Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

genocellgenocell Registered Users Posts: 9
Hi,

I am planning on building a small solar power system for a small remote cabin in Malaysia. I am a beginner with a tight budget so please bear with me.

After some research I'm planning to buy a 20 amp Eco-Worthy charge controller with 2 of their 100w solar panels.

I have made up my mind to buy the charge controller but I'm a little bit weary about their solar panels since I haven't been able to find any reviews about them. Anyone has any experience with them and are these panels any good?

Secondly I have a question about batteries. I'm planning on buying two T-105s and wiring them in series. Are these batteries suitable for someone who is just starting out solar? I've read that one should start with a smaller capacity SLA battery before going all out with deep cycles to learn and avoid any costly mistakes. But on the contrary I would prefer to invest on a bigger power storage system which I would definitely purchase ultimately down the road. Since flooded lead acids are cheaper in the long run this would seem a great investment. I've researched on the T-105s and I do have a 2kwatt gas genset and planning to buy a charger. Is it too much of a risk? Has anyone here started out with T-105s?

Any help and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Comments

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.
    genocell wrote: »
    I'm planning on buying two T-105s and wiring them in series. Are these batteries suitable for someone who is just starting out solar?
    <snip>
    Since flooded lead acids are cheaper in the long run this would seem a great investment.

    Welcome to the forum,

    If those batteries are the correct size for you loads, then those are a good battery to start with. In the US, there are similar sized "golf cart" batteries available at Sam's Club, Costco, etc that are much less expensive, and (arguably) just as good as the Trojan.

    MOST important: read about, buy, learn to use an hydrometer.

    I find it difficult to think of a battery as a great investment... I think of it as an expense.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    OOPSss just lost a post with one errant keystroke ...

    T-105 batteries are often recommended by experts here as a beginner battery type -- inexpensive and are Flooded, so State Of Charge (SOC) can be measured with that Hydrometer suggested by vtmaps. If you can avoid SLA batteries, you should be ahead -- they are more expensive, and there is always that mystery of just how well charged that they are.

    Had looked at the EcoWorthy 100 W PVs -- a friend had found them, and they are very inexpensive. He is on a very tight budget for his first PV power system. However, there was no brand name, and no Safety Testing Agency approval marking on these PVs, and the specs seemed (at that time) to be a bit sketchy.

    You may be able to get by with an inexpensive Charge Controller, but often they are very inflexible in charge time, voltage settings, and often lack any provision for Temperature Compensation of charge voltage which can be important.

    Some opinions. 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.
  • jimindenverjimindenver Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    I have used the Eco-worthy controllers for a few years now. I prefer them with a single large 24v panel up to 270w vs two smaller panels. The controller has a VOC limit of 42v and while I know of someone that successfully uses one with two 12v panels in series, it is bumping right up to that limit. You could run the two panels in parallel but you would loose the advantage of working with the higher voltages. You could go PWM, save a lot of money and not lose a lot of power doing it.

    The controller has a temp sensor in the case that will clip amps if it gets hot such as sitting in the sun. There is no voltage sense lines but voltages are adjustable. It is odd that they never put a brand name on the case. it makes it hard to find reviews. You can watch ebay and find them in auctions going for around $90 including shipping, I just got one yesterday. Otherwise the website has the best price at $102 shipped. I have found it is best to leave some space behind the unit for ventilation.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,768 admin
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.
    Vic wrote: »
    OOPSss just lost a post with one errant keystroke ...

    If your browser is setup normally (scripting turned on), when you lose a post--You should be able to get most of it back.

    Reply to the post and on the lower left of the edit screen, there should be a "restore auto-saved content" button/text.

    If you do not see one, hit "Go Advanced" and look for the button again.

    The button is not always there on the first screen, but usually shows up when I hit the "Go Advanced" button. It saves after about 1 minute of typing (from what I have seen).

    I can "save" about 8/10 of my posts that way.

