Solar controller upgrade on a budget

Vanterrier

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I have PWM controller like this
Screenshot_20190429-194100.png
And although it appears to work ok I keep seeing recommendations for MPPT controllers so I am considering an upgrade but subject to cost. Some of the prices I see mentioned scare me.
EBay has this for not much but is it any good? Is it actually a MPPT?
Screenshot_20190429-194212.png
Answers on the back of a tenner please.
K ;)
 

wildebus

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The Controller in your pictures look identical to the one in this listing on eBay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LCD-Solar-Panel-Battery-Regulator-Charge-Controller-Dual-USB-10A-20A-30A-12V-24V/123133341839?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&var=423545070870&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The one in the link above is described as PWM, and not MPPT.
If "your" one is anywhere close to the price of the one in my link, the chance of it being MPPT is as close to zero as possible I would guess.

(I recognised your one as I just bought the 20A one in my link a few days ago to check it out to use in portable power packs)
 

Vanterrier

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Sorry I could not copy the eBay link for mine on my phone... This is the link to my one... ( now on iPad)
I would appreciate your opinion on this one. My fears are that for this money it is not actually MPPT.
K ;)
 

Vanterrier

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Thanks for that. It was a case of " if it looks too good to be true..." Hence my post.

What kind of price should I be looking for a "low cost" MPPT do you think and do you know of one?

I believe my solar panel is 100W ( although I have no documentation for it) and it's primarily charging my new Leoch LAGM160 battery, so what Amperage controller do I need?

K ;)
 

wildebus

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Thanks for that. It was a case of " if it looks too good to be true..." Hence my post.

What kind of price should I be looking for a "low cost" MPPT do you think and do you know of one?

I believe my solar panel is 100W ( although I have no documentation for it) and it's primarily charging my new Leoch LAGM160 battery, so what Amperage controller do I need?

K ;)
100W Panel, you will never need bigger than a 10A controller.
Want to go best ... You can get a Victron 75/10 for under £70 and you know what is in the box.
Hard to know how much a REAL MPPT controller can be had for as the cheap ones on eBay are just too good to be true and the slightly more expensive ones look identical to the cheap ones usually so how genuine are those?
 

Vanterrier

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Many thanks, looks like I need to start saving up.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer

Cheers

K ;)
 

wildebus

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No Probs.
To be sure you have a MPPT controller if in doubt, you will really need to have a meter on the input and the output to see the values. I'm fortunate that I can log this and this screenshot shows the benefit of the MPPT over the PWM

MPPT-Instant
by David, on Flickr
The current going into the battery (2nd Row) is around 2.5x the current going into the controller (1st Row) as the excess voltage gets converted.
With a PWM that would get wasted.
The chap who runs this https://marinehowto.com website has some interesting articles, such as this MPPT vs PWM comparision - https://marinehowto.com/mppt-vs-pwm-solar-controllers/
 

Vanterrier

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I'll take a look...

Thanks again

K ;)
 

Winks

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Last edited:

Molly 3

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Have a look on utube lots of fake mppt controllers put to shame


! A crumpet is not just for breakfast.
 
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Vanterrier

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Thanks for the advice folks. I will keep a look out and take a look at YouTube.

And thanks for the recommendation Trevor but the price of that one is way more than I wanted to pay. Also, I have a VSR between my leisure and van batteries so I don't need some of its functionality.

K ;)
 

Vanterrier

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Thanks, I think I actually understood that ;)

It's a good question.

K ;)
 

wildebus

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If you want a read of something a little different see here lol, not like me to be controversial I know :)

Is MPPT worth it?
I read that.
While the general question of "is MPPT worth it" is a good one, that sites explanation on solar and the diagrams and numbers they show is very odd and makes little sense, at least to me.
 

nabsim

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I read that.
While the general question of "is MPPT worth it" is a good one, that sites explanation on solar and the diagrams and numbers they show is very odd and makes little sense, at least to me.
I was quite surprised at what they were saying, came on an email a few days ago but us actually from 2017
 

nabsim

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I happened across the Video today and think it explains Solar Controllers very clearly.
Hmmm that says if you have up to 300w solar PWM if costs a consideration, above 300w MPPT
 

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