two solar regulators

Hi Folks. I will be using 2 80w suntech solar panels which already have regulators fitted to each panel. I wanted to know if I run them in parallel do I need to bypass one of the regulators or can i leave it in position.




Thanks in advance (hope this doesn't post twice as it crashed last time)
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 17:37

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 17:37
You need to bypass one regulator and connect this one to the regulator on the other otherwise one will sense the other and shut themselves down so to speak.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 282918

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:16

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:16
It really depends on the design of the regulators.

If the regulator is designed to handle more than 10 amps, then connect the two solar panels in parallel to the input.
AnswerID: 282941

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:25

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:25
As said above use only one (1) regulator.

What brand or type of regulators are they ??

as one would probably be more efficient than the other.
(surely they are not identical ?? )
Mainey...
AnswerID: 282946

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:30

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:30
Hi. Thanks for all the feedback. Don't know the type as yet as they have not arrived. They come standard with the regulators and each set (folding panels) has one regulator so I assume they will be identical.
0
FollowupID: 547482

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:59

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:59
You say-> ""Don't know the type as yet as they have not ARRIVED. They come standard with the regulator"S" and each set (folding panels) has one regulator so I assume "THEY" will be identical""

Is there (2) or (1) regulator ??

There may be two (or more) Solar panels, but definately only ONE Solar Regulator is used, it's only a rip off if you get two regs, and hope it's not a basic 'on/off' regulator, it will be a pain to main battery performance.
Mainey...
0
FollowupID: 547503

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:01

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:01
Sorry I should have been clearer . I have bought two separate 80W units each set has two panels and one regulator.
0
FollowupID: 547506

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:20

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:20
da76,
then you have paid for one regulator you won't use.

The salesman would have known this IF they know anything about Solar power, or maybe he just wanted your money.

You can buy 'suitcase' systems with-out the reg.
Mainey...
0
FollowupID: 547513

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:49

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:49
Hi da

What make are the bi-folds ?
AnswerID: 282952

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:00

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:00
Hi They are the 80w Suntech STA-FDM-80.

Cheers

David
0
FollowupID: 547505

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:05

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:05
I think they use the 5A projecta regulator so you won't be able to connect the 2 panels into one.
0
FollowupID: 547510

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:54

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:54
It may pay to bypass both the regulators with a simple switch fitted to the back of each panel and then use a decent regulator mounted to your vehicle that shows amps / voltage etc.



Regards

Derek.
AnswerID: 282955

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:02

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:02
For some reason I believe these Steca's are the best regs available, but I'm sure others have their opinions too
Mainey...
0
FollowupID: 547507

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:04

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:04
I was thinking the same thing but I have a amp meter in the car that already reads amps volts etc.

Cheers

David
0
FollowupID: 547509

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:14

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:14
Thanks for all the info. Looks like i will disconnect the controllers on each panel (ebay here I come) and wire in a new one at the vehicle. Any suggestions on the best product would be appreciated.

I was going to use the one andersons plug that goes directly to my AGM battery to bring in the solar power. if I do this will the solar controller then conflict with the one on the caravan which I would have been connecting to the vehicle through the same andersons plug when the panels are not connected? Thinking it through it may be best for me to have the controller fixed at the panels. Again any suggestion on product would be appreciated.

Cheers

David
0
FollowupID: 547534

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:27

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:27
""Any suggestions on the best product would be appreciated""

Steca......... look at the picture above

The "amp meter in the car that already reads amps volts etc. " does NOT read the Amps/Voltage delivered from the Solar Panels to the battery..
Fix the (regulator) controller near the BATTERY not the panel!


The rest is too confusing for me sorry, do you have a second solar reg (controller) in the van??
where is the solar panel for this??
Mainey...



0
FollowupID: 547538

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:36

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:36
Hi Mainey. Yes the van has two 120w panels on the van roof and solar regulator in the van (I didnt set up the van but I assume that regulator is between the caravan panels and the batteries in the van) so after thinking about it, any power coming from the vans panels into the vehicle shouldn't conflict with the controller at the vehicle battery. Sorry to confuse the issue.
0
FollowupID: 547546

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:38

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:38
Perhaps you would be best off with a in-line regulator.

Use a resin sealed unit like the SK-12 on your charge cable. You could even use Anderson plugs and make it removable so you can still use the supplied regulators if the panels are used one at a time.



