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Old 01-01-2016, 17:29   #1
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Which controller.

Hi, I need to buy a charge controller for 450W of solar (3panelsx150W). I am looking at the Morningstar 60 ($192) and the Xantrex 60 ($158). The Xantrex is almost $40 cheaper...what should I do...Morningstar or Xantrex?
Thanks a lot...
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Old 01-01-2016, 18:35   #2
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Re: Which controller.

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Originally Posted by mrlee View Post
Hi, I need to buy a charge controller for 450W of solar (3panelsx150W). I am looking at the Morningstar 60 ($192) and the Xantrex 60 ($158). The Xantrex is almost $40 cheaper...what should I do...Morningstar or Xantrex?
Thanks a lot...
http://www.midnitesolar.com/pages/kid/index.php
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Old 01-01-2016, 18:41   #3
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Re: Which controller.

i have heard good things about the morningstar- i have an Outback which seems to be bulletproof and the reviews are very good
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Old 01-01-2016, 18:47   #4
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Re: Which controller.

It depends . .

Outback is now made in India. The Midnite is made in the USA by the original founders of Outback. I have an older US made Outback inverter, and was going to go with their charge controller until I discovered Midnite. N. AZ Wind and solar has the marine version for $356.

The OP has a 450w array, and I have 480w. Very happy with the Midnite, especially the customer support.
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Old 01-01-2016, 18:47   #5
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Re: Which controller.

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Originally Posted by mrlee View Post
Xantrex?
Except for their echo charger (not really their, but they haven't changed it), their product line has received poor reviews for the past few years.
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Old 02-01-2016, 14:21   #6
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Re: Which controller.

Hi all, I like the Midnight KID but I want 60 Amps so I have room to expand later if I want to. I have not really heard anything about the Xantrex controller but I see a lot of people with the Morningstar, hence my leaning in that direction. Can I use a wind generator with this as well? What do you all use as a dump load apparatus on a sailboat?
Thanks for the input...
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Old 02-01-2016, 14:25   #7
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Re: Which controller.

Nothing xantrex. Ever
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Old 02-01-2016, 19:01   #8
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Re: Which controller.

i have not heard good things about Xantrex, however i have no personal experience with them-- when i was installing my solar, i did a ton of research and had it narrowed down to midnight and outback. i went by a solar farm and found that they were using outback, had been for a number of years and had zero issues- sold me! i use a flex max 80 but they make a 60 as well. i have a D400 wind generator and purchased the dump load from where i got the the d400-- it is a couple of big coil resistors surrounded by a metal cage to keep anyone from touching it.-- you can also use your hot water heater if you have a place for or the right type of element to hook up to. Hope this helps. i am pretty sure you will need separate controllers for the wind and the solar- i was not successful in finding one that could do both and wanted two anyway for redundancy.
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Old 02-01-2016, 19:39   #9
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Re: Which controller.

The quality of Xantrex is not what is use to be or what it should be. Everything Xantrex item on my boat, I bought a spare one. The echo changer might be the only thing I don't have a spare.
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Old 02-01-2016, 20:05   #10
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Re: Which controller.

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Hi all, I like the Midnight KID but I want 60 Amps so I have room to expand later if I want to. I have not really heard anything about the Xantrex controller but I see a lot of people with the Morningstar, hence my leaning in that direction. Can I use a wind generator with this as well? What do you all use as a dump load apparatus on a sailboat?
Thanks for the input...
Midnite Classic handles 96 amps MidNite Solar Inc. Renewable Energy System Electrical Components and E-Panels

I do not see how you would have room for more than 450w on your vessel, but I am delighted with the Midnite Classic and 480w.
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Old 02-01-2016, 20:38   #11
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Re: Which controller.

Hi, well, it seems that we have an abundance of outback users...with no problems. My only issue is $$$. I've seen the Outback 60A for around $450...that's a lot for me right now but I will have my arch up in 3 weeks and I want to put the panels up at the same time. Hmmmmm
Thanks for all the advice. As for the wind dump resistors-I have them but I wasn't sure if they were safe enough on a sailboat...Good to know...
Hey Outback guys- Do any of you have solar AND wind connected to your controller?
Thanks everybody...Have a great night...
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Old 02-01-2016, 21:35   #12
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Re: Which controller.

I have the Morningstar Tristar TS-45 PWM controller. I use it to control the charge of 400 watts of solar panels split into 8 @ 50 watt parallel wired panels. I can recommend this unit highly, as being a simple to program, very well made, pretty much bulletproof unit. It is charging the 440 amp hour battery fully and topping the bank off at 14.68 volts which it is the set point I programmed. I plan to add 2 @ 100 watt panels next year when I add another 220 amp hour battery bank.
I also have a Kiss wind generator that is limited to 13.34 volt output and have not needed a resistor dump as yet. The wind charger has no separate controller and will not top off the batteries as effectively as the solar system.
The Tristar can be used as either a charge controller for solar or set up as a charge controller/resistance dump for a wind charger, though not simultaneously for both charge sources.
At the cost of this unit, $145.00, you could buy two for less then the price of the Midnight. Food for thought.
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Old 02-01-2016, 21:49   #13
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Re: Which controller.

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Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
Nothing xantrex. Ever
^^^ This. ^^^^

My boat came with an installed xantrex Marine 2500 inverter/charger PLUS an in-the-box brand new spare unit. Both failed. Repair costs were ghastly. Finally went another route with replacement by another firm..

IF THIS IS A POLL:

We use and are very happy with a Morningstar/TriStar MPPT-60 solar controller.
Wind turbine (Air-Breeze) has a built in controller/regulator so maybe that's not applicable to the OP's situation.
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Old 02-01-2016, 21:55   #14
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Re: Which controller.

Thanks for the Morningstar feedback. I like the idea of 2-C45's...I think this will be the way I'll go for now...I will get one for the solar now and later maybe when I hit the lottery I can get an MPPT and use the C45 for the wind and the MPPT for the solar.
A plan!!! Thanks a lot to you all...Peace and have a great night/weekend!
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:28   #15
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Re: Which controller.

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Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
It depends . .

Outback is now made in India. The Midnite is made in the USA by the original founders of Outback. I have an older US made Outback inverter, and was going to go with their charge controller until I discovered Midnite. N. AZ Wind and solar has the marine version for $356.

The OP has a 450w array, and I have 480w. Very happy with the Midnite, especially the customer support.
I just looked at the Midnite website and the Midnite "Classic" solar charge controllers were about $800 there (150 and 200). The Northern AZ solar website prices were $610 for both models. The "Classic Lite" (which I believer are solar only) were $536.

There may be another model that you are referring to than those? Or did you transpose the numbers?
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