3 charge controlles to 1 battery bank

I have 3 arrays of different solar panels so I believe I will need 3 charge controllers. Can I do this and will all 3 arrays charge bank at same time and how do I connect them

Comments

  • zoneblue
    zoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭✭
    Actually that depends on the panels. If the arrays can be configured within 10% Vmp, then its generally workable to feed multiple arrays into a single charge controller. On the other side, multiple controllers may help with shading issues, or simply expand the overall wattage if the arrays are large, or the system voltage small. Maybe post more details of the arrays vmp, imp.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • South Africa
    South Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    If the controllers can be set to exactly the same specs, than it could be ok.
    If they are identical make and models, even better.

    I know Morningstar had a email about this, that you can use multiple controllers onto same bank, as they all will follow the same charging pattern.
    5kVA Victron Multiplus II, 5.2kW array, 14kWh DIYLifepo4 bank, all grid-tied.


  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,743 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    All of the above is very good advice.  The best way to do this is with the same brand and networked so all controllers are in sinc at all times. This is really important in the tropics or when there are clouds. This is even more important with sensitive AGM type batteries in absorption charge to prevent battery damage. Some examples of networked controllers beside morningstar are Schneider, Outback and Midnite.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • junglejoe39
    junglejoe39 Registered Users Posts: 34
    I dont have the numbers readily available but I have 4 - 130 w thin film panels and 4 - 100 w mono panels and 3-soon to be 4 - 150 w mono panels
  • junglejoe39
    junglejoe39 Registered Users Posts: 34
    Oh sorry will have 215 ah 24v battery bank and will add another 215 ah in a few months
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Even with quality controllers and mixed brands, it only takes a couple days to fine tune all their settings so they track pretty well with each other.
    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 ,

  • 2manytoyz
    2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    I've been doing this for years.  As long as each charge controller has it's own solar panels (not shared with another controller), it works fine.  As the battery bank voltage increases, one charge controller may drop back to trickle, while the other two keep charging.  Then another drops out, and just one is charging.  Finally, they all drop back to a trickle/float mode. 

    Also, on days with low sun performance, I plug in my Iota 75A charger, which is also tied to the common battery bank.  It will work in parallel with the solar charge controllers.  Each item is self regulated, and can't back-feed another.


  • littleharbor2
    littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 2,044 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What are the cylindrical things on the solar input of CC #2?

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric,  460 Ah. 24 volt LiFePo4 battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What are the cylindrical things on the solar input of CC #2?
    Those look like ferrite cores to try to suppress EMI
    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, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
    Assuming those are Ferrite cores--You would be better off placing both wires through the same core.

    In general, those cores do not work well with pure DC current (on one leg). They saturate and do not do a good job at Radio Interference reduction.

    By placing both wires (+ and -), the net DC current is zero Amps--And then the cores will do a much better job at reducing common mode noise (will not do much for differential noise--Keep wires running in parallel, or even twisted to reduce differential noise radiation).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset