Anyone heard of Futurlec MPPT Controllers?

sparkspark Registered Users Posts: 1
Hello all,
I and a newbie and an looking for a cost effective solution for a charge controller. I currently have 2 100w panels in parallel and would like to start charging my batteries with them. I ran across this unit on the web and the specs don't look to bad. I plan on upsizing in the future to 8 batteries and several larger panels in the 240w range with a midnite classic controller. But for now I want to make use of what I have and don't want to spend a lot for a controller for 2 panels when I will be getting a larger+better one in the future.

Any comments/thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone heard of Futurlec MPPT Controllers?

    First I've heard of them myself. Also known as Tracer.
    http://www.futurlec.com/MPPT_Solar_Charge_Controller.shtml
    Well, after looking over some of the stuff they sell, I wouldn't expect much from it. Much of the solar items I saw was overpriced junk/ toy stuff. This controller is likely no different. Buyer beware.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    Re: Anyone heard of Futurlec MPPT Controllers?

    If you want to "grow" your system over time--That can be pretty difficult to do in a cost effective manner.

    For example, mixing 100 and 240 watt panels--They usually have different Vmp ratings. 100 watt panels may be able to use a PWM controller as their Vmp is around 17.5 volts or so...

    The 240 watt panels tend to be 30-40 volts Vmp or so (each vendor/model can be different)--And would almost always need a MPPT controller to "efficiently" match the Vmp-array (high voltage/low current) to the battery bank (low voltage/high current).

    Similar issues with battery banks and AC inverters. Smaller systems tend to be towards 12 volts, and as the system power (inverter wattage, stored energy) rises, then you need to move to 24 or 48 volt battery banks and AC inverters/backup battery chargers. You end up with major equipment reconfiguration and upgrading to support the larger power needs.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone heard of Futurlec MPPT Controllers?

    Hi

    Futurlec is a reseller of Beijing EP Solar's line of Tracer charge controllers. There are 2 million of these installed in china as street light controllers. They are optimized for thin film panels such as First Solar Cadmium Telluride Thin film panels. I have 4 of these using with monocrystaline and polycrystalline panels as well as First Solar Cadmium Telluride panels. When using high Vmp of approx 88 volts they are approx. 96 percent efficient. They are not as efficient at 18 to 14 volt use and I would not recommend that they be used in that manner. The street light in major Chinese cities are not wired to the grid, they have two thin film panels at approx 68 volts Vmp with these controllers which include the street light timer running a LED street light. More information can be had by first going to Alibaba.com then to Beijing EP Solar. Their higher end line is the "Etracer" googling EP Solar will not lead you to the good info on these controllers. I have had good results with them although they are not Midnites. They are less than 1/4 the price for a 560 watt unit. They are very basic without all the bells and whistles. I bought them dirt cheap on a gamble and they are performing well

    Tecnodave
    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,
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone heard of Futurlec MPPT Controllers?

    Yes, you are in the problem zone of wanting high efficiency with a small system at a low cost. Just not possible yet.
    If you are planning on a larger system, then best to bite the bullet now and get a good charge controller that will work both now - and then.
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