MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Getting into the nuts and bolts of wind and solar power components, installation and performance issues, ask technical questions, answers and tips

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby Quokka2 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:00 pm

davidg wrote:at the end othe day you only get what you pay for.

We should institute some form of penalty for use of this phrase, invariably by people pushing stuff that a lot of us just can't afford (let alone justify on any sort of financial basis).

At the moment there are two identical 60A MPPT controllers on eBay (branded "Stand Alone"), one for $276 + $58 freight from Taipei, and the other for $795 + unspecified freight from Melbourne. What am I getting for my extra 500 bucks if I buy the second one (apart from some extra middlemen and the opportunity to pay some GST and Carbon Tax) :?:

Possibly by coincidence, this unit looks remarkably similar, and has similar specifications to the Outback FM60 (also $795 on eBay, but including freight). If the "Stand Alone" is a good copy or a clone, why should anyone pay three times as much for something imported from the USA as something imported from China or Taiwan? The eBay purveyor of the FM60 claims that it will outlast three cheap imports - if it did, it would just break even. ;)
Last edited by Quokka2 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quokka2
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:39 am
Location: Darkest (but sunniest) rural SW Australia

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby offgridQLD » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:17 pm

If you cant afford to purchase a quality charge controller then I'm sure you cant afford to replace your battery's when they get boiled up by the nasty controller.

Honestly when I cant afford a quality product new I just hunt it down 2nd hand.

Yes often cheap Chinese products are sold under different names at wildly different prices. The old manson charge controllers are a classic for that sold under many names at all kinds of price points.

A funny story last time we went to china I purchased a modern looking cube alarm clock/ weather station from a market for $2 looked great we were happy with the price and got about 5 of them for friends. Back in Australia I walked into a surf shop and found the same alarm clock with a Rip Curl sticker on it for $49.95. Nice mark up :lol:

Kurt
offgridQLD
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 2117
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:50 am
Location: South Australia, Fleurieu Peninsula

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby davidg » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:31 pm

Quokka2 wrote:
davidg wrote:at the end othe day you only get what you pay for.

We should institute some form of penalty for use of this phrase

It might actually be true with a lot of products. Oh well how about this saying then.

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten.

Quokka2 wrote:At the moment there are two identical 60A MPPT controllers on eBay (branded "Stand Alone"), one for $276 + $58 freight from Taipei, and the other for $795 + unspecified freight from Melbourne. What am I getting for my extra 500 bucks if I buy the second one (apart from some extra middlemen and the opportunity to pay some GST and Carbon Tax) :?:


The Taipei device I've them tried them, not patch on the midnites or the outbacks and come from MPPSolar.

Um , Those guys in Melbourne the warehouse is in Dandenong 10 mins from me, I would not buy from them for obvious reasons. however some would they have right to sell a products for any price they decide, no one forces some one to buy from them. I think they are offering a barely satisfactory product at over inflated price, but they still have a right to do so.

Quokka2 wrote:Possibly be coincidence, this unit looks remarkably similar, and has similar specifications to the Outback FM60 (also $795 on eBay, but including freight). If the "Stand Alone" is a good copy or a clone

With all due respect it's not a good copy and not a patch on both the outback or midnite extremely limited in function and settings.

Quokka2 wrote:why should anyone pay three times as much for something imported from the USA as something imported from China or Taiwan? The eBay purveyor of the FM60 claims that it will outlast three cheap imports - if it did, it would just break even. ;)

I know the person that sells the FM60 on Ebay it certainly would and then some, lets see warranty 5 years, Tapei one 12 months and if it goes wrong you have to wait while they post you the components and you have to fix it. Great warranty, You have to be handy and repair it yourself, what if your not handy or any good with electronics? Then you have to post it back to them it should only take about 4 to 8 weeks turn around. Plus postage costs.
SPS Standalone Power System/Hybrid specialist - Store the Sun!
SELECTRONIC SPMC482-AU, 8.2kW's of Arrays
Selectronic Certified AC-Coupled Fronius 8.2kW Inverter
1900Ah 48V Bank

An OTT Genset for a house.
PVOutput Stats

Sparkys light up your life :)
User avatar
davidg
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 2098
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 7:38 pm
Location: Dandenong VIC- *Really don't like Power Retailers at all.

