Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Here is the Manufacturer's web site (user manual PDF too). Northern Tool has some user reviews--and they seem to think it works just fine.

    If you need "something"--it appears to work.

    If you want something that works better, its going to cost ~$70+ USD more (if you get a MorningStar ProStar 30 amp 12 volt and Remote Battery Temperature Sensor).

    In the end, it really depends on what you need it for and how much it is worth to you. In general, a multi-stage charge controller with external battery temperature compensation is going to charge your battery faster and to a higher state of charge (closer to 100% charge).

    Many people start with a lower cost system and find off-grid / emergency solar power very handy--and eventually move up.

    It is not a bad way to learn.

    If your application is more demanding--and the results of a failure are more serious--then spending more for a better controller that will work over a wider range of temperatures and conditions may be worth the money.

    And, there are other controllers that offer other "interesting" features (such as a way to better manage solar panels that have to be a long way from the battery bank--such as the house/cabin is in the shade, and the sun is 100' away). You have to look at your site/requirements to see if this is useful to you or not.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Warning! Warning Will Robinson! :D

    Canuck Tire 'alternate energy' equipment is of generally poor quality and over-priced.
    I've never used that particular controller, but have had another of theirs - it failed almost instantly. Likewise their inverters don't perform as rated (I've tried six of them of various wattage ratings). The solar panels they sell are too small for serious applications and cost quite a lot per watt even when on sale.

    Yes I know they don't manufacture the stuff themselves, but the devices are made to their specs and/or purchased by them on a basis of cost/function. Apparently with emphasis on potential profit margin rather than customer satisfaction.

    We have a famous saying in Canada: the only reason CT sells batteries is because they're open on Sundays. The rest of their stuff is about par with that. They also sell Air-X wind generators, which other posts on this board prove to be less than what the maker claims.

    In short, from my personal experience with Canadian Tire equipment, I would not trust that controller to be worth the money. Spend a little more, get a lot better.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?
    Warning! Warning Will Robinson! :D

    Another sign that America's (USA) pop 1960's culture has destroyed the world. :cry:

    -Bill :p
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,124 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Don't be bad mouthing CT! Next thing you know you'll be dissing Hockey Night in Canada!

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?
    icarus wrote: »
    Don't be bad mouthing CT! Next thing you know you'll be dissing Hockey Night in Canada!

    Tony

    Not as long as it stays in Canada. ;)

    -Bill :roll:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • boisblancboyboisblancboy Solar Expert Posts: 131 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Its Danger Danger Will Robinson! Not Warning Warning. LOL At least I think, it was before my time. Sorry I just couldnt help myself.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    OK--who wants to go through the three seasons that are posted on Hulu and verify the claims?

    Or, you can find at IMDB:
    Robot: Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
    Dr. Smith: Don't leave me alone. Wait for me!
    Dr. Smith: I]to Robot[/I You bubble-headed booby! You realize what you've done?
    Robot: Warning! Warning! Alien approaching!
    Robot: Affirmative.
    Dr. Smith: Oh, the pain, the pain.
    I]to Robot[/I
    Dr. Smith: Yours not to question why; yours to do as I say or die.
    I]repeated line[/I
    Dr. Smith: Silence, you ninny.
    I]repeated line[/I
    Dr. Smith: Silence, you mental midget.
    I]repeated line[/I
    Dr. Smith: Never fear, Smith is here.
    Will Robinson: This is the Jupiter 2, identify yourself, please.
    Robot: I am sorry, Will Robinson, I am afraid I goofed.
    Robot: My micromechanism thanks you, my computer tapes thank you, and I thank you.
    IDAK Alpha 12: Crush! Kill! Destroy!
    I]repeated line[/I
    Robot: That does not compute.
    Robot: I]singing operatically[/I Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!
    Dr. Smith: Oh, shut up.
    Robot: That does not compute!
    Dr. Smith: What day is it?
    Robot: The day is Thursday. The month is March. The year is...
    Dr. Smith: Never mind the year.
    Robot: I compute it to be an ionic directional probe searching for receiving outlets.
    I]to Robot[/I
    Dr. Smith: Now come along with me, you ludicrous lump, there's much to be done.
    Robot: I cannot accept that course of action.
    Dr. Smith: I]thinking he has been transported to Hades[/I Good Heavens!
    Morbus: Guess again.
    -Bill:p
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,124 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Bill,

    As I have always suspected,,, you either cracked,,, or you have way too much time on your hands,, or both!
    :D

    Tony
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Gotta love Canadian Tire!! Great sales!

    I definately won't be considering one of their PV pannels though.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?
    icarus wrote: »
    ...or both!
    :D

    My wife will not disagree with you on that one Tony!

    Harley,

    The 80 watt panel at Canadian Tire appears to be a Sharp 80 watt Poly-crystalline panel (according to the comments).

    This is a good manufacturer and should be a reliable product (mono and poly crystalline are good... Amorphous panels are, typically, not).

    In the end, once you have found a good quality panel... look at the CND$/watt cost (including shipping and insurance). For example:

    $637/80watt= $7.96 CDN per watt

    Look around for other vendors in your area and see how they compare.

    Don't let anyone sell you a panel unless you know the Name and Model number and the basic mechanical / electrical facts (Voc, Vmp, Imp, Isc, UL/CSA/NRTL approvals, etc.).

    Much of the stuff will work fine--but there is a lot of inappropriate stuff out there too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    *sigh* That's the trouble with getting old; I'm easily confused. Danger, warning ... Don't even know why I was thinking of that?:confused:

    As for CT stuff - lots of it is perfectly good. But really: how many of you are using Motormaster Deep Cycle RV/Marine batteries for your system? AHA! I thought not!:p

    We do have difficulties buying solar equipment for reasonable prices here in BC. We have difficulties buying anything for reasonable prices here in BC!
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,124 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    CC,

    Consider getting a UPS store mailbox in Blaine or Bellingham or Lynden WA. You can have stuff shipped there UPS, or USPS much cheaper than shipping to the lower mainland. They can e-mail you when the packages arrive and you can drive down cheaper than having to deal with shipping across the border. Even if you are legit at the border, all you pay is GST/PST as (I don't think) there is any duty on most solar stuff. Mailbox rental at such a place is a few bucks a year,,, but it can save a bunch.

    I use a similar service in Northern MN, that i can drop ship anything from a single letter to a semi-load. They charge me $3 for a parcel, $5 for a pallet load,,, and they store it for 30 days no charge. The UPS store doesn't charge a per piece fee.

    Having said that,,, I am a fan of buying locally when I can,, but in the case of most solar stuff,, that is seldom an option.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Canadian Tire Charge Controller?

    I prefer to buy local whenever possible too, especially as going across the border isn't so easy these days. We can wait up to 3 hours before getting through! So you end up weighing the savings in purchase price against the time/gas spent on the trip. If I'm up north, it can't possibly be worth it! (Seven hours to get to the border.)

    Some of those border agents aren't the best when it comes to figuring duty either.:p
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