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Old 09-01-2019, 08:23 AM   #1
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Sizing\Picking the right Solar Charge Controller

I just purchased 6 solar panels from fred480v on ebay, which they delivered free and very quickly. This is my 1st step in getting solar for my 2006 40ft MADP. At this point I have a Magnum ME2012 inverter and 4 225ah lead acid batteries to work with for my initial solar install. What I am trying to nail down now is what charge controller to get, just to get this working. I have been debating on doing the minimal controller, but also thinking about the future, with a new inverter\charger, and lifepo4 batteries.

Thinking for now at a minimum what controller would be a good choice? Below are the specs of the panels. Also in what format series\parallel do I connect the panels?

SPECS:

Electrical Data
  • Maximum Power Output: 200 Watts - 226.922 watts
  • Max Operating Voltage (Vmpp): 21.052Volts - 20.605volts
  • Max Operating Current (Imp): 9.50Amps - 11.013 amps
  • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.335Volts
  • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 9.87 Amps - 11.75amps
  • Module Efficiency: 17.3% -20.5%
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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Victron has an Excel spreadsheet (MPPT Calculator Excel sheet) to match solar modules to their MPPT charge controllers. Available from here:
https://www.victronenergy.com/suppor...loads/software

I'm finishing my solar install today.

Safe Travels.

Jay
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRW-NAW View Post
Victron has an Excel spreadsheet (MPPT Calculator Excel sheet) to match solar modules to their MPPT charge controllers. Available from here:
https://www.victronenergy.com/suppor...loads/software

I'm finishing my solar install today.

Safe Travels.

Jay
I've seen these tools, but my understanding of them draws a blank, thus my post here. I am humbly asking for direction.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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Randy,

I have a Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR...and I REALLY REALLY love this charge controller.

The first hurdle you have is Flooded Lead Acid. Mfg. have varying charge rate recommendation. This will be expressed as a factor of battery capacity. Interstate for example is C/10. If your batteries were Interstate...Then four 6v 225aH batteries would have a 12v capacity of 450aH. 450 divided by 10 would be 45 amp maximum charge rate. The Victron will let you program charge rates and voltages specifically to match your batteries needs.

If you simply install a charge controller then a 150/100 would be overkill...however, down the road if you added more batteries or went to LifeLine AGM (C*5) or LiFePO4 (C*1)...suddenly you can take advantage or more Amperage.

Even with lead acid there is a way to safely prescribe more Amperage. The excess would be used to meet demands without overcharging your bank...but it requires adding some additional hardware.

The Victron system is super easy to program...Extremely reliable...firmware updates are very easy to install from the Victron Connect app... The best part is the way you can...if you choose...to enhance your systems performance. Adding a BMV-712 and opt. Battery temp sensor will trim your charge parameters based on battery temp. Something that is recommended for all but LiFePO4. You can add Venus GX to enable remote monitoring and control...or even send you custom alarm warnings of your own design.

Check out the iRV2 sub forum on Going Green. Lots of good solar examples there as well...
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Randy,

I have a Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR...and I REALLY REALLY love this charge controller.

The first hurdle you have is Flooded Lead Acid. Mfg. have varying charge rate recommendation. This will be expressed as a factor of battery capacity. Interstate for example is C/10. If your batteries were Interstate...Then four 6v 225aH batteries would have a 12v capacity of 450aH. 450 divided by 10 would be 45 amp maximum charge rate. The Victron will let you program charge rates and voltages specifically to match your batteries needs.

If you simply install a charge controller then a 150/100 would be overkill...however, down the road if you added more batteries or went to LifeLine AGM (C*5) or LiFePO4 (C*1)...suddenly you can take advantage or more Amperage.

Even with lead acid there is a way to safely prescribe more Amperage. The excess would be used to meet demands without overcharging your bank...but it requires adding some additional hardware.

The Victron system is super easy to program...Extremely reliable...firmware updates are very easy to install from the Victron Connect app... The best part is the way you can...if you choose...to enhance your systems performance. Adding a BMV-712 and opt. Battery temp sensor will trim your charge parameters based on battery temp. Something that is recommended for all but LiFePO4. You can add Venus GX to enable remote monitoring and control...or even send you custom alarm warnings of your own design.

