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Old 07-01-2022, 07:48 PM   #1
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Smile victron 100/50 controller

I have a Victron 100/50 solar controller with 2x300 watt@ 35 volt monocrystal panels, I whave room for a 3rd panel same as other panels. so I would be approaching 105 volts if panels were in series and 100% efficiency. I am wondering if I should be concerned, I am charging 8 golf cart lead battery bank so plenty of capacity. Anyone see any problems with my planned upgrade?
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:52 PM   #2
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Do not over-voltage the controller. Some sunny day at just the right orientation, it will fry. There's not much wiggle room over their 100-volt max rating.

Much better to over-amp them, running three in parallel. You'll have high enough voltage so that resistance loss won't be much of an issue.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:33 AM   #3
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I run my three 300 watt grape solar panels in parallel and they work great on my Victron 100/50 MPPT controller.
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Old 07-02-2022, 11:31 AM   #4
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If you post the exact specs for your panel (all 4 measurements) I can rin the Victron tool and tell you for sure what will and will not work.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:18 PM   #5
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Cool

Unfortunately my panels did not come with very much info, they have the mfg sticker on the back, and are now bolted down to the roof. I know they are Rec N-Peak 2 series, 300 watt output @ 35 volts 10.1 amps peak. went with the series application since my Beaver Thunder only had 1 old school 100 watt factory panel with about 12 or 14 gauge factory wires through the roof. When I installed the 2 panel and measured the Victron input voltage it was at 65-66 volts. Would like to fit 1 more panel, same specs, I rarely will be on roof keeping these super clean, so hopefully I believe I will not get to the 105 volt hypothetical max possible.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:29 PM   #6
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Use the array VoC for design voltage. The 100v limit is a hard limit. Leave 10-15% margin for when panels are colder than spec temp rating. The PV array watts/amps can be over paneled, typically 20-30%, especially if flat mounted. Should the array ever exceed. It will just limit to 50a the output to battery bank.

I'd wire the three panels in parallel. Assuming 12v battery bank this still makes the PV array 2x or more the battery voltage - so good mppt performance and early starting and late ending. Plus a but of improved shading mitigation. Albeit, the wire size will need to be increased or run additional pairs.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Leave 10-15% margin for when panels are colder than spec temp rating.
Just to be clear - this means the panels will deliver voltage over specs when they are colder than specced. But I'll shut up now.
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Old 07-06-2022, 12:31 PM   #8
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Red face

Appreciate everyone's advice I did not know panels voltage could be higher than rated when temperatures were low. Sounds like I will have to parallel the 3 panels and hope the factory wires size will handle the total amps delivered. Just wish the factory would spend the few extra shekels to put in something more robust like 8 gauge cables. Lots of good advice here from the guru's for us wannabe DIY guys. If it ain't broke yet, I can fix that problem real good!
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Old 07-06-2022, 09:07 PM   #9
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No opportunity to pull thicker wires through using the thinner wires as pullers?
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Old 07-10-2022, 05:47 PM   #10
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Its ok to over panel but NEVER over voltage. What is the voltage output to the battery ? you may want to sell what you have and get a 150/70 charger then put your 3rd panel on line.
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Old 07-10-2022, 07:53 PM   #11
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Just pulled my residential fridge out from its factory spot and behind it was some wiring harnesses, 4 wires went up to the roof vent for use with the normal propane fridge. The factory wires to the old school 100 watt panel were blue (pos) and white (neg). There are no wires coming out from the roof vent cover, so they must be routed between the exterior roof and interior roof. If they are not clamped down between the vent and the roof input I maybe able to upgrade the wires to 8 guage. If I recall the voltage rating I will be at abt 35 volts with the panels in parallel so if I cannot pull new wires maybe the 12 guage will handle the 35 volt, 32 amp input.
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Old 07-13-2022, 05:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DADSDOGHOUSE View Post
Just pulled my residential fridge out from its factory spot and behind it was some wiring harnesses, 4 wires went up to the roof vent for use with the normal propane fridge. The factory wires to the old school 100 watt panel were blue (pos) and white (neg). There are no wires coming out from the roof vent cover, so they must be routed between the exterior roof and interior roof. If they are not clamped down between the vent and the roof input I maybe able to upgrade the wires to 8 guage. If I recall the voltage rating I will be at abt 35 volts with the panels in parallel so if I cannot pull new wires maybe the 12 guage will handle the 35 volt, 32 amp input.
The #12 might be workable. My first concern would be thermal conditions if the #12 are close to the exterior roof which can get quite hot. Further, wires are not designed to run at rated temperature when insulated with foam, so you may have a problem even if the wires are not close to the exterior.

Is there any indication of insulation thermal rating on the blue and white #12 wires? #12 tops out at 30 amps with 90C insulation (less with 60 or 75C insulation). More than 90C insulation at #12 is unusual.

Since your panels will rarely actually hit 30 amps (maybe only with the hole-in-the-clouds effect) you may have some breathing room, but again, if the wires are near the exterior or buried in foam, you've probably used up any margin with 90C wire.

I think bottom line, if the wires are 90C insulation and are close to the interior, you might want to give the #12 a try but watch it carefully. Though that's easier said than done given the wires are not accessible.

Better to replace the wire if you go parallel. If you can get hands on both ends of where it enters the foam, you might make it work without a new roof penetration.
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Old 07-13-2022, 06:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Use the array VoC for design voltage. The 100v limit is a hard limit. Leave 10-15% margin for when panels are colder than spec temp rating. The PV array watts/amps can be over paneled, typically 20-30%, especially if flat mounted. Should the array ever exceed. It will just limit to 50a the output to battery bank.

I'd wire the three panels in parallel. Assuming 12v battery bank this still makes the PV array 2x or more the battery voltage - so good mppt performance and early starting and late ending. Plus a but of improved shading mitigation. Albeit, the wire size will need to be increased or run additional pairs.
So I found the specs online for those panels and the results show that you certainly will need to run those in Parallel if you go with the 100/50 and 3 in series can produce up to 130.2v @ 32* but in parallel, you will be at a max of 43.4V but more likely around 30V...... which should be fine in a 12V battery bank application.

But one more thing to consider is that those 3 panels can produce between 67.4A and up to 80.8A.

Based on this if I was your installer I would be recommending the 150/85 as there is a lower-cost version of this controller now that simply does not support 48V only 12V and 24V and the cost is only about $100 more than the 100/50..... my advice and will allow you to potentially produce more amps and also allow you to run the panels in series.

Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2022, 09:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby F View Post
Do not over-voltage the controller. Some sunny day at just the right orientation, it will fry. There's not much wiggle room over their 100-volt max rating.

Much better to over-amp them, running three in parallel. You'll have high enough voltage so that resistance loss won't be much of an issue.
I agree. Cold weather and atmospheric lensing can send the voltage +10 %. Semiconductors will breakdown with prolong over voltage. Ask any Computer Over Clocker.
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