Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-05-2017, 05:53   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Becalmed in the Med
Boat: Prout Snowgoose 35
Posts: 345
Victron BlueSolar charge controller

A few on these boards installed Victron BlueSolar charge controllers a while back, just wondering how they are getting on.

I've got 4 panels (total of 400w), and Prostar 30a PWM controller. I'm considering adding another 200w (2x100w) at some point, and it would make sense to upgrade to an MPPT controller at the same time.

The BlueSolar range with the bluetooth dongle, and display, is high up on my list.

What I'm wondering is, will it (via the amp) also act as a battery monitor? Save me buying a separate unit.

Would the 100/50 model be the one to go for? I'm planning on running the panels in series to give 36v per pair, then connect the pairs in parallel.
__________________

__________________
mikedefieslife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2017, 06:23   #2
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,032
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

I installed one a month ago (100/30 MPPT) with the bluetooth dongle. I have 400 watts provided through 4 panels, wired in parallel.

I haven’t really put the system to the test yet b/c we’re still tied to the dock (on shore power). We’re getting ready to leave on multi-month journey at the end of June. So far the MPPT seems to be performing as expected, but like I say, I haven’t really put it to the test yet.

The dongle provides active measures of battery voltage, as well as charging current and panel watts/volts, the charging state (bulk/abs/float), as well as a history of these datas. It does not provide an accumulated amp monitoring the way a battery monitor — at least not that I can see.

So far, I like .
__________________

__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2017, 07:04   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
Scott Berg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aboard
Boat: Seaton 60' Ketch
Posts: 959
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

for optimal performance I'd consider using a dedicated controller for each panel; similar costs; the Vicgtron 75 can be had for under $100; shading is the real culprit and this minimizes it's effect
__________________
Scott Berg
WAØLSS
SV CHARDONNAY
Scott Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2017, 09:36   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Becalmed in the Med
Boat: Prout Snowgoose 35
Posts: 345
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Yep shading is a big PIA, but I don't think anyone bothers with a separate controller for each individual panel. Firstly you limit your voltage that way, secondly, it just gets insane then you have four or more panels.
__________________
mikedefieslife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2017, 09:44   #5
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,032
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Check out the other threads on solar installs. Some people definitely do put an MPPT on each panel. To me this seems an unnecessary complication and cost, but I assume it would squeeze the absolute most out of each panel.

My system is simple, yet does the job just fine.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2017, 10:39   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,415
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

New embedded "MPPT chip" on each cell string from Maxim.

Jinko "Eagle MX" is one line, others mentioned on Maxim's site are Trinapeak, and "ET COM"?

Also Zerun SunLoam "turnkey junction-box solution" incorporates the Maxim chips, not sure how that would work away from the panel itself.

Haven't seen on the US market yet.
__________________
john61ct is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-05-2017, 13:00   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: No fixed address
Boat: clipper Cordova 45
Posts: 19
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

I have had the 100/50 for the last year fed by two 360 watt sunpower panels, midday charge rate in full sun of 50 amps, best day ever over 3 kilowatts. Love the way I can adjust float and absorb rates from my phone and track battery voltage in real time.
__________________
Hickers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-05-2017, 16:59   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
Scott Berg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aboard
Boat: Seaton 60' Ketch
Posts: 959
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Actually many of my customers have a single controller for each panel, even a cat with 12 Solara panels. Controllers are largely priced by size, a good 60amp controller is over 500US$ while a Victron 75/15 is about $90. The MPPT controllers handle voltage fine and the advantages are real. It's what Nigel Calder, Bruce Schwab, any many others besides myself recommend. With over a hundred installations we've had a good chance to see what really changes performance and shade is the enemy...
__________________
Scott Berg
WAØLSS
SV CHARDONNAY
Scott Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2017, 06:06   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Becalmed in the Med
Boat: Prout Snowgoose 35
Posts: 345
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Hmmm. That's interesting. I've been in and out of a few of the solar threads but it wasn't until this one I heard of people advocating a controller per panel.

I always thought it was better to get high voltage into the controller, so say run a couple of panels in series to get 36v, then run these pair in parallel with other pairs. Can't tell you where I got/heard it from mind.

I suppose multiple controllers removes the worry about a small bit of shade wiping out a panels in series.
__________________
mikedefieslife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2017, 06:26   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,415
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Well a single high-voltage panel with properly wired bypass diodes between strings is in effect just like multiple smaller panels, wired in series.

If you're running nominal 12V panels one per controller, may as well go PWM and save the money, sometimes higher efficiency too. But then larger gauge wiring. . .

