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Posted by Jim Wilkins on November 29, 2018, 6:26 pm

Posted by ads on December 7, 2018, 6:39 am
On Thu, 29 Nov 2018 13:26:04 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Never heard of the brand.  On the other hand, I'd never heard of
EPSolar / EPEver nuntil a couple of years ago.  I have two of their 30
Amp MPPT controllers and one 40 Amp.  Also a 20 Amp PWM controller
(for some shed lighting).  

The free software (win 7 and up) can configure the various voltages
for sealed, flooded, or gel lead acid batteries, as well as lithium
and you can configure the specific voltages (charge, float,
disconnect, etc) and times (boost, equalize - not used on lithium) to
match any type of battery bank.  

My solar generator design uses some tightly spec'ed AGM batteries and
I was able to set the three Tracer MPPT controllers to match the
batteries' voltage requirements.  It's all been in place for about 9
months and the only attention it gets is a daily status check.

The EPEver MPPT controllers are more expensive than the one you
specified (example 30A)
https://www.amazon.com/Controller-Charging-Backlight-Negative-Regulator/dp/B01HGTT47C/ref=sr_1_11?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid 44163755&sr=1-11&keywords=epever+mppt+charge+controller
but I do have some experience with the EPEver / EPSolar line of
controllers and I've found them functional and reliable.  They don't
handle the MPPT scans as quickly as the OutBack or similar but they do
the basic job for 1/3 the cost.  The Tracer XX10 controllers are rated
for a maximum of 100 volts of solar input.  The XX15 controllers cost
a little more but are rated for a maximum of 150 volts of solar input.

Go look at the Tracer lineup of MPPT controllers and download some
manuals: http://www.epsolarpv.com/productlist_1.html  

Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 7, 2018, 12:24 pm
 <ads> wrote in message  

I was looking at the EP Tracers on Amazon when I noticed this one,  
which appears to be a better deal and has a more informative display  
including panel and battery voltage, charging current and daily graphs  
of current and power received. Hopefully that indicates careful design  
intended for an advanced user.

I bought one and confirmed its voltage regulating and current  
transforming functionality yesterday. The voltage and current readings  
aren't as accurate as their 2 decimal resolution suggests but  
otherwise it seems OK. This morning I'm drawing down a 24V 200Ah  
battery bank to give it a better MPP tracking test after sunrise.

After I bought it the Amazon price jumped from $8 to $8.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 7, 2018, 1:43 pm
The MPPT function works, a UT210E DC clamp-on reads 3.3A from 2 series  
panels, 4.5A to the 24V battery. The analog voltmeter on the panels  
shows a sawtooth between 36V and 40V at about 1HZ. For rough  
comparison (haze + thin scattered clouds) my PWM controller delivers  
3.1A. Also the MPPT switching jams my antenna TV reception.

The better test will be how it performs with a more deeply discharged  
battery bank and all of my panels. That will have to wait for a  
forecast of a clear sky.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 7, 2018, 4:01 pm
The panel voltage hovers fairly steadily around 35V in full sun and  
oscillates during clouds, as it seeks the maximum. It rose to 40V when  
the batteries reached their float voltage.

Between the clouds, with  a 2s2p array of  36 cell 100W panels, the  
MPPT gives 12A to 12.5A out for 10A in, at the cost of nearly $ per  
Watt. The panels cost me $/Watt, but I should replace my wiring to  
decrease the resistive voltage drop before adding more.

I think I can justify my 500W solar system as an emergency backup in  
this region which suffers from hurricanes and ice storms, but not as  
an economical substitute for grid power. If the batteries are really  
good for 500 full cycles (or 1000 half, etc) they cost more than the  
same KWH from the grid, at $.18/KWH.

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