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MPPT solar charge controller

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Posted by Richard Salter on December 3, 2006, 10:00 pm

Hi , I have a solar array of  4 x85watt Kyocera panels , unfortunately
they are located  30 metres fromm the battery bank. I have been using a
conventional solar charge controller from Stecca, but am considering a
Maximum power point tracking unit. I am hoping to series connect the
panels and run 48volts to the controller which charges my 12 volt bank.
I have looked at the Solar Boost 6024i, and also a unit from BZ products .

Does any one have thoughts on this setup or on the sucess of using the
MPPT units .

Cheers from Australia     Richard

Posted by DJ on December 3, 2006, 10:46 pm

Richard Salter wrote:

If they are available in your area, the OutBack MX-60 controller will
solve all your problems ;-).
Statistically, you'll end up getting a performance in output from your
array of about 100w, and the MX-60 will allow a pure series array
setup, and greatly reduce your line losses!


Posted by Richard Salter on December 4, 2006, 7:06 am

DJ, thanks for tyhe thoughts, I will look at this unit as they are
available here, even though a bit more pricey than the Solar Boost model.
Have you used one yourself.

Posted by DJ on December 4, 2006, 1:31 pm

Richard Salter wrote:

Oh heck yes. Installed one on Friday, will be installing another one
tomorrow ;-).

I don't advertise in here, but I am in this business, and live in an
off-grid home, from where I run my business (this email is going out on
two-way satellite internet using renewable energy, mostly wind, to
power it!)

So I've got one in *my* basement too, for my array, and I'd say 90% of
the installs I do have MX-60s in them. The ones that don't are usually
smaller or don't need the benefit of the MPPT or the stepdown
transformer issue, like remote relay stations, water pumping, that sort
of thing.  


Posted by Todd on December 5, 2006, 12:53 am

Richard Salter wrote:

I have a 3024i and I am thoroughly pleased with it. There are several
advantages over non MPPT units.

1) Being at higher voltage you have lower current for the same wattage
and thus less loss.
2) You are able to get use out of the panels for more of the day. On
low voltage panels, once they go down to about 15V you're done. With
the higher voltage you still are done at 15V but that comes later in
the day because you're coming down from 48V rather than 24V.
3) I use the same controller with my stationary 3hp diesel driving an
alternator. I set it for 50V no-load (by adjusting armature current).
The 3024i shuts off over 53V. At this higher voltage my current is much
lower so I can get by with a smaller 3phase bridge rectifier, I use
smaller wires, I dissipate less heat in the heat sink.

My charging current is up to 30A or so with the diesel.

I bought the display for the controller and I'm glad I did. It gives me
ability to monitor and fine tune the performance of the system which I
could not do with just the flashing light you get with only the
controller unit.

/Todd Marshall
Plantersville, TX.

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