Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

fca1fca1 Solar Expert Posts: 124 ✭✭
Hi there I don't want to start a what best mppt60 or the classic ...
I have both CC on different Pv arrays but it always seem that the mppt60 was taking more "juice" than the classic ...
But different Pv different cable etc ...
Last month I started a test... I only used one CC with the same Pv
First mppt60 and the the classic and in this "empiric" test I confirmed that the mppt60 is really taking more out of the Pv ..
So as the classic as so many tweaking possibilities ...
I'm asking what parameters can I tweak in the charge mode of the classic to behave more like the mppt60
Any suggestions, ideas ??
I really don't want to buy another mppt60 because I like all the functions and settings of the classic but in the end of day what counts is the energy out ..


Regards

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

    I guess the first question is: How are you determining how much the PV array is making? Relying on an internal meter is not going to cut it in measuring input and output, that has to be done by the same metering device for comparing 2 different CC's.
     
    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
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 965 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

    One big question is, what input (PV) voltage does the MPPT 60 run at and what does the Classic run the PV input voltage at ?

    If they were doing the same job and extracting the same power out of a particular PV array, then the PV input voltage (V MPP)
    will be the same or very close.

    Of course, the max power point of a PV array will change with temperature and amount of sun, etc, but if you swap them
    back and forth at around the same time, they should be close in input voltage.

    What is your PV voltage approximately ?

    How much more energy (kW-Hours) does the MPPT 60 put out compared to the Classic ?
    You might want to try switching to the Legacy P&O tracking mode just to see how it compares
    to SOLAR mode.

    You can also raise and lower the PV input voltage of the Classic to check its tracking (as long as
    it is not in the middle of tracking)... To do this, from the main status menu, press the soft-left
    button (upper left key) to lower the input voltage or to raise the input voltage, use the soft-right
    key. This way you can see if it is already close or way off in MPP input voltage.

    It could also be that one of the CC's battery current measurements are off. Usually the
    Classic's output amps is very close... Unless something is broken. (I hope not)

    boB
  • fca1fca1 Solar Expert Posts: 124 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

    Hi bob and thanks for the inputs ...
    To take out all the differences between arrays a i start these tests with only one array switching that array between CC quickly ..
    My system is at 48v and the array as voc of ~100v...
    What I notice is that I never or almost never got the classic going beyond the 2000w on my 3000w pv and the mppt60 is easly on these cold kdays at 2300w stable ... I will check what you ask when a clear day comes ...
    On the legacy mode what settings should I put on that custom options ?
    Thanks
    Luxor 250w mono
    Vmpp of 30.79v x3 And voc of 37,41v x3
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

    You still dont say how you measured that 2000W? If you are relying on the devices own readings, you really ought to check that first using clamp meters.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • fca1fca1 Solar Expert Posts: 124 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar mppt60 vs midnite 150 classic

    Measured by the devices and confirmed by Victron Bmv, no loads
    And by the amp meter clamp ..
    By the way both the mppt60 and the classic are measuring on line whit Bmv
  • Shooter MagavenShooter Magaven Registered Users Posts: 16
    Wow, I was really interested in this thread. Looking for info on tweeking the Classic, but when someone had the balls to suggest that a Morningstar was pulling more energy from the array than a Midnite, it just abruptly ended all discussion. I guess the Midnite fanboy moved on.
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2016 #8
    In resurrecting a 3 year old thread do you have something new to contribute to the discussion? The OP had no "empiric" data, just observations complicated by quite a few variables. Midnites testing using identical arrays carried out simultaneously,  showed both controllers to harvest similar amounts over the length of a full day. While the Morningstars DC converters are known to be more efficient, the Midnite's MPPT algorithm is understood to make up the difference.

    For my part i continue to encourage Midnite to publish efficiency curves, as Morningstar has done. If they dont do it sooner or later a third party will.

    Out of the box, the classic comes in solar mode, which requires lots of input voltage headroom, but is very effective on appropriately setup arrays. For lower input voltages, you can use legacy mode, which uses a more traditional algorithm such as the tristar uses, and classic owning morningstar users can check it out to see if it makes a difference for them.

    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ha.  I've got midnight and tristar also, and have to run the midnight in Legacy mode to approach the tristars harvest.  While the arrays are not identical, they use the same panels, have the same sun conditions, and when I bought my 3rd controller, it was a tristar MPPT60. I do like the Local App functionality the classic has,
    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 ,

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 965 ✭✭✭✭
    In the original discussion, did he ever swap arrays and put them on opposite controllers? Identical arrays are sometimes not identical. Yes, legacy mode should be tried if for some reason the solar MODE did not track properly.
    Just to be sure. We have done comparisons and they were about the same harvest. In fact, the classic came out ever so slightly ahead of the Morning Star. That being said, the Morning Star is a good controller except without some of the features of the classic
  • Shooter MagavenShooter Magaven Registered Users Posts: 16
    edited February 2016 #11
    zoneblue said:
    In resurrecting a 3 year old thread do you have something new to contribute to the discussion? The OP had no "empiric" data, just observations complicated by quite a few variables. Midnites testing using identical arrays carried out simultaneously,  showed both controllers to harvest similar amounts over the length of a full day. While the Morningstars DC converters are known to be more efficient, the Midnite's MPPT algorithm is understood to make up the difference.

    For my part i continue to encourage Midnite to publish efficiency curves, as Morningstar has done. If they dont do it sooner or later a third party will.

    Out of the box, the classic comes in solar mode, which requires lots of input voltage headroom, but is very effective on appropriately setup arrays. For lower input voltages, you can use legacy mode, which uses a more traditional algorithm such as the tristar uses, and classic owning morningstar users can check it out to see if it makes a difference for them.

