solar charge controller

jeremy
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Location: Newcastle

solar charge controller

Postby jeremy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:56 am

Hi All,
can anyone recommend a good quality solar charge controller? I have a 60w panel and a 60Ah battery. I draw about 5-6amps absolute maximum so a 15amp controller would be adequate. It would be nice if the controller gives a read out of charge/load current and voltage or else has an app that sends info to a smartphone.
Thanks
Jeremy
C18/350 - no name as yet
Newcastle

Ukuri
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Posts: 121
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Location: Brisbane

Re: solar charge controller

Postby Ukuri » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:02 pm

Here, http://www.batteryvalue.com.au/ ,you will find the "Rolls Royce" of solar charge controllers.
Don't be put off by the amateurish look of the website, Peter really knows his stuff.

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maxm
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Re: solar charge controller

Postby maxm » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:09 pm

Hi Jeremy,

I've got some generic solar battery controller which has zero info on it other than maybe a LED light to say it's doing something. It does work but not very user friendly. In circuit I've also got a Watt Master monitor. I haven't been able to find that unit exactly online anywhere any more but this one is very similar:

https://www.australiandirect.com.au/buy ... g/KAMeter1
Max
C22/54 "Katrina II"
Mitsubishi PC Challenger auto

"It could easily be accomplished viz a coppuder"
(Dr Strangelove)

Ukuri
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Location: Brisbane

Re: solar charge controller

Postby Ukuri » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:25 am

You should be able to pickup a Power Meter/Watt Master for about $10 to $15 from China or from ebay or DX
https://www.aliexpress.com/w/wholesale- ... d=15370308
Just search for Power Analyzer or Watt Master. Very popular accessory in the RC model game.

smiffy
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Location: Gympie

Re: solar charge controller

Postby smiffy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:37 am

Just going through the same execise myself.....Jaycar have a solar controller MP3129 on special for $69.95....12v 20 amp.It is a pwm unit which is what you need. Some of the older units with one led use a relay to disconnect the panel from the battery....so beware when buying on line....make sure that pwm or pulse width modulation is mentiomed as these make the most efficient use of your panel.
Where have you mounted your panel ? I'm trying to find one that will fit neatly on front hatch.
Cheers
Don
Don
Will o'the Wisp C18/86

Never time to do it properly-always time to do it twice!

Ukuri
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Posts: 121
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Location: Brisbane

Re: solar charge controller

Postby Ukuri » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:11 pm

smiffy wrote:Just going through the same execise myself.....Jaycar have a solar controller MP3129 on special for $69.95....12v 20 amp.It is a pwm unit which is what you need. Some of the older units with one led use a relay to disconnect the panel from the battery....so beware when buying on line....make sure that pwm or pulse width modulation is mentiomed as these make the most efficient use of your panel.
Where have you mounted your panel ? I'm trying to find one that will fit neatly on front hatch.
Cheers
Don


I think, no I know, that you have that back to front. MPPT is more efficient than PWM.

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maxm
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Re: solar charge controller

Postby maxm » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:00 pm

Hang on... what am I missing here? Jeremy has a 60W panel so I make that about 3A from the panel. Surely a 10A controller would be plenty? Jaycar list several of those.

I like this one - https://www.jaycar.com.au/12-24v-10a-du ... r/p/MP3760 - mainly because I've got 2 batteries in parallel. If my controller dies (again) I'll have to keep that one in mind.
Max
C22/54 "Katrina II"
Mitsubishi PC Challenger auto

"It could easily be accomplished viz a coppuder"
(Dr Strangelove)

smiffy
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Location: Gympie

Re: solar charge controller

Postby smiffy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 am

In his original post,Jeremy stated he wished to have a read out of volts ,amps etc. The smaller jaaycar units do not provide this. By the time you buy the smaller unit and purchase suitable meters to monitor it, the price exceeds the cost of the 20 amp unit.
Good quality MPPT units are far more expensive and probably overkill for a 60W PANEL....In fact an mppt unit would probably cost more than the panel....unless you buy a $40 unit from China. The real advantage of Mppt units is their ability to run higer voltage panels on lower voltage batteries... eg a 24v panel on a 12v battery...something you cannot do with pwm! This has wiring cost savings on large scale installations.
Cheers
Don
Don
Will o'the Wisp C18/86

Never time to do it properly-always time to do it twice!

jeremy
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Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:51 am
Location: Newcastle

Re: solar charge controller

Postby jeremy » Wed May 02, 2018 1:09 pm

Hi Guys, thanks for all the advice.
I ended up spending the dollars and buying the "Rolls Royce" controller. I bought a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 75/15 from Outback Marine (https://www.outbackmarine.com.au/victro ... -15-retail) for $160. The thing i like about it is, i can get all the info regarding input/output/status via an app on my phone. No need to crawl up into the bow and check.It is also designed to cope with the marine environment.
I mounted my panel off one of the uprights of the pushpit. I made a timber bracket to attach to the panel, bought a swivel attachment (https://www.whitworths.com.au/bim-uni-mount-32mm) and a couple of lengths of sleaving stainless tube (25mm and 32mm). I also got some nice clamps from Whitworths (https://www.whitworths.com.au/aluminium ... -25mm-tube) that clamp to the 25mm tube. . I gave the system a test out on the Myall recently. Had no trouble running the fridge all day plus a few minor loads such as charging phones and using a light at night. Not sure how it will cope when the fridge demands more in the hot weather but suspect I'll need to get another panel and upsize my battery later down the track. All in all it cost a bit of money and i could have saved on buying the cheaper Chinese stuff but I've had some let downs when buying online with companies i can't get back up from if things go wrong. I was able to talk to Outback Marine first to get some advice. I tried the place Ukuri mentioned but they were away for a few weeks and i was in a hurry to get things sorted before going up to the Lakes.
I'd like to post some photos but am having trouble with photobucket (PB). I use the free PB service and am reluctant to pay for another data hosting site. If you'd like to see some photos private message me with your email details and i'll send some through.
When viewing the Careel forum and someone has posted a pic I don't see the pic but instead see a message that tells me to upgrade my account to enable 3rd party hosting.....whats this all about??
Cheers, J
C18/350 - no name as yet
Newcastle


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