Check out the iRV2 sub forum on Going Green. Lots of good solar examples there as well...
My batteries are currently interstate.

So sounds like the 150/100-TR is the way you would go if you were in my position? Does this size controller leverage all of the 1200 watts? Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfg9585 View Post
My batteries are currently interstate.

So sounds like the 150/100-TR is the way you would go if you were in my position? Does this size controller leverage all of the 1200 watts? Thanks!
Well..Interstate is C/10...so you will be setting the controller to charge at a maximum of 45A. Nominal absorb voltage is normally around 14.4vdc. 45A x 14.4vdc is 648 watts. Without additional equipment...or changing batteries...the 150/100 is overkill. A controller with 45A output would be ideal for your current battery system.

There are a series of planning steps needed to choose the right components. Your 6 x 200watt panels are over-prescribed for 4 x 225aH Flooded Lead Acid.

A smaller controller will have smaller terminals, requiring smaller gauge wire, which will limit the PV amperage they can accept. A larger controller will have larger terminals...and capable of all 1200 watts of PV energy you are capable of.

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...ge-regulators/

This may help...

The fork in the planning road is based on your future plans.

If you do not feel a need to add additional aH of storage, or change to batteries which accept higher charge rates...then you won’t be able to use all of those panels and you would be suited for maybe the MPPT 100/50 controller.

If your future involves changing batteries to four Lifeline AGMs...or adding four more Interstate batteries...then you are better positioned to take advantage of 1200 watts of PV...and the 150/100 would be an exceptional choice. There are also Lead Acid chemistries that come with. C/5 recommendation...allowing you the ability to use more charging amps. Trojan, I believe is one such battery.

So...as far as leveraging the 1,200 watts...they will be underutilized during peak sun. 1200watts /14.4= 83 amps... You will be setting a 45A maximum charge rate... so, 83-45=38A of potential charge being left aside. So, that is a “perfect world” calculation. The problem is...”perfect world” doesn’t happen all the time. If you plan on a perfect panel temperature, with sufficient breeze keeping the panels cool, and a 1,000w/m2 sunlight day, hitting your panels at the perfect angle...Then 3 or 4 panels are all you could use. But these conditions rarely occur. So having more panels means that you will see your 45A of charge earlier in the day, and it will be available later in the day....or on less than perfect sunny days, etc. Nothing wrong with utilizing the additional PV available. The controller has to have sufficient capability.

I originally designed my system based on my coaches drains, sitting unplugged with residential fridge running. I calculated 1,080 would be good...so I installed 6 - 180w panels. I quickly found out about the perfect world problem.

Luckily...I had chosen the 150/100 controller...so I was able to easily add two more panels. I have 1,440 watts of solar on the roof. In real world conditions...I am able to harvest just over 1,200 watts of this...many times just over 1,000 watts.

NealC. took his system a step further...10 x 180w... giving him an additional margin.

If it were me... I would see a future investment in Lifeline AGMs...I would build the solar system to the full capacity of the charge controller...wire gauge, fuse protection, switch capacity... Until I reached the end of my current batteries lifecycle...I would just set the charge parameters according to the recommended charge rate. When I switch, eventually to AGM...I would unleash the full potential of the system.

The New Victron SmartSolar controllers have built-in BlueTooth LE communication to work with your Smartphone, Laptop, or Tablet running the Victron Connect app. They also have VE.Smart and VE.direct communications.

The network capability allows you to connect peripheral devices such as the BMV-712 battery monitor w/temp sensor. This information helps your controller measure the voltage at the battery bank, and trim parameters for temperature variances. Later...I added Venus GX...which connects via WiFi or LAN to uplink your systems performance to the Victron Remote Management webserver. Victron provides this service free of charge. It is amazing. I can view my Solar system from anywhere in the world I have an Internet connection. It also accepts additional sensors for monitoring, GPS position...temperature for two additional locations...even have the ability to monitor tank levels...but I don’t use compatible tank level sensors.

Many of these add-ons have no benefit as far as performance...it is more for control and management.

