make sky blue chinese mppt cc

wild01wild01 Solar Expert Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
I picked one of these up in January off of Amazon, and figured I'd do a review for everyone.

First off the bad- not UL listed, and output amps are overrated i.e. if you can do math there is no way to get the rated amps or off the controller without exceeding the recommended max Watts of panels, unless you are discharging your batteries so low that you will destroy them in a few weeks anyway.

Spec's say max array size for 36 volt operation is 2100 watts. Simple math will tell you that at 100 percent efficiency 60 amps is only achievable to 35 volts which is not enough to charge a 36 volt battery. 43 volts is the standard bulk charge rate for a 36 volt lead acid battery. 43*60=2580, so in order to charge a 36 volt battery @ 60 amps you would need to install over 2600w of panels at this controllers stated efficiency. Best case scenario IF everything functions perfectly this unit is a 48 amp controller.


Now for THE GOOD! First off it works, which is somewhat amazing considering the number of FAKE mppt's coming out of China in the last few years.

I've had it in service about 6 months, it tracks fairly well, puts out about what i would expect it to, (subjective i know) With the array of panels I have on it it is maxing at about 45 amps and even after several hours in a somewhat poorly ventilated space it has never been hot to the touch( at least when i have checked it) which is much more than i can say for the tracer controllers I've tested. Cost delivered was just under $170 (I could have gotten it for less but chose to order it through prime for returnability reasons)

Final thoughts all in all this seems to be a decent cc even derating it to 45a from the advertised 60 the price point is very good. While I probably wouldn't rely on one as my only cc since I already have a flexmax primary cc so far these seem to be a pretty good deal as secondary controllers at 1/3 the cost. Really what has impressed me the most is the lack of heat, they do have a small fan, but even my flexmax runs way hotter when putting out comparable power.

Comments

  • ollyommollyomm Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭
    Thanks for that, does it have any way of recording its stats to computer via cable or wifi or bluetooth? Theres not much info available on these units
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    I have one of these and my first question is, What clown programmed this? I like the concept and design, but the software does weird things. Low voltage disconnect seems totally random and is of no use at all. Battery voltage can exceed set point for hours and it will still be off.  Tracking is shit.  I regularly see panel voltage at 19V from a 60V array and it just stays there for a long time.  Disconnect the panels for 5 seconds and it goes up to 58V and power increases 40%. I had to build a circuit that detects when voltage drops below 40V for more than 5 minutes and automatically disconnects the panel for 5 seconds.  It happened that often, this circuit made it acceptable.  I have a 12V system and I understand how it can get confused with extreme shading.   If your panels are no more than 2X battery and minimal shading, it is OK for cheap.  Just not ready for prime time.
  • semi_new2solarsemi_new2solar Registered Users Posts: 3
    PLEASE: Everyone who leaves comment good or bad list the FIRMWARE VERSION.  It should be number in lower right corner of LCD when first power up. I just bought 30A unit from Seller MakeSkyBlue on eBay - received unit 11 December 2018 - and it is version 113. Yesterday I read that newest firmware is V117 on units purchased from seller MakeSkyBlue via AliExpress.  Based on variety of reviews I read here, and others on net, the hardware might be OK, but various versions of firmware seem to have problems.  It would be great to know if newer versions solved any problems. Also, whether firmware could be updated. The AliExpress MakeSkyBlue webpage states that the circuit board changed between V116 & V117.  It would be nice to know what changes were made.
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    I had wondered about the software versions for this unit. Perhaps this was why they were willing to sell me a 40A unit shipped from US for only $67.  Won't be able to see the software version till next June.
  • semi_new2solarsemi_new2solar Registered Users Posts: 3
    edited December 2018 #6
    reply to comment #2 above: NO. There are no external connectors for recording stats & I don't see labeled connectors on the circuit board to support that. There are a 2 unstuffed 4 pin locations on my 30A unit that look like a connector would fit - but I have not yet traced out circuit to see where they connect.  Quick glance suggests space for 2 optoisolators connected to a non-Reference designator silkscreen rectangle. That shape could fit a double stacked LED or a 3.5MM jack. Can't do anything unless Firmware supports it... Maybe future boards will have locations stuffed & firmware support ? 
  • semi_new2solarsemi_new2solar Registered Users Posts: 3
    edited December 2018 #7
    wild01 said:
     ... it tracks fairly well, puts out about what i would expect it to ...  
    Please tell us your firmware version.  Another reviewer ( https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2018/05/whats-difference-between-150-and-600.html ) said he has Firmware Version 113 and seemed to have RANDOM MPPT (works sometimes, but 'loses it' other times)  similar to what poster #3 described above. I believe he bought his unit after you.
  • mountainmanmountainman Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭
    edited April 9 #8

