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Old 12-21-15, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Anything to look for in 12V charge controllers?

I'm looking for a run of the mill 12V charge controller. I don't think I need anything fancy. I'd like it to handle at least 30A. Looks like there are a zillion of them on amazon. MPPT would be awesome, but I don't think the cost is worth it for this. Its just for a little test turbine setup, so I'm thinking PWM is fine.

Here is the one I'm thinking of getting:
XCSOURCEŽ Intelligent 30A PWM Solar Panel Charge Controller 12V24V Battery Regulator LD296

Any reason to avoid it, or is there one out there that is really great that I should be looking at?

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Old 12-21-15, 04:11 PM   #2
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Mppt is the most desirable but like you said for small test it wont make a difference. 30 amp seems big
1.47 kw solar, R-40+ attic insulation, 4 layers radiant barrier, solar attic fan, solar mini pool pump
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Old 12-24-15, 02:14 AM   #3
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I had a couple of these for testing, look exactly the same, they will not handle 30 amps for any period of time; the tracks inside the unit and the current sensor and fuse mounts pcb area heat up to > 70c if the current exceeds 15 amps, the internal temp sensor heats up as the air inside the case gets very hot, the output mosfets push onto the rear heatsink for cooling, in my ones they were not actually touching the heatsink, had to pack them with a piece of copper.

Unfortunately these are complete junk, to get them to work properly I drilled air ventillation holes around the case, replaced the internal temp sensor with a 10K resistor (dont need it using LifePo4 battery), shorted out the current sense with a strip of copper and shorted out the fuses, this stops things heating up inside. Mount a input\Output breaker external to the unit. Once this was done, they actually worked ok. If you want 30 amps you will have to split your panels up and use two or get a 60a unit, when they spec 30 amps they really mean 30 amps peak for a few seconds not continuous.

Hope that helps.
Merry Christmas from NZ
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Old 12-27-15, 12:13 PM   #4
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That is one of those cheap pieces of Chinese crap I was warned not to buy over on the Arizona wind-sun forum.

After buying cheap Chinese grid tie inverters that didn't work I learned my lesson. I had to heavily modify those grid ties to get them to where they would not constantly over heat.

My Morningstar prostar 30amp PWM controller cost around $200 and holds a 26 amps charging load no problem. I have not tested it to 30 or over 30 amps but I am sure it will work.
I abuse my prostar, I use it as a battery charge controller drawing power from that home made 240 volt battery charger I built, (see home made solar hybrid inverter) which Morningstar specifically warns against doing. I didn't read the directions until after I built my high power charger.

The guys over on wind sun forum warn that those controller will short out, fry your batteries or quit working all together and that they should only be ran at a fraction of what they are rated for.

I use the Morningstar 15 amp sunsaver trakstar (the MPPT) their 30 amp prostar (pwm) and the genasun MPPT.
I love them, the high end MPPT controllers have exceeded all my expectations and that rarely happens.

With solar power stuff, all I can say is you get what you pay for.

If you are thinking about doing wind power, just don't. Save the money, buy solar panels.

Also check out our wiki:

Last edited by oil pan 4; 12-27-15 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 12-29-15, 10:49 PM   #5
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I looked at charge controllers several years ago. All I could find around that price range turned out to be junk. There is a new Midnite charge controller that's made for 12 volts, 30 amps called the Brat. $88 on Google. If you do have problems, you can get on their website or NAWS and get your questions answered. BTW, I don't sell them or have any ties.
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Old 12-30-15, 10:57 AM   #6
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Midnite is good. Seem to be the number 1 or number 2 brand they seem to like over on the wind sun forum off grid section.
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Old 12-30-15, 07:41 PM   #7
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I've been using one of these for over 15 yrs. with no issues. It has a diversion function to heat water with the unused energy..

Schneider C40 12/24/48V Charge Controller - Wholesale Solar
If it don't, I'll always think it shoulda..
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Old 01-14-16, 03:01 PM   #8
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I've had one of these in service since Nov 6 2013

Big improvement over the other 10 Amp PWM Charge Controller Regulator Off Grid for Battery Charging: Musical Instruments

It runs my DSL which is at an abandoned house down the road which doesn't have grid power available.

Last edited by dremd; 01-17-16 at 02:07 PM.. Reason: Power NOT poor
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