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post #11 of 14 Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Solar Conundrum

The ideal way would be to a little box of electronics that would drop the 50v down to say 14v this simple battery "charger" could be triggered by most of the solar regulators to engage automatically when the 48v battery bank reached float.
Something like this is not difficult to make, but there are no commercial units available.

Sterling make a 24v to 12v "battery charger" and they may be able to modify this to accept the 48v input.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Solar Conundrum

Ah, now you want efficiency as well.

That wasn't part of the original request. Again it comesback to asking the makers how their equipment will behave. If twin MPPTs won't have an issue with load adjustment, efficiency becomes a matter of price. Might be an issue, but wasn't presented as a concern here.

If the makers say "that" equipment is the only way to go, again, efficicency isn't an issue.

Is it something to consider? Sure. But the primary question is, what can do the job? At all, at any price, under any conditions?

Then the choice of solutions (as opposed to "there's no way to do that") can be weighed.

"The ideal way would be to a little box of electronics that would drop the 50v down to say 14v "
Wait, didn't I already say a couple of simple regulators with bootstraps CAN do that? And easily be built if not available on the shelf? Of course today, you could use a DC-to-DC converter to make that more efficient, there's all sorts of IC controllers to do that on the shelf.

Easiest solution is rather obviously to add a second "12" volt panel array, but that also wasn't part of the original question. I'm sure the OP had reasons not to ask it.

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post #13 of 14 Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Solar Conundrum

As an engineer, I believe that the only good design is the simplest solution. I think California Switchgear and Solar, a small solar engineering company might be able to give you a fool proof "box" that will do what you want with the series and parallel configuration of panels. Remember to ask for redundancy. The last time I worked with them their number was 707-688-3643. If you have not already purchased your panels, you could do this with configuration switches to eliminate some panels from your 12V charging.

Good Luck
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-28-2012
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Re: Solar Conundrum

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Originally Posted by rackham the red View Post
As an engineer, I believe that the only good design is the simplest solution. I think California Switchgear and Solar, a small solar engineering company might be able to give you a fool proof "box" that will do what you want with the series and parallel configuration of panels. Remember to ask for redundancy. The last time I worked with them their number was 707-688-3643. If you have not already purchased your panels, you could do this with configuration switches to eliminate some panels from your 12V charging.

Good Luck
Rather than change the panel configuration. A DPDT switch could be wired to switch between 2 MPPT regulators one charging 48v the other 12v.
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