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby Quokka2 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:44 pm

:lol: Hi Davidg - I'm sure there's no disputing the quality of the units you describe; I was talking about value, which is slightly different. Quite agree, there's no value in something that's going to fry your batteries or inverter; us newbies (silly EM tags notwithstanding) would find it hard to know which ones do and which don't, without the benefit of people's experiences (good and bad) in forums like this.

We are all still waiting to hear from Maximum Solar - if you want another platitude I think the appropriate one is "Silence is assent". The "Stand Alone" unit I mentioned is also marketed by them so probably suffers from the same problems. Haven't got my system together yet, but the PCM5048 is dropping rapidly down my list.

PS Taipei seems a bit closer than Sydney or Melbourne sometimes - I get stuff just as quickly and they are at least in the same time zone (as is the whole of China - what a great idea).
Quokka2
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:39 am
Location: Darkest (but sunniest) rural SW Australia

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby Tracker » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:51 pm

davidg wrote:...The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten........The Taipei device I've them tried them, not patch on the midnites or the outbacks and come from MPPSolar...


The thing that I can't help thinking, is that people keep putting such products down, and the reality is that they NEED NOT be inferior. SOOooo much of our stuff emanates from over there and most is pretty good.

They have done a good job on MOST of the design.. Surely, they can change the firmware.
Or, is it a case of some poor design engineer, being afraid to admit that there is a fault..

Today, I saw it producing 62V... How can that be..?
How can ANY regulator allow an excessive voltage.. I don't care if the earth was falling apart after the battery.. How can a regulator , regulate so poorly.. ( or are you guys right, and it is ALL such crap, that it has passed it's use-by date )
..
.
Retired Engineer and keen PV experimenter - Always ready to learn and share.
2 x CMS2000 (fan cooled) GCI and SE 170W panels
1.7kW First Solar/Outback Island circuit - Peak Replacement Power
Governments won't save the world :-) They will just TAX it :-(
Tracker
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 5111
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:54 am
Location: SYDNEY --- EA - Network, Retailer - EA

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby davidg » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:51 am

Tracker wrote:They have done a good job on MOST of the design.. Surely, they can change the firmware.
Or, is it a case of some poor design engineer, being afraid to admit that there is a fault..

And that is what you pay for, Midnite took about 2 years in testing before they released there controller.

Tracker wrote:How can a regulator , regulate so poorly.

Crappy programming turns a potentially good product into crap.

Of course it really may have a hardware fault but then a lot them apparently do then.
SPS Standalone Power System/Hybrid specialist - Store the Sun!
SELECTRONIC SPMC482-AU, 8.2kW's of Arrays
Selectronic Certified AC-Coupled Fronius 8.2kW Inverter
1900Ah 48V Bank

An OTT Genset for a house.
PVOutput Stats

Sparkys light up your life :)
User avatar
davidg
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 2098
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 7:38 pm
Location: Dandenong VIC- *Really don't like Power Retailers at all.

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby offgridQLD » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:54 am

Its not to say that the big brand names don't have the odd bug or undesirable reactions to some situations.

For example some times when midnight solar introduce new firmware or add new features to there classic charge controllers. They bring the software out as beta for people to try and iron out any issues. Even so the odd bug has slipped through in a official release. (usually only something small and quirky that no one picked up in in the beta testing) When a user picks up on a issue and they will especially with a popular product and 1000's of people using it all over the world in different applications.

