Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

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YostFMX
YostFMX Solar Expert Posts: 94 ✭✭✭
I finally hooked up my everything today, panels, controller, inverter, batteries (how in writing this now). Everthing works its just my C60 Controller is buzzing! Is that normal? When I just run thru controller to batteries (no inverter) it doesn't buzz as much but still does. Also when I only have one panel hooked up it the noise is a lot less. I have three 215w panels, and 4 RV batteries. Heres a picture...

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  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    Not sure what could be causing that, never heard of it before on a C60. You are using 215 watt panels, what brand/model, or what is the voltage on them? Only thing I can think of is some kind of issue going from high voltage panels to 12 volts, and it is maybe doing funny things with the PWM.

    I suspect that it might be something else actually buzzing from the PWM coming out of the C60.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,491 admin
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    A few suggestions/questions:

    First, what is the Vmp of those panels (Evergreen Vmp~18 volts is OK).

    Next, you should have all cable +/- runs bundle tied together... The C60 and Inverter have variable DC wave forms (on/off for the C60 in PWM mode, and a 120 Hz sort of sine wave for the inverter--There are magnetic fields that can cause cables/metal boxes to vibrate).

    And, I would suggest that you home run all wiring back to the main Battery Bus bar(s). It is possible that the 120 HZ DC current from the inverter is causing the C60 "ring"/buzz.

    Plus, personally, I would recommend a breaker per Hot Lead leaving the battery bus. One for the inverter and another one for the C60.

    Especially for the C60, the 12 volt wiring should be short and heavy... For the charge controller, I would suggest less than 0.1 volt drop between the battery bank and the C60.

    Lastly, is the (plastic?) box well ventilated? The C60 bases the battery charging voltage on the local air temperature. If the box gets hot from the electronics (and the battery is cool)--The C60 will cut back on the charging voltage and slow down on charging your battery bank (hot batteries need lower charging voltage).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • YostFMX
    YostFMX Solar Expert Posts: 94 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    The panels voltage is 18.7 - 20 (evergreen) that my volt meter reads when charging/hooked up. I went ahead and rubber mounted everything! that cut the noise abunch! I rewired the inverter to come off the batteries also (not inline from the controller - inverter - batteries) I ordered another breaker for that. When you say bundle the wires together what do you mean? With what? how would that do anything? My box is plywood and osb, made the door vented with a filter because its in my garage so I can close it and not get saw dust on it when working, but will be open all the rest of the time for cooling. Is there any sorta of fire danger with them mounted to wood (rubber to wood now)? They show the in controller mounted to wood in the booklet... the one thing I'm worried about is in the summer here it gets up to 105ish, the controller stops working at 104 :-(
  • YostFMX
    YostFMX Solar Expert Posts: 94 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    And all the wiring is 4 AWG which is the biggest I can handle in the box.

    The panels finally up!
  • samuel
    samuel Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    I have noticed the same buzzing with my C60.

    I observed that when the batteries can accept all the power from the panels, there is no buzzing. But when the batteries are nearing full and the panels can supply more power than the batteries can accept the charge controller will buzz. I think this is normal operation for the C60 but have not confirmed this. Cheers.
  • stephendv
    stephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
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    Re: Xantrax C60 Controller BUZZing!

    There can be buzzing with PWM controllers when they're current limiting, I've noticed the same with my borrowed C40 controller. Morningstar have a note about it here: http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/support/item.cfm?ItemId=111