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Old 22-10-2013, 15:38   #16
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

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regarded as the most reliable units.
Hmmm... not so sure about that anymore.... I have heard on the grapevine the FM returns have gone up since they moved manufacturing. They both have the same 5yr warranty, however Morningstar have a very long history of reliable controllers.

One other consideration is a remote display - the Outback (Mate) is about 3x more expensive than the Morningstar remote display. Perhaps not important for some people, however if you want to see what's going on at all times without having to have the controller right in front of you, it may be a consideration. Also, you can get the MS without the in-built display and just use a remote display - far more useful if the controller is hidden somewhere.

And finally - with the Morningstar the remote temp sensor is included as standard.

To help balance the equation, the Outback does have a programmable 'aux' connection which can be used for some interesting logic switching (dump loads etc), or could be used for an LVD for non-essential circuits.

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Old 22-10-2013, 17:09   #17
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I have 4 x BP 175W and I use a Bluesky solar boost 50 that works like a charm. It seriously gives me 40% more juice out of my panels. You may want extra solar later and this unit will let you expand one more panel.
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Old 22-10-2013, 17:32   #18
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

Have IVT (German made) 20A P]MPPT controller.
It has a remote display using ethernet cable, which I wouldn't like to be without
We use it with 2x90w panels (unfortunately no space for more).
Seems all good so far, except possibly may cause some radio interference.
But still being appraised.
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Old 22-10-2013, 19:55   #19
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

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One other consideration is a remote display - the Outback (Mate) is about 3x more expensive than the Morningstar remote display. Perhaps not important for some people, however if you want to see what's going on at all times without having to have the controller right in front of you, it may be a consideration. Also, you can get the MS without the in-built display and just use a remote display - far more useful if the controller is hidden somewhere.

And finally - with the Morningstar the remote temp sensor is included as standard.

Plus 1 for the Morningstar Tristar MPPT60. We didn't get any displays with ours as I hooked up the ethernet port to our wifi/modem/router & can see all the Live Data & Data Logging on our MacBook, iPhone & iPad. Much more convenient for us

Dave
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Old 22-10-2013, 21:05   #20
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

We have the Morningstar TriStar MPPT60, with remote temp sensor (included) and remote control panel (a tad extra cost). Bottom line: works for us.

VERY much like having the remote control panel as the controller itself is mounted away inside the motor room. Info is right there by the NavStation, w/no need to fire up my 'puter. {I'm old, okay?}

Thought about the 30 version, but wanted allowance for expansion of my solar array. Glad I did that. Now have 4 X 85 watt wired in parallel for a 12 vdc system. Am currently sourcing parts/pieces to add more umph. Mostly to compensate for all those cloudy days that the tourist brochures never reveal.


Good luck.
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Old 23-10-2013, 00:24   #21
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

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One other consideration is a remote display - the Outback (Mate) is about 3x more expensive than the Morningstar remote display. Perhaps not important for some people, however if you want to see what's going on at all times without having to have the controller right in front of you, it may be a consideration. Also, you can get the MS without the in-built display and just use a remote display - far more useful if the controller is hidden somewhere.

And finally - with the Morningstar the remote temp sensor is included as standard.
If you want a remote display the Midnite range of controllers are worth considering. The display can be removed from the main unit. Midnite is the only controller with as good (or possibly even better) than the Outback.

The Mate is not a remote display (although it will do this) but a control centre. It will control, inverters generators, battery chargers etc. with the right accessories it acts as a battery monitor and will give output figures for wind generator etc.
One of its most useful features is that it will allow regulation based on battery return amps, which is a much more accurate way of regulating the batteries (although some other accessories are needed as well)

In short the Mate is not a simple remote display so is consequently dearer.

The Outback system is expensive. If you want the ultimate system the Outback, Mate, and Flexnet DC are worth considering. Overkill for most boats, but it allows for very accurate and flexible charge termination, better than anything else on the market. (Although Midnite have been promising to add these capabilities). The Mate acts as a battery monitor which helps offset the cost so it is worth pricing especially if you are setting up a large system from new and don't have an existing battery monitor.
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Old 23-10-2013, 04:04   #22
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

"Midnite is the only controller with as good (or possibly even better) than the Outback."

.... Although nothing to do with the operation (and agree it has good specs) the Midnite solar looks as though they came out of some freak show (and is also very very expensive). At this point they also have very little track history.

"In short the Mate is not a simple remote display so is consequently dearer."
.... Yes however 95% of people just need some sort of remote display.

"The Outback system is expensive. If you want the ultimate system the Outback, Mate, and Flexnet DC are worth considering. Overkill for most boats, but it allows for very accurate and flexible charge termination, better than anything else on the market. "

.... Yes, the Outback system is good - however the system you mention will come in at 2x the price of the Morningstar system and isn't 2x as good by a long way. Also, if you want any remote monitoring via the internet or PC ... the Outback is a serious PITA.
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Old 23-10-2013, 04:30   #23
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

Like most premium systems the law of diminishing returns sets in, but the Outback is really in a different league to the Morningstar in tracking, performance and capabilities.


To add the Mate just as a remote monitor would be crazy. This is only using a fraction of its capabilities. Team it up with the Flexnet DC and you have a system that will terminate charging based on battery return amps, a display of of wind input charging rate, and a great battery monitor.

You can use much more of its capabilities and integrate battery chargers, inverters and generators
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Old 23-10-2013, 04:40   #24
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Re: What MPPT Solar Controller are You using? Recommendations?

Different league ? Not so sure about that .... we have used both Outback & Morningstar MPPTs for quite a few years, and were happy with both..... so paying 2x the price for most people (that aren't massively wealthy) doesn't make any sense.

Remember that most people are looking for good value for money, rather than the "ultimate" system. 2x the price for some minor advantages is very steep.
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Old 23-10-2013, 06:03   #25
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Hi all, I just installed three BP 175 solar panels on my arch and I'm getting ready to order the controller, combiner, etc. I have a 525AH AGM house bank. Just wondering what the rest of you are using, and if you are happy with your set up. Thanks and cheers, Bill
880 Ah of battery capacity.
970 W of solar panels with open circuit V of 17.5 (IIRC) all in parallel.
No MPPT. 340 W connected to an old PWM. 630 W connected directly to the batteries with switches / breakers in the cockpit.

Very happy.

No recommendations. Do whatever you reckon suits your needs, cruising style, budget and electrical needs.
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