    @NANOcontrol im having the same issue with epever charge controller. Early morning before the sun fully hits the panels 17 volts and .5 amps from a 60 volt array 300 watt array. I can unplug the panels and reconnect at it goes up to 57 or so volts then slowly drifts back to 17 again. Does the tracking just not work right or what is your opinion. I ran 2 100 watt 18.9 vmp panels on the epever. And 2 on a pwm. The mppt would go from 150 watts in full sun to 100 watt output every 20 minutes or so. And the pwm would steady put out 148 watts. In an all day comparison pwm won producing more watt hours.

    Blue ridge mts. Renogy pwm 4 100 watt and 2 190 evergreen on Epever mppt 30. 4 Gc 208 ah @12 volts 300 watt psw inverter. 2 kw genny. Iota 45.
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    @mountainman

    I threw out my EPSolar Tracers for the same reason, equal paneling with correct voltages in a test of 3 EP Solar Tracers verses 3 Trace C-40 PWM The old trace units preformed much better. The EPTracers could not be set up to the correct voltage to properly top off my batteries. They would slowly sink in PV input volts until reset or maybe 20-30 minutes later would do a full sweep and come up to a decent input voltage. I bought a Classic.....problems gone

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭

    I have a water heating system that works at a fixed power point voltage. This is only a test set up for projects as it has extensive shading issues. In a direct connect to a water heating element it can sometimes out perform a power point controller. Direct connect dragging the panels down to about 30V produces as much wattage as 0.7A at 60V. This is due to sharp line shading from a tree. Panels have a bypass diode about every 10V. So, a couple of unshaded sections can produce full power and not be limited by the weaker cells. MPPT is always shown as a near linear slope up to the peak. Actually under certain conditions there can be several peaks on that slope. Most controllers don't do a full scan continuously and can lock into these small peaks. The higher current draw keeps the panels there at that one. I see people wanting to build 3KW MPPT which is a mistake if there is any shading at all. Of course then you are left with other bad options of multiple controllers that don't have a central control.

  • mountainmanmountainman Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭

    Thanks @NANOcontrol and @Tecnodave. As long as the panel's are unobstructed it works. But tress and mountains blocking early and late. I only get full sun 2hours either side of solar noon in summer. a year Experimenting with pwm vs the epever 2 100 watt panels on each cc. Pwm produces slightly more. I've tried putting 2 panels in a morning sun location and 2 in a evening location 2 separate arrays on 1 cc I get more harvest. So far with no issues. Whats involved with doing a low voltage disconnect reconnect circuit?

    .

    Blue ridge mts. Renogy pwm 4 100 watt and 2 190 evergreen on Epever mppt 30. 4 Gc 208 ah @12 volts 300 watt psw inverter. 2 kw genny. Iota 45.
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭

    Much of my system is under microprocessor control. I just added a few lines of code and used a relay or FET to open the circuit. It is a little tricky because the MSB does not have a common negative. I will be selling the MSB on craigslist this year and likely get all my money back. I've bought a couple of 40A MPPT controllers that were broken for less than $30. They seem to operate a little better.

