# Mppt controller sizing

mountainman
Registered Users Posts:

**432**✭✭
I'll start by saying I'M a cheapo. I buy Local pickup used 190 watt 26.7 vmp 7.12 imp panels at .30 cents a watt.

I have a epever 40 amp 100 volt controller. Specs say I can over panel to 780 watts on 12 volts. I Can't do parallel at 150 feet so I have 2 panels in series 3 was over voc.

I'm seeing 19-20 amps. On a 400 ah 12 volt bank.

So Wouldn't I be able to use 4 190s 760 watts 38-40 amps in a 2s 2p configuration?

I have a epever 40 amp 100 volt controller. Specs say I can over panel to 780 watts on 12 volts. I Can't do parallel at 150 feet so I have 2 panels in series 3 was over voc.

I'm seeing 19-20 amps. On a 400 ah 12 volt bank.

So Wouldn't I be able to use 4 190s 760 watts 38-40 amps in a 2s 2p configuration?

2kw array 6 345 q cells make sky blue 60 cc

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

## Comments

31,161adminThe typical "best" harvest from your 4x 190 Watt array:

- 4 * 190 Watt panels * 0.77 panel+controller derating * 1/14.5 volts charging = 40.4 Amps @ 14.5 volt battery bus

So, that does seem like a good match (keep charge controller in well ventilated space to keep cool).If you are only seeing ~20 amps peak charging current--What mode is the controller in (bulk/absorb/float)? What is the battery bus voltage? Assuming measurements are made at solar noon, cool clear day, with panels pointed at sun (Cosine of 10 Degrees = 0.985 or if you are off by 10 degrees, you would get 98.5% of solar energy vs being exactly pointed at sun... Cosine of 45 Degrees = 0.707 .... ).

If the controller is in bulk, either you could have one set of panel not carrying rated current (use a current clamp meter to see if current is equal or different between panel strings), or possibly you have too much voltage drop between the Charge Controller and the battery bank (dirty/loose connections, too long/small AWG cable from controller ot battery bank, etc.).

If you have a switch/breaker per string, you can try switching off one string, then the other, and see through the charge controller that the two strings are equal current or not (or through a dark tarp over one or two panels in a string and check current, etc.).

You can also measure the input voltage from the Array... Is Vmp-array around 53.4 volt volts (very cold day/panels) to 42.7 volts (very hot panels/day, depressed Vmp)? The MPPT controller should be running panels in that voltage range. If under 42 volts or over 54 volts then controller MPPT is not working right or other issues (poor electrical connections to panels/battery bank, running a Battery Desulfator, electrically noisy DC loads like universal/brushed motors, etc.).

Obviously, there can be issues with the charge controller or it is not in Bulk--But the above is a quick check to see if the array is OK.

-Bill

432✭✭6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

31,161adminhttps://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html?material=copper&wiresize=3.277&voltage=54&phase=dc&noofconductor=1&distance=150&distanceunit=feet&eres=14.24&x=69&y=32

## Result

Voltage drop:

So, you are looking at ~4.3 volt drop at Imp-array.4.27Voltage drop percentage:

7.90%Voltage at the end:

49.73- 20 amps (Battery current?) * 14.5 volts bulk (voltage?) = 290 Watts into battery (?)
- 44 volts array at Vinput Controller * 14.24 Imp-array * 0.95 charge controller eff = 595 Watts (in theory) to battery bank at solar noon

I am still wondering about the current in your two string at the array... The MPPT array voltage seems sort of reasonable for a pretty hot panel. Need to measure array/string currents.-Bill

432✭✭With 4 panels I'LL run 2 sets of expensive 8 awg wires for 2.51℅.

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

432✭✭Rather than to buy 600 foot of 8awg. Would 2 runs of 10 awg at 4℅ drop be acceptable?

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

31,161adminhttps://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html?material=copper&wiresize=3.277&voltage=54&phase=dc&noofconductor=1&distance=150&distanceunit=feet&eres=7.12&x=0&y=0

## Result

Voltage drop:

2.13Voltage drop percentage:

3.95%Voltage at the end:

51.87- 20 amps (Battery current?) * 14.5 volts bulk (voltage?) = 290 Watts into battery (?)
- 44+(4.3 - 2.13 volt drop instead) volts array at Vinput Controller * 14.24 Imp-array on parallel 10 awg cables * 0.95 charge controller eff = 625 Watts (in theory) to battery bank at solar noon
- 625 Watts - 595 Watts with one run of 10 AWG cable = ~30 Watts increased power
- 30 Watts * 5 hours of sun per day nominal yearly average (made up number) * 365 days = 54,750 WH of "extra harvest" (over estimated?)
- 54.75 kWH * $1 per kWH off grid "cost of power" = $54.75 in "value" of extra cable run per year

$54.75 is a very rough estimate (average hours of sun per day over a year for your location, $1 per kWH "value" of off grid power--Could be closer to $0.50 or $2.00 per kWH--Depends on your costs of hardware/batteries/battery replacment).Two 10 AWG cables in parallel is -3 AWG larger gauge wire (every 2x increase in wire sqr inches in surface area/cut wire area, is a -3 AWG change in wire gauge).

