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Thread: Morningstar vs. Xantrex

  1. #1
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    Default Morningstar vs. Xantrex

    Im planning on buying a new controller(PWM) to replace the Chineese controller that I currently have. Panels are about 850 watts configured for 12volt system.I might upgrade my system in the future but not more than 24 volts. I need some advice which would be better, Morningstars TS-60 or xantrex's C-60. What im really after is about their reliability compared to cost. TS 60 is about 260 bucks including shipping with 5 year warranty. C-60 is about 200 bucks with 2 years warranty. I expect these two brands will last way longer than the warranty period, but up to when? Has anybody have idea regarding their lifespans? Has anybody experienced failures right after the warranty period? Any bad experience with these two brands?

  2. #2
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    Axis I have to ask why at 850 watt solar panel power level you are considering PWM over MPPT?

    Once you get over around 200 watts panel wattage MPPT controllers are justified. You will get roughly 40 to 50% more potential harvest using a MPPT controller over a PWM. If you are set at using a PWM controller just keep the one you have now and save the money as you are not gaining anything replacing it with another PWM.
    MSEE, PE

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    Default sunking

    on that note what would you recommend for a 40 amp mppt controller. [I] dont need all all the thrills just a good value.

    Thanks for your input
    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunking View Post
    Axis I have to ask why at 850 watt solar panel power level you are considering PWM over MPPT?

    Once you get over around 200 watts panel wattage MPPT controllers are justified. You will get roughly 40 to 50% more potential harvest using a MPPT controller over a PWM. If you are set at using a PWM controller just keep the one you have now and save the money as you are not gaining anything replacing it with another PWM.

    The PWM that Im currently using is toasted (I think). Very little current is coming out from it. A house electrician installed the controller as I was away at the time. Not sure if the controller was faulty when it arrived or they made a mistake during installation.

    Panels are homemade by me and already wired for 12volt system. Voc is 18.5, not sure of Vmp. Im assuming its about 16Vmp.Voltage at bulk charging is about 14v. I would say there is only a little mismatch on the voltages and using an mppt would just give an extra 100 watts or less. I have to spend about 600 bucks for a good mppt compared to 200 bucks for a pwm. With the 400 bucks, I can make an additional 400watts of panels.
    Anyway the house doesnt need a lot of power. 45 amps at 12volts is already enough for the small house with only one adult and two kids.

    My immediate need for now is to prevent overcharging the battery or undercharging it because the panels are directly charging the batteries(no controller)On/off manually.

    So which one, Xantrex or Morningstar?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by axis11 View Post
    The PWM that Im currently using is toasted (I think). Very little current is coming out from it. A house electrician installed the controller as I was away at the time. Not sure if the controller was faulty when it arrived or they made a mistake during installation.

    Panels are homemade by me and already wired for 12volt system. Voc is 18.5, not sure of Vmp. Im assuming its about 16Vmp.Voltage at bulk charging is about 14v. I would say there is only a little mismatch on the voltages and using an mppt would just give an extra 100 watts or less. I have to spend about 600 bucks for a good mppt compared to 200 bucks for a pwm. With the 400 bucks, I can make an additional 400watts of panels.
    Anyway the house doesnt need a lot of power. 45 amps at 12volts is already enough for the small house with only one adult and two kids.

    My immediate need for now is to prevent overcharging the battery or undercharging it because the panels are directly charging the batteries(no controller)On/off manually.

    So which one, Xantrex or Morningstar?
    Look at the "extras" you may want. The Morningstar has limited metering, the C-60, if I recall, has a nice blinky light that tells all at a glance.

    Be sure you are looking at the right Morningstar, there is a TS-45 (PWM) and
    a TS-45-MPPT, about a $200 difference.

    More distressing, is that you are using homebuilt panels, you need to test them to see if they are supplying the amps you think you are generating.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||

    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||

    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

  6. #6
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    Default

    Hard to say how much amps really is coming out.Dont have the meter for high amps.I was only able to test Voc. I just know there are a lot of amps based on the sparks they produce when wires are shorted. And I got zapped a few times and it was nasty painful. The digital meters from the controllers will be a big help.I am trapped in a 12 volt system and would only add a few more panels that the TS-60 could handle. If I could find a cheaper replacement for the morningstar meters, better savings.

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