  • shawnsshawns Registered Users Posts: 2
    Mine sometimes forgets its settings and overcharges or cooks batteries. It used to work correctly. (As best as I can tell)
    I have had mine for about 8 months. There are two 200 watt panels with two 12 volt deep cycle batteries. (24 volt system)
    Controller is a 40 amp unit, bought directly form official makeskyblue account on Ebay. My firmware version is 113.

    I have tried to contact the manufacturer via email for a couple of weeks now. I explained the problem in detail, but they will not respond.
    Has anyone tried to contact makeskyblue using the official support page? 
  • shawnsshawns Registered Users Posts: 2
    Makeskyblue is a Chinese co. that will not honor warranty. Stay away.
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭
    I used to use EP Solar Tracer controllers and they would drift in voltage and leave batteries undercharged. I replaced them with programmable controllers and have not had any drifting voltage errors in my systems. I just can't recommend any Chinese controllers. The batteries are the weak link in the solar system and at the least you must have a programmable controller so you can set exactly to the battery manufacturers specifications for exactly what you have or are going to purchase.......as to the exact charge profile for that battery. Chinese controllers are set up for some "Generic Battery".......that is a shotgun approach that just does not work very well in the real world. Short battery life will result.
    My Rolls-Surette S-530 L-16 set is 14 years old!   I will get 20 years out of them. Could not do that with "generic controllers"
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • SeanBucknerSeanBuckner Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    HI, I want to introduce myself, I'm Sean Buckner and I am the distributor in the USA for Make Sky Blue. I run the service center here in the US and have read most of the comments here. As far as some of the issues  we have corrected many of them in V118. As for not honoring warranty, this is incorrect. We honor warranties, problem is that 80 percent of claims are damaged controllers inflicted by lack of knowledge. I know this first hand because I FIX all the controllers that come back. My phone number is 918-315-6128 if you have V117 it needs to be updated. to V118. you can call me and we can discuss options.

    Thanks
    Sean Buckner
    MakeSkyBlue USA

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are there any particular modes of damage "inflicted by lack of knowledge"?  If so, there may be some value in putting this info out there to help educate folks and reduce the incidence of the issue(s) proactively.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    edited June 13 #18
    Where is the version? I don't see it on the display. Darn manual doesn't even tell you how to set up D00.  What are the other settings besides 00?
  • SamoleSamole Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1
    Makeskyblue is garbage. Avoid this product. I have had many problems with them. You have been warned.

  • SeanBucknerSeanBuckner Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    The version is on the start up screen it will have 2 numbers one on left is amps.. one on right is version number. if you have any questions please feel free to call me at 918-315-6128. I will assist you in any warranty issues or tech support.
    Thanks
    Sean Buckner
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    edited August 16 #21
    Version 1.13  What kind of company sells me a version that old just a year ago?
  • SeanBucknerSeanBuckner Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    You can Visit Makeskyblueusa.com and buy the latest versions and find information about warranty issues.  V113 is the powMR which is a poor knock off of our old controllers. We have New architecture and new firmware that allows you to calibrate voltages. 
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    I've just made several inquiries to makeskyblue about getting my inverter 113 version upgraded. I bought from just a year ago, Aug 16, 2018.

    This is the official eBay store of MakeSkyBlue(Shenzhen) Technology Co.,Ltd.

    I even sent them the ebay invoice and they say they have never heard of me. I wish I never heard of them!

  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    The saga continues, what a bunch of weasels I sent them a picture of the box with their shipping address, product identifier label with serial number.  They still don't believe I bought it.
  • dpalyudpalyu Registered Users Posts: 1
    I have a 30A v113 that has been working for 2 years in the hot el paso, tx. sun at temps over 90F. I have never had any problems with charging. The only problem I have had is the fan stopped working and the 5A output would turn off. It is genuine MakeSkyBlue MPPT.
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