The way my system is configure today...

6x180w panels
Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR controller
Magnum ME-BMK-NS Battery Monitor networked to Magnum Inverter
ME-ARC advanced remote (allows for utilization of Battery Monitor data and other valuable features)
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with optional battery temp sense networked via VE.Smart Networking to MPPT controller
Venus GX networked to MPPT and BMV-712 via VE.Direct network cables.
Venus add-on devices...
Micro SD memory to hold data during internet outages
USB gps puck
USB WiFi dongle (could run Ethernet to your coaches router instead)
Two additional temp sensing leads...one to monitor fresh water tank temp the other to monitor the cabin temp.

Your System doesn’t need all this additional equipment...but nice to know about it should you choose to add these features in the future.

If you want to read about my system and how it evolved...I can link the thread. It’s long, and I had a steep learning curve to figure everything out. But it is an amazing system...

2016 Solar Prepped Coach - Solar Installation
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Well..Interstate is C/10...so you will be setting the controller to charge at a maximum of 45A. Nominal absorb voltage is normally around 14.4vdc. 45A x 14.4vdc is 648 watts. Without additional equipment...or changing batteries...the 150/100 is overkill. A controller with 45A output would be ideal for your current battery system.

There are a series of planning steps needed to choose the right components. Your 6 x 200watt panels are over-prescribed for 4 x 225aH Flooded Lead Acid.

A smaller controller will have smaller terminals, requiring smaller gauge wire, which will limit the PV amperage they can accept. A larger controller will have larger terminals...and capable of all 1200 watts of PV energy you are capable of.

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...ge-regulators/

This may help...

The fork in the planning road is based on your future plans.

If you do not feel a need to add additional aH of storage, or change to batteries which accept higher charge rates...then you won’t be able to use all of those panels and you would be suited for maybe the MPPT 100/50 controller.

If your future involves changing batteries to four Lifeline AGMs...or adding four more Interstate batteries...then you are better positioned to take advantage of 1200 watts of PV...and the 150/100 would be an exceptional choice. There are also Lead Acid chemistries that come with. C/5 recommendation...allowing you the ability to use more charging amps. Trojan, I believe is one such battery.

So...as far as leveraging the 1,200 watts...they will be underutilized during peak sun. 1200watts /14.4= 83 amps... You will be setting a 45A maximum charge rate... so, 83-45=38A of potential charge being left aside. So, that is a “perfect world” calculation. The problem is...”perfect world” doesn’t happen all the time. If you plan on a perfect panel temperature, with sufficient breeze keeping the panels cool, and a 1,000w/m2 sunlight day, hitting your panels at the perfect angle...Then 3 or 4 panels are all you could use. But these conditions rarely occur. So having more panels means that you will see your 45A of charge earlier in the day, and it will be available later in the day....or on less than perfect sunny days, etc. Nothing wrong with utilizing the additional PV available. The controller has to have sufficient capability.

I originally designed my system based on my coaches drains, sitting unplugged with residential fridge running. I calculated 1,080 would be good...so I installed 6 - 180w panels. I quickly found out about the perfect world problem.

Luckily...I had chosen the 150/100 controller...so I was able to easily add two more panels. I have 1,440 watts of solar on the roof. In real world conditions...I am able to harvest just over 1,200 watts of this...many times just over 1,000 watts.

NealC. took his system a step further...10 x 180w... giving him an additional margin.

If it were me... I would see a future investment in Lifeline AGMs...I would build the solar system to the full capacity of the charge controller...wire gauge, fuse protection, switch capacity... Until I reached the end of my current batteries lifecycle...I would just set the charge parameters according to the recommended charge rate. When I switch, eventually to AGM...I would unleash the full potential of the system.

The New Victron SmartSolar controllers have built-in BlueTooth LE communication to work with your Smartphone, Laptop, or Tablet running the Victron Connect app. They also have VE.Smart and VE.direct communications.

