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Old 01-25-2020, 08:20 AM   #1
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Victron 100/30 Max Panels

Thinking of using the Victron 100/30 with bluetooth. Also thinking of pairing with Renogy 100W panels. How many do you think I could use with the Victron. What combination of series/parallel would be the most effective. Majority of time is spent boondocking for work at isolated locations. Currently have 2 Battleborns. 1100W inverter. Most of the time I am in the Northeast. Tilting is not really an option I want to include,
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:28 AM   #2
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Renology panels are way over priced. I bought used panels recently for 15 cents per watt. Sorry I can’t help you with the Victron. I only use Morningstar charge controllers and Trimetric battery monitors.

I get my solar advice from this guy https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Roughly 7 amps per 100 watts, so 400 watts. Input can up to 100 volts. so any series or parallel combination below that. Higher voltages mean smaller wires. Look on craigslist for panel deals.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:53 AM   #4
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I have 3-100w panels and the Victron 100/30 controller. Wired in parallel I figure I’m limited to 400w but in reality could probably have 500w and never see over 30 amps.

I’ve looked at various series wiring options and while the higher voltage may be more efficient for the controller that doesn’t change the amperage limits on the device.

My RV came with one 100w Zamp panel so when I added the two new panels I went with Renergy. They have been good panels and cost 1/3 as much as Zamp panels would have cost at the time. If I add a 4th panel, which I think I may do, I’ll probably go with a Renergy again.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:32 AM   #5
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Victron datasheet states 440 watts input @ 12 volts.

Input watts over 440 will be cut. Seems a waist to have more the the max.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-25-2020, 10:33 AM   #6
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Roughly 7 amps per 100 watts, so 400 watts. Input can up to 100 volts. so any series or parallel combination below that. Higher voltages mean smaller wires. Look on craigslist for panel deals.
If I run in series, and increase the volts doesn't that change the 7 amp per 100 watt calculation?
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:10 AM   #7
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If I run in series, and increase the volts doesn't that change the 7 amp per 100 watt calculation?
If you connected all of the panels in series the voltage would be added together and the current would remain the same as it is for 1 panel.

I have the Victron 100/30 and 4 Renogy 100 watt 12 volt panels you are looking at. Victron recommends connecting the panels in series/parallel to get a 24 volt input to the controller to maximize its efficiency in the early and later hours of the day.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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If I run in series, and increase the volts doesn't that change the 7 amp per 100 watt calculation?
If you increase the voltage by running in series, the amperage will stay the same. Watts are volts X amps, so if you increase the volts by running in series, amperage will not change. 100 watts is 100 watts no matter what voltage it is.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:19 AM   #9
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So I am still limited to 4 panels whether I go 12 or 24V?
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:32 AM   #10
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You are limited to 440 watts if your connecting the controller output to a 12 volt battery system.

Its not the panel voltage, its the battery system voltage that dictates the 440 watt input.

If you want to create a 24 volt battery system, you can then feed 880 watts to it.
Problem with a 24 volt system is running all of the 12 volt stuff.

Have you shopped for 2, 220 watt panels ?
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:34 AM   #11
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So I am still limited to 4 panels whether I go 12 or 24V?
You are limited to 400 watts, could be four 100 watt panels, two 200 watt panels, or one 400 watt panel. In many cases, bigger panels cost less per watt.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:59 AM   #12
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You are limited to 440 watts if your connecting the controller output to a 12 volt battery system.

Its not the panel voltage, its the battery system voltage that dictates the 440 watt input.

If you want to create a 24 volt battery system, you can then feed 880 watts to it.
Problem with a 24 volt system is running all of the 12 volt stuff.

Have you shopped for 2, 220 watt panels ?
The solar charge controller will step down the voltage if it's too high, i.e. series system. The MPPT controllers can accept up to 100 volts or more(check the data sheet) and still provide the proper voltage on the out put for charging the batteries.

Check the specs on the controller for ratings, I believe going to 24v will double the watts available will still having the same amperage input. Again, check the specs of the controller.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:21 PM   #13
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Connecting 4-100w panels in two series/parallel strings will double the voltage and double the amperage. There are some good and bad effects to doing this.

First it allows thinner gauge wiring and second the MPPT controller is more efficient at higher voltages. That’s the good.

But a pair of panels wired in series will put out zero current if one of the panels is partially blocked. In parallel wiring one blocked panel only effects the blocked panel.

So it’s a mixed bag no matter how you look at it.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:30 PM   #14
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All modern panels have bypass diodes that will effectively shunt the current around any shaded area. My home system runs 240 volts to the solar controller, in series/parallel. Shading will drop voltage a bit, but still produces voltage and current from the unshaded cells.
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