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  • Panels connection question

    Hi everyone I'm the newbe here and I have a question. Im installing a new setup at my cottage (off grid) I have 2 295w panels a 40a controller and 2 surrette rolls 6v 428ah. I was planning to install my panels in parallel to double the amp but the salesman confuse me by telling me to connect them in series. What's best?
    Last edited by Chrixed; 05-30-2019, 10:30 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chrixed View Post
    Hi everyone I'm the newbe here and I have a question. Im installing a new setup at my cottage (off grid) I have 2 295w panels a 40a controller and 2 surrette rolls 6v 428ah. I was planning to install my panels in parallel to double the amp but the salesman confuse me by telling me to connect them in series. What's best?
    What are the specs on your controller? If it can handle the voltage then series is generally better than parallel. Higher amps = higher line losses and larger wire.

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    • #3
      My controller is an Epever Tracer4210AN 40a
      [FONT=sans-serif]Rated charge current and discharge current is 40amp
      The [/FONT][FONT=sans-serif]Max. PV input power is [/FONT][FONT=sans-serif]520W/12V[/FONT][FONT=sans-serif] or 1040W/24V[/FONT]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chrixed View Post
        My controller is an Epever Tracer4210AN 40a
        [FONT=sans-serif]Rated charge current and discharge current is 40amp
        The [/FONT][FONT=sans-serif]Max. PV input power is [/FONT][FONT=sans-serif]520W/12V[/FONT][FONT=sans-serif] or 1040W/24V[/FONT]
        The max open circuit PV voltage for that charge controller is 100v... so definitely wire your panels in series if the open circuit voltage for each panel is <50v (should be). One of the almost always true rules of solar is run the highest voltage you can.

        If you had a PWM charge controller then parallel would be better since PWM controllers cannot increase the current. MPPT can...
        Last edited by nwdiver; 05-31-2019, 12:01 AM.

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        • #5
          Chrixed

          I have some expereince with EP Solar, do connect your panels in series, the controller is rated at 40 amps output regardless of battery voltage, so with a 12 nominal system with a charge voltage of 14.4 volts (Rolls Surette's recommend charge voltage) maximum charge power would be about 576 watts. The recommended charge rate for that battery is 40 amps, so that controller is a bit small. It's not good to run a controller at full power for extended times. General recommendation is about 66% or so for continuous duty . Running at 100% duty cycle will stress the controller and shorten its life. In my opinion a 60 amp controller would be a better fit. My expereince with EP Solar was not so good, I ended up getting rid of them and buying American made controllers due to quality and manufacturers support. EP Solar had very poor support

          On the issue of more amps in parallel, an MPPT controller converts the extra voltage into amps going to the battery.

          You have one of the best flooded lead acid batteries made especially for solar, they deserve a better controller. There are some very good ones that are made in America, have very good support and are a better match to those batteries, might I suggest that you look into the 60 amp Morningstar's or 96 amp MidNite Classic, these are very well built and well supported, you can call the manufacturers and ask questions, not so with EP Solar.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys!

            I will connect my solar panels in series then. (2 - Hanwha Q.PEAK BLK-G4.1 295 Watt)

            Tecnodave : Great advise. Budget-wise, do you see any issue using the EP controller I have for this year? I looked at both the Morningstars and MidNite and they are in a different price range
            So I would use the EP for this year and upgrade for next year?

            Comment


            • #7
              If the EP Solar controller cannot fully charge those batteries every week then you run the risk of sulfating them. They are about $800 with tax and recycle fee
              If you just can't afford a better controller do plan on having another source of power to keep them fully charged every week. It is not nessecary to get 100% state of charge every day, but you need to get there every week. It does depend on how far you discharge them.

              I threw out my EP Solar controllers due to lack of adjustability, mine had no user adjustable settings, just some generic presets. You do not have generic batteries and charging with a generic profile will result in serious undercharging. Also mine would wander in voltage badly and left my batteries consistently undercharged. I spent hundreds of dollars in generator maintaince and fuel to keep my batteries fully charged. Do go to Rolls Surette and get their recommendations for the exact battery and do get their "Battery User Manual". Very good information in there, every battery user should have that manual, it's priceless!!! Support at EP Solar is zilch, nada, etc. scripted answers to questions you will get far better answers here and other forums.

