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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Low cost Solar Charge Controller help

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ShutterStuff

Port Angeles, WA USA

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Posted: 06/21/12 05:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, my wife has given the OK for a solar panel on the roof of the RV. But I have a budget to start out with. My plan is to get the largest panel that will fit on my roof. I have measured and found a decent low cost panel in another thread on this forum.

I want a low cost, cheap, budget charge controller to start with. Then next year upgrade to a good MPPT controller with all the bells and whistles.

Anyone have any input on the below two units?

Morningstar SunSaver SS-10-12v
or:

HQRP Solar Power Controller 10Amp

The future MPPT unit I am looking at is this one:

Blue Sky Energy Solar Boost 2000E

Any suggestions are appreciated.


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donn0128

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Posted: 06/21/12 05:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harbor freight sells a decent unit for pretty good prices.


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ShutterStuff

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Posted: 06/21/12 06:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only one I saw at Harbor Freight was $80. The 2 above at Amazon are $43 and $35. I am hoping someone has had some experience with either of the above and can share some information.

Almot

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Posted: 06/21/12 06:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In coastal Wa you are going to need a lot of panel area. What panel did you have in mind? If it's not 12V nominal, you will need MPPT from the day one. In 25-30A range the best MPPT is Rogue.

ShutterStuff

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking at this panel here:

DM 145w Polycrystalline Solar Panel

This was posted in another thread last month. They are currently out of stock, but are supposed to be back in stock next week.

I barely have the room for this panel, so a larger one will not work at all. We camp a lot in Eastern Washington and this is where I want this panel. And this is why I will eventually upgrade to an MPPT. The Rock is one I have looked at.

But for now, I need to go cheap.

smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Morningstar is a quality product. I have MS MPPT-60.

2000e requires manual MPPT adjustment. Be sure to get the temp sensor.


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BFL13

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 10 amp controller ought to be enough but IMO go bigger like 15a or so.

I have a 130w panel with 8.2 amps rating but in fact in thin cloud it can get over 9 and briefly 11! The usual rule is to get a controller that will do 1.25 times rating. I have a 16amp simple controller, was on sale for $59 regular 80ish

Expect to pay nearly 100 but look for sales and maybe get lucky.


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have installed numerous Morningstar units like that one. I haven't had any problems with them. I have never heard of HQRP.

mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don't need MPPT with a 12V panel which is what that DMSolar panel is. Just get a decent PWM controller. That Morningstar you listed is a good one. If you're planning on installing more panels then get a controller that will handle the max panels you want to install.


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Almot

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Posted: 06/21/12 09:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What Mena said - get controller for maximum power that you're planning. Or you'll spend money on 15A PWM and then some on cables appropriate for this current, and some sweat. Then you'll get more panels and discard the first controller, and possibly - the cables that you've pulled through, and start pulling thicker cables.

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