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Thread: PWM or MPPT.

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooty_10 View Post
    @bazzaboy when you say portable panels are you wanting to be able to connect to other vehicles or is it simply so you can move the panels around to catch the sun?
    The best location for this regulator or any regulator for that matter is no where near the panel, mount it as close to your battery as possible. Regulators dont like heat, the sun and the back of panels are great sources of heat. By having the regulator close to battery it increases the effectiveness of the regulator and reduces the voltage drop effects.
    Mine is permanently mounted in the patrol, and my panels are easily connected/disconnected via anderson plug extension lead for portability chasing the sun.

    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk
    Good info, thank you. This has all come about due to the failure of the original controller that is connected to the rear of one of my twin folding 80w portable panels. I like this set-up as it enables me to relocate them to catch the best sun. I recently had my auxiliary battery fail while away camping. It dropped a cell reducing the battery voltage to 10volt. While checking out the battery I checked the panel's output and found it fluctuating between 7 - 16volts. Not good, and obviously faulty and possibly the cause of the battery cell failure over time.
    Taking your advice, and mounting the controller close to the battery would locate it under the bonnet, a place I thought would also be hostile for a controller due to engine heat, or are you suggesting that I locate it in the vehicle? Maybe I should make a small switchboard in the rear of my vehicle to mount the controller and run a red Anderson connector out the back for panel connection, similar to your's, might solve a lot of issues.
    Last edited by bazzaboy; 6th January 2018 at 04:49 AM.
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  3. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazzaboy View Post
    I recently had my auxiliary battery fail while away camping. It dropped a cell reducing the battery voltage to 10volt. While checking out the battery I checked the panel's output and found it fluctuating between 7 - 16volts. Not good, and obviously faulty and possibly the cause of the battery cell failure over time.
    You state that you
    checked the panel's output and found it fluctuating between 7 - 16volts
    OK, guess you checked panel outputs with array disconnected from controller. If not, good idea to check the PV array output (full sun) when isolated from the controller: open circuit voltage and the current flow with a multi meter. Then if all is good, connect your sys up. PV output specs should be on the back of panel. Note: open circuit voltage of panel will vary depending on sun exposure.
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    bazzaboy (6th January 2018)

  5. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bidja View Post
    You state that you

    OK, guess you checked panel outputs with array disconnected from controller. If not, good idea to check the PV array output (full sun) when isolated from the controller: open circuit voltage and the current flow with a multi meter. Then if all is good, connect your sys up. PV output specs should be on the back of panel. Note: open circuit voltage of panel will vary depending on sun exposure.
    Yeh, checked both panel outputs in isolation from the controller. All good, meets specs. I think the cheap Chinese controller just decided to "spit the dummy". I think I'll just have to get on with building a switchboard panel to mount everything on, including the new solar controller. Finding an easily accessible location has been the delay.
    Last edited by bazzaboy; 6th January 2018 at 12:11 PM.
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  6. #104
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    IMO, it appears you have a good handle on what you are doing there, sounds good.
    2008 GU WAG ST Manual CRD - To do the job

  7. #105
    Patrol Guru sooty_10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazzaboy View Post
    Good info, thank you. This has all come about due to the failure of the original controller that is connected to the rear of one of my twin folding 80w portable panels. I like this set-up as it enables me to relocate them to catch the best sun. I recently had my auxiliary battery fail while away camping. It dropped a cell reducing the battery voltage to 10volt. While checking out the battery I checked the panel's output and found it fluctuating between 7 - 16volts. Not good, and obviously faulty and possibly the cause of the battery cell failure over time.
    Taking your advice, and mounting the controller close to the battery would locate it under the bonnet, a place I thought would also be hostile for a controller due to engine heat, or are you suggesting that I locate it in the vehicle? Maybe I should make a small switchboard in the rear of my vehicle to mount the controller and run a red Anderson connector out the back for panel connection, similar to your's, might solve a lot of issues.
    @bazzaboy Mounting it under the bonnet with the heat there as you stated isnt ideal, but better then in the sun under the panel (solar is usually utilised when engine isnt producing heat). Mine however is mounted up above the glove box out of weather and heat, short distance through the firewall to battery. Even mounting it in the rear somewhere like on a cargo barrier or back of drawers or anywhere in the car (usually well less than 3m cable) is closer than the back of panels with the standard 10m solar panel lead.

    Sent from my SM-G925I using Tapatalk
    Last edited by sooty_10; 7th January 2018 at 07:30 PM.

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  9. #106
    Patrol Guru sooty_10's Avatar
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    And yeah the cheap Chinese controllers are rubbish. Mine would never work from day one on the back of the panels, always overheated and failed. Changed to the fixed 75/15 regulator in car and the fridge now runs 24/7 @ -1. Frozen water bottles stay that way for months.

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