solar regulator

Been looking to purchase 120w folding panels. All I want is simple system (plug it in, regulator on the panel etc ). Most "off the shelf models" appear to have PWM regulators. (even redarc?) From reading comments on this and other web sites it appears that a MPPT regulator is the preferred option. When I ask suppliers why they do not supply PMMT regulators with their panels, I get responses like "don’t recommend MPPT regulators on portable panels as there is no advantage due to reduced efficiency over 35 degrees ambient temperature", "cost difference doesn't warrant them" and the PWM "look after your batteries better". Confused ??
For my minimal requirements would not a good quality PWM be OK
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: jamesw - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:46

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:46
I have done a fair bit of research over the last few months and actually purchased a kit off EBay. And, returned it because it was just rubbish. I better quality kit I have now has a good PWM regulator on it and for 95% of the time it will be just fine. I can only go on my own experiences but this mob do a pretty good kit, although costlier than the EBay jobs, it preforms very well. They have a sale on that may be what you want. Aussie Solar

Cheers
James
AnswerID: 551579

Follow Up By: jamesw - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:56

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:56
Forgive me for the bad grammar :)
0
FollowupID: 837025

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 12:34

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 12:34
Ditto re Jim's comments - pay more, get better quality (in the case of solar, anyway) - for electroklutz's like me that see electricity as a 'sort of 'magic', appreciating the virtues of PWM and MPPT are far too hard.....a few years back I bought a 100W mono, folding panel kit from Low Energy Developments in Preston, Vic - solid unit, very durable bag, quality cables and a waterproof Landstar PWM regulator (programmable for battery type and other functions) that was NOT mounted to the back of the hot panels* ! On current performance, I expect that kit to outlast my camping days......I use it to augment the solar on my van, plus top up the car if its been sitting round too long. So, my strategy of buying quality once and keeping it for ages might just have worked :-).
*have since moved the regulator to the battery end of the cable (assesses battery needs more accurately, when on that end.....I'm told :-).
AnswerID: 551582

Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 13:39

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 13:39
Hi,

There is some interesting info here: PWM Vs MPPT
AnswerID: 551585

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 14:25

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 14:25
Hi Coolie,

As the panel output voltage becomes too high to apply directly to the battery the regulator controls the charge to the battery. The essential difference between PWM and MPPT regulators is that the MPPT will convert the higher panel voltage to a value fit for the battery without waste. The PWM on the other hand simply clips-off the excess voltage and 'wastes' it. So the MPPT is the more efficient.
This becomes significant with larger panels but with a 120W panel the advantage is less important.

The responses you were given are nonsense except maybe re the cost difference. Unless you seek the maximum system efficiency then consider only the economics.

Positioning the regulator close to the battery will provide more efficiency and closer regulation of the battery charge.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 551587

Follow Up By: Coolie - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:10

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:10
Thanks to everyone for all the comments. I agree with your comments. Sounds like in my case a quality PWM will suffice
much appreciated
0
FollowupID: 837048

Follow Up By: jamesw - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:33

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:33
Allan,
My "nonsense" was that a good quality PWM regulator will suffice for a lot of the time. I totally agree that a high quality MPPT regulator will give the maximum benefit, at a $$ cost. But, if setting up or purchasing a portable solar kit and cost is a consideration then there is nothing wrong with a good quality PWM unit. Particularly if it will not be used more than a few times a year. That is just a fact.

James
0
FollowupID: 837051

Follow Up By: Notso - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:44

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 16:44
I think you have him wrong about the responses James. He was referring to the dealers responses to Coolie, not our comments.
2
FollowupID: 837054

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 18:47

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 18:47
Totally agree with you James.
But as Notso said, my "nonsense" remark was regarding Coolie's dealers, not yourself.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 837062

Reply By: Trevor&Verna - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 17:00

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 at 17:00
Its know early days, but I am more than impressed with the CTEK D250 S Dual after I installed it in my little van a week ago. Cost $250
It is MPPT and will take tow vehicle supply and solar panel supply via separate terminals.
On the trip last weekend, it 'seemed' to do a significantly better job than the original set up (Cheapish solar controller + direct charging from vehicle charging 2 x 100ah AGM in van).
I do monitor supply through a watt-meter; well sort of.
(PS: I have no connection (excuse the pun) with the supplier or manufacturer)
Trevor&Verna, Kal WA

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 551596

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)