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Old 03-08-2019, 08:59 PM   #1
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Solar controller question

Using the Victron controller calculator and entering the specs of my 2 panels, it only recommends the BlueSolar 150/45.

Here are the panel specs.
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Iím wondering why I couldnít use the Victron SmartSolar 100/50?

If I wire in parallel isnít the max voltage only the rating of the one panel voltage of 39v?

I have a 12 volt battery bank.

Whatís more critical, the amp rating of the controller or the volt rating?
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:36 AM   #2
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Voltage is the most critical rating. You can over amp a controller but if you over voltage your controller you most probably will kill it
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
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You really need to look at all of it, but I agree that voltage is what will harm a controller. They will self-limit at their max amps, and you will just be losing available power.



The Victron 100/50 doesn't really have the current capacity for your panels. With the panels in parallel you have 600W @ 12V which is 50A. I don't recall exactly, but you are suppose to over rate by something like 15%. But again, that's most important with Voltage.


With the 150/45 that are probably configuring the panels in series. 40V (Voc) times two is 80V. For voltage I think you are suppose to overrate by 1.4, so that brings you to 112V which is too much for the 100/50, but OK for the 150/45.


I have increasingly seen people using one controller per panel, so you might want to consider that. The controller can be smaller, and with each controlling it's own panel you get the best handling of shading. But cost will be a bit more, especially by the time you are done with fuses, breakers, etc.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:19 AM   #4
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Don't wire two panels in series as it will result in as much as 80 V which is beyond safe DC wiring specs.


The new Victron MPPT controllers are a good deal so I would consider using two 30A controllers, one for each panel. That shouldn't require that much more expense to wire two panels/controllers in parallel. You can use one fuse/breaker at the battery bank for both as long as the wire from each controller to the battery has sufficient ampacity for the fuse/breaker rating.


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Old 03-09-2019, 09:21 AM   #5
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Dc wiring specs?
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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The thing that strikes me about that is the maximum (zero current) open circuit voltage of 80V on the panels going tob a controller with a maximum rating of 100V. That just seems too close for continuous use. I'd want ~50% headroom .

Could you use it? Probably. Is it prudent to move up to the model with the higher rating? Probably.

Remember, their calculator isnt giving minimum spec, itbis giving their "recommendation". Mine would be the same.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that the amp rating is the output, not the input. Also, a solar panel will be frequently operating near the top of its voltage rating but only rarely near the top of its current rating.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #8
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Solar controller question

I like the idea of two smaller controllers if the wiring doesnít cause me too much trouble.

I really wanted to get a Bluetooth compatible controller because I was not interested in mounting a separate display panel, so thatís why I was looking at the SmartSolar from Victron. So I could use two of these?

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Wonder how the smartphone app would handle two of these controllers in the same location?
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:07 AM   #9
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Yes, the 100/30 model was the one I was thinking of if using two parallel controllers.


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Old 03-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #10
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Solar controller question

I was hoping I could mount these controllers down below near the battery box, so I would not have very easy access to them. That was the reason for wanting something that would connect to a smart phone app.

Isnít it preferable to mount a controller close to the batteries?

For these panels is number 10 wire OK to run to the controller? What size wire do you run from the controller to the batteries?
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:34 AM   #11
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Putting the controllers as close to the batteries as possible is good. They donít have a remote voltage sense, so the shorter the wire run, the more accurate your charging will be. Victron does have a blue tooth voltage and temp monitor, but I have read that the range is quite poor.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:42 AM   #12
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Yeah I was wondering about that range. I have also read similar comments. My boat is pretty small, and the batteries are basically directly under the pilot house, so standing in the pilot house they would be about 3 to 4 feet away.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I was hoping I could mount these controllers down below near the battery box, so I would not have very easy access to them. That was the reason for wanting something that would connect to a smart phone app.

Isnít it preferable to mount a controller close to the batteries?

For these panels is number 10 wire OK to run to the controller? What size wire do you run from the controller to the batteries?


If you install parallel controllers then the maximum current will be about 25A for each, so 10 gauge will be fine if the controller is within a couple of feet of the batteries, but if one single controller then at 50A you need #6 to keep the voltage drop to less than a tenth of a volt.



You will need to wire your single or dual controllers to a fuse block within 6" of the battery to meet ABYC. From the fuse block to the batteries use #6. Use a 60A fuse.


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Old 03-09-2019, 02:28 PM   #14
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Thanks! Tested out my panels and got 9.3 amps at 36.3 volts, which appears to be 330 watts? Is it normal for a panel to exceed the rated 300 watts on the sticker?
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Old 03-09-2019, 03:51 PM   #15
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I have just installed the app on my Polarus 35 and have no problems with the bluetooth on my flybridge which is about 4 meters away from the controller in the engine room near the batteries. I love it.


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Old 03-09-2019, 05:00 PM   #16
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Solar controller question

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
If you install parallel controllers then the maximum current will be about 25A for each, so 10 gauge will be fine if the controller is within a couple of feet of the batteries, but if one single controller then at 50A you need #6 to keep the voltage drop to less than a tenth of a volt.



You will need to wire your single or dual controllers to a fuse block within 6" of the battery to meet ABYC. From the fuse block to the batteries use #6. Use a 60A fuse.


David


Got it. Thanks.

What kind of fuse block are you talking about? Iíve searched around but donít know what Iím looking for really.

So would I run four #6 wires from both controllers to this fuse block, and then two #6 wires to the battery bank? Does it matter how I hook it up to the 4 battery house bank?

Sorry for all the stupid questions, but Iím pretty stupid when it comes to this stuff.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:47 PM   #17
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If you use this terminal mount fuse block- https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...gateway&sr=8-7 you mount it to your battery + terminal and then run two 10 gauge plus from each controller to the block and two 10 gauge minus to the - terminal or a nearby negative buss bar.

With a four battery house bank just hook it up to the + and - terminals unless it is series/paralleled wired GC batteries then make sure you wire it to the +/- 12V terminals.


Use this 60A fuse- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001B04Z5Y...ing=UTF8&psc=1


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Old 03-09-2019, 07:08 PM   #18
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Awesome. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #19
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The panel for my Magnum Inverter charger tells me what is coming into the house bank because the solar power comes into the house system at the bus bar after the Magnum shunt. It doesnít tell me what is coming out of the Panels, unless the instantaneous house loads are near zero.

The most stupid question is the one you should have asked but didnít!
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
If you use this terminal mount fuse block- https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...gateway&sr=8-7 you mount it to your battery + terminal and then run two 10 gauge plus from each controller to the block and two 10 gauge minus to the - terminal or a nearby negative buss bar.

With a four battery house bank just hook it up to the + and - terminals unless it is series/paralleled wired GC batteries then make sure you wire it to the +/- 12V terminals.


Use this 60A fuse- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001B04Z5Y...ing=UTF8&psc=1


David
The terminal fuses are awesome and versatile. The mounts are also made in a double if you need two different fuses on the same source.

Ken
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