Morningstar vs Victron

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jrcent
jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
I'm trying to decide which charge controller to use for my night 12v system. 

I think I have it narrowed down to the 75/15 victron and the morningstar sunsaver 75/15. I already have the morningstar 300w sunsaver inverter. They both have good specs. They both  are about the same price. I see more reviews for the victron but haven't seen any bad reviews for the morningstar.  Is there anything I've missed that would make one or the other a better choice? Thanks for any help. 

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  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Morningstar has been making very solid charge controllers for years. I like them
    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 ,

  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
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    Thanks. I've seen some of the reviews for their own and older controllers that lasted for years.

    I'm partial to the morningstar but it's hard to find much on them except that they work good and last long but hard to program. I already have the display from the sureshine. Very light load on the batteries. 

    With the victron I have been wondering how much the bluetooth loads the system being on constantly. They do have  the  Battery Life algorithm which sounds good. 
  • mcgivor
    mcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Morningstar tech support is outstanding, the product is rugged, TS 60 experience, somewhat simple on the surface but infinitely adjustable with MSview software, if applicable, would definitely recommend and purchase again. No experience with Victron.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • Estragon
    Estragon Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I think Victron is bigger in the boat and European markets, MS more americas.  Bluetooth does use some power.  There's a low power version of bluetooth (ble) for short range (eg. a few feet with no obstructions) - don't know if Victron uses it.
    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
  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
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    I went with the morningstar. Thanks 
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    jrcent said:

    I'm partial to the morningstar but it's hard to find much on them except that they work good and last long but hard to program.
    Well, then maybe you should not be programming them.  They have about the simplest and very intuitive interface I've seen.  You will have to make the mental jump from 12 to 24 to 48V depending on your battery voltage.  There are a few settings that have obscure names, but most folks with familarity with solar, should have no problem. 
     ( I've speaking of their MSView program, which is what I understand is used for all their gear)
    https://www.morningstarcorp.com/msview/

    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 ,

  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
    edited July 2019 #8
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    Hard as in connectivity  is more what I  read about the programming what I could find  in reviews. Not much  reviews  compared to other brands. But 90% of the reviews are from Chinese crap trying to convince someone  that they didn't waste their money  lol.  I don't have a problem with the programming  myself. Looks  like I can just play and play also with a couple jumper settings  but I guess I'll find out. That's why I went with the sunsaver 15a because it's so powerful for the price. The MS site actually has a lot of information about it and programming .

    This will  be my nighttime system running 12v using  400w panels,  sureshine 300w inverter,  sunsaver mppt 15a. Figured for the winter here that plus propane  and generator will be good. 

    Still working on my daytime system. Right now at 24v but depending on the inverter I choose  will be 24v or 48v. I like the lower amps of 48v but still  researching  
  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
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    Estragon said:
    I think Victron is bigger in the boat and European markets, MS more americas.  Bluetooth does use some power.  There's a low power version of bluetooth (ble) for short range (eg. a few feet with no obstructions) - don't know if Victron uses it.
    A few of the reviews were complaining about the bluetooth connectivity and sometimes having to be right next to the controller to work. Not sure if that's still an issue or not.  MS seems like a nice piece of gear 
  • Estragon
    Estragon Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I'm happy with my MS gear, FWIW.

    Personally, bluetooth in a charge controller  wouldn't be much use to me whether BLE or otherwise, but that's application specific.  I can see where it might be.
    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
  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
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    mike95490 said:
    jrcent said:

    I'm partial to the morningstar but it's hard to find much on them except that they work good and last long but hard to program.
    Well, then maybe you should not be programming them.  They have about the simplest and very intuitive interface I've seen.  You will have to make the mental jump from 12 to 24 to 48V depending on your battery voltage.  There are a few settings that have obscure names, but most folks with familarity with solar, should have no problem. 
     ( I've speaking of their MSView program, which is what I understand is used for all their gear)
    https://www.morningstarcorp.com/msview/

    Mike what do you use to program your MS equipment? Ethernet,  USB,  or serial?  I still like the old school  serial but most of the newer computers don't have the port so ethernet is probably the most accessible with their software? 
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I use the serial - USB interface.    It HAS to be the tripp-lite  U209-000-R, or an exact clone.   All others leave out the power chip that is required to run the serial port side. 
    That is the only "difficulty" getting it to work.   ( and that you know how to count and click on the proper serial port in your system )
    I don't know if their sw runs on Mac.
    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 ,

  • jrcent
    jrcent Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭
    edited July 2019 #13
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    mike95490 said:
    I use the serial - USB interface.    It HAS to be the tripp-lite  U209-000-R, or an exact clone.   All others leave out the power chip that is required to run the serial port side. 
    That is the only "difficulty" getting it to work.   ( and that you know how to count and click on the proper serial port in your system )
    I don't know if their sw runs on Mac.
    Ok.  I will try that. Once setup it shouldn't need any more attention other than occasionally.  The MS website says something about external power but I know different models behave differently so probably easier to stick with the original.  I might even have one lying around.