Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

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Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby Esteban » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:12 pm

Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers are more affordable high quality mppt solar charge controllers. They're popular with marine users who may endure harsher weather conditions than we do with a teardrop trailer.

Amazon.com sells Victron mppt controllers. Prices start at $80.90 for the Victron BlueSolar MPPT 75/10 Charge Controller which is compatible with 12 volt solar panels up to 145 watts.

Victron recently began offering SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controllers that are improved with with built-in Bluetooth that works with the VictronConnect App on a smart phone to monitor your battery's voltage, daily solar power harvest and consumption, and to change the settings of a Victron solar controller.

:thinking: Has anyone here used used a Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controller? What has been your experience?

I'm going to install a 160 watt solar panel on the roof of my teardrop. I'll probably buy a Victron SmartSolar Solar Charge Controller with Built-in Bluetooth - MPPT 75/10 - 75 Volts, 15 Amps which will work with a 12 volt solar panel with up to 220 watts capacity. It's currently priced at $129.95 (11/05/17).



Last edited by Esteban on Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:36 pm

I have one of their battery monitors and they have a good European reputation.
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Re: Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby John61CT » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:17 pm

With MPPT you won't be getting much advantage using nominal 12V panels (below 22 Voc)

I believe 36V up to 50V is optimum, max of course is 65V with headroom.

And with 75/15, if you find a really great deal on 250+W, no harm long as you stay under the 22A, up to 300W.

Will give a real boost to average outputs, especially in suboptimal conditions.

Fewer small controllers, even 1:1 gives much better total output in partial shade conditions rather, than all panels going to one SC.

In this case cheaper too
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Re: Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby Esteban » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:20 am

The Grape Solar 160 watt solar panel I bought to install on the roof of my teardrop is 26" x 58" and its Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) is shown to be 22.2 volts.

Grape Solar now sells a 180 watt 12 volt solar panel with the same 26" x 58" dimensions, with an Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) of 24.06. If I hadn't already purchased the 160 watt solar panel I'd buy a 180 watt solar panel instead. Home Depot sells the Grape Solar 180 watt solar panel.

All solar panels with higher wattages (that I'm aware of) are too large (too long and/or too wide) to physically fit onto the roof of my 5' 4" x 10' (64" wide x 121" long) teardrop.

To maximize the solar harvest from my roof mounted solar panel I plan to use a MPPT controller. I've read to expect a MPPT controller will harvest 10% to 30% more electrical power from solar panels than a PWM controller does. Previously I considered buying a Morningstar MPPT solar controller, which costs about twice as much as one from Victron. I'm wary of buying a less expensive (actually a PWM) controller that often are falsely labeled to be a MPPT.

I plan to use an AC/DC fridge freezer in my galley which motivates me to use a solar panel with a high output (well over 100 watts). To maximize the power harvest I've chosen to buy a MPPT solar controller. A Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller with built-in Bluetooth - MPPT 75/15 which seems to be the MPPT controller that will work the best for my teardrop's 160 watt solar panel.

:thinking: I'm unsure whether, or not, to buy a Victron BMV 700 battery monitor too. Using VictronConnect on my cell phone may be a good enough, much less expensive, alternative.

This is on leading edge for solar powering a teardrop camper. I'll really appreciate any and all helpful experiences, information or ideas. I hope this information, and ensuing discussions, helps other people too.
Last edited by Esteban on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby GuitarPhotog » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:16 pm

I've been running my teardrop off solar power for 4 years. I quickly discovered that if the panels were attached to the teardrop, I had to park the teardrop in the sun. I chose to build a panel cover that serves as a prop, and place the panel in the sun with 25ft of #8 wire feeding the controller. That way the brown teardrop stays in the shade, the panel stays in the sun. As the sun moves, only the panel has to move.

My $0.02 worth

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Re: Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers

Postby friz » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:00 pm

I have my solar on a wire also for the reasons Guitarphotog stated.
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