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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Best weatherproof MPPT solar charge controller

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2oldman

NM

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Posted: 07/30/21 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where is your converter?

pauldub

North of Seattle

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Posted: 07/30/21 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The controller isn't going to be 100% efficient and it will dissipate some amount of heat. You don't want to put it in a sealed box and cook it. 2oldman just gave a good hint. You can probably put it near the converter and have it indoors. I would try very hard to find a way to mount the controller indoors.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 07/30/21 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWC wrote:

The Victron MPPT 100/20 is the 'best' MPPT Charge controller for your application. It IP43 rated, so fine for spray and splashes, but I would still put it in some kind of enclosure. Maybe a small Pelican box so you can easily open the lid for ventilation when it is working hard.
Problem solved. As I posted install it in a vented box near the battery. 100V input voltage means you could have a 3rd panel later if desired. Need to check on the 290W spec. My controller is OK with overpaneling.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


Bobbo

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Posted: 07/30/21 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My converter is halfway down the TT's length. Way too far to be of use.

The Victron was what I was lusting after, and may be the solution.

NRALIFR has given me another lead via pm that also looks very promising.

I need to decide between NRALIFR's suggestion and fabricating a vented weatherproof box for the Victron.

Thanks all.


Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB


Bobbo

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Posted: 08/26/21 01:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK. Follow up.

I couldn't find what I considered an acceptable solution to the weatherproof charge controller question, so I decided to go a different route. I have had one 90w solar panel on the roof since I originally took delivery of the trailer. I decided to add a second 90 watt solar panel to try to increase charging.

To reduce voltage drop, I wanted to put the solar panels in series. The PWM controller that the Airstream dealer installed won't handle two panels in series, so I bought a Victron SmartSolar 100/30 to replace it.

I opened the trailer up to replace the controller only to find the dealer had mis-wired the system. He had wired the controller exactly as he should, BUT, this controller forces you to connect the PV negative wire to the battery negative. The dealer had hooked my PV negative wire to the battery POSITIVE. Both of the PV wires were hooked to the battery positive, giving a dead short. I was getting NO charge from the solar. No wonder I was unhappy.

Since I had the Victron, I went ahead and removed the dealer's PWM controller and installed the Victron. Correctly, this time.

I ordered the second solar panel before opening up the trailer. It is not here yet, but I will go ahead and install it. I will see how getting NO charging improves with 180w of solar, CORRECTLY installed, before I think about portable panels again.

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