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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Orwell
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    4,508

    Default solar and aerogen controller

    I have to replace my solar panel controller (it's dead) and while I'm at it may as well have one that will control my Aerogen too. Of course I'm tempted by eBay where there is a large and confusing choice. Does anyone have any experience of them which will lead to a recommendation? I know, some posh one from a chandlery will do the job but I'd prefer to save a few sovs if I can.
    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    33,341

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    I had an advertising email from 12vPlanet about a new Ctek charger.

    https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/ctek-...ontroller.html

    Dual input. It might be worth having a word with Ctek UK . 12vPlanet tend to be a bit more expensive than some reatilers.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,614

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunfleet View Post
    I have to replace my solar panel controller (it's dead) and while I'm at it may as well have one that will control my Aerogen too. Of course I'm tempted by eBay where there is a large and confusing choice. Does anyone have any experience of them which will lead to a recommendation? I know, some posh one from a chandlery will do the job but I'd prefer to save a few sovs if I can.
    TIA
    ITYWF that the Aerogen requires a shunt type of regulator and there is some restriction if you have any other type of charging as well ....... IIRC you will need the dual battery type of Aerogen regulator

    Use a separate PWM or MPPT controller for your solar panel. The larger the panel the more sense it makes to use MPPT rather than PWM. Beware of Ebay. Not only a confusing choice but mountains of cheap junk

    If you had a Rutland wind turbine you would have been able to control it together with a solar panel using one of the Marlec controllers but I guess you plan on keeping the Aerogen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Mooring, Faro
    Posts
    1,698

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    ITYWF that the Aerogen requires a shunt type of regulator and there is some restriction if you have any other type of charging as well ....... IIRC you will need the dual battery type of Aerogen regulator

    Use a separate PWM or MPPT controller for your solar panel. The larger the panel the more sense it makes to use MPPT rather than PWM. Beware of Ebay. Not only a confusing choice but mountains of cheap junk
    +1

    The Aerogen dumps to a large wire wound resistor and will allow only a small panel to be connected as well, IIRC about 30w. To stop the Aerogen in high winds, the wires are just shorted and you don't want the panel shorted out as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orwell
    Posts
    4,508

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    Thanks for replies. It is a small Aerogen. I’m kind of interested in Sarabande’s suggestion if it’ll fly but £200+ Just for the controller.... ouch. And I’m not sure it saying it’ll control solar and wind generator. Otherwise I may have to think of using the solar panel alone.
    Last edited by Gunfleet; 01-09-19 at 18:28.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    somerset
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    If it is any help with your deliberations, I have a 120 watt solar panel connected through an old Aero4 controller, the wind generator having died.

    It's been running for about 3 years with no problems, the heaviest load being a 25 litre fridge/freezer. In the summer, I don't need a charger or to run the engine for charging. I wish I had done it sooner.

    My Aero4 Gen used to blow 15 amp fuses in strong winds so that acted a a rule of thumb guide for the maximum output of solar
    panels. My present set up is providing approx 9 to 10 amperes in maximum sunshine ( in Netherlands ).

    If you have an Aero2 Gen and have not blown any fuses you can probably find an output / windspeed graph which will give an idea of the maximum output your controller can handle, and you can size your solar panel accordingly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Wales and Bristol Channel, UK
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    I have two 50w solar panels and an old Aerogen charging 4 batteries (3 domestic and 1 starter battery). I control the charge using:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10A-20A-D...72.m2749.l2649
    and
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-300W-...72.m2749.l2649
    All batteries are kept toped up including the starter battery which is charged separately by the controller. I have a fridge freezer which is on 24 hours during summer time, the batteries still show 12.7 volts early morning before sunrise.
    Last edited by CAPTAIN FANTASTIC; 02-09-19 at 08:00.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,345

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    The requirements for solar and wind regulators are quite different.

    Solar panels can be disconnected from the battery quite safely. So solar controllers generally regulate voltage primarily by turning the solar panel off and on very rapidly.

    This does not work with most wind generators. If the battery is disconnected the wind generator will speed up as the load is removed. This can overspeed the wind generator and when reconnected the higher speed wind generator will momentarily produce more power. To overcome this issue most wind generator regulators use a “dump load”. To regulate voltage the power is diverted to large bank of resistors. Thus the wind generator has a constant load.

    This fundamental difference between solar and wind controllers is why there are so few combined solar and wind controllers available. Those that are produced are often just two different regulators lumped in one box. Often the solar side is a rather basic controller.

    Generally it is better to choose a separate solar and wind controller. There are exceptions the excellent large Midnite controllers can be configured for both solar and wind, but you still need to buy a separate dump load, and these controllers are suitable only for large arrays.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    732

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    Quote Originally Posted by CAPTAIN FANTASTIC View Post
    Classic example of Ebay ... for the 10A/20A versions; the title says MPPT, the details say PWM ...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Wales and Bristol Channel, UK
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Re: solar and aerogen controller

    Quote Originally Posted by gregcope View Post
    Classic example of Ebay ... for the 10A/20A versions; the title says MPPT, the details say PWM ...
    The 10 amp is PWM and the 20 amp is MPPT; agree that the script is typical ebay confusing

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