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  #1  
Old 11-05-2013
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PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Hi guys

I bought this charger on a whim only to find out later that it is a positive ground charger so before using it or trying it(and waiting for a morningstar dual pro or the like) charger I would love some opinions from the crowd

this is the brand:

CML series (5 ? 20 A) | Phocos.com

I have the 8 amp one.

they are used down here for off grid systems in poor locationes where there is no water or energy source...or for beach houses where the electricty goes away often.

I hear they are a great brand but I dont know if the positive ground system is able to be bypassed or isolated from the rest of my electricals on the boat

thanks guys

christian
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Old 11-07-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

BUMMER

nobody?

or anybody have ANY experience with a positive ground controller used in a boat? I guess that would be a better question

thanks again
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Old 11-07-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
BUMMER

nobody?

or anybody have ANY experience with a positive ground controller used in a boat? I guess that would be a better question

thanks again
Positive ground controllers are usually intended for panels designed for positive ground such as in grid tie systems, SunPower brand panels etc. etc.. You'll want a standard controller unless yours gives an option to use both ways....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-08-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-07-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

cool thanks

weird since these controllers are used on "outhere" type instances but I guess Ill just return it and save up for a better morninsgtar or similar type controller

I was simply wondering really if I could make this one work

my panel is old put pumps out a nice current so I just wanted something for a while to keep my batteries topped off every weekend or so

thanks
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Christian, I found myself in a similar situation. My old controller was going bad and I wanted a cheap controller to use until I could get a good one from abroad. I bought this (but the 20a one):

Controlador De Carga 12v 10ah Solar - R$ 74,98 no MercadoLivre

I think you should be able to find a similar one cheap- they're used a lot for emergency lighting and on top of posts. Mine was easy to install and has been working well so far. Heck, I might not even replace it in the end!
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Christian,

I took a look at the documentation; while their literature says "positive grounding possible" and the manual refers to a positive chassis ground, if you are only connecting it to your solar panel and batteries, "ground" won't be an issue.

Assuming you won't need or use their load-disconnect feature, just make sure your panels + and - go directly to the controller (not tied to either battery terminal. Incidentally, this is exactly how my Blue Sky SB3024iL is installed, without any positive/negative ground restrictions: for current metering purposes, it too requires that the solar panel negative not be connected directly to battery negative).

I would leave the ship's loads on battery negative "ground", ignore the low-voltage-disconnect output, and be happy.
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Christian, I found myself in a similar situation. My old controller was going bad and I wanted a cheap controller to use until I could get a good one from abroad. I bought this (but the 20a one):

Controlador De Carga 12v 10ah Solar - R$ 74,98 no MercadoLivre

I think you should be able to find a similar one cheap- they're used a lot for emergency lighting and on top of posts. Mine was easy to install and has been working well so far. Heck, I might not even replace it in the end!
does that controller specify negative or non negative ground? looks real nice from here, jajaja

thanks
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
Christian,


I would leave the ship's loads on battery negative "ground", ignore the low-voltage-disconnect output, and be happy.
I really appreciate this info, its mighty helpfull

couple of questions though

the little manual that comes with the controller specifically shows where to ground the positive leads...however my initial question was wether you had to ground it at all?

I read somewhere that by not grounding some panel, controller combos you loose a huge percentage of power...I guess I dont need all my panel is putting out but Im at the point right now of either biting the bullet and trying it out ungrounded or try to return it and save up for the morningstar.

they had a huge 60 amp morningstar for sale last time and this one...so it was an "obvious" choice

lastly the load terminals are optional Im assuming then? these controllers are used for stuff like copacabana was mentioning...light posts and radio posts etc...they connect the radio to the load terminal and then after a low voltage it shuts off...

assuming I never get low voltage and dont hook up the load terminals will all the other controller functions work correctly?

this is something I coulndt gather from the literature...

thanks again guys

christian
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
does that controller specify negative or non negative ground? looks real nice from here, jajaja

thanks
Christian, I'm an electrical moron (and I wish I weren't!). I just connected the panel wires to the positive and negative and the same with the battery connections. There wasn't much to think about. It's working great and charging my batteries. I think if you look for a supplier of solar panels and controllers for farmers you'll find a cheap controller. Once you associate the word "marine" with anything the price just goes up ...
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: PHOCOS solar charger experiences?

well thats where I bought this controller...Im thinking its similar to yours not as fancy...there is nothing MARINE about this store...they sell exactly what you are talking about...they sell panels to boat owners and stuff but thats maybe 1 percent of their busniess

jeje

thanks
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