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Old 10-08-2012, 18:02   #46
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

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Originally Posted by silverp40 View Post
Blue Sky first came up with the MPPT concept, a very efficient way to maximize your PVs power.

Our Blue sky controllers have been both flawless over the last 3 years of continuous use. They also adjust the output when other sources of charging are present. 60 amp is correct for your application.

I have 2 friends with Morningstar units that have had issues with their PV controllers...

Good luck!
Interesting, I install a lot of solar equipment and find Morningstar to be among the most reliable controllers out there for marine installs. Their tech support is also great and they answer the phones.

I also like Outback and install some Aurinco and Genasun stuff too. Just depends on the job. They are all pretty reliable but I do find the Blue Sky units to get pretty hot...
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Old 10-08-2012, 20:01   #47
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

"Interesting, I install a lot of solar equipment and find Morningstar to be among the most reliable controllers out there for marine installs. Their tech support is also great and they answer the phones."

I also install PV systems occasionally and find Morningstar to have good service but found some of their models' innards to be less well built than blue Sky such as coated circuit boards, coated coils, etc.

I agree that Outback is a good product. On the Blue Sky overheating, they have a good heat sink, models over 30a but in my opinion there are a few factors that could contribute to this such as undersizing the controller to the PVS and location. IMO, all larger controllers that handle lots of current have to have some space for heat disssipation, otherwise we get into cooling fans and hoses, etc..

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Old 21-05-2014, 13:25   #48
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

I have fitted plenty of Morningstar controllers here in Europe especially the Tristar 45 & 60. As with any controller matching the panels to the battery voltage is paramount... Tristar MPPT documentation says 150V max array input but they derate sharply above 110V, at 140V they derate right down to 0 current going to batteries to protect the circuitry. They rely on passive heatsink cooling (no fans) and don't derate until the heatsink is above 80 deg C, shutting off the current to 0 at 90 deg C, again for protection. In 48V battery charge mode they are 99% efficient they can do this because effectively (the 60A version) is 3 x 20 amp chargers so when handling 20A of current or less two thirds of the charger shut down to save amps, when the current rises above 20 amps the second third kicks back in and above 40 amps all three are back online. That is how they get such amazing efficiency. The other important point is these MPPT controllers are built for 'power shaving' which means you can oversize the array well above spec and the controller will function only at it's rated output. For example a 60A Tristar MPPT at 24V is rated at around 1600W PV. As long as each string Voc does not exceed 150V (better below 110V so no derating) you could, for example put 2400W of PV on this controller which would boost the amps going in to the battery early and late in the day and on cloudy days. At full sun the controller will just limit the output to 60A safely with no damage to the controller and does not invalidate the 5 year warrany. These controllers were designed with power shaving in mind and it works very well. No point overdoing it on a tracker of course but on a boat or RV where space is limited just shove as many panels as will fit even if there is some shading, the Trakstar software will always find the best power point as it sweeps the full curve twice a second, some other controllers take 30 seconds to sweep the curve once! I don't work for Morningstar and am certainly not a salesman I just like their products and when fitted properly they just work.
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Old 18-07-2014, 11:20   #49
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Time to find a new charge controller. Have been looking into Rogue 2024, Midnite Solar The Kid Marine, and Blue Sky 3000i. Current set up is two 135 watt Kyocera Panels wired in Series into a BZ250 Charge Controller, charging 2 GC 6 volt batteries in series. Am installing refrigeration so will be adding two more GC batteries for a total of 440 amp hrs. May add more panels if I ever finish the hard dodger but probably no more than another 270 watts. Because of shading by the boom, will probably wire those in parallel. Assume those would need a separate controller but that's in the future.

Any of you out there have experience on the above controllers. Note there seems to be a lot of familiarity with the Blue sky but the larger capacity types. Was leaning to the Rogue but the RF issues are a concern. First time I heard about VHF interference with a charge controller. Could it have been one bad unit?? Anyone else with a Rogue. Anyone have any other ideas??
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Old 18-07-2014, 15:57   #50
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

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Time to find a new charge controller. Have been looking into Rogue 2024, Midnite Solar The Kid Marine, and Blue Sky 3000i. Current set up is two 135 watt Kyocera Panels wired in Series into a BZ250 Charge Controller, charging 2 GC 6 volt batteries in series. Am installing refrigeration so will be adding two more GC batteries for a total of 440 amp hrs. May add more panels if I ever finish the hard dodger but probably no more than another 270 watts. Because of shading by the boom, will probably wire those in parallel. Assume those would need a separate controller but that's in the future.

Any of you out there have experience on the above controllers. Note there seems to be a lot of familiarity with the Blue sky but the larger capacity types. Was leaning to the Rogue but the RF issues are a concern. First time I heard about VHF interference with a charge controller. Could it have been one bad unit?? Anyone else with a Rogue. Anyone have any other ideas??
I have a few Rogue controllers out there and a 3048 in my shop I just ran some test on it last week (after reading a report here of noise). I conducted the test with a spare Uniden VHF I had in my shop. I could not detect any noise with the Rogue 3048 (fairly new unit never installed, just in-stock).

The MidNite KID also had no noise as did the Genasun GV-10... I used the Sea Tow automated response to listen to my transmissions. With all three there was zero audible difference between controller on and controller disconnected. I can't speak to other channels though.

I also tested AM and FM reception on a stereo in my shop with no notable differences either.. I have had two BZ controllers with noise issues that were replaced with either Genasun or Morningstar and the issues were eliminated...
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Old 21-11-2015, 22:57   #51
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Maybe time to resurrect this thread.

