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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    near kingston upon thames, surrey
    Posts
    448

    Default It is really MPPT?

    Hi

    Is this really an MPPT charge controller?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fuhuihe-Con...39&sr=1-6&th=1.

    Some seem to say mppt but then cite PWM in the small print.

    I was planning to have two 60w panels. Perhaps 20w controller would be more suitable even allowing for future expansion of panels. Does it matter if this is a 40w controller?

    This one might be better. But I want sure about the orange
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charger-Con...ronics&sr=1-11.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    21,085

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    At that price I doubt it. If the first one really is MPPT you should be able to connect two panels in series to give it double the input voltage of a single panel, say about 40 volts. The advantage being that with panels in series you will still have enough input voltage in low light to get some power output. What I don't see in that specification is any indication of maximum input voltage for a 12 volt system.

    Look at this. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Photonic-Un...MZJE0XWB63325T

    Its more the price I expect for an MPPT controller
    Last edited by Norman_E; 17-06-19 at 07:54.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    near kingston upon thames, surrey
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    Thanks. Seems crazy they can explicitly mention mppt in the title.

    Regarding your point on wiring panels in series. I was planning on wiring in parallel because, as I understand it, if one panel is jnthe shade it won't inhibit the other panel.
    I'm thinking of mounting two 60w mono panels, one on each side of the pushpit.

    Thanks

    S

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,039

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    Almost certainly not at that price. I bought my genuine MPPT directly from China and paid thrice that amount.
    I have previously bought cheap controllers labelled MPPT which were not even PWM, they simply switched off charging at a fixed voltage.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    21,085

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    I added a link to a controller sold by Photonic Universe to my first post. I have a PWM controller from them, and others on here have recommended the company.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,703

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    It's very cheap for MPPT but the manufacturing cost of electronics is low so it is possible. The capacity should be adequate for the panels you propose. Why not give it a go? I've no idea how you would test to prove what type it is but some clever eletronicy person will no doubt appear. It looks exactly like a pmw I had but maybe they've just copied the design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    36,719

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    With unbranded chinese products, you never realy know what you're getting.
    I used to have two identical looking controllers, one was a switch mode power converter, the other was a dumb switch.
    Same plastic box.

    The chinese seem to have a market for zillions of these things,they are used for solar powered lighting. So they are designed for that, which is a different scenario from what we really want for a typical UK boat.

    I've had some involvement in solar powered products, we can get full featured MPPT and battery charging control chips from top US manufacturers for a dollar or two. If we were amking mass market products, we'd pay much less for our components.

    Personally if I was using no-name products like this, I'd want to monitor the current and voltage until I knew exactly what it was doing. It's a false economy if it stuffs your batteries the first time you don't use your boat for a few weeks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,225

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    I doubt it s MPPT, but it important to realise there are many different ways of creating an MPPT regulator. The cheap models have very poor tracking, poor and non adjustable charging algorithms etc etc.

    Generally if you buying an inexpensive regulator a non MPPT or so called PWM regulator is the better choice. The much simpler technology is easy to implement successfully at a low price point. At least it is more likely to be reliable and no tracking is better than poor tracking.

    The only caveat is that PWM regulators will only work well with panels of the same nominal voltage as the battery voltage. So normally 12v panels (these will have a Vmp typically around 17-18v).

    If you do want to spend more a relatively inexpensive but still reasonable quality MPPT regulator the Victron range is hard to beat. They have some quirks but they work reasonably for the price point.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,318

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    It's very cheap for MPPT but the manufacturing cost of electronics is low so it is possible. The capacity should be adequate for the panels you propose. Why not give it a go? I've no idea how you would test to prove what type it is but some clever eletronicy person will no doubt appear. It looks exactly like a pmw I had but maybe they've just copied the design.
    I would monitor the volts at the input terminals when there is sufficient sun light falling on the panels to ensure that the open circuit volts is well above the max power point volts ( checking this of course) and that the batteries are sufficiently discharged and/ or there is sufficient load on the system to accept the maximum current that will be produced.

    In these circumstances I would expect the device to control the volts to the value for VPMAX in the tech spec for the panels

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Erith YAcht Club
    Posts
    435

    Default Re: It is really MPPT?

    iv been using this PWM controller for my 50w. it works well and is good for checking battery voltages.

    https://www.photonicuniverse.com/en/...LCD-meter.html

    but im adding an 80w panel and am going to use this mppt as i wanted duel battery charging for under 100 but with the better mppt functionality. it has an external LCD available too.

    https://www.photonicuniverse.com/en/...lar-input.html
    Current boat: 1988 Jeanneau Sundream (lifting center board)

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