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Old 29-05-2016, 14:58   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonds, WA
Boat: Wauquiez Amphitrite - 43' Ketch
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Which Solar Controller - analysis paralysis

We will have 4x150w panels mounted permanently, and two more 150w that may or may not be permanent. We will see how the mounting goes. All are the same panel, 24v.

Current batteries: flooded lead, ~450ahr capacity.
Future - lifepo4.

We are full time live aboards, and will be out cruising for at least a year.

I would like more than one controller for redundancy and the perception of more efficiency, so a single controller like the Outback 60/80 are out.

Cost is a factor.

My current top choices:

Eco-worthy 20a X 3, ~$315
* Two panels in parallel per controller.
* Lcd display
* programmable voltage for lithium
* no battery temp monitor

Victron 30a 100/30 X 2, ~$600
* normally two panels in parallel. When bringing the last two panels online, panel 5 would go to one controller, and panel 6 would go to the other, so that there would be three panels per controller in parallel.
* easy to tuck away in a locker near the batteries since there is no display
* Bluetooth module for programming and display
* programmable voltage
* no battery temperature monitor

Midnite Kid 30a X 2, ~$700
* lots of options
* good display
* seems really well made
* remote battery temperature sensor
* can connect two or more together to act in concert.
* wider operational range than the victron X, ex) input voltage on the panel side. This suggest to me it will not be pushed as hard.

Any advice or thoughts?


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Old 29-05-2016, 16:37   #2
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Location: Out cruising again (maybe Caribbean)
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
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Re: Which Solar Controller - analysis paralysis

You can get the Victron for $209 on eBay. In that case, I would get those and save for a new battery bank or add to yours if they aren't old. 900 watts into a small bank like that doesn't really help your storage much. But, you sure will have a lot of power during the day...


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