Looking for solar charge controller recommendations.

My solar project is for a pop up camper

I am in the process of upgrading from a Coleman (ICP) 36 Watt system with the included ICP PWM charge controller to a 100 Watt system. (2-50 watt mono-crystalline panels)

I am searching for the right charge controller and would like some recommendations including the brand. At this moment I am considering a 10Amp MPPT style controller.

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,351 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Looking for solar charge controller recommendations.

    Your money is probably mis-spent on a MPPT controller for only 100 watts of PV. Who makes a 10 amp MPPT controller? For the price of a good MPPT controller, with only that amount of PV you might be way further ahead to get another panel.

    Tony
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Looking for solar charge controller recommendations.

    The size of the panels is a function of the size of the camper and usage. 100 is the biggest that I will be going. I store the panels during transport of my pop up camper.

    Take a look at my thrown together 36 watt system.

    retrac-blog.blogspot.com

    36 watts is small but it worked flawlessly this summer for a 2 week outing. I have purchased 2-watt panels to replace the ones I have. The overall array size will remain the same.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,351 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Looking for solar charge controller recommendations.
    I have purchased 2-watt panels

    I don't understand, please explain.

    The smallest MPPT controller that I know of is this:

    http://www.solar-electric.com/mosumpsochco.html

    This is probably the controller I would buy,

    http://www.solar-electric.com/ss-6.html

    100 watts of panel are likely to only put out ~4.5 amps into 12 vdc.

    An extra ~$200 for the Morningstar MPPT controller is a lot to pay for a few more net amp hours.

    PS The only 10 amp MPPT controllers that I see on line are off brands that no one here has ever heard of. Personally, I would steer clear of them and stick to the name brands, Morningstar, Xantrex, Rogue maybe Bluesky. (Outback and Midnight Solar don't make anything that small. You will notice on a number of other threads the misery that the off brand "BZ" controller has caused people.

    Tony
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