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Old 28-05-2011, 14:30   #31
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Re: mppt regulators

Thanks, will get back to the planning board.
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Old 28-05-2011, 19:54   #32
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Re: mppt regulators

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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
Personally I sum my panels at a breaker panel before going into the controller. The panel and breakers didn't add much to the cost and gives a little more flexibility and safety if you need to work on the system.

Hi, can u explain to me why you like to break the current to the panels. The only reason I can seem to want to to that is if you want to refresh the connection at the panel (maybe its getting corroded there) without having to pull all the wires out of the controller for a few minutes. Is there any other reason why its nice to do that?
cheers.
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Old 28-05-2011, 20:23   #33
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Re: mppt regulators

You can turn off one breaker if you need to take a panel off line, it's easy to check the output of individual panels and to add another panel to the system if your box has capacity. The connections might be more secure then simply connecting the wires.
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Old 28-05-2011, 21:03   #34
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Re: mppt regulators

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Originally Posted by Ronald Rogala View Post
Hi, can u explain to me why you like to break the current to the panels... Is there any reason why its nice to do that?
I have to turn off my panels all the time, so I've mounted a big switch (actually a small battery switch) in my targa bar, next to my 4 KC120 panels.

The problem is that a MPPT controller uses a DC-DC converter. This takes the incoming PV power (usually ~17v), converts it to high-frequency AC, & then converts it back to DC to charge the batteries (usually 13-14v). The HF AC makes a racket in my SSB so I have to turn off the MPPT whenever I'm on the SSB (& I'm pretty radio-active). Turning off the entire PV array does that.

An alternative is to simply bypass the MPPT. I put a big(ish) switch to simply connect my PV power directly to my batteries while I'm on the SSB. The PV panels are putting out pretty pure DC so they're not a problem, & bypassing the MPPT shut down the HF noise. But the currents are pretty high & I kept blowing up switches, so I eventually abandoned that route, even though it's more efficient.

I've written a lot more about installing PV systems on boats here.
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Old 28-05-2011, 23:49   #35
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Re: mppt regulators

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Hello there,
I read in one of these posts that they said the "Outback" mppt solar regulator was the most efficient. I just looked and the outback is rated at 98.1% efficiency while the "Morningstar" mppt was rated at 99% efficiency. I just looked at the 60 amp units.
cheers!
It is only the voltage to voltage conversion efficiency that they are quoting and then just at one point (usually the max input). All MPPT controllers have much worse voltage conversion efficiencies at lower currents.
There is however a lot more to MPPT controllers. The performance of the MPPT varies considerably between units. Some units use a single stage battery regulation point, this is very wasteful and bad for battery health. Make sure you get a unit with a 3 of 4 stage adjustable battery algorithm.
There are a lot a factors that make up an efficient controller. Cheap MPPT regulators are often very poor.
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