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Old 30-06-2012, 01:02   #1
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Great solar installation and charger information

After A LOT of searching, reading, and trying to wade through arguments on various discussion boards I think I found some good information and thought I would share.

This site describes controllers, and most importantly the difference between the THREE types. I assumed wrongly that if it wasnt MPPT that it would still have multistage charging until I bought my sunforce charger and couldn't figure out why my batteries never got fully charged. (I am a little skeptical about the 10-30% gain from MPPT they quote on this site)

Charge Controllers for Solar Electric Systems

Next site I think I may have found a thread here, but its a good recommendation. Discusses the importance of wire gauge, voltage drop, short runs of wires, placement of a charger and inverter, among a lot of other things. It is for RVs but most of the information is relevant.

The RV Battery Charging Puzzle HandyBob's Blog

lastly a wire gauge calculator. to calculate voltage drop. Apparently 3% from panels to charger, and 1% from charger to batteries seems about right.

American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies

I hope this save some people some time and headache looking for information. In particular, Handy Bob may have opinions but he explains why, and when they are appropriate, not just a "THIS IS THE ONLY RIGHT WAY" attitude.

If anyone else has any good solar/charger/battery information sites, I could use a bit more information.

Thanks for the website!
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Old 30-06-2012, 01:27   #2
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Re: Great solar installation and charger information

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr3v01ution View Post
This site describes controllers, and most importantly the difference between the THREE types. I assumed wrongly that if it wasnt MPPT that it would still have multistage charging until I bought my sunforce charger and couldn't figure out why my batteries never got fully charged. (I am a little skeptical about the 10-30% gain from MPPT they quote on this site)
!
To clarify, MPPT and multistage charging are two separate things.

Some MPPT controler have multistage charging some do not
Some non MPPT controler have multistage charging some do not.

Multistage charging ( with the correct charge points) is important and is much more critical to battery health (and extracting the most out of the solar panel) than MPPT is on a boat.
Make sure any charge controler you buy can be set for the appropriate charge points for your batteries. It is not uncommon for even expensive systems to get this wrong.
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