Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-08-2014, 17:42   #1
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Talking Best Solar Controller for the Money $

I will soon be installing two 120 watt Kyocera solar panels on my boat.
what brand and model will give me the most bang for my buck?

Battery bank will be 4 225ah GC installed series/parallel 12 volt

Location is Florida to New England

Thanks
__________________

__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2014, 17:57   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

I'm kind of partial to the Eco-worthy 20 A MPPT controller for $102, delivered. I've installed 2 of them and I'm very impressed with it's performance, features, display and especially price.

It's been disassembled and reviewed on youtube, very favorable review. It's rated at 20 A with 300w of solar input. Realistically, it will probably produce 18.5-19 A at 300 watts. With 240 watts, you should see about 14-15 A. It comes with gold plated contacts, fully user adjustable charging setpoints (bulk and float voltages) and the entire circuit board is conformal coated, which is surprising for such an inexpensive controller. It displays solar panel output in watts and volts, charging current in amps and volts, and total cumulative KW. I've seen other brands for twice the price without those features. At that price, you could carry a spare in case of a lighting strike or failure. Eco-worthy.com.

A better known name brand is Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000e, I have one of those also. It only displays solar output in amps, charging amps and charging V. It's limited to solar panels 24v or lower. All adjustments are done with small variable resistors on the back, is not conformal coated or gold plated and costs $190 - $235, plus about $20 s&h.
__________________

__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2014, 18:12   #3
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

Thanks, I'll check out the Eco-Worthy it sound like a good deal.
__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2014, 22:00   #4
Registered User
 
Viking Sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: Fantasia 35 - s/v Feeling Good
Posts: 1,074
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

Are there any RFI issues with either of these controllers?

Thanks.
__________________
Viking Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 07:41   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

What is your daily amp draw? If large enough, you won't need any controller at all. Those panels will produce a maximum of 14A at high noon, and you can expect 60-80Ahr/day out of them. If your bank draw is more than that, the controller isn't really doing much for you.

If you go without a controller, you will need to disconnect the panels if you leave the boat unattended for a long time.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 11:00   #6
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

I am very roughly estimating that my fridge draws between 80 and 100 AH daily ( I will be adding insulation this fall ) and an additional 20 AH daily for lighting and stereo.

My goal is to limit charging by Westerbeke w/ 80 amp Balmar alternator to every for or five days.

I also hoped that the charge controller would give me info on charge status etc, but I suppose a hydrometer and digital volt meter could suffice.

Paul
__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 12:05   #7
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,426
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

I just installed a Balmar Smartgauge and I highly recommend it.

It comes with an alarm relay that a would allow you to fire a second relay to disconnect a solar panel when 100% charge status is reached. This way you get both a charge contoller and a monitor in one. Caviat: I've not done this so I am not sure I have not missed something obvious.

I guess you would have to be careful about the voltage of the panel you are using.
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 12:12   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

Any PWM at roughly 25 liberty units will do the job for you. MPPT units start at around 100 liberty units.

You can offset with 75 units more of solar panels. That's to say if you still have any sun deck area left.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 12:13   #9
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Caviat: I've not done this so I am not sure I have not missed something obvious.
You need to control the voltage as well. The voltage could still go too high with a (nominal) 12v panel.

Rogue and the new Midnite Kid seem the best.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 15:14   #10
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,055
Re: Best solar controller for the money$$$$

Long term bang for the buck, you also need to confirm that the charger is or can be set for the specific optimum charge voltage that your brand of batteries need. You'd get that from the battery maker. And, that it is thermally compensated to change the voltage according to battery temperature, which most cheaper charger controllers are not capable of.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-08-2014, 16:38   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,006
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Best Solar Controller for the Money $

Do not go without a charge controller with that much wattage on your solar panels. Forget to hook up a load or have the frig. compressor die when you are not around and things can get very interesting real quick. The worst part about exploded batteries is the acid blown all about when the hydrogen lights off. Makes a hell of a mess, btdt.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
money, solar

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
Money Money Money loop Dollars & Cents 46 01-05-2011 18:54
Money Doesn't Grow on a Money Tree phmadeira Dollars & Cents 7 28-10-2009 07:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:05.


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.