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Old 28-03-2012, 22:42   #1
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MPPT Charge Controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Anyone know of a good MPPT charge controller that can handel 8 Sanyo 225 watt 43v panels and be adjusted to charge a LifePO4 batery bank?

I will setup the batteries to be 12v 1040 amps.

I figure the solar aray will put out a max of 128 amps per hour at 12v.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

CJ
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Old 28-03-2012, 23:02   #2
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Very interested to follow your installation particually details of your LifePo4 bank. 1800 watt solar - massive.

I was recently criticisized suggesting at cost of solar thesedays of $1 -1.2/ watt that 1000 watts on a cat was worth considering.

Cheers
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Old 29-03-2012, 00:26   #3
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Outback make the most highly rated controllers.
You will need 2 controllers this will give you redundancy and better performance. Wire the panels so that the panels for each controller see similar conditions.
If you still want to use a single controller I think Midnite have a model that will handle that much current.
At the moment they don't certify the controllers for lithium, but they can be adjusted to suitable voltages, but you will need a BMS or at least an alarm system on the voltage of each cell as well as some manual balancing. There is lots of discussion on the forum on how to take care of lithium batteries.
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:19   #4
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

noelex 77 - I didn't even think of using 2 controllers. Would I need to split my house bank or would the controllers play nice on one bank of bats?

downunder - My feeling is install as much solar as you can if you will be spending a lot of time at anchor. On my last boat I had 3 panels and I had to still run the generator most days.

The LifePO4 battery bank should provide me with 3 days reserve power with out going below 20% incase the sun refuses to shine for a bit.
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:43   #5
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

we are a family of 5 , live aboard on a leopard 47 with a hard top. we have three 240watt panels and 600 amps LifePO4. i run a spectra newport 400 12v watermaker , bread maker and washing machine , 5 laptops , underwater lights etc etc and our solar keeps up with that. you might want to rethink your requirements and save money weight windage issues etc. i last used our genset about a month ago. yes , we are in the Bahamas and have good sun , so i suppose thats a consideration if you are going to be in colder climates
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:54   #6
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Hi Chris,

That is an impressive amount of stuff running. How do you like the LifePO4 batteries? Which ones do you have? What are you using for a charge controller? Are you using a BMS system or cell logger?

Do you know the average amps output from you solar on daily basis?

Sorry for all the rapid questions.

Thanks

CJ
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:57   #7
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

on a good day , 250 ah. outback flexmax 60 mppt and dimitri's bms. Hi-Power is the brand of lifepo4
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:14   #8
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

I am trying to be realistic with the power on this boat and not install a generator.

On my last boat we used 250 amps a day just running the boats systems, anchor light, cabin lights, Refrigerator, Freezer, Chart plotter running for anchor alarm and if we are sailing the autopilot chews up a good amount of power as well as the instruments.

I figure with an amplified wifi system, watermaker, computers, rice maker, bread machine, recharging batteries for all the underwater toys, I would rather error on the side of too much solar while I am still working and can afford it.
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:25   #9
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

you make valid points but when your back is up against the wall and you need instant power , its great to have the genset. i need it to power the bauer dive compressor. you will be using all your real estate above your head. will you have room to walk aloft if you need to check your reefing points etc ? did you get any underwater scooters ? all our lights are LED , not one incandescent bulb left. one 12 v refrigeration/ freezer that uses about 60 amps a day
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:30   #10
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

i also converted the heads to electric. wifi draws very little
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:38   #11
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

2 underwater scooters (24v) and I am toying with running the dive compressor on the inverter. I am having an arch built just aft of the hard top for 6 of the panels that can tilt back, and 2 will go on the hard top leaving plenty of real-estate to walk the length of the boom on both sides.

I am also looking for LED replacements for my lights.

Which elec heads? I am also in the market for 2 of those.
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:40   #12
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris smith View Post
you make valid points but when your back is up against the wall and you need instant power , its great to have the genset. i need it to power the bauer dive compressor. you will be using all your real estate above your head. will you have room to walk aloft if you need to check your reefing points etc ? did you get any underwater scooters ? all our lights are LED , not one incandescent bulb left. one 12 v refrigeration/ freezer that uses about 60 amps a day
Got me interested your running a bauer dive compressor. Will be setting up for similar and therefore will need genset.

Be interested in size of your compressor and genset. Brownie's advised would need 8kw but I am wondering if i can get away with 5kw Northern Lights (240/50htz only runs at 1500rpm vs 110/60htz at higher revs outputting 6kw) with a Vitron Quattro giving starting boost ?

Cheers
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:43   #13
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Our last refrigeration/ freezer unit was a Glacier bay unit that was supposed to be so efficient but turned out to be a major power hog. The new boats system seems to be much more efficient so I will be doing some new calculations once I get my trimetric meter installed. Takes a while to get things here on the island.
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:45   #14
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Got me interested your running a bauer dive compressor. Will be setting up for similar and therefore will need genset.

Be interested in size of your compressor and genset. Brownie's advised would need 8kw but I am wondering if i can get away with 5kw Northern Lights (240/50htz only runs at 1500rpm vs 110/60htz at higher revs outputting 6kw) with a Vitron Quattro giving starting boost ?

Cheers
You could get a soft starter for the elec motor.
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Old 29-03-2012, 22:01   #15
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Re: MPPT Charge controller for LifePO4 Batteries

Two controllers are fine on a single house bank. You can even use two different brand of controllers without any great problems. The house bank is charged by multiple sources like the alternator and battery charger anyway.
With the better controllers, like the outback, multiple controllers can be linked together and they will also "talk" to battery chargers and inverters creating an integrated system. This has some advantages, but you need to careful that you have redundancy, you don't want the failure of a single component to disable all systems.
I have never heard owners of a crusing boat complain they have too much solar. If you have the room solar panels are cheap.
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