Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-09-2015, 01:07   #46
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 28
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Ok, read thru all of this, sometimes a little confusing as to which controller the comments attribute to. I am not nearly as smart as some of you so looking for your input. The ECO-Worthy seems to have issues based on the MaineSail comments and also on the uTube videos. So a year later, is the Tracer unit still working well? Can I use one for a 265watt / 31v panel ? Ed
After reading this thread I installed a smaller one (1215BN) for my 30W panel 3 months ago.

Works great so far....
__________________

__________________
Iodine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2015, 08:47   #47
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Cal 44
Posts: 152
Send a message via ICQ to barboak
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Curious about how long it takes to receive a Tracer controller from Alibaba being shipped from China?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
"There was nowhere to go but everywhere,
so just keep on rolling under the stars."
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
barboak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2015, 09:20   #48
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,717
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by barboak View Post
Curious about how long it takes to receive a Tracer controller from Alibaba being shipped from China?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
With Aliexpress, you can choose your shipping method. I chose DHL and recieved all my orders in under 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure one of them was under a week.

Try to avoid China post as its been SUPER slow lately.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2015, 10:44   #49
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,310
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

If you trust the Chinese, you can get a MPPT controller for a whole lot less than $100

12V 24V 5 10A 15 20A 30A MPPT Solar Panel Battery Regulator Charge Controller FB | eBay

I actually bought one of these and it did regulate the panel, but I wasn't expecting any current boost.
__________________
donradcliffe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2015, 11:14   #50
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 28
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
If you trust the Chinese, you can get a MPPT controller for a whole lot less than $100

12V 24V 5 10A 15 20A 30A MPPT Solar Panel Battery Regulator Charge Controller FB | eBay

I actually bought one of these and it did regulate the panel, but I wasn't expecting any current boost.
Are you sure that's actually a MPPT regulator? (I'm not saying it isn't (an MPPT regulator), but I've seen PMW regulators advertised that look virtually identical)


I buy quite a bit off Ebay, but I get the impression that especially for new items been sold, in some cases it is either counterfeit (e.g. some of the ALFA USB wifi-dongles) or the seller is miss-representing the items (passing off PMW/Shunt controllers as MPPT controllers).

Seems it's the a bit the Wild-West on the internet out there......
__________________
Iodine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-11-2015, 19:00   #52
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,717
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Personally I prefer the Tracer 3215BN as it has completely adjustable charge voltages and can be used for ANY type of battery including LIFEPO4 batteries. The new Tracer has fixed charging profiles that cannot be adjusted.

Now... I want to update that I finally blew up my 2215BN after 7 months of overdriving it with 300W of solar. Unfortunately the second spare one blew up in under 1 month of the same conditions. Both controllers blew the SCHOTTKY diode array. I have since replaced that part with a 60A rated one and both controllers are functioning again. I guess the lesson is, RUN THEM AT THEIR RATED CURRENT.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-11-2015, 19:42   #53
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Boat: Morgan Out Island 41
Posts: 698
Images: 2
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
OK, the NC solar credit expires this year so which brand is safer buying from Alibaba? 30A MPPT Tracer 3215BN solar charge controller 12V 24V auto switch MPPT epsolar Tracer3215 solar regulator Light and dual timer -in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

or: 12V 24V New Tracer 3210A 30 amps Programmable MPPT Charge Controller 30A with MT50 LCD display Remote meter-in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

or a package: 12V 24V New Tracer2210A Programmable MPPT solar charge controller 20A MT50 LCD display panel meter remote temperature sensor-in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group with remote sensor and display

I will buy one for each of 2 panels. thanks

You're looking at 2 very different MPPT controllers the BN is more flexible in the user programmable charging options (good if you plan on going to LiFo batteries at some point) the BN also has a higher max input voltage of 150v which allows you to string more panels in series ( higher voltage = smaller wire sizes) The A series is newer and hopefully has better firmware, but isn't as flexible in programming and has a lower max input voltage.
__________________
pcmm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-11-2015, 20:30   #54
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
OK, the NC solar credit expires this year so which brand is safer buying from Alibaba? 30A MPPT Tracer 3215BN solar charge controller 12V 24V auto switch MPPT epsolar Tracer3215 solar regulator Light and dual timer -in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

or: 12V 24V New Tracer 3210A 30 amps Programmable MPPT Charge Controller 30A with MT50 LCD display Remote meter-in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

or a package: 12V 24V New Tracer2210A Programmable MPPT solar charge controller 20A MT50 LCD display panel meter remote temperature sensor-in Solar Controllers from Electrical Equipment & Supplies on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group with remote sensor and display

I will buy one for each of 2 panels. thanks

I wouldn't recommend any of the Tracer solar controllers.

