Apollo T80

oglethorpoglethorp Solar Expert Posts: 28 ✭✭
I'm not sure how to post this question as things really don t seem to jive properly.
I have a small off grid situation with a need to add more panels.
4/165 w , 2 in series, 2 sets in parallel (about to add 8 more of the same), 220 ah 48v batt bank with 8/6v golf cart system, ( Will add more batteries after adding the panels)
T80 Apollo charge controller, MagnaSign 4448, Honda 3000W gen.

The T80 apparently has some issues. Starting with , The amps going out may read 10 amps but the "battery current reads only 6.5"( Where did they go? ) Apollo does not seem to have a solution.
Another is; With the bank down say 25% I may start the genny where the MagnaSign does its thing reading the voltage to ether do a
Absorb or float. The Absorb loads the battery's till it reaches the Float stage where it goes into a 4hour charge. then it reads Full Charge.
The Apollo T80 DOES NOT read this Current going through its shunt into the batteries. It reads the Voltage properly, but with not reading the current the Apollo T 80 shows the batteries still being at the low state of charge. Apollo has sent a replacement firmware screen, shunt connection, and cables as well. Things did not change.
Now the question: Can I connect another battery mentoring device ie TriMetic at the same point parallel to the Apollo T 80? so as to know where the batteries are at any given stage if the generator run tine is cut short.
Also I m looking for other Apollo T80 owners who have the same situation with comments and/or cures.
Do the Outback charge controllers do the same? I realize the equipment inside is a bit overkill but with adding alot more panels I hope it fits together well as a package
I appreciate your patients with this as my learning curve is a bit slow.
Thanks to all,,
Phil in central Maine

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Apollo T80

    First off I have to mention that our host NAWS quit carrying Apollo equipment due to customer complaints. That doesn't bode well.

    Charge controllers in general won't read current being supplied through an inverter's built-in charger; they're not designed to do it. Yes you can connect a battery monitor such as the Trimetric and keep track of all current flow in/out of the batteries. It will be more accurate than relying on the Apollo. Outback controllers don't really work any different in this respect; they just track panel production out to wherever it goes. Remember that actual charge current/Amp hours is what comes from the panels (or other source) minus what is being used by loads. The only way to get correct figures on that is to use a stand-alone monitor with its shunt watching everything going in and out.

    You definitely should add more panels as 660 Watts is far too low for 220 Amp hours @ 48 Volts. You should have about 2.5 times that array size.
  • sweetchucksweetchuck Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Apollo T80

    The only time my Apollo T80 and Magnum 4024 read the same state of charge is when the batteries are at 100%. I always figured that sharing a shunt was likely the problem. I just go by the Apollo's reading since I never charge with the Magnum. My battery bank is eight 6v golf cart batteries wired for 24v. I have 8 Sharp 165v solar panels. I can't fit more than a couple more panels on the roof of my RV, so any future upgrades will probably be a swap to 200w or 250w panels.

    Good luck.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Apollo T80

    oglethorp,
    if coot is correct that you are wanting to measure currents that don't pass through the controller then you have to get a battery monitor with the shunt properly placed to monitor all comings and goings. if you are seeing a discrepancy between the controller and another meter it could be that the internal meter in the controller is off and you may need to verify which is correct, the t80 or your other meter. it could even be that your dmm meter leads are introducing an error because of the small wires being used. many meters, even though they have 10 or 20a capability, have leads that could literally burn up from the current passing through them. this is just to illustrate how much error can be had from the leads as wires that get hot are dissipating because of the resistance of the wire. i know this first hand as i bought a meter a few years back because it had a 20a scale, but in doing a reading with about 13a going through it i had to disconnect it quickly as the wires got hot.

    sweetchuck,
    you have a large rv to fit that many pvs.:D8)
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Apollo T80
    First off I have to mention that our host NAWS quit carrying Apollo equipment due to customer complaints. That doesn't bode well.

    On a job with a former employer, I was given a project that had several Apollo charge controllers in the design. We had a lot of trouble with them, including three which failed immediately when the Xantrex inverters connected to the same battery banks were switched on.
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