              I am using Rolls Surette S-530 L-16 428 a.h. Set of 4. for a 24 volt system. They were shipped out the door at Surette June 26, 2005. youngsters at 14 years old!!! Still test at full capacity! That is what kind of batteries you have! Invest and protect them! I'm a bit biased towards MidNite as support is awesome, the best in the industry. I retired my generator, haven't used it in years to top off my batteries, that's my Classic's job...I am over paneled as to the batteries needs at 2400 watts in but I live very near the Pacific Ocean and we often get overcast and fog. I harvest enough power through the gloom and most days are floating before noon!

              You are a bit short on p.v. Input. Those panels can provide at best on the sunniest day only 40 amps, those days don't come every day unless you are in the Arizona desert, solar panels average maybe 70% of ratings on the average. I would put in a few more panels and a bigger controller to protect your investment. Just my humble opinion

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chrixed View Post
                Thanks guys!

                I will connect my solar panels in series then. (2 - Hanwha Q.PEAK BLK-G4.1 295 Watt)

                Tecnodave : Great advise. Budget-wise, do you see any issue using the EP controller I have for this year? I looked at both the Morningstars and MidNite and they are in a different price range
                So I would use the EP for this year and upgrade for next year?
                Do you have the MT-50 remote readout? You will have some control of charging parameters beyond Generic preset voltages with it.
                2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

                Comment


                • #9
                  Littleharbor,

                  i had the MT-50 remote readout and it offered no additional features, that may have changed, I stopped using EP Solar some 6-7 years goo when I bought the Classic, still have a MT-50 gathering dust. Possibly they have added features, I do not need to go back and revisit a poor design. My opinion, your results may very!

                  Job opening......Tecah my Apple iPad to spell common words! Apple autobutcherspell is horrible but it can spell autobutcherspell. LOL

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lifted this from one of their pages. This portion is referring to the MT-50 remote meter, coupled with an EP CC

                    [LEFT][COLOR=#777777][FONT=Arial][SIZE=14px]Battery type selection: Sealed, Gel, Flooded and User(programmable) [/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]. As far as I know they have been user programable with the remote meters for a long time. I have been using one of their older Tracer CC's for years to power our TV, Satellite box and home theater and had to program it for the AGM battery voltage. Haven't needed to even look at it for probably 7-8 years now.
                    Not a big EPsolar fanboy per se, just passing on my experience.
                    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, good to know that they have improved on that issue, mine did not have that feature, I did call China to see if there was any way to set voltages higher, even tore one apart to inspect the board to find a calibration pot, I found nothing. I still have the mt-50 laying around. I sold the tracer that was the better one and gave the other away with a 30/30 warranty......30 seconds/30 feet.....after explaining what it would do

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tecnodave View Post
                        Chrixed

                        I have some expereince with EP Solar, do connect your panels in series, the controller is rated at 40 amps output regardless of battery voltage, so with a 12 nominal system with a charge voltage of 14.4 volts (Rolls Surette's recommend charge voltage) maximum charge power would be about 576 watts. The recommended charge rate for that battery is 40 amps, so that controller is a bit small. It's not good to run a controller at full power for extended times. General recommendation is about 66% or so for continuous duty . Running at 100% duty cycle will stress the controller and shorten its life. In my opinion a 60 amp controller would be a better fit. My expereince with EP Solar was not so good, I ended up getting rid of them and buying American made controllers due to quality and manufacturers support. EP Solar had very poor support

                        On the issue of more amps in parallel, an MPPT controller converts the extra voltage into amps going to the battery.

                        You have one of the best flooded lead acid batteries made especially for solar, they deserve a better controller. There are some very good ones that are made in America, have very good support and are a better match to those batteries, might I suggest that you look into the 60 amp Morningstar's or 96 amp MidNite Classic, these are very well built and well supported, you can call the manufacturers and ask questions, not so with EP Solar.
                        When I first read that, I tought of keeping the EP CC but now that Im convinced that its to small I returned it to Amazon. Both the MidNite and Morningstars are to expensive here in Canada(arround 900$)
                        So Im looking for a cheeper alternative but with All the different cheep choice on the internet hard to find the best one for the bucks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A question from someone who really knows next to nothing in this area; what do the experts think of a Victron controller for the OPs needs? It costs less than the MidNite and Morningstar but appears to be better made than EP? Just curious.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've installed a few Victron's and they do not have displays, you must download an app to ypur phone or iPad/tablet and link to the controller with Bluetooth to see any readings or set values. Victron is a good company but being in Europe, tech support suffers. Nowhere near the support of America manufacturers.I much prefer a controller that I can walk up to and see immediately what is going on without having to log into it with a computer or phone app. That makes support and maintaince much easier and for the end user much more likely to be "hands on"

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