The network capability allows you to connect peripheral devices such as the BMV-712 battery monitor w/temp sensor. This information helps your controller measure the voltage at the battery bank, and trim parameters for temperature variances. Later...I added Venus GX...which connects via WiFi or LAN to uplink your systems performance to the Victron Remote Management webserver. Victron provides this service free of charge. It is amazing. I can view my Solar system from anywhere in the world I have an Internet connection. It also accepts additional sensors for monitoring, GPS position...temperature for two additional locations...even have the ability to monitor tank levels...but I don’t use compatible tank level sensors.

Many of these add-ons have no benefit as far as performance...it is more for control and management.

The way my system is configure today...

6x180w panels
Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR controller
Magnum ME-BMK-NS Battery Monitor networked to Magnum Inverter
ME-ARC advanced remote (allows for utilization of Battery Monitor data and other valuable features)
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with optional battery temp sense networked via VE.Smart Networking to MPPT controller
Venus GX networked to MPPT and BMV-712 via VE.Direct network cables.
Venus add-on devices...
Micro SD memory to hold data during internet outages
USB gps puck
USB WiFi dongle (could run Ethernet to your coaches router instead)
Two additional temp sensing leads...one to monitor fresh water tank temp the other to monitor the cabin temp.

Your System doesn’t need all this additional equipment...but nice to know about it should you choose to add these features in the future.

If you want to read about my system and how it evolved...I can link the thread. It’s long, and I had a steep learning curve to figure everything out. But it is an amazing system...

2016 Solar Prepped Coach - Solar Installation
Thanks Charlie! This does help me, although I am a slow learner, but also determined! As mentioned in my 1st entry above I do want to get better batteries, just can't justify them right now, even at the cheap price from China(I want lifepo4). I figured getting at least some solar up and running and then move to updating my remaining components, eg batteries, inverter(s), and misc equip. Thanks again and hopefully I'll begin work on this soon. Got a trip from NC to AZ, then TX and back hot on the burner.....

ps also want to get as much of that 30% credit this year as possible!
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:51 PM   #8
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I have the same panels and am very happy with them. Really strong double wall frame. So far I have seen 71a with the 6 panels on the roof. 6 more to complete my setup this week.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:53 AM   #9
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C.Martin is da'bomb, what a great help with Solar from end to end. He is a perfectionist, a scientist, and I have blind faith and trust in him and matched his solar configuration and choices. As I learned of the efficiency of the panels and wanted to get everything I could I went, as he mentioned, with 10 panels. I can get the full 100A demanded by the MPPT solar controller, it will only ask for what it can take so even if you had 20 panels on the roof you're not going to draw more than the MPPT can receive. Still need to be wise in the wiring limits though, those panels are amazing how much electricity they can generate. I can run my front AC off of solar and maintain full 100% State of Charge (SOC) which is nice for hot summer days. There is some discussion on whether or not this is safe to do as the voltage tests recently showed very high spikes when combined with the alternator but each have their own assumed risk.

But again, you've come to the right place and the experts above at the masters here. Victron's stack is awesome, the Venus GX is well worth it to remotely monitor your system via the free VRM web portal.

AMSolar is a great company if you need help with planning, installing, equipment, etc. Great people, great company, support them when you can. Also ask for refurb panels, I bought two at a significant discount simply because they had a scratch on them so they couldn't sell them as new yet they work just the same and have warranties. I wish I had known about them up front and I would have bought all 10 like this and saved probably $1K in panels.

Solar is not only about solar, it's about learning your electrical systems much deeper and is great for RVers to know. Solar also helps when your RV has to go in a shop or storage and to help keeping your batteries from fully discharging. Our ONAN Gen's are great and should be used, we don't use them enough and they do suffice, but solar is a great thing to learn and enjoy the power of the sun. Welcome to the club, we're all here to help but C.Martin is tha shizzle!
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealC View Post
C.Martin is da'bomb, what a great help with Solar from end to end. He is a perfectionist, a scientist, and I have blind faith and trust in him and matched his solar configuration and choices. As I learned of the efficiency of the panels and wanted to get everything I could I went, as he mentioned, with 10 panels. I can get the full 100A demanded by the MPPT solar controller, it will only ask for what it can take so even if you had 20 panels on the roof you're not going to draw more than the MPPT can receive. Still need to be wise in the wiring limits though, those panels are amazing how much electricity they can generate. I can run my front AC off of solar and maintain full 100% State of Charge (SOC) which is nice for hot summer days. There is some discussion on whether or not this is safe to do as the voltage tests recently showed very high spikes when combined with the alternator but each have their own assumed risk.

