Rogue MPT-3024

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Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Just a couple of updates after the first real day of sun this morning.

    I am seeing a MPPT increase (with admittedly a 90% charged battery!) 17.7 vdc in 13.1 out with a boost of 33.8%. Sun just coming on so I'm seeing 125 watts in a net of 122.6 out,, a ~97% conversion rate.

    Yesterday, we had a high output of 348 watts (Out of ~430 connected, but 1/3 just sitting on the ground in random orientation. My array has 3 different facets that get sun at different times of the day so I never have seen that much in one time).

    A total harvest before going to absorb/float of 1kwh. That was 1hour 50 in absorb, 1 hour in float. I saw float ~2 pm and could have had another 2 hours or so.

    Time to get the batteries a bit lower and see how it performs with lower battery voltage. As it is now, I am running as many loads as I can just to drop the voltage, and it still is charging way faster than I can draw.

    Bottom line, as of now I am still impressed. If I get sun tomorrow I will do the side by side from the BS, but since the Rogue takes a bit to wake up I don't have time to watch it today, and I want to do it on a stable sky day.

    Tony
  • RWBRWB Solar Expert Posts: 168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I'm waiting to see the new Slimmer Version :) How long you going to make us wait?
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    RWB wrote: »
    I'm waiting to see the new Slimmer Version :) How long you going to make us wait?

    Ohhh...I can't say for sure. I'll definitely give you a call when I have a beta unit ready.

    Marc
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Ok,

    Some real world numbers here.

    As Marc suggested I un-powered the Rogue between tests so that it would provide a close to real time comparison.

    Over the last several days I have done a number of side by side tests between the Rogue and the BS 2512 IX mppt controller. We have had nice cold nights, and I tried to get the batteries down a bit each morning before recording.

    So here are the numbers,, With average system voltage of ~13.3 to start over a number of of hours the BS controller yielded a average increase of 12.5% The highest was 31% and the lowest 2.5%,, quite a range.

    The Rogue, with nearly identical test conditions, averaged a whopping 27.75% increase over PV power directly! The highest was 37%, the lowest 13.5%.

    As for electrical efficiency of the Rogue, over a number of tests, it averaged a conversion of 96.6%,, also pretty good in my book. (I didn't record the BlueSky).

    So my final conclusions are,,, this is a great piece of hardware. The display and the data log is great, it transitions from bulk to absorb to float flawlessly, it shows battery temp that is right in line with other measures. All in all, for a the price a great unit.

    I will continue to post from time to time if there is any other significant change, but I am going to go ahead with a permanent install! (Anybody want to buy a BS 2512 IX?)

    Tony
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    Ohhh...I can't say for sure. I'll definitely give you a call when I have a beta unit ready.

    Marc what changes could be made to the MPT3024 to raise the max voltage above 60 volts so three 12 volt nominal panels could be seriesed for a 24 volt battery bank to handle hot weather issues and better morning/evening harvests?
  • RWBRWB Solar Expert Posts: 168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I wonder how the Rouge Compares to the TriStar MPPT 45?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Wouldn't you need something closer to 75 volts?

    Figuring avg of 20Voc x 3 = 80% of ablity to handle load? (or is it 80% of Vmp?)
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    mikeo wrote: »
    Marc what changes could be made to the MPT3024 to raise the max voltage above 60 volts so three 12 volt nominal panels could be seriesed for a 24 volt battery bank to handle hot weather issues and better morning/evening harvests?

    Too many ;) . Most of the pertinent parts (FETs, aux power, etc.) are rated for 75v max, so in theory you could use a "36v" array and maybe just barely squeak by in that respect -- but it's too close for comfort for me. So it would probably mean 100v parts for a measure of headroom...which isn't difficult to do, and in fact I can get 100v FETs that have nearly the same loss-related specs as the 75v ones. The inductor would have to be redesigned, which might make it a little more lossy unless I go with a different (more expensive) core mix...which again, isn't a big problem from a design standpoint. The resolution of the A/D converter is another issue. It would probably mean a different microcontroller or an external higher-resolution converter. At this point I might as well just design a totally new controller that can accomodate much higher voltages...which I'll be working on as soon as the "slimline" 3024 is done.

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

    trouble is once you go to 100v they'll ask for 125v or even 150v.:cry:
    you might as well shoot for the top in anticipation along with the extra current capability and offer another controller while keeping the original design offered for sale.;)
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Yeah, that's my thinking too, Niel. So I think I'll start from the drawing board...

