reason for having it power up "off" rather than "on" but I might be missing something?

    It could even delay turning on with a message on the LCD--i.e. "POWER ON IN 30 SEC" that counts down and gives the user a chance to cancel the "auto on" if they want by pressing a key. Unless the device is out of flash memory (code space) to add enhancements it should be a relatively easy change.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    I just wanted to ask if by "auxiliary output" on future models that means it will have a Low Voltage Disconnect? I think such an output, supporting at least 15 amps, would be a very useful future addition.

    The auxiliary output mentioned was in reference to a battery vent fan -- having the controller turn on an output or a relay when the battery voltage hit a certain mark. Something like that could be made to switch a relay when the battery voltage dropped below a certain point, too. Since there is no pass-through for a load on this controller, it would have to activate something external (relay or whatever).
    That said, the Rogue clearly has a niche as well and offers more bang for the buck--especially for anyone wanting a display. Reports are the MPPT techniques in the Rogue seem to work very well in the real world and I suspect are very close to the Morningstar TS performance.

    I've used a dynamic, adaptive MPPT algorithm based on P&O. I'm not sure if it's similar to the SunSaver's. I'm sure there's differences. Doesn't sound like the TriStar uses dynamic tracking, so there would be no similarities there.
    Nope, the TriStar Mppt is a multiphase unit, at lower power levels it operates with only with a single phase, this along other design features it has the lowest idle and tar loses of any unit on the market

    Idle power for the 3024 is around 700mW. Sleep is less than 200mW. The only spec I see for the TriStar is "self consumption" at 2.7W.
    The TriStar Mppt has many features to have the best efficiency of any controller on the market, multi phase switching, no relay, the use of IR's Direct Fets and the very best FET available for lower switching and rdson loses.

    The issue with higher voltage controllers, as SolarGeek pointed out, is that there will generally be greater inherent losses versus a low-voltage controller -- all other factors the same. For example, the rds of the best 150v FET is about four times that of the best 75v FET. The Qg goes up with lower rds, which will result is slightly higher switching losses, so there's a compromise to be made. But losses from rds will outweight those due to Qg at anything except very low power levels. The best 150v IR DirectFet that I can find has an rds of 11mohm, which will result in almost 40w of wasted power at 60 amps. Compare that with the 2.3mohm of their 75v version. Of course, the Qg also doubles, which means that the turn-on and turn-off transition times double, implying that switching losses will be roughly 2x those of the higher voltage version.

    The inductor is another item that may introduce greater losses in a higher voltage converter. The HV converter will need more inductance to keep ripple within spec at higher voltages. This usually means more copper loss. Choice of core material will have an effect, too.
    I have high accuracy data logging equipment that can simultaneously log all 4 values over time and dump the results to a spreadsheet so you could calc real time efficiency at any operating point in time. I also have the necessary power supplies and electronic loads including a huge 0-60volt 0-20amp supply that could provide a variety of inputs at up to 1200 watts.

    That's basically the same setup that I use. I have an 1800w power supply and a solid state load, with a couple of Agilent meters and a Dataq data logger.
    That's another thing I like about the Rogue. It's made in the USA with locally sourced labor and parts where possible--off grid no less!

    I know that it's a global economy and all now, but the point for me behind the "made in the USA" concept is to support manufacturing jobs in this country. Foreign-made electronic components are unavoidable, but all of the metal and PCB and assembly work is done in the US, and everything except the bare enclosures (made in the midwest) is done here in Oregon.
    Verifying the basic operation and efficiency of an MPPT controller is a relatively easy thing to do. I'd love to do a test-bench showdown between the Rogue and the TriStar or an Outback.

    I might be game for this, assuming you could garner the cooperation of other manufacturers. The one issue you might have trouble with in a strictly benchtop environment (no solar panels) would be the tendency for an MPPT controller to do nothing but full duty cycle using a voltage source as the input. Many charge controllers can't even do 100%D/C (the 3024 will), so that might make a comparison all that more difficult. When I did electrical efficiency testing using a power supply, I bypassed the MPPT algorithm and programmed the controller as a simple battery charger with a fixed-voltage output (regulated at "battery voltage"), and set the power supply to simulate the Vmp of a solar panel.
    Yes it is but one thing I don't like about it the way it is right now is that every time it loose power and turns back on again you have to push a button before the unit starts working again from what I understand.

    The 3024 isn't really designed for mobile backpack-type setups. In a typical installation, you power up the controller, adjust setpoints for your system, and let it run continuously. Since all of the setpoints are done digitally and stored in memory, you're given the opportunity to set them at power-up (that's the reason you have that initial "SETUP / OK" decision to make when you first power up the controller, but you can also change them while the controller is running). The firmware could be easily changed to bypass this. It could also be customized in other ways for OEM-type integrated installations. The size is another issue for mobile applications. A slimmed-down version should be available later in the year (no promises as to an ETA yet 8) ).
    Unless the device is out of flash memory (code space) to add enhancements it should be a relatively easy change.

    Haha...well, that's another issue entirely.


    Marc
  • RWBRWB Solar Expert Posts: 168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    The size is another issue for mobile applications. A slimmed-down version should be available later in the year (no promises as to an ETA yet ).

    Be sure to call me directly when its available or if your looking for a beta tester 765-517-1210

    We looking for a small 30 Controller, especially with a LCD Display.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,090 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    OK,

    Now that that P*@*ing contest is done, As promise I will give some real world results.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have been away, and now that I am back I installed the Rogue next to the Bluesky 2512 ix. Here are opening comments.

    First, installation is a snap. Unlike the BS which mounts the controller ON the cover, making wiring with anything larger than #14 wire a pain, since you have to wire it to the lugs, then try to stuff #8 or #10 into the box. I didn't remember what a pain it was until I went to un-wire the BS for this tests!

    The Rogue on the other hand, has lugs mounted in the can, so when you remove the cover (with the lcd) the lugs are easy to get to. The can is very much bigger so that there is plenty of room to work.

    I wired both units through an AB switch so that I can switch from one to the other easily. One problem with this idea however is that by powering down the Rogue it sends it to sleep mode, from which it takes several minutes to wake up, making instant side by side comparisons harder.

    When I first fired the Rogue up, the first thing that I noticed was that the metering was SPOT on. I have a Trimetric on the battery side of the system, and a digital ammeter on the PV side. (The BS came with no meter so I installed this to see what the Pv was doing). So first, the output voltage from controller agreed with the Trimetric perfectly, and then checked with my DVM to confirm that all three were EXACTLY the same,, out to 2 decimal places which is as far as my metering will go.

    Next, the PV input current was spot on between the Rogue meter and the other ammeter.

    Finally, the controller output current (MPPT boost) was spot on compared to the Trimetric. I killed all the loads in the house by pulling the breakers. With all the loads off, the input current that the Rogue called out exactly matched that of the Trimetric.

    No before anyone wants to know how was the mppt boos, I have to say, we are having a very gloomy series of days here. Very warm by our standards (+10c) and all the snow is melting, leaving massive amounts of water on the ice. Very grey and drizzly. (My kingdom -20 and clear!) So the best I could get out of the system today was ~2.5 amps input, 2.9 amps out put,,, not much.

    I'll up date in a few days if the weather clears, but it isn't supposed to for a few days,

    Tony
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