Which Regulator/Controller

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Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Sundance » Sun May 04, 2014 10:23 am

Hi,
I have a 24V 250W panel and want it to charge a 12V 120AH battery. What would be the most efficient controller to use. Performance and cost wise!
Thanks
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sun May 04, 2014 12:06 pm

You will have to use an MPPT charge controller, choice of brand is up to you.
This would run flat out most of the time (if panel pointed at the sun) with a little bit of clipping: http://www.apolloenergy.com.au/charge-c ... s-mppt-15l

You can get a bit more capacity for your dollar with a Tracer, a range of MPPT CCs is here: http://www.apolloenergy.com.au/products ... t-trackers
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Whitespeed » Sun May 04, 2014 9:03 pm

If you where to choose a tracer to save a few dollars I would advise not pushing them too hard. Remember you get what you pay for.

Although they should "theoretically" be able to handle extra amps, my experience with them shows that they don't like clipping at all. Too much of this and they leak white, sticky, smelly goop out the bottom and don't want to play solar any more :)
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Sundance » Mon May 05, 2014 1:25 pm

Excuse the ignorance - but what does clipping mean?
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon May 05, 2014 1:40 pm

That's when the power available is more than the regulator can deliver, so it limits the output current.
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby jules » Mon May 05, 2014 2:11 pm

Sundance, what are you using it for? Does it have to be 12V [other than because of the battery]? Will you be expanding the system in the future?
Primary system: .8KW Trina panels; Plasmatronics PL40; 1,000Ah VRLA 12X2V battery bank; 1.7KW Selectronic inverter. Off grid for 30 years.

Spares; 5 x 12V, 1,000 Ah batteries plus a couple of regulators
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Sundance » Mon May 05, 2014 7:11 pm

I am using the solar panel to separately charge a number of 120AH 12V AGM batteries.
I figure I can charge one battery one day to run a small 12V LED TV. Then next day charge a different 120AH 12V battery to run a small 12v water pump. Then on a different day charge another battery to use for a 12V light. Not only at home, but take it travelling with us. Fully charged each battery should last me 3-4 days .
Hopefully by using one panel to charge these batteries I will greatly reduce the load on the home solar system which I can dedicate to the fridge,and house water pump,,computer etc.
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon May 05, 2014 8:23 pm

That sounds like a lot of effort, how are you monitoring the depth of discharge of the batteries? If you are going too deep a discharge with them, they will only have a short life.
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Sundance » Tue May 06, 2014 10:22 am

Thanks Gordon.
May be an effort, but I got the panels at a real good price so bought an extra one that we can take camping. I think maybe a 250W 24V panel should easily charge a 120AH 12V in a short period of time. The 120AH batteries are old ones which I am replacing with 260AH 12V batteries. So instead of selling/discarding I want to utilise them by using them on 12V appliances I have at home. The other 4 x 250W panels will charge the new 4 x 260AH batteries for household use.
I monitor battery by reading the voltage with a voltmeter. Generally I never let it go below 12.3V. Most times it is around 12.4-12.5V.
As per your previous post I am thinking the tristar ssMppT controller.
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Re: Which Regulator/Controller

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue May 06, 2014 11:31 am

I'd advise against using 4 X 260AH batteries in parallel (I'm assuming you are staying with 12V?), much better to minimise the number of cells, and chances of problems, by using a single string of 2V cells or 4V batteries of higher rating. If you don't want flooded cells, 2V sealed cells are also available in a large range of capacities... and of course Lithium is cheaper per usable capacity than good quality Lead-acid these days.
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