But again, you've come to the right place and the experts above at the masters here. Victron's stack is awesome, the Venus GX is well worth it to remotely monitor your system via the free VRM web portal.

AMSolar is a great company if you need help with planning, installing, equipment, etc. Great people, great company, support them when you can. Also ask for refurb panels, I bought two at a significant discount simply because they had a scratch on them so they couldn't sell them as new yet they work just the same and have warranties. I wish I had known about them up front and I would have bought all 10 like this and saved probably $1K in panels.

Solar is not only about solar, it's about learning your electrical systems much deeper and is great for RVers to know. Solar also helps when your RV has to go in a shop or storage and to help keeping your batteries from fully discharging. Our ONAN Gen's are great and should be used, we don't use them enough and they do suffice, but solar is a great thing to learn and enjoy the power of the sun. Welcome to the club, we're all here to help but C.Martin is tha shizzle!
I agree Neal, but I have been reading post and learning not just from C. Martin, but from 10 Fan and you as well. There is a TON of info you guys bring to the board, and its sometimes hard for the layman like myself to digest, but I am gonna try. I'd like to bring in a pro to help my do the rest but I am afraid I am stuck with myself. On a strict and tight "wife" budget. Its gonna be hard enough to buy the parts alone with oversight, can't imagine asking to get someone to do it for me.

But I have confidence that once I get my solar controller purchased and then the misc parts to install a basic setup I should be on my way with assistance from this forum. Next will be tackling the batteries and upgrading inverter from the ME2012 2k.

Had my neighbor come by a while ago to test the panels I got from Fred and they are sweet. Tilted 45 degrees from sun they put out near as much as directly point to sun. I followed 10 Fan's posting to get these panels. Tried to get his batteries from China too but no luck yet.

Thanks Y'all!!
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfg9585 View Post
I agree Neal, but I have been reading post and learning not just from C. Martin, but from 10 Fan and you as well. There is a TON of info you guys bring to the board, and its sometimes hard for the layman like myself to digest, but I am gonna try. I'd like to bring in a pro to help my do the rest but I am afraid I am stuck with myself. On a strict and tight "wife" budget. Its gonna be hard enough to buy the parts alone with oversight, can't imagine asking to get someone to do it for me.

But I have confidence that once I get my solar controller purchased and then the misc parts to install a basic setup I should be on my way with assistance from this forum. Next will be tackling the batteries and upgrading inverter from the ME2012 2k.

Had my neighbor come by a while ago to test the panels I got from Fred and they are sweet. Tilted 45 degrees from sun they put out near as much as directly point to sun. I followed 10 Fan's posting to get these panels. Tried to get his batteries from China too but no luck yet.

Thanks Y'all!!
I didn't digest it either until a bit after I installed it. I gave C.Martin remote control of my hands and he helped me step by step with the install. This may explain though the black eye and bloody nose, never occurred to me.

You'll get it, it takes time for the gears to turn and everything will fall into place. Neat stuff.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Well..Interstate is C/10...so you will be setting the controller to charge at a maximum of 45A. Nominal absorb voltage is normally around 14.4vdc. 45A x 14.4vdc is 648 watts. Without additional equipment...or changing batteries...the 150/100 is overkill. A controller with 45A output would be ideal for your current battery system.

There are a series of planning steps needed to choose the right components. Your 6 x 200watt panels are over-prescribed for 4 x 225aH Flooded Lead Acid.

A smaller controller will have smaller terminals, requiring smaller gauge wire, which will limit the PV amperage they can accept. A larger controller will have larger terminals...and capable of all 1200 watts of PV energy you are capable of.

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...ge-regulators/

This may help...

The fork in the planning road is based on your future plans.

If you do not feel a need to add additional aH of storage, or change to batteries which accept higher charge rates...then you won’t be able to use all of those panels and you would be suited for maybe the MPPT 100/50 controller.