    Marc
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,776 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I am still looking for 600 Volt rating (grid tie backup controller) MPPT charge controller for a backup battery bank/system...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,196 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    BB. wrote: »
    I am still looking for 600 Volt rating (grid tie backup controller) MPPT charge controller for a backup battery bank/system...

    -Bill

    That's the magic controller, all the folks with GT arrays @ 500V, and no way to charge a battery for their "whole house UPS".
    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 ,

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

    that's ok as most would not charge the battery anyway until the power is off and then it's too late for charging and the battery as well being at 0% soc.:roll: that would ruin the efficiency straight gt boasts of too.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I had the chance to look this morning with really cold panel temps. Unfortunately My roof panels were covered with Rime ice from last nights flurries so I didn't get great gross wattage numbers, but with the battery loaded so that it was showing ~12.2 vdc Panel voltages went to nearly 19 vdc.

    What I saw was a 56% increase for about 1 hour this morning. In point of fact, by ~10:30 the controller was in absorb and was ramping down the current. It would be really curious to see what would happen if I had a truly low battery.

    56% increase over no controller at all is a pretty good increase.

    Tonyt
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,131 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Tony the thought just occurred to me:

    if you are getting that much boost, are you close to exceeding the 3024 's limits?

    I was just thinking about the difference between 2 3024's vs an MX60? Equal or more output with less panels?

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Eric,

    In fact I am not running up to the limit of the controller, due to the fact that my panel array(s) is such that three come on early, then all of them are on full bore for a few hours, and then the first three go dark. The net result is that in the early morning when the temps are cold, the battery low, I only have ~200 watts on line in effect.

    By the time all the panels come on, the batteries are up a bit, and PV temps are down. With my 412 watt connected, the highest wattage output the Rogue 3024 has recorded is 398 watts (Remember, these are older,, 15 years plus mish-mash of panels.) I didn't see that high so I can't record the current, but 398 @ 13.5 v would be ~29.48 amps.

    The reality is I have pretty good balance between PV capacity and controller capacity. I usually see ~300 watts, ~22 amps. (I think that the 398 must have been a momentary edge of cloud event).

    As for using 2 Rogues vs an MX 60. I can't really comment, never having dealt with one ever. I would say that one of the limitations of the Rogue is that system voltage is limited to 24 vdc in/out. I suppose that there are those that would wish to run 48 vdc arrays and down convert to 12 or 24 vdc. In my case, since my panels get shaded one from another over the course of the day, I have no choice but to run all my PV in parallel any way so it isn't a limitation for me.

    I believe the cost of the Rogue is ~$300,, what does an MX 60 cost? Can't even get them new as far as I know.

    Tony
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,131 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Tony, the replacement FM60 goes for about the same price as the MX did ~ $550 +S&H +Tx ++
    So they are pretty close in value, ~ 2 for 1.
    BUT the max V is a bit less than 1/2 (of 141V) at 60 V so not getting the relative array size benefit.
    This countered by what appears to be a much better boost, best I have seen in early low light conditions is about a 30% boost, but with a higher battery V than you had.
    So may be essentially equal... depending on application.

    Interesting concept though to compare brute strength vs small scale efficiency, small array, unique configuration to single larger array, with higher Voc/Isc.

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I think the idea of using two for arrays sets that are not optimally aimed (relative to shading etc) might make great sense. The reason I run mine at 12 vdc in/out is because there are many parts of the day when at least one panel has some shading. I am very limited as to where I can put panels due to some local geography!

    If I had twice as many panels I certainly would consider 2 controllers, each controlling certain sections of my array(s).

    Tony
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I'm a consulting electrical engineer, and a couple of years ago I designed a MPPT charge controller for a solar-powered autonomous (robot) boat. With this background, I have to say that the Rogue unit looks to be quite well designed and built, and the documentation available on their website is also quite comprehensive. I have one of the BZ MPPT500 units, and it has worked adequately in one of my applications (a 300W solar array charging a 48-volt battery bank in a Taylor-Dunn electric vehicle), but the BZ unit seems barely evolved past "homebrew" in its construction, and their documentation is minimal. The Rogue, at least in the pictures, appears much better.

    My initial impression is that if I had a need that Rogue's device would solve (I'm into somewhat higher power levels now), I'd buy it in a snap. He may be a one-man shop, but he's clearly done his homework in creating this product, and the end result appears to provide equal or better performance than comparable units from the major manufacturers, and at a better price. Plus, I'd feel great about supporting a local, US business that seems to be quite socially conscientious. (Off-grid, local suppliers, etc.)