    Like I said "looking for info on tweeking the Classic".

    In Legacy Mode, how low would the voltage have to be? My array is a 120voc (nameplate). I am considering purchasing a Classic, but some (well, many) reviews are lackluster compared to the Tri-star. I like the features with a Whizbang, but I have little use for the others.  I smoked my TS-MPPT-45 because I suffered from temporary stupidity, just trying to justisfy switching brands.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 965 ✭✭✭✭
    If you do not have partial shading on your PV array, (trees, chimneys etc.) then the lowest PV input voltage will be no less than around 75% of the open circuit voltage (~120 Voc)....   I'm not sure what you want to "tweak", but yes, there are some of those.
    The Legacy tracking mode for instance has a "Depth" percentage you can adjust.  What this does is to reduce the amount of time kept off of the maximum power point voltage.  It is set for a default of 10%.  What that means is that if you had 1000 watts output, the Classic would sweep up and down in input voltage until the power dropped plus or minus 100 watts before it stops sweeping in that direction.  If there is no shading on the PV array, then this value can be dropped to much lower percentage and it will take less time doing that.  SOLAR mode is like the morningstar's sweeping mode and is very fast.  Usually this works just fine, especially in a case like yours where the input PV voltage is fairly high compared to the battery voltage.  What is your battery voltage ?

    boB
  • Shooter MagavenShooter Magaven Registered Users Posts: 16
    I have a 48v bank.
    I'm currently (er, was) getting 90% of the arrays`s pmax to the batteries. I just want to be sure I can still get that same efficiency or better. I was hoping that the many adjustment can be fiddled with to get maximum harvest.
    I also want to take advantage of Midnite's HYPER VOC because I have concerns about my voltages exeeding 150v on very cold days, well, cold by Louisiana standards.  
    Thanks 
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    run the PV specs through this tool   http://www.midnitesolar.com/sizingTool/displaySizing.php

    It will tell you how close you will get.

     
    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
  • SolarMusherSolarMusher Solar Expert Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    I have a 48v bank.
    I'm currently (er, was) getting 90% of the arrays`s pmax to the batteries. I just want to be sure I can still get that same efficiency or better. I was hoping that the many adjustment can be fiddled with to get maximum harvest.
    I also want to take advantage of Midnite's HYPER VOC because I have concerns about my voltages exeeding 150v on very cold days, well, cold by Louisiana standards.  
    Thanks 
    I can get up to 110% of the array with my Classic on solar mode (no tweaks) and I've seen 100% to 110% of Pmax on several systems here. I 've no doubt that morningstar CC are very good/efficient controllers but eh, you're comparing apples to oranges...
    Erik
  • fca1fca1 Solar Expert Posts: 124 ✭✭
    Hi to all ..
    After 3 years I still have both cc ruining and since last year I have 3th one( Conext MPPT 80 600) .
    So what can I say ( my subjective opinion based on 3years usage):
    1 - Morningstar
    ++
    Solid as rock
    Takes all it can from the panels
    Modbus and simple web page
    No fans
    --
    No fine tuning
    No cool options

    2 -- midnite
    ++
    Solid works without problems
    Fine tunning helps with one array with shadows
    Good modbus implementation (registers)
    Better info and answers (here for example) from the manufacturers
    --
    Fans (noise)
    No status webpage
    Modbus implementation with multiple masters

    3 Conext MPPT 80 600
    Still in review
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    >I guess the Midnite fanboy moved on.

    We try to keep it freindly here, and youll find you get more help by doing  the same.

    > but some (well, many) reviews are lackluster

    Would you care to list them? I know of only one bad review of the classic, and the reason is simple, its an extraordinary peice of kit.

    >I'm currently (er, was) getting 90% of the arrays`s pmax to the batteries

    All the same questions as the OP apply.  How did you measure it.... etc. Like i said max power out  is no determinant of daily harvest, My 1800Wp array has produced 2348W on the odd occasion.  But that means little when evaluating the harvest ability.










    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 965 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2016 #18
    Simple test for tracking is to see if the PV input voltage, assuming no shading differences, is the same for both arrays and CC's...  The Classic's SOLAR tracking mode has been known to not be perfect for some arrays (rarely though, lately, AFAIK), but, changing to Legacy mode usually, at least, satisfies the question if it is or not.

    Another sanity check is (usually) to at least swap the 2 arrays to the  opposite controller and see what differences are observed.  Then, sometimes, the measurments of the CC's can be off enough to show a loss or gain of one CC over another.

    AND, if you  are getting 90% of the nameplate of a particular CC, that would be considered pretty good. If indeed it is  90% of another CC under the same conditions and the same PV array, (just a different CC), then something needs to be looked at.  The hardware efficiency just aren't that much different when up at high output currents/wattages to make THAT much difference in harvest (usually anyway)
     :)

    boB
  • Shooter MagavenShooter Magaven Registered Users Posts: 16
    Thanks, You all convinced me to get another Morningstar. 

    And thank you too, zoneblue, for the lecturers.  We all love getting lectured and questioned when asking questions. Keep up the great work. 

    Take care everyone,  and have a great 2016. Later.
  • Shooter MagavenShooter Magaven Registered Users Posts: 16
    Update: i sent an email directly to Morningstar Friday evening and just received a response from them 8 AM Monday, they are sending me a new TS-MPPT-45 advanced replacement with a return shipping label for the fried unit. Their 5 year warranty seems outstanding so far.

    Thanks again.
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