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Old 01-03-2016, 05:42 AM   #1
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Solar Upgrade Question

Our Winnebago currently has 480 watts on the roof feeding a 30 amp PWM controller. We also have a 125 watt suitcase type panel that has a built in 10 amp PWM controller. What I would like to do is upgrade the charge controller to MPPT while at the same time adding 200 more watts, giving us a total of 800 watts feeding 1 MPPT charge controller.

With the goal of 800 watts feeding 1 MPPT charge controller, which controller would you go with?

Thanks for your thoughts on this in advance. In case it might matter, the controller is charging a 675 amp hour bank of T-105's.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:17 PM   #2
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Morningstar TS-60-MPPT
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:40 PM   #3
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I 2nd the MorningStar recommendation, I have one in my Arctic Fox controlling six 140 Watt Kyocera panels, and couldn't be more pleased
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
Morningstar TS-60-MPPT

Ditto
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:50 PM   #5
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When you move up to a MPPT controller and adding more solar take a look at your panel wiring too... I would recommend changing from parallel to serial wiring to take full advantage of PMMT's capabilities
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:17 AM   #6
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Ditto here on Morningstar...our units are doing great! Check to ensure one unit can handle your rated input/output and determine whether or not you might add future panels that would exceed controllers capabilities.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:48 AM   #7
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Hi Matt, I've never messed with different panels and multiple charge controllers but I have read an interesting article or two - maybe worth some research depending on what you have. What comes to mind is keeping your existing panels on something like the Morningstar MPPT-45 and adding the new panels to a second Morningstar MPPT-45 which are networked so that they are working together. This is probably terrible, terrible overkill for the amount of power you have. Maybe if you tell us what type (voltage) of panels you currently have and how they are wired as well as what the new panels/wiring will be we can help.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #8
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Great add JFNM...I have 2 controllers, output feeds batteries on one large guage line. Other owners report having separate / parallel systems so sounds like there are options to consider...
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:54 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the information guys. I was wondering about rewiring the panels. The three panels on the roof are 160 watt, 9.14 amps, 18 volts. Then we have the ground mounted 125 watt suitcase, I don't have a spec sheet on it but I've measured the full sun output at slightly more that 5 amps. All the panels on the roof are wired to feed a 30 amp PWM controller. The 125 suitcase has it's own PWM controller built in. Of course I want to wire all panels into a single controller.

I'd like to add 200 more watts to take the system to 800 watts total. I'm thinking I could get 2 x 100 watt panels and call it done.

I'm going to order the MPPT-60. I see it has a remote meter, guess I'll get that also. Now about how the panels are wired, should I change that also?

Thanks so much for the help!!
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:46 PM   #10
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matt, glad you are going to have a good system. i am not sure how much the price difference between morningstar mppt-60 and midnite classic 150. in my research and experience, midnite classic 150 is by far the best. it charges fast, and has the unique arc fault protection the only one in the world. you might want to take a look at it.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:27 PM   #11
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Morningstar has a calculator on their website. I think you will find 800w of panels is about max for the 60amp controller. Use the calculator inputting your panels and string configurations to get accurate numbers. Bearing in mind you are not getting full output from the panels if laid flat, so this can provide some margin. I would probably put them in two, maybe three, strings to better utilize the controller MMPT technology. String design considerations are primarily shading, because if one in a string is shaded the output of all in the string is impacted. So items on your roof and type of commonly used campsites (open desert boon-docking vs. forested areas) are considerations.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:52 PM   #12
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Agree with KRumm about going to series. We run 1400 W at 90 V through MPPT-45. This is only 16 amps. Controller converts to 48 V nominal (battery suite) or 29 amps.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:10 PM   #13
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If one can get most of that 18 volts to the controller, parallel wiring of 12 volt (nominal) panels works just fine with an MPPT controller.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
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If one can get most of that 18 volts to the controller, parallel wiring of 12 volt (nominal) panels works just fine with an MPPT controller.
So the MPPT technology will still work when the panels are wired in parallel?
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