    Although I agree that support for the product in, say, 10 years may be a crap shoot, the same could be true of any of the majors. I certainly hope that Rogue succeeds, though. Again, I'd absolutely buy one if it suited my needs.
    --
    Mark Moulding
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    markesys,
    welcome. to start i think you will find the general consensus here among both former uses of it and ees that have looked it over that the bz line is junk. searching the forum will reveal much to you that you need another controller be it commercial or one you design yourself. one report even stated that a pwm controller would outperform the bz.
    as to support for the rogue i think what is needed there is certification such as nrtl or the like and if you can help him in that respect he will then need to ramp up operations due to back orders come that certification. if lorelec gets such certification then i'd like to talk to him via pm to start.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hi to the forum,

    I'm here because I was about to buy a BZ MPPT250 and was doing my homework before pulling the trigger. So I searched this forum long and hard...

    I'm really glad I found this collection of enthusiasts. Yeah, BZ is not loved here. Good to learn about.

    I had seen the Rogue MPPT unit and thought it was really neat, but was it worth the extra $200 as compared to BZ MPPT250?

    It was great to read the Q&A between lorelec (who makes the Rogue unit) and the forum skeptics, and the results of the evaluation as well as the head to head comparison with the Blue Sky 2025iX and the Xantrex C series, etc. Good stuff. Thank you, forum.

    FWIW, what I learned reading the content here today convinced me not to buy the BZ MPPT250 controller, and to cough up the extra dough for the Rogue unit. Mark in Oregon, I just ordered your Rogue unit! Send me one of your latest and greatest!

    I've also decided, based on this post, to rewire my six 15W PV panel array as two sets of three panels, with the three 15W panels wired in parallel (12V), and the two sets of three panels wired in series to generate 24V to the charge controller.

    My bank is eight 6V Exide GC-5 batteries, wired in series to create four 12V batteries which are joined in parallel. If I understand correctly, sending 24V down to the Rogue MPT-3024 will allow it to charge the 12V battery bank at a higher current rate than compared to with all six PV panels wired in parallel to send 12V to the controller, rather than 24V.

    Thanks for the very handy knowledge, folks. By all means, if I've misunderstood something, do correct me.

    I'm hoping my setup with six Harbor Freight 15W amorphous silicon PV panels, the Rogue MPT-3024 charge controller, a series-parallel battery bank of eight 6V GC-5s in 12V configuration, along with a 3000/6000W inverter will power my off-grid barn lights and gable vent fan for a couple of years. I understand the amorphous silicon PV panels can degrade fairly quickly over time.

    Along the way, I hope to retire the HF cheapo PV panels and buy one or two 100W Real PV panels. In the mean time the HF 15 watters have helped me get my solar energy feet wet.

    Kind regards
    Chip
    Robiefield Mountain Farm
    Off the Grid in the VA Appalachians
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,776 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Really try to avoid the HF amorphous panels... They are usually not worth the effort to mount them (lower than rated output, 2x the area of similar rated crystalline solar panels).

    The MPPT controller will really do well if you have over a couple 100 watts of solar panels... A few 15 watt panels is not going to be the best solution (normally).

    Yea--I know, the panels and hardware cost $$$$$$$.... :cry:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    I think you will love the controller.

    That said, it seems like you have a lot of battery and not much PV. It also seems like you have way too much inverter relative to total system size. Inverters running at the low end their range tend to run fairly inefficiently.

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

    the thread you read involving the hb 15w pvs was not an endorsement of those pvs at all, but the guy already had them. like the guy in the other thread with those 15w pvs, you need far more pv than you have. having lots of battery ability is nice, but you need the ability to properly charge them or you may not have them for very long and i'm sure you read that on the forum too.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024
    FWIW, what I learned reading the content here today convinced me not to buy the BZ MPPT250 controller, and to cough up the extra dough for the Rogue unit. Mark in Oregon, I just ordered your Rogue unit! Send me one of your latest and greatest!

    I've also decided, based on this post, to rewire my six 15W PV panel array as two sets of three panels, with the three 15W panels wired in parallel (12V), and the two sets of three panels wired in series to generate 24V to the charge controller.

    My bank is eight 6V Exide GC-5 batteries, wired in series to create four 12V batteries which are joined in parallel. If I understand correctly, sending 24V down to the Rogue MPT-3024 will allow it to charge the 12V battery bank at a higher current rate than compared to with all six PV panels wired in parallel to send 12V to the controller, rather than 24V.

