Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-21-2016 Thread Starter
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Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

I have a 24 volt electrical system, two group 27 batteries in series.

I would like to add a small solar setup, probably a 50 watt panel.

Can anyone recommend a low-cost 24 volt solar charge controller? The biggest thing that I'm looking for is that it be good to my batteries. I don't need MPPT.

Looking on Amazon I see prices all over the place, from $15 cheapos with extremely poor English, to models that cost several times what my batteries and the panel would cost together.

I'm just looking for something reliable that's a quality battery charger.

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post #2 of 8 Old 07-21-2016
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

Are you sure you need a controller?

Average input will be less than an amp.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-21-2016
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

With a 50 watt panel and two group 27 batteries, I think you definitely want a controller. Should be at least a PWM controller rated for 3 amps or higher. Most 24 volt controllers seem to be rated for a lot more than 3 amps and thus are pricey. Here's the least expensive one I came across. Note I have no experience with it.
10A P10 Solar Panel Charge Controller Regulator
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

On another thread people have been recommending Morningstar and it looks like they make a low cost line of PWM controllers, the SunSaver.

Their 24 volt 10 amp model is only $64:
SunSaver

They also make one designed for charging two batteries:
SunSaver Duo

It seems like it would be better for the batteries if they were charged individually the way my shore power charger does, but it I'm not sure if the Duo model would work with two batteries that are wired in series.

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

Is this the Catalina 22 in your signature? Are you sure it is 24VDC? I don't mean to be obtuse - it just seems odd, especially since you say your battery charger is hooked up to the batteries individually.

The price difference between a good PWM controller and a good MPPT controller is getting pretty slim. As a general rule of thumb I would get a decent to good MPPT controller sized for your panel and if you add another panel some day add another controller. I'm working on some repairs to a Hinckley 42 with four panels and four controllers. The owner is really glad he took this path.

Gensun makes some nice little controllers.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

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Is this the Catalina 22 in your signature? Are you sure it is 24VDC? I don't mean to be obtuse - it just seems odd, especially since you say your battery charger is hooked up to the batteries individually.
Yes, a little 22. Definitely 24 volts My auxiliary power is a 24 volt trolling motor. I use a DC-to-DC converter to get 12 volts for the rest of the boat. When connected to AC (which is rare) they charge with a ProSport 2 bank charger that connects to each battery individually. I think the idea is that the batteries might not be quite identical and the charger can do a better job if it's managing each battery separately.





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Gensun makes some nice little controllers.
Thanks! The Genasun GV-Boost controller looks quite robust. Interesting in that it will charge my 24 volt battery bank from a 12 volt solar panel, which makes solar panel shopping easier. At $135 it's twice the price of the Morningstar SunSaver, but it's MPPT and looks like it's more optimized for boats. This looks like the winner so far.

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

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Yes, a little 22. Definitely 24 volts
Now I understand. The Capri or the standard? Pop-top? I owned a Capri for a while and spent a wonderful summer with a girl friend on her 22 pop-top.

MPPT controllers are better at charging batteries and provide more flexibility in panel selection.

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Inexpensive 24V solar charge controller

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Now I understand. The Capri or the standard? Pop-top? I owned a Capri for a while and spent a wonderful summer with a girl friend on her 22 pop-top.
Standard. No pop top. I have a ton of fun with it! We camp on it sometimes. It's definitely camping to stay on it, but it's fun.

I charter boats a couple times a year (heading out in two weeks) and I always get a lust for the big boats. But practically, for my budget and location, a 22 is the way to go. Easy on the wallet, but you still get that keel boat feel. Fun times, and only a 10-minute bike ride from my house! I went over last night after work and a friend got this picture of me with the nylon 170 up, I think I was mid-tack:





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MPPT controllers are better at charging batteries and provide more flexibility in panel selection.
Yes, that Genasun model looks very good. And reputable. So many of the controllers I found on Amazon looked really dodgy. Thanks again for the advice, I think that's the model I'll go with.
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