    -Bill

    PS: I also move my mouse cursor from the "middle of the screen". This keeps the mouse from "accepting" the leave page warning on my browser--I almost always hit the leave page during editing....
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the advice. It IS great that this Forum software auto-saves periodically, most other Forums do not have this feature.

    Usually, can recover a post. There are several secret mystery (or is it misery?) keys that cause vaporization of a post - I do not know just how I was able to make the post evaporate. The recovery recovered several letters of one word.

    Not a big deal, just a little misery. Am on a seldom-used computer, with a crapola keyboard ... many keys are in a slightly different place than on the computer most often-used. Time for a new keyboard for this one. Thanks! 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.
  • PlowmanPlowman Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    IMHO, 200W of panels for 225 ah of batteries is an "underpaneled" system, assuming you're using the system regularly. Imp of those panels is 5.59 amps:

    5.59 * 2 * 77% derate = 8.6 amps
    8.6 / 225 = 3.8% charge rate

    Trojan recommends a 10-13% charge rate.

    I have two Trojan T-105s wired in series for 12V. I charge them with four 158W panels (Imp 8.47 amps), giving me a theoretical 11.6% charge rate. I still regularly fail to get a full charge on a daily basis. The panels appear to be doing their part, but I'm still experimenting with the charge controller settings to see if I can improve performance. I can get >90% state of charge, and usually ~95%, it's the last 5% that's a challenge.

    You don't say what your loads are. Lately I've been drawing roughly 60-70 ah/day @ 12V. If you're only drawing 30 ah/day or so, I'd go with a smaller 12V battery and another panel or two.

    Three 100W panels + Trojan 12V SCS225 (130 ah) battery would be an OK combination:

    5.59 * 3 * 77% derate = 12.9 amps
    12.9 / 130 = 9.9% charge rate

    Four panels would be even better, giving you a 13.2% charge rate.

    In terms of learning battery management, yes it's a concern. I would not start with a large, expensive battery bank. I started with a slightly used $100 AGM 150 ah battery. I beat the crap out of it. Sacrificial lamb, but I learned a lot. I still use it, but it's now closer to a 15 ah battery after 4 years of abuse.

    I've also made multiple mistakes with my T-105s, but I like to think I've managed them better than I would have if I hadn't started with a cheap battery. But the expense of two T-105s over even 3 years (assuming premature death due to mismanagement) is not really significant, about $8/mo in my case. If I get 4 years out of them I'll be more than happy.

    I certainly wouldn't buy a dozen L16s as my first battery purchase, like I've heard of some folks doing, but two T-105s isn't too bad as a starter set. Assuming, like I said above, you have enough panel to charge them.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,768 admin
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    For me, it is hitting a control key (like ^R for refresh or other) on Firefox. But, I do not think that is what is really happening.

    Mostly it appears that typing while touching the mouse pad causes problems for me. I turn off the mouse pad, and I get zero problems.

    When I do get a "bad key hit", Firefox seems to pop the "Are you sure" window right under my mouse pointer--Then the next key I press somehow says "OK".

    I feel your pain.

    -Bill :cry:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • genocellgenocell Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.
    Vic wrote: »

    Had looked at the EcoWorthy 100 W PVs -- a friend had found them, and they are very inexpensive. He is on a very tight budget for his first PV power system. However, there was no brand name, and no Safety Testing Agency approval marking on these PVs, and the specs seemed (at that time) to be a bit sketchy.

    You may be able to get by with an inexpensive Charge Controller, but often they are very inflexible in charge time, voltage settings, and often lack any provision for Temperature Compensation of charge voltage which can be important.

    Some opinions. Good Luck, Vic



    After knowing that they don't have any certification I'm probably not going to buy those. I do know of a local solar company that sells panels but they're $160 more expensive than the Eco-worthy ones for a pair which is a price for another solar panel. They do have a TUV and CE certifications though. Do you think I shouldn't take any chances?

    Additionally, do you think my batteries will suffer too much using a CC without a Temperature Compensation feature and non customizable voltage settings?