Regards

Derek.

0
FollowupID: 547550

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:41

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:41
Exactly what I am after! Fantastic, thanks for your help.
0
FollowupID: 547554

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:47

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:47
da76,
what's so "fantastic" about the SK-12 ???

does it have any of the major benefits of the Steca Reg Derek has posted much higher above (nope)

You don't want it !!!
0
FollowupID: 547555

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 09:31

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 09:31
da76

Relevant charging information is stated on ABR, Morningstar & Steca websites!
ABR (Steca & SK-12 comparison)

Morningstar SK-12 tech specs

Steca tech specs

SK-12 regulator:

*Float Voltage - 13.7 Volts
*Regulation Voltage - 14.1 Volts
Type of Charging Series PWM 3 stage: being bulk, PWM and float.

Umm,
that looks like only 2 stage regulator to me
PWM does NOT put any charge into the battery, just advertorial blurb or bulsh1t
Remember this regulator is attached to the 'junction box' (as in picture) under the Solar panel, it "regulates" the Amperage there at the solar panel, and forwards it to the battery, this gives further loss at the battery, causing further charging inefficiency.



STECA regulator:

*FLOAT Voltage - 13.8 Volt
*BOOST Charge Voltage - 14.4 Volt
*EQUALIZATION Voltage - 14.7 Volt

Genuine 3 stage charging, and it can be clearly seen the Voltages available are much higher with the Steca regulator and being Voltage adjustable it's suitable for both wetcell & Gel batteries.
A well engineered piece of equipment, used by BP Solar as their premier regulator.

Mainey...
0
FollowupID: 548114

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:33

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 20:33
It's a real worry when a solar supplier can't even understand basic electrical units.

From the Suntech website for the 80 watt kit -
"Almost 5amps per hour back into your battery"
AnswerID: 282963

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:38

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 21:38
Umm,
maybe . . . . . . yeah, ok it's a real worry, maybe he's too busy LoL
Mainey...
0
FollowupID: 547551

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:19

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:19
da 76,
so you now say you have a solar system and a battery now in the van, are you going to set-up a totally new and different power system or add to the existing system ??
Mainey...


AnswerID: 283011

Follow Up By: da76 - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:22

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:22
Hi again Mainey. It is a completely separate system which we will use when remote camping without the caravan. The inline solution works well as it gives me the most flexibility.
0
FollowupID: 547567

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:29

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:29
Does it have PWM, low voltage cutout, 3 x stage charging, LCD screen to let you know the Amps going into and out of the battery, this is very handy to let you change the position of the panels to get the most performance available, because the numbers are on the screen.
The Regulator MUST be put near the battery and not the panels, so being 'flexable' is not too relevant as it is not out in the sun or moved with the panels.
0
FollowupID: 547571

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:34

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:34
SK12
0
FollowupID: 547575

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:46

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 22:46
Just a quick link for those that don't know what PWM does.

What is PWM ?
0
FollowupID: 547581

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 17:26

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 17:26
da76,
Why not simply just ask Derek which regulator he would actually recommend for your Solar system, the 'STECA' or the 'SK-12'

He sells both products, so he's not going to loose a sale :-))

I've never installed an SK-12 so I can't coment, but the Steca (lost count) Just ask anyone using them if they would change to anything else, just about guarantee the answer is - no way!!

Originally Derek did recommend the (~$185) Steca-> ""use a decent regulator mounted to your vehicle that shows amps/voltage etc""
he then recommended the cheaper SK-12 panel mounted reg, however your system information had not changed ?

Remember, for best performance, as Derek has said you MUST mount the Solar Regulator at or near the battery, not at the far end of the extension cable at the Suitcase Solar panels.

With a Steca you get to see what Amps are going into & also out of your battery, so you know where to position the Solar panels, and you always know the State of Charge of your battery system, with the cheaper SK-12 you don't have those options.

PWM is a complex system, just because it says it has it, does not mean it's the same % as other brands.

The Steca Features
*BOOST charge (~15+ amp)
*EQUALIZING charge
*FLOAT charge
*Built-in Amp Hour counter
*Automatic load re-connection
*Manual load/un-load switch
*PWM shunt battery charging
*State of Charge battery regulation
*Temperature compensation
*Adjustable settings by two buttons
Mainey...
AnswerID: 283150

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)