    Thanks, Chip! It's on its way!

    24v versus 12v probably won't make much of a difference in your situation. Ignoring loss-related issues, you'll see the same amount of current going into your batteries with either setup. 12v -> 12v will give you slightly higher wiring losses, but a 24v -> 12v conversion is slightly less efficient (in the controller). With the latter arrangement, you will see an apparent increase in output current from the controller versus input current, but the end result will be the same as that of the 12v setup. When you get into higher power arrays, then the losses become more of a concern and the 24->12 conversion allows you more of an advantage. There are some other benefits, too, but in my opinion you can probably wire those HF panels either way and you probably won't see much of a difference.

    As others have noted, best to upgrade the panels soon. They're great for experimentation and getting your feet wet with solar, but undercharging those eight batteries is probably something you don't want to experiment with unless they're at the end of their lives already.

    Marc
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    First: I know... I know... HF solar stuff is like toys. It's [email protected] Mocked. Ridiculed. The stuff of noobs and dilettantes. Right. I get it, friends. [email protected] I'm not in denial.

    But like most HF tools, they have a range of functionality that can be useful, even if it's less than advertised. And the array of 15W panels is what I *Have*, not what I'm shopping for. So yes, beat me with a picofarad capacitor, I own HF panels as part of a first time, growing solar power system. I am suitably humbled.

    I haven't really described my usage pattern. Assumptions that I am trying to power a 7-day a week off-grid home with six 15 watt nominal amorphous panels would be... erroneous.

    The farm is a work in progress. It's completely off the grid. I do everything with generators and batteries. I have a generator for my well. I have a generator for the RV I boondock in. I have a generator for the barn. I'm most often just at the farm on weekends. And... I want to use Less Generator. I don't enjoy the constant background rattle and hum of gensets most of the day.

    My PV array and battery bank powers my barn when it's not on generator power. I'm finishing out a workshop inside the barn. I use the batteries and inverter to backfeed the barn fuse box when the generator's not running. For the last year, the job of the battery bank has been to give me light in the barn on Friday nights for an hour or two, and to run the gable fan and a small radio during the day on Saturdays. On Saturdays the battery bank also typically powers circular saws, grinders, and battery chargers for portable hand tools. I bought a big inverter so I might be able to use my table saw sans generator some day.

    On Sundays before leaving until the next weekend, I run the generator and an auto battery charger to recharge the battery bank to full capacity. Then I reconnect the HF panels & controller to the battery bank and use that to keep the charged batteries in that state until I return the next weekend. It's worked for a year and a half while I worked on upgrading the system component by component.

    Yes... I *know* right now having the Rogue charge controller, eight golf cart batteries, and a 3000W inverter hooked up to an array of HF 15W panels is like having an F1 race car chassis, transmission, and tires hooked up to a moped engine. Trust me, REAL non-amorphous silicone 100+ watt panels are NEXT, and soon. It's a matter of time and money and juggling farm financial priorities.

    I'll probably be asking those panel questions shortly, when I have the ready funds to pull the trigger on that next step. But in the meantime, while I assemble my system component by component, in attempts to learn while moving to a greener power generation scheme, I'd appreciate your helpful comments and observations.

    Best,
    Chip
    Robiefield Mountain Farms
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,776 admin
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Chip--no harm was intended...

    Most of us here are Really Cheap--and have made many of our own mistakes (ruining batteries, HF panels, off-brand charge controllers, etc.)...

    We just don't want to see you "waste" your capital.

    Good luck and let us know how it progresses.

    -Bill ;)
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,196 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Frankly, I don't know what the internal consumption of the MPPT is, it may be half your solar (as the sun beats on the HF panels, they degrade 10% / year) generation. I might look into just running from a old fashion PWM controller, and wire it all in parallel (for 12V)
    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 ,

  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Hey, I too started with 2 sets of the HF panels. Ended up with 900 watts of real UL listed panels. Used the HF panels for a year and half, then sold them for 80% of what I paid for.

    They are good trainer panels, easy to get.

    They are 17-18 volt panels, so he will see a gain using an MPPT over a PWM controller.
  • loreleclorelec Solar Expert Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rogue MPT-3024

    Chip,

    No offense meant with the comments on the HF panels. A lot of people use them, and they should work fine for keeping your batteries charged between visits. The original concern wasn't with the brand of panel, but that they wouldn't be enough to keep the batteries charged properly with regular use. For intermittent use (as it appears you'll be going a week or so without using any power), you'll probably be alright.

    Marc
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