    I have used the Eco-worthy controllers for a few years now. I prefer them with a single large 24v panel up to 270w vs two smaller panels. The controller has a VOC limit of 42v and while I know of someone that successfully uses one with two 12v panels in series, it is bumping right up to that limit. You could run the two panels in parallel but you would loose the advantage of working with the higher voltages. You could go PWM, save a lot of money and not lose a lot of power doing it.

    The controller has a temp sensor in the case that will clip amps if it gets hot such as sitting in the sun. There is no voltage sense lines but voltages are adjustable. It is odd that they never put a brand name on the case. it makes it hard to find reviews. You can watch ebay and find them in auctions going for around $90 including shipping, I just got one yesterday. Otherwise the website has the best price at $102 shipped. I have found it is best to leave some space behind the unit for ventilation.

    Thanks. Actually, I am now torn between the Eco-Worthy and this Taiwanese 25a charge controller after watching this interesting review.
    I read that the Eco-Worthy CC has a problem with exiting the 'absorb' mode too soon. Is this true? How does this affect your batteries after all these years?
    Plowman wrote: »
    IMHO, 200W of panels for 225 ah of batteries is an "underpaneled" system, assuming you're using the system regularly. Imp of those panels is 5.59 amps:

    5.59 * 2 * 77% derate = 8.6 amps
    8.6 / 225 = 3.8% charge rate

    Trojan recommends a 10-13% charge rate.

    I have two Trojan T-105s wired in series for 12V. I charge them with four 158W panels (Imp 8.47 amps), giving me a theoretical 11.6% charge rate. I still regularly fail to get a full charge on a daily basis. The panels appear to be doing their part, but I'm still experimenting with the charge controller settings to see if I can improve performance. I can get >90% state of charge, and usually ~95%, it's the last 5% that's a challenge.

    You don't say what your loads are. Lately I've been drawing roughly 60-70 ah/day @ 12V. If you're only drawing 30 ah/day or so, I'd go with a smaller 12V battery and another panel or two.

    Three 100W panels + Trojan 12V SCS225 (130 ah) battery would be an OK combination:

    5.59 * 3 * 77% derate = 12.9 amps
    12.9 / 130 = 9.9% charge rate

    Four panels would be even better, giving you a 13.2% charge rate.

    This is a really helpful post. Thank you. I will be buying 2 more 100w panels eventually. My loads are good for 2 T-105s with plenty to spare for 2 cloudy/stormy days. Currently I am planning to use a charger powered by a genset and top it off periodically if the charge isn't full - which is an advice I read from another forum for another guy. I have a woodshop that I run using a genset once every few days so while I futz around in the woodshop in between making sawdusts I think it's better to charge it instead of the engine just idling away. So I think this is good idea for the time being?

    Also thank you everyone else for the helpful posts. This forum has a very positive atmosphere and I appreciate the warm welcome.
  • jimindenverjimindenver Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.
    genocell wrote: »



    Thanks. Actually, I am now torn between the Eco-Worthy and this Taiwanese 25a charge controller after watching this interesting review.
    I read that the Eco-Worthy CC has a problem with exiting the 'absorb' mode too soon. Is this true? How does this affect your batteries after all these years?


    I wrote of that a few years ago and so far it hasn't been a issue. Then again I am not a full timer but I do know of those using it that are and they are happy. It seems to enter absorb when it passes 14v and ends it by hitting the voltage you set. You can keep the voltage up via the float settings but I wouldn't know that it is the same. I am glad to see new less expensive controllers come out and would like to see the Eco-worthy upgraded too. According to Eco-worthy it is a pretty hot seller for them, so it may be a while.

    The 25a controller looks interesting, I was only able to skim the review but would want to know more about the software bugs he reported in the text under the video. I will be interested in how it does if you get one.
  • genocellgenocell Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    .....................................
  • genocellgenocell Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Eco-Worthy 100w Panels and Trojan T-105 questions.

    Okay, I'll make an update when the unit arrives.
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