If your future involves changing batteries to four Lifeline AGMs...or adding four more Interstate batteries...then you are better positioned to take advantage of 1200 watts of PV...and the 150/100 would be an exceptional choice. There are also Lead Acid chemistries that come with. C/5 recommendation...allowing you the ability to use more charging amps. Trojan, I believe is one such battery.

So...as far as leveraging the 1,200 watts...they will be underutilized during peak sun. 1200watts /14.4= 83 amps... You will be setting a 45A maximum charge rate... so, 83-45=38A of potential charge being left aside. So, that is a “perfect world” calculation. The problem is...”perfect world” doesn’t happen all the time. If you plan on a perfect panel temperature, with sufficient breeze keeping the panels cool, and a 1,000w/m2 sunlight day, hitting your panels at the perfect angle...Then 3 or 4 panels are all you could use. But these conditions rarely occur. So having more panels means that you will see your 45A of charge earlier in the day, and it will be available later in the day....or on less than perfect sunny days, etc. Nothing wrong with utilizing the additional PV available. The controller has to have sufficient capability.

I originally designed my system based on my coaches drains, sitting unplugged with residential fridge running. I calculated 1,080 would be good...so I installed 6 - 180w panels. I quickly found out about the perfect world problem.

Luckily...I had chosen the 150/100 controller...so I was able to easily add two more panels. I have 1,440 watts of solar on the roof. In real world conditions...I am able to harvest just over 1,200 watts of this...many times just over 1,000 watts.

NealC. took his system a step further...10 x 180w... giving him an additional margin.

If it were me... I would see a future investment in Lifeline AGMs...I would build the solar system to the full capacity of the charge controller...wire gauge, fuse protection, switch capacity... Until I reached the end of my current batteries lifecycle...I would just set the charge parameters according to the recommended charge rate. When I switch, eventually to AGM...I would unleash the full potential of the system.

The New Victron SmartSolar controllers have built-in BlueTooth LE communication to work with your Smartphone, Laptop, or Tablet running the Victron Connect app. They also have VE.Smart and VE.direct communications.

The network capability allows you to connect peripheral devices such as the BMV-712 battery monitor w/temp sensor. This information helps your controller measure the voltage at the battery bank, and trim parameters for temperature variances. Later...I added Venus GX...which connects via WiFi or LAN to uplink your systems performance to the Victron Remote Management webserver. Victron provides this service free of charge. It is amazing. I can view my Solar system from anywhere in the world I have an Internet connection. It also accepts additional sensors for monitoring, GPS position...temperature for two additional locations...even have the ability to monitor tank levels...but I don’t use compatible tank level sensors.

Many of these add-ons have no benefit as far as performance...it is more for control and management.

The way my system is configure today...

6x180w panels
Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR controller
Magnum ME-BMK-NS Battery Monitor networked to Magnum Inverter
ME-ARC advanced remote (allows for utilization of Battery Monitor data and other valuable features)
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with optional battery temp sense networked via VE.Smart Networking to MPPT controller
Venus GX networked to MPPT and BMV-712 via VE.Direct network cables.
Venus add-on devices...
Micro SD memory to hold data during internet outages
USB gps puck
USB WiFi dongle (could run Ethernet to your coaches router instead)
Two additional temp sensing leads...one to monitor fresh water tank temp the other to monitor the cabin temp.

Your System doesn’t need all this additional equipment...but nice to know about it should you choose to add these features in the future.

If you want to read about my system and how it evolved...I can link the thread. It’s long, and I had a steep learning curve to figure everything out. But it is an amazing system...

2016 Solar Prepped Coach - Solar Installation
Charlie,

I want to make my next move toward my solar system and I think it will be mounting the panels and charge controller to my interstate batteries. Don't have the funds for lifepo batteries just yet.

Thinking ahead I will get the Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR controller to handle my panels. Not sure what all I need after that. You have a lot of "stuff" on you list, just not sure what's right to get my system working. switches, fuses, monitors, etc?? Can you direct me to the precise items on your list I really need?
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:50 PM   #13
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Charlie,

I want to make my next move toward my solar system and I think it will be mounting the panels and charge controller to my interstate batteries. Don't have the funds for lifepo batteries just yet.

