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SolarEpic MPPT 40A Solar Charge Controller 150V PV input Tracer 4215BN
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- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Negative Ground, Max 150V PV input.
- Advanced maximum power point tracking technology to optimize using the solar system.
- Support 4 charging options: Sealed, Gel, Flooded and User-defined
- Over temperature, over charging, PV and load short, PV (battery) revered, over current protection.
- With supporting PC monitoring software and remote meter MT50(optional)
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If you need to monitoring the solar system or setting the controller, you may have to buy a MT-50 remote meter separately.
The Tracer-BN series controller is for off-grid solar system and control the charging and discharging of the battery.
The controller features a smart tracking algorithm that maximizes the energy from the solar PV module(s) and charge the battery.
At the same time, the low voltage disconnect function (LVD) will prevent the battery from over discharging.
The battery charging process has been optimized for long battery life and improved system performance.
The comprehensive self-diagnostics and electronic protection functions can prevent damage from installation mistakes or system faults. In addition, the Tracer-BN series controller has a RJ45 interface to allow communication with other accessory.
Nominal system voltage: 12VDC / 24VDC Auto work
Rated charge current:40A
Rated discharge current: 20A
Max. solar input voltage:150VDC
Max. PV input power:520W(12V battery) 1040W(24V battery)
Dimension:302.5mm x 182.7mm x 63.5mm
Mounting hole size:Φ4.7
Top customer reviews
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The Controller will auto-detect your battery bank voltage, but you still need to set the type of battery (sealed, flooded, gel) as well as the capacity in amp-hours. As far as the settings go, it does come pre-programmed for the different types of batteries to get you up and running right away, but you may want to fine tune the settings for your particular batteries, according to the manufacturer specs.
Here's how you change any settings, (as the user manual is kind of vague on this):
Go to Control Parameter-
You have 4 choices. Sealed, Gel, Flooded, and User. If you want to use their pre-programmed settings, select Sealed, Gel, or Flooded. These settings can't be changed except for Equalize and Boost times. If you want changeable settings, select User. Then go through the pages to make your adjustments. I needed to lower the Charging Limit Voltage and turn off Equalization for my particular Sealed batteries. Normally you don't want to use Equalization for sealed batteries as it can cause outgassing, and you can't add water back because it's sealed, (well actually, there's a tiny pressure valve for safety so it's not really completely sealed, but you get the idea.)
To set the clock:
Go to Device Parameter-
On the second page you can set the backlight time and the clock.
If you want to add more solar panels than this controller can handle, you can parallel it with a 2nd identical controller. The manual list the maximum wattage from the panels that it can handle, which depends on your battery bank voltage.
Using two of these in parallel can come in handy for using different wattage panels in your system. In a nutshell you can't simply add a bunch of different panels and expect they will all perform at maximum output. Paring a high power and a low power panel will result in the lower one pulling the higher one down to it's level, so you wasted money on the higher power panel.
-If you wire panels in parallel, the voltage of each need to match (or be within about 3% of each other). The output voltage will stay the same but the current in each panel will add together for your total power output. (P=E x I.)
-If you wire them in series, the current in each need to match but the voltage in each panel will add together for your total power output.
-If neither voltage nor current match up, THEN you can use a second Charge Controller in parallel, each with it's own set of panels.
I currently have four, 12 volt 160 watt panels. If I ever want to add high power (200-350 watt) grid-tie panels, I'll have to get a second controller for them as they will not play nice with my current panels.
UPDATE: 6/26/2017 - I'm still impressed with this controller. I took it up to my ranch in Colorado where it performed perfectly, and continues to do so. What I mean by this is that typically I tow my travel trailer (and all solar equipment) back home after my Memorial week camping trip. This year i left all up at the camp. I left everything connected, hoping there would be no issues. Yesterday I had a friend check on the controller and inverted. Everything is working perfectly. There is little draw on the batteries over night so it doesn't take long before the charge controller is done for the day after topping off the batteries. It spends most of the day dissipating the energy from the solar panels. My friend said the fins on the controller were just warm but not hot. The controller is reporting everything is good. I'm very pleased it's doing such a good job for my return vacation this coming July 4th week.
UPDATE: 8/2/2017 – Just as above I left my entire solar power system including this charge controller connected and fully operational. Now into August, I had a check made on the system again. It hasn