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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Help me pick a MPPT solar charge controller.

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pirlbeck

Iowa

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Posted: 03/07/18 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A little background info.

This is for a truck camper with limited space. I would like to use the Lance factory 12ga solar wiring from the roof down to the charge controller. I can use larger wire/cable from the controller to the batteries, so that is not an issue. I really would like to avoid pulling or routing new, larger wiring from the roof down to the solar charge controller. I installed a Trimetric 2030 battery monitor and wired in a second battery that sits in the bed of the truck and pulling new wires/cables is not a lot of fun in a smaller truck camper like this 845. If possible, I would like to just plug into the Lance installed molded connector already on the roof, but if I have to remove the plug and install a roof junction box, it would not be a huge deal to me.

I do not feel we are large power user and I have large charge wires from the truck that charge the batteries pretty well when we travel. Last summer we took a 3 week trip and had not power issues, but we traveled a fair distance most days and had shore power most nights. This summer may be different as we are planning a trip to Alaska so we may be doing more boondocking.

Due to using the existing Lance wiring I would like to wire the panels in series and use a MPPT controller.

I have 2 Crown 31DC130 130AH batteries, new last spring.

I have 3 older, but unused Kyocera KT50 50Watt panels I picked up a year ago for almost nothing and I would like to use these panels. I may want to add more solar watts later IF roof space allows. I know adding more panels later and adding to a series string may be a problem as it may exceed the voltage limits of a lot of MPPT controllers.

Panel specs can be found here.

https://www.solarelectricsupply.com/kyocera-50-watt-solar-panel-kc50-308

Open circuit voltage 21.7
Vmp 17.4
Isc 3.31

Charge controller will be mounted in cabinet under the sink as that is where Lance has the solar wiring routed to, it is the only available location and it is close to the batteries.

I would like something that can be controlled and monitored with a Apple device (I phone or IPAD). I really do not want to wire and mount any sort of remote control/display panel. And changing settings and monitoring it without some sore of remote display is not really an option due to mounting location.

As far as cost......I don't want to spend more then is required, but I am willing to spend a little extra to get exactly what I want, if it is available. I would prefer it is something that has been available for a while and has a proven track record.

Thanks!


2009 Lance 845
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins
19.5 Rickson wheels with Michelin XZE tires
Air lift bags with 72000 wireless onboard air
Hellwig Big Wig rear sway bar
Rancho RS9000XL rear shocks
Torqlift tie downs

red31

Bryan

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Victron's smartSolar mppt

https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-char........martsolar-mppt-75-10-75-15-100-15-100-20

15A https://www.amazon.com/Victron-SmartSola........-Controller-Bluetooth/dp/B075NQQRPD?th=1

Ductape

On the Road

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A Renogy Rover 20 with Bluetooth module can do that.


49 States, 6 Provinces, 2 Territories...

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don't need MPPT for that job. You have the Trimetric 2030, so you could just get the PWM controller that goes with it. Your wiring is not that bad for just 150w.


1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI

red31

Bryan

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you can get an ios app for the grape solar pwm 40ABT for monitoring not very programable!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-........ler-with-Bluetooth-GS-PWM-40BT/207100856

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 03/07/18 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

go grape


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Lwiddis

Los Angeles :(

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Posted: 03/07/18 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lance cheaped out. 12 gauge wire...a buck or two more and could have done 8. Which executive got the one/two dollar bonus?


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 03/07/18 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is one that is resonable in price with a proven track record. I have had a Tracer controller for 6 years.

Almot

out there

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Posted: 03/07/18 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many options, depends on what you want.

Cheap working solution - 2*50 in parallel and PWM Grape 40 with existing wire. Won't cost much and won't give you much, 100W is so very little.

More wattage - scrap 2*50 and install 2*100 or 3*100 in series - OR - single 280W, all with MPPT and existing wire. Not too many people are installing 50W panels now, panels today are cheap and they last longer than RV itself.

A lot of MPPT are limiting max string voltage - true, but half-decent MPPT will have (at least) 100V limit, this is 2*280W = 560W in series.

pirlbeck

Iowa

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Posted: 03/08/18 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, thanks for the replies. I am going to spend some time looking at the different brands/models recommended above before I make a decision.

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