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Old 03-26-2016, 09:00 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Solar charge controller settings

I have recently installed
(3) 100 watt solar panels by Renogy.
(4) 125AH AGM batteries.
40 amp mppt charge controller
Mt-5 voltage meter/settings panel
Xantrex freedom series sw 2012 power inverter(pure sine wave)
Xanbus system control panel

The question is. What exact settings should I use on the mt-5 for tye charge controller.
So far I have it set to

500 Ah

Battery settings currently read
91%
-03 mV/degree C

25 Degree C
500ah

Type: Sel

Panel reads
14.7/14.8 V ( batteries recommend 14.5v and 14.7 max)

Watts read
16
n
0.0AH
0.8 WH


Any idea how i should set this?
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:51 AM   #2
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2015 19' International
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 30
I have a similar setup on my 2015 19', though with 150watts of panels (100 and 50 in parallel mounted flat on the roof) the 20 amp tracer, and the stock SRM-24 batteries for 160AH). I'm using the factory solar pre-wire, and similar settings to what you have. I have no problem maintaining the batteries up to full charge with light use (say down 20AH overnight). I'm always back up to full by noon in the cloudy Pacific Northwest (sooner if it's sunny).

Of the tracer, I will say this:

1) the SOC is useless. The only two displays worth looking at on the MT-5 are the incoming solar voltage and the battery output (to see volts and amps that the tracer is pushing out). For anything else, use a battery monitor. I just installed a Victron 702 with temp sensor and so far am pleased with it.

2) I'm not happy about the temp sensor on the tracer. It's built in to the controller, which I have installed inside the trailer. There is no option on my model for a remote temp sensor. As a result, I am not getting a reliable temp compensation for outdoor/battery temp (my batteries are outside in the tongue mounted battery box). This would not be a big deal though for internal mounted AGMs.

When fully charged, I can hear the batteries "bubbling", so I will have to keep an eye on the water levels. I've had to top off the end cells twice in the past two months, but not too bad. Also, I suspect my batteries were abused on the lot and likely a bit tired, though I haven't tested them thoroughly. Before I installed solar there were down to 12.3 volts after a day of traveling after starting with a full charge while running refer. I've since learned that my trailer has a .25A phantom draw with nothing on (measured with victron). Running with refer brings that up to about .6A, so I would not expect to be so low after 10 hours of travel (theoretically I should only have been down 6AH for such a trip, and that doesn't account for any incoming current from the tow vehicle through the umbilical).

I may someday look into moving the temp sensor from the tracer to the battery box (unsoldering temp sensor and remote mounting with twisted pair wire), but for the time being my setup is "good enough" for our needs.

Please do share your experiences. Do you have a battery monitor? Did you upgrade your solar feed wiring? Etc.

Patrick
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:50 PM   #3
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2015 19' International
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 30
I should also note that I see up to a .2 V drop between what the tracer is putting out, and what I see at the batteries. I'm OK with this though, because I think the tracer is putting out higher than necessary voltage considering the temperature. Long term I will probably upgrade to charge controller or look into him remotely mounting the temperature sensor, but not until it's necessary. What I have seems to be working well enough for now.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:25 AM   #4
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1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman View Post
I have a similar setup on my 2015 19', though with 150watts of panels (100 and 50 in parallel mounted flat on the roof) the 20 amp tracer, and the stock SRM-24 batteries for 160AH). I'm using the factory solar pre-wire, and similar settings to what you have. I have no problem maintaining the batteries up to full charge with light use (say down 20AH overnight). I'm always back up to full by noon in the cloudy Pacific Northwest (sooner if it's sunny).

Of the tracer, I will say this:

1) the SOC is useless. The only two displays worth looking at on the MT-5 are the incoming solar voltage and the battery output (to see volts and amps that the tracer is pushing out). For anything else, use a battery monitor. I just installed a Victron 702 with temp sensor and so far am pleased with it.

2) I'm not happy about the temp sensor on the tracer. It's built in to the controller, which I have installed inside the trailer. There is no option on my model for a remote temp sensor. As a result, I am not getting a reliable temp compensation for outdoor/battery temp (my batteries are outside in the tongue mounted battery box). This would not be a big deal though for internal mounted AGMs.

When fully charged, I can hear the batteries "bubbling", so I will have to keep an eye on the water levels. I've had to top off the end cells twice in the past two months, but not too bad. Also, I suspect my batteries were abused on the lot and likely a bit tired, though I haven't tested them thoroughly. Before I installed solar there were down to 12.3 volts after a day of traveling after starting with a full charge while running refer. I've since learned that my trailer has a .25A phantom draw with nothing on (measured with victron). Running with refer brings that up to about .6A, so I would not expect to be so low after 10 hours of travel (theoretically I should only have been down 6AH for such a trip, and that doesn't account for any incoming current from the tow vehicle through the umbilical).

I may someday look into moving the temp sensor from the tracer to the battery box (unsoldering temp sensor and remote mounting with twisted pair wire), but for the time being my setup is "good enough" for our needs.

Please do share your experiences. Do you have a battery monitor? Did you upgrade your solar feed wiring? Etc.

Patrick
So far i am very pleased with the set up. I struggledunderstanding the mt-5 as th epercentage of my battery hangs out at 56% at night. However i know they are fully charged because of the built in monitor on the xanbus system controller. Renogy informed me that this is because its not getting the voltage from the solar panels. Not really sure i understand how to repeat what they said. I have considered getting a seperate battery monitor, but inhave these wired into the system airstream installed, giving me electricty to another panel whoch has the 4 light red to green battery monitor display. But i did consider getting the xantrex battery monitor to keep things uniform.

Althoug lh i have 500 AH. I did test it by plugging in a 95 watt tv and laptop for about 2 hours. It only brought the percentage down 2 or 3.

On a seperate occassion i plugged in a space heater with a 1200 and 800 watt setting. Both settings draindd my batteries pretty quickly and at 121 amps. I did the for a minute or so. When i turned off the space heater the battery went back to displaying a normal charge.

I have not upgraded the wires but i think these ones are good. Also i purchased an on off switch for the inverter...xantrex employee lied about needing it to turn it on and off. He said it functioned differe tky than the enable and disable inverter button on the xanbus system control panel...it does not...oh well at least I have a stand alone button.
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