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Old 05-03-2011, 11:44   #61
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Re: Solar Enough?

LauderBoy,

Nice, Very Nice
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:20   #62
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Re: Solar Enough?

Wow, another use for 4200. I know a guy who actually resoled his boat shoes with the stuff (5200) and they lasted another couple of years! Kidding aside, the option I've chosen is to do away with refrigeration and gain a little storage to boot. It seems to be the main reason to employ lots of power producing gear and those bloody wind generators.

The huge panels on top of a flimsy bimini in pix above are scary.

I get along for extended periods with just two 40 watt panels. They are easy to find a spot for and can be easily stowed below in rough conditions when canvas and gear needs to be out of the way, battened down and stowed.
LED all around, windvane steering and judicious use of SSB, radar, and computers makes for very little power consumption. Keeping laptops charged is probably my largest power draw as well as keeping the GPS on anchor watch at night. While it would be nice to have a cold one, eliminating perishable food is certainly an option to minimize amp hours required.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:26   #63
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Re: Solar Enough?

Does anyone (down under) have experience with this charge controller?

Solar Panel Charge Regulator Controller 12V/24V 20A - eBay (item 140406015233 end time Apr-03-11 01:56:46 PDT)

How do those specs stack up against the more common CC's in the US market?

Thanks,

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 13:41   #64
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Re: Solar Enough?

Am I on the right track with this panel:

Suntech Solar Panel 200 Watts 26.20 Vmp [STP200-18/UB-1 A-1] - $368.00 : Solar Panels, Inverters and PV Systems | Worlds Lowest Price, Powered by Nature!

and this charge controller:

Solar Panels

(near the bottom of the page - 15A MPPT charge controller - $65)

With this pair, I have 200W of generation and "smart" charge control for $435 plus shipping (and all those other little parts, like wires, clamps, batteries).

Comments?

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 14:00   #65
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Re: Solar Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
Am I on the right track

and this charge controller:
John
I am wary of cheap MPPT regulators they often have poor performance.
The "Thunder protection" suggests its probably a cheap Chinese regulator.
The specs suggest the boost voltage is 13.7V which is too low (it may not even have 3 stage charging ( boost, absorb, float)
Its 15A rating is also too low for the solar panel you listed.
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Old 29-03-2011, 14:22   #66
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Re: Solar Enough?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I am wary of cheap MPPT regulators they often have poor performance.
The "Thunder protection" suggests its probably a cheap Chinese regulator.
The specs suggest the boost voltage is 13.7V which is too low (it may not even have 3 stage charging ( boost, absorb, float)
Its 15A rating is also too low for the solar panel you listed.
N77 --

Thanks for your insights. What is the low cost alternative? I don't plan to add more wattage (where would I put it?) and 200W is about all I can afford. Product and source? Thanks, again.

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 15:03   #67
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Re: Solar Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
N77 --

Thanks for your insights. What is the low cost alternative? I don't plan to add more wattage (where would I put it?) and 200W is about all I can afford. Product and source? Thanks, again.

John
I am not the ideal person to ask. I am not based in USA and they tend to have much better deals than the UK or Australia where I have purchased solar products.
I live on a yacht with a slow internet connection so you will be able to search much better than I can in your local area.
At the price point you are looking at the


Xantrex Solar Charge Controller 35A C35


on the same website you quoted looks good value for money but its not MPPT so you will need a 12v panel and you need to find one that will fit and is a reasonable cost.
Good luck solar is great and worth a bit of trouble to get right.
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Old 29-03-2011, 15:42   #68
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Re: Solar Enough ?

I agree that the regulator posted will not be a good investment. From the specs, it looks like a bulk charge only which cuts out at 13.7v, which will constantly undercharge your batteries, killing them in no time.

Best value for a MPPT regulator is the Morningstar Sunsaver 15 which is selling for around $200, and is the perfect size for a 200w array.

Morningstar Corporation » SunSaver MPPT
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Old 29-03-2011, 16:25   #69
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Re: Solar Enough ?

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Best value for a MPPT regulator is the Morningstar Sunsaver 15 which is selling for around $200, and is the perfect size for a 200w array.

Morningstar Corporation » SunSaver MPPT
The Morningstar controller does imply its OK for a 200W panel, but its current limited to 15A so it is limiting the solar panel output at lower battery voltages. This will cost more energy than the MPPT will recover making the extra $170 for the MPPT controller over the simpler regulator a waste. (particularly when the proposed panel cost is under $400)
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Old 29-03-2011, 16:47   #70
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Re: Solar Enough ?

Yes, there is the risk that in ideal solar conditions where the panels can put out 100% rated and the batteries are low enough to charge at the lower voltage, the 15a could limit the system output. I've only seen about 92% of rated out of my 390w array, but then I am a little further north than the poster.

The next step up would be the bluesky 1524ix for about $250 which can put out 20a into a 12v battery bank.

Blue Sky Energy Inc. | NEW - Solar Boost 1524iX
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Old 29-03-2011, 16:54   #71
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HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The Morningstar controller does imply its OK for a 200W panel, but its current limited to 15A so it is limiting the solar panel output at lower battery voltages. This will cost more energy than the MPPT will recover making the extra $170 for the MPPT controller over the simpler regulator a waste. (particularly when the proposed panel cost is under $400)

SO, the one I posted might be a cheap POS with only one charge setting,

the Xantrex is not MPPT

and the 15A Sunsaver is up to the task for 200W.

No one ever commented on this one:

Solar Panel Charge Regulator Controller 12V/24V 20A - eBay (item 140406015233 end time Apr-03-11 01:56:46 PDT)

I'd like to keep the CC under $120, if that's a reasonable threshold. Or is this a dream within a dream?

And why would the low cost of the panel be a reason to compromise on a compatible CC?

John
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Old 29-03-2011, 16:56   #72
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Re: Solar Enough ?

I have a Blue sky 2512ix I would sell for $175 shipped. I bought this last year, but just upgraded and added another 200 watts so I bought a 3024il.
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Old 29-03-2011, 17:04   #73
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Re: HELP!

Quote:
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and the 15A Sunsaver is up to the task for 200W.
It is only up to task of 200w if the battery voltage is over 13.3v
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Old 29-03-2011, 17:05   #74
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Re: HELP!

That is a PWM charger and won't work with a 24v panel and a 12v battery. I can't speak to the quality of that unit, but the Xantrex C35 generally goes for < $100 and is top quality, but you'd have to pick a 12v panel and understand that you will lose efficiency by not using MPPT.
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Old 29-03-2011, 17:34   #75
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Re: HELP!

Quote:
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And why would the low cost of the panel be a reason to compromise on a compatible CC?

John
A CC that is greater than 50% of the cost of the panels is not generally a good allocation of funds. You would get a better return spending the extra CC funds elsewhere.
For the extra cost of the regulator spending money on more efficient devices or a better, higher efficiency solar panel would give you more energy for less money.
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