Thinking ahead I will get the Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR controller to handle my panels. Not sure what all I need after that. You have a lot of "stuff" on you list, just not sure what's right to get my system working. switches, fuses, monitors, etc?? Can you direct me to the precise items on your list I really need?
Okay...top down...minimum stuff...

Panels,
Mounts
Surface prep and dicor sealant
10-2 wire, crimps, adhesive lined heat shrink
Combiner box
....connect to existing 6awg solar prep...
72v60A fuse and fuse holder
Two blue sea or equivalent battery switches (to isolate system if needed)
Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR
...Download Victron Connect app to smartphone or tablet...
2AWG wires black and red
Catastrophic 125A fuse and fuse holder
Assorted crimp on ring terminals and adhesive line heat shrink.

This will give you a solar system...wiring capable of eventually taking advantage of full potential of that charge controller.

This system will charge your house, and chassis thru BIM

Other items are improvements...which you might want to add down the road.

Battery Monitor ME-BMK will display on your Magnum remote...the State of Charge. If you have a ME-AGS-N...you can use SOC as a gen start trigger, but have to also upgrade to ME-ARC advanced remote.

Victron BMV-712 battery monitor is nice for viewing battery state in Smartohine app...and can be used to give real time temp and voltage to MPPT if you add the temp sense wiring. This fine tunes your charge parameters to compensate for temp for lead acid chemistry batteries.

Another way to compensate for temp is the Victron SmartSense. It only adds temp/volt output to MPPT...will not display State of Charge, etc...like the BMV-712, but is a less expensive solution for temp compensation.

Everything else I listed is gravy...Victron Venus GX gives you a way to remotely mo itor your Victron System from anywhere in the world via the internet. It has to have internet on the coach in order to uplink data packets. They make different devices with use other data services if wifi isn't your choice of methods. It winds up being a great learning tool, and allows studying historical data...to see how the system performed.

All these extras do not make more power, or change the basic battery charging, which is your main goal. It just helps you follow what's going on better.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Location: Remsenburg Long Island New York
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Okay...top down...minimum stuff...

Panels,
Mounts
Surface prep and dicor sealant
10-2 wire, crimps, adhesive lined heat shrink
Combiner box
....connect to existing 6awg solar prep...
72v60A fuse and fuse holder
Two blue sea or equivalent battery switches (to isolate system if needed)
Victron SmartSolar MPPT150/100-TR
...Download Victron Connect app to smartphone or tablet...
2AWG wires black and red
Catastrophic 125A fuse and fuse holder
Assorted crimp on ring terminals and adhesive line heat shrink.

This will give you a solar system...wiring capable of eventually taking advantage of full potential of that charge controller.

This system will charge your house, and chassis thru BIM

Other items are improvements...which you might want to add down the road.

Battery Monitor ME-BMK will display on your Magnum remote...the State of Charge. If you have a ME-AGS-N...you can use SOC as a gen start trigger, but have to also upgrade to ME-ARC advanced remote.

Victron BMV-712 battery monitor is nice for viewing battery state in Smartohine app...and can be used to give real time temp and voltage to MPPT if you add the temp sense wiring. This fine tunes your charge parameters to compensate for temp for lead acid chemistry batteries.

Another way to compensate for temp is the Victron SmartSense. It only adds temp/volt output to MPPT...will not display State of Charge, etc...like the BMV-712, but is a less expensive solution for temp compensation.

Everything else I listed is gravy...Victron Venus GX gives you a way to remotely mo itor your Victron System from anywhere in the world via the internet. It has to have internet on the coach in order to uplink data packets. They make different devices with use other data services if wifi isn't your choice of methods. It winds up being a great learning tool, and allows studying historical data...to see how the system performed.

All these extras do not make more power, or change the basic battery charging, which is your main goal. It just helps you follow what's going on better.
Hi CMartin, I did not noticed in the list what inverter/charger you are using with your system and how that may relate to the solar/charger you are using?
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