So, 2x 10 AWG cables in parallel (one per array string), is a larger AWG (7 AWG) than pulling the 10 and replacing it with 8 AWG.

Assuming that Imp-array does not change much with "small changes in Vmp-array due to wire resistance", assuming current is "fixed", then change in V = change in power (deltaP=DeltaV*I constant current -- ΔP=ΔV*I). So changing from 4.27 volt drop to 1.0 drop would be an increase in harvested energy of ~3.7% from your array... In reality, probably almost an impossibly small increase in harvest to measure (10%+ increase is barely measurable--5% or less, probably would never be noticed).

Is this worth it to you? Probably not by itself. If there are problems with the charge controller (new higher voltage MPPT controller, placing 4 panels in series--Would be nice. If you are going to install a larger MPPT controller -- 60 to 90 amp range, then a higher voltage array and controller would make significant improvement in harvest, even if you left the 10 AWG cable behind (cost of larger array, cost of new MPPT controller, no changes to array cabling).

You can put 3x of your present panels in series--And if you get a Midnite Classic (150 VDC max input, with "hypervolt" protection), and depending how cold it gets, you may be able to put 4x panels in series... Use the Midnite string calculator to see (based on your minimum temperatures for your home):

http://www.midnitesolar.com/sizingTool/index.php

-Bill

432✭✭If I understand it correctly charging at 14.5 volts and 40 amps the most I could produce is 580 watts into the battery.

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

31,161adminOf course, if you battery bank is significantly discharged, lower Vbatt => higher charging current (at same available power).

I am trying to give general answers on what to expect... If you have your absorb setpoint at 14.8 volts, then the power will be:

- 40 amps * 14.8 Volts = 592 Watts

Just before the battery and charge controller switch over to Absorb charging. Bulk=Current Limited (or max power from array). Absorb=Voltage limited (so battery will naturally reduce current acceptance over the next 2-6 hours, and from ~80% to >90%+ State of Charge.But all of this is variable... What is the C/xx rate of charge (higher current charging into a "smaller" battery will reach the Absorb Setpoint vs a low charging current.

Here is a chart that shows a "generic" lead acid battery and Voltage Vs Rate of Charge (and Discharge) vs State of charge (and you can throw in temperature compensation to make things even more "spaghetti like").

https://www.scubaengineer.com/documents/lead_acid_battery_charging_graphs.pdf

-Bill

432✭✭Much cooler there. It takes a couple days to get everything set up.

Solar panels and Iota are usually the last to get set up.

when batteries are down to 50-60 soc.

during this time I charge from a 40 amp high setting 20 amp low setting unregulated voltage car charger.

I charge at C/10 to 14.8 volts it takes ~75 minutes then flip the switch to C/20 to 14.8. Another 45 minutes. which according to this chart is about 110℅ soc. Maybe I should only charge to 14.2 on c/20 for 100℅ soc.

6 230ah GC @36 volts

18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion

31,161adminIf flooded cell, you also look at the amount of distilled water you are using... Typically one would expect to refill the cells every 1-6 months. 1 month or less, cut back on the charging voltage. Over 6 months, jack up the charging voltage...

Of course, the amount of water usage (and even the size of the water storage above the plates) are Brand/model/details of additives to plate material/etc.) also affect water usage.

Holding the absorb setpoint voltage for 2-6 hours (shorter if shallow cycled, longer if deep cycled) is one other suggestion.

The other is to watch the tail of the charging curve at Absorb Setpoint... For FLA batteries, when they drop below ~2% or 1% of AH rating (i.e., 400 AH, falls to 4 Amps or less)--Or newer/AGM type batteries, to 0.5% or less of capacity (400 AH, 2 amps or less) is probably the ideal method of determining full charge.

In reality, unless you really crank up the absorb/float voltages, most people are not really risking over charging their daily use lead acid batteries on a pure solar system... There simply is not enough hours of sunlight in a day to over charge with "reasonable" absorb/float settings (something like 4 hours of Bulk, and 4 hours of absorb, 8 hours of enough sunlight just does not happen for many (shading, non-summer, farther away from equator, etc.).

For systems that are summer/vacation use only, on 24x7 AC chargers (UPS/backup power systems), it is certainly easier to over charge.

In my humble opinion.

-Bill