I've also heard of cascading controllers, but I think just for large-area arrays.
__________________
john61ct is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2017, 06:27   #11
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Currently Indiantown FL
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 1,847
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Hmmm. That's interesting. I've been in and out of a few of the solar threads but it wasn't until this one I heard of people advocating a controller per panel.

I always thought it was better to get high voltage into the controller, so say run a couple of panels in series to get 36v, then run these pair in parallel with other pairs. Can't tell you where I got/heard it from mind.

I suppose multiple controllers removes the worry about a small bit of shade wiping out a panels in series.

It used to be the recommendation was for a Genasun MPPT controller for each panel, now they've moved on to the Victron.

Matt
__________________
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
funjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2017, 08:24   #12
Sponsoring Vendor
 
OceanPlanet's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woolwich, Maine
Boat: Sold it!
Posts: 401
Send a message via Skype™ to OceanPlanet
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
It used to be the recommendation was for a Genasun MPPT controller for each panel, now they've moved on to the Victron.

Matt
I wouldn't say that we've "moved" on to Victron MPPT's, vs. Genasun. Although we sell plenty of Victrons. The Genasun are slightly more efficient, lighter weight, and smaller. However they are not user-programmable, as are the Victron. The Victron also have the Bluetooth interface for monitoring/programming, which is fun to play with.

But overall we still sell more Genasun MPPT's.

Regarding the "one controller per panel" vs. series or paralleled panels to fewer controllers....that is something to decide on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the shading situation, wiring difficulties, etc.
__________________
Twice around was enough for me...
Now I just help others prep for ocean trips...
www.bruceschwab.com
OceanPlanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2017, 09:09   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,967
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

I've been running two Victron controllers with dongles for about six months and been impressed. I like being able to set the charge voltages to my batteries. The bluetooth makes it very easy to see the impact of shading real-time. Two minor comments:

When you first connect them they are very insistent about updating their software first. While the update is automatic and well done, I was in the Bahamas with a shaky internet connection and this caused the update to crash a few times. Until it does the update, it doesn't even let you go to the main screen to see if anything is working.

The two controllers show up in the app with the name of the unit (e.g. 75/15) and I can't find anyway to give it a unique name. Fortunately, I have one 75/15 and one 100/15 because the distributor was out of stock so I can tell one from the other. I keep thinking there must be a way to name the unit but haven't found it.
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2017, 09:42   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Becalmed in the Med
Boat: Prout Snowgoose 35
Posts: 345
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Multiple Victrons have peaked my interest now. I note that is a large display panel available, at a reasonably large cost, but this does away with the need for a module on each controller.

Anyway, with multiple charge controllers do you wire the both the positives and both the negatives from the controllers together so you only have a single positive and negative run down to the battery bank? Or do you just attach each one to a different pos/neg terminal within the bank?
__________________
mikedefieslife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2017, 10:20   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle, WA
Boat: C&C Landfall 38
Posts: 255
Re: Victron BlueSolar charge controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanPlanet View Post
The Genasun are slightly more efficient, lighter weight, and smaller. However they are not user-programmable, as are the Victron. The Victron also have the Bluetooth interface for monitoring/programming, which is fun to play with.

But overall we still sell more Genasun MPPT's.
I've been planning to buy a Victron soon and hadn't really considered Genasun, but your note made me take a look. It looks like the biggest difference is the Genasun controllers are designed for *one controller per panel*. I know some people like that route but for 2 100W panels on a bimini with no shading, one controller makes sense for me. Two controllers would require 4 wires going through the deck rather than 2.

Genasun's are also more expensive. I'd need two GV-10's, at $100 * 2 + shipping ($200+) while a Victron 75/15 is $99 on Amazon with shipping included.

And I don't think it's true that the Genasun's are smaller. GV-10 is 5.5x2.5" while Victron 75/15 is 4.44" x 3.9". So two GV-10s consume a square area of
27.5" vs 17.3" for the equivalent Victron install. I actually do care about square area used, since bulkhead space is at a premium on a small boat.

Ultimately I'd go with whichever company seems like they're going to be around the longest, because my biggest worry is Victron ending support of the Bluetooth dongle Android app and then I'd need to buy a physical monitor before they change or get discontinued. But Victron is a pretty large company, so it doesn't seem much of a risk currently.
__________________

__________________
Tessellate is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
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
Victron BlueSolar Charge Controller MPPT 75/115 "Load" Terminal Question PetePetePete Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 5 30-04-2017 04:44
​Victron BlueSolar MPPT as generic DC-DC charger? john61ct Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 21-02-2017 22:11
Victron MPPT controller Al Dente Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 09-06-2016 10:59
Combining a diversion controller with a MPPT Solar controller GILow Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 19-01-2016 05:45



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:06.


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.