MPPT Controller is it worth the update. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2008
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Question MPPT Controller is it worth the update.

Not wanting to highjack a similar thread I'll start a new one.
My solar panel kit arrived yesterday; this is what I have for power generation

Engine, 100Amp alternator with 3 stage controller.

Ferris, Towed generator.

Solar panel kit= Two Kyocera 130 watt solar panels (KC130GT).
BZ-240 14 amp high efficiency pulse width modulated charge controller.

Feeding, a 400Amp Gel Battery bank.

Is it worth the extra $ to replace the BZ-240 with an MPPT.???
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Old 03-07-2008
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Simon—

It depends on the design of the BZ-240.

However, the BZ-240 sounds a bit undersized for two 130 W panels. The 130 W panels I have on my boat put out over 10 amps each mid-day. I'd think you'd want at least a 25 amp charge controller for two 130 W panels.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Not unless you find you need the extra power.

FWIW, I tried a blue sky MPPT with my 250 watt solar panel bank, and it gave me 10-15% more amps for a month, then died when it got a drop of water on the PCB. Sadder and wiser, I went back to my well sealed pulse width modulated controller.
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Old 03-07-2008
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This is the controller.
BZ240 High efficiency shunt type charge controller which uses pulse width modulated technology. It is rated at 14 amps unit @ 12 volts. Includes a three LED battery gauge which indicates battery condition at a glance. The BZ240 may be flush mounted or wall mounted. All wiring connections are made with an internal connector. An internal 20 amp battery fuse in included. Internal Metal Oxide Varistor provides lightning protection. Includes a 5 year manufacturers limited warranty.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Simon—

I really think that is going to be a bit undersized and blow the 20 amp fuse when you're near mid-day on the first sunny day.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Simon...it is undersized for your panels which can put out a REGULATED 18 amps at 14.5 V bulk charge and the Blue Sky is WELL worth the extra investment. As Don "suggests"...make sure you mount it where it will be safe from water ingress. You're paying for 260 watts of panels...not 200..you need a good controller to make the most of them.
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Old 03-07-2008
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It may be worth it anyway. I have heard that the bz products have had a lot of trouble. and it was from a good source. Maybe a reason that they are cheaper than the blue sky stuff.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Considering your advice, so I'm thinking about this one. Yes/No
Best price $231.04 delivered.
Blue Sky Energy
Solar Boost™ 2000E
25 Amp Peak Power Tracking
Photovoltaic Charge Controller

Patented MPPT Technology Increases Charge Current Up To 30% Or More!
25 amp capability supports large solar panel arrays
Multi-stage PWM Charge Control Improves Battery Performance and Life
Fully Automatic Electronic Current Limit Prevents Overload
Equalize Function Keeps Lead-Acid Batteries Operating At Their Peak
Durable Powder Coat Finish & Conformal Coated Electronics Resist Corrosion
Full reverse polarity protection
Selectable charge voltage charges flooded and gel type 12 volt lead acid batteries
Full 36 Month Limited Warranty
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Old 03-07-2008
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Yep...good choice Simon.
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Old 03-08-2008
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Yup... that'll work.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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