What has been discussed in a couple of other threads, and is being completely ignored in this thread - is the Tracer controller's inability to lock onto the correct MPPT voltage. There is a Youtube video here:
showing very graphically that the firmware is incapable of determining the "knee" where MPPT occurs, it just randomly wanders all over the place, most of the time, it is not on the correct voltage and is just wasting power. The video shows exactly what I'm talking about. I bought a 40A Tracer 4210A to check it out based on the posts from travellerw recommending it and to say I'm disappointed in it would be an understatement.

According to his posts, he was told by someone at Tracer that a new firmware would be out sometime in the last year addressing the tracking problem, but I haven't heard of any sign of it yet. In the meantime, it makes an excellent doorstop or paper weight, but I doubt it is any more efficient (or possibly not even as efficient) as a PWM controller. I definitely would not recommend this brand of controller.
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 06:52   #55
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post

What has been discussed in a couple of other threads, and is being completely ignored in this thread - is the Tracer controller's inability to lock onto the correct MPPT voltage.
This is a problem with many of the Chinese eBay level controllers. They are often using antiquated MPPT algorithms and their tracking speeds can be rather atrocious. A lot of the Chinese controllers are still using a "pause and observe" approach which has not been used by reputable MPPT manufacturers for a very, very long while. Heck some of the Chinese controllers sold as MPPT are not MPPT at all.. On boats, with ever changing shading, the MPPT tracking speed is more critical to good MPPT performance than most would assume.

I'd have to say that video is about the slowest power point tracking I have ever seen.
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 13:15   #56
Registered User
 
Sailorman Ed's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Boat: Polynesia 40/42
Posts: 685
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Sailorman Ed
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Appreciate the comments. So if I want 2 20A MMPT controllers at a reasonable cost - what do I want and from where? open circuit - 38v, 9A
thanks for the knowledge.
Ed
__________________
Sailorman Ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 14:13   #57
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,717
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Appreciate the comments. So if I want 2 20A MMPT controllers at a reasonable cost - what do I want and from where? open circuit - 38v, 9A
thanks for the knowledge.
Ed
Just an FYI.. I actually used my controllers on a boat I lived on. Although they do have a slow MPPT algorithm, I never had any issues in 7 months. The controller consistently produced more than I needed. Real world for me, showed it wasn't a huge issue. Although my panels are on a Cat and are rarely shaded.

If the issue bothers you and you want to pick another controller, then look to Eco-Worthy. They have a 20A MPPT controller that is priced very cheap. It kills me to give this as an option as they stole (no borrowed or copied, STOLE) this design from a reputable company.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2015, 14:35   #58
Registered User
 
NahanniV's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: On the Boat
Boat: Finnsailer 38
Posts: 1,142
Re: Affordable MPPT Charge Controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Appreciate the comments. So if I want 2 20A MMPT controllers at a reasonable cost - what do I want and from where? open circuit - 38v, 9A
thanks for the knowledge.
Ed
You can get the simplest Victron controllers without display for about the same price as the Chinese ones.

I did buy some eco-worthy style controllers a while ago, initial tests seem OK, but there are some strange things about the software, there is probably more than one version; The version that I have has no absorption charge mode, just goes from bulk to float.

I am still planning to do some more testing.

Cheers,
JM.
__________________

__________________
NahanniV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mppt

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MPPT Charge Controller for LifePO4 Batteries s/v Holiday Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 185 25-05-2014 16:43
Battery Gassing with MPPT Charge Controller Mike Two Moons Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 13 01-05-2013 14:21
MPPT Charge controller Celestialsailor Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 47 27-08-2012 11:12
MPPT + Regular Charge Controller Dame.n.Jess Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 29-12-2011 23:33
For Sale: Bluesky SB50 MPPT 50AMP Solar Charge Controller + LCD - Gold Coast, Australia TrevC Classifieds Archive 1 26-08-2011 03:30



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:36.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.