I'm having to replace my MPPT controller after a number of years. I finally figured out that my BZ controller is putting out a lot of rfi, mostly into my VHF.

I have three Kyocera 130 watt panels in parallel. By my calculation that's about 22.5 A.

I'm leaning towards the Midnite Kid. It seems to be pretty rugged and most of the things I've seen indicate that it is noise free. The mounting is in a cabinet that has OK ventilation but there isn't a lot of space where the controller has to be mounted.

I'd sure like to know if there is any more experience or comments since the last Postings.

The Rogue is too small (at 20 A) and I'm not sure I want to try to squeeze 2 controllers in.
The lore is that Blue Sky generates a bunch of heat and I'd have to figure out how to get a good panel box to fit into the space.
Morningstar is a little more expensive.

Cost means something but efficiency and rfi are important criteria.

Any suggestions or comments?

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Old 22-11-2015, 00:45   #52
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Hello,

I have several Morningstar in my system, and no matter what controller you use... Make sure you install a solar combiner box. It has been such a asset to the system. I still have room to add one more panel to this system. See the combiner on the top right of the picture.

Good luck !!

Alan

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Old 08-03-2017, 19:20   #53
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

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Hello,

I have several Morningstar in my system, and no matter what controller you use... Make sure you install a solar combiner box. It has been such a asset to the system. I still have room to add one more panel to this system. See the combiner on the top right of the picture.

Good luck !!

Alan

Attachment 113493
Alan,

I watched many of your videos on your youtube channel the other night and even sent you a message there about your combiner box. If only I could find a suitable combiner box like the one you made I might try harder to utilize the combiner box in my setup and re-design when needed.

Otherwise I'm stumbling here when I read the manuals for the Tristar products about the GFPD. Is it really necessary? Did you install a GFPD?

Perhaps I need to go back and watch your videos again to see how you installed yours. Can you briefly describe the installation of your charge controller?

Somehow I'm getting all twisted about NEC regulations pertaining to houses mixed in with ABYC standards on solar panels and I just want to do things as safely as possible with my system.

Thus I've opted to start examining the
TS-MPPT-60-600V-48-DB-TR-GFPD

https://www.wholesalesolar.com/cms/m...2047624299.pdf

I am currently running the following panels:

String Calculator » Morningstar Corporation

I'm using a Coleman Air 440HVA standard charge controller with it instead of the tristar 60. Does a nice job but can it be better. Especially in terms of mounting a combiner box on the deck of my catamaran. I don't really want to do that. I have a small combiner box but it simply takes the 2 strings of six parallel modules and combines then and then I go for the homerun to a 50amp breaker and then the controller.

I would rather solve the problem with this:

String Calculator » Morningstar Corporation

Thereby eliminating the need for a combiner box altogether by running all 12 of my panels in series. I do have some questions though about the installation of the 600v charge controller on the boat.

1) Does the disconnect switch function by itself or will I have to purchase another 600v Disconnect switch and place it before the controller as well?

2) In terms of the GFPD will this be necessary as it seems to pertain to grid tied installations.

3) Is it safer to run lower voltage in high amps as opposed to higher voltage at lower amps?

Hope you can help and I like what you are doing with the hydroponics. Glad I don't have diesel engines also. Nasty job you had to do there to get running. Also your way hardcore on efficiency but you got me started on a perfectly good working system to find more efficiency.
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Old 09-03-2017, 00:36   #54
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Hello, I put a "Surge Protector device" in my combiner box that goes to a 50mm2 ground wire that is only connected to all the thru-hull fittings. All the Tristar controllers have a chaise ground wire to the same ground.

My panels are delivering between 41 to 43 volts max to the MPPT Tristar. I am really happy with the 24v settings and the controller is in absorb by 10am now that I am eliminating the need for AC from the inverter. Only the fridge is on a dedicated 600w inverter. Everything else is now switched to DC to DC.

With Tristar... always turn off the solar power input first, then you can disconnect it from the battery... otherwise you will fry the controller...
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:45   #55
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Alan, Thanks, I see know I can't avoid a 2 series and 6 parallel string combination for 48v in a sealed box. How much for one of your six string combiner boxes and what is your paypal address? Are you selling these?

Or can you provide a parts list that I could use to fabricate my own. Also do you have a link for the 200 amp diodes as I seem to need one of those as well.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:55   #56
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Hello,

Next week I'll be visiting factories for a few projects I have on the work bench. I'll see about getting You breakers that handle a voltage range for a 48v system... I mainly deal with 24v, but here nothing is impossible, and you can deal with the costs directly with the factory... I'll just be your translator. Send me a PM with your email, and we will take one step at a time for you to have a flawless system with absolute safety !!

Tight lines !!!

Alan
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:05   #57
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Oh....

I have a lot of 60, 200amp diodes. More then happy to ship you a few by "snail mail".

Add a shipping address in your PM with email address !

Alan
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:16   #58
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

9 x 250w jinko's in 3 x 3 strings through a midnite 150 mppt for us.
Amps smashing in.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:20   #59
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

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9 x 250w jinko's in 3 x 3 strings through a midnite 150 mppt for us.
Amps smashing in.
Hi Simi, have you been happy with the Jinko panels? They have a factory just down by the road here and I've been tempted to go and visit if they sell any from the factory.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:40   #60
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Re: Which MPPT Solar Controller?

Hello,

After a voyage to Tahiti and Bora Bora with a Midnite Solar 150... that damn fan sucking salt air, put an end to what would be a long life on the land... my experience is that any solar controller that needs a fan in a marine vessel, is Not a solar controller made for Marine use... just my 2 cents !!
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