The issue is reported to midnite usually through there online forum. Then they are onto working out the issue straight away. Completely open about it and upfront about it if it turns out to be a bug from there end. They have a brand and a reputation to protect.If it turns out to be a software issue then they fix it and put up the new software online so you can download it and update your product yourself. User updatability firmware over usb was a big selling point of the classic. I know I might be paying an extra $400 for that but over the 10 years or more I might be using this charge controller that $40 a year is worth it to me and my battery's.

I'm not saying the Asian products can't be built as good. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if they can be built better. They usually build a product to a price and you have the choice where you set they price. I have found with some products that are of similar spec/quality to local products the price usually reflects this and they are not significantly cheaper, perhaps only 10-15% cheaper. If it's 1/5 the price then there is a reason for that. Comparing one Asiain re branded product to another is a different story as mentioned in me other post.

Communication is another issue. Even if a Asian company is willing to help work through the issue communication can be the road block to getting things sorted out.
offgridQLD
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 2117
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:50 am
Location: South Australia, Fleurieu Peninsula

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby franks » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:26 pm

Spending $800-1000 quailty brand MPPT charge reg is cheap insurance to look after $10-15k battery bank :?
3.04kW Grid Tie system 16 of 190W PVs, Samil 3.3kW
3.8kW PV Stand Alone Off Grid.. 5-8kWHr Per day
24 of 190W PVs
Midnite Classic 150 & Lite MPPT
8 of 6V 600 AH flooded cells (24 volt 1200 AH)
Outback VFX3024E Inverter Charger
franks
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:07 pm
Location: Melbourne and Ballarat VIC

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby karlajensen » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:37 pm

indeed

MPP solar gear is mostly rubbish.

another thread on whirlpool regarding the shortcomings particularly in regards to roasting stuff.

this chump http://www.goneoffgrid.com.au/
came to me for some bits, was set up to use 2 x 250W panels in each string to charge 48V battery banks
those in the know .......this is a catastrophe! and does NOT work.

unfortunately he's simply flogging cheap shit with no idea of any off-grid design and simply dismissed my advice siting that "it works fine as we've been testing it".

testing it when you have no idea what to test for...... :?

NEED TO GET PROPER ADVICE and PROPER DESIGN.

I design these things for BIG applications and typically they are far less critical and have far more batteries and panels than they will ever need.
EG 1200Ah lead or 800AH LIFEP04 48V and 5kW panels is a starting point!

as a result they are both expensive and rugged and will stand the test of time.

EDIT:- once things get very serious i get EM's dude in to check, but he's a bit old skool for my liking, i'm all for more panels and less batteries and LIFEPO4 is the way to go. (in my opinion) but those boys yet to be convinced, "nothing 2tons of lead wont fix" kind of thing,.......

again reason for this is they have lots of experience and typically BIG batteries last a long time and undersized batteries dont last long at all.
8E + 8W + 8Nth Garage CMS2000-1 with ~4500W in 3 strings of 8.
Fronius Galvo 3.0 inverter with ~6.6kW panels
12x ZNShine + 12x 180W Solarfuns both NW + ZNShine 12x190 facing SE.
Edwards Solar Hot water


Luck Favours the well prepared.
User avatar
karlajensen
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:30 am
Location: Perth

Re: MPPSolar - PCM5048 - Time to come out.. :-(

Postby Tracker » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:04 am

karlajensen wrote:......came to me for some bits, was set up to use 2 x 250W panels in each string to charge 48V battery banks.....those in the know .......this is a catastrophe! and does NOT work.

ummm.. WHY. :?:

please explain... :!:

Strings....Voltage.......Current..... Banks ........ :?: ;)
..
.
Retired Engineer and keen PV experimenter - Always ready to learn and share.
2 x CMS2000 (fan cooled) GCI and SE 170W panels
1.7kW First Solar/Outback Island circuit - Peak Replacement Power
Governments won't save the world :-) They will just TAX it :-(
Tracker
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 5111
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:54 am
Location: SYDNEY --- EA - Network, Retailer - EA

PreviousNext

Return to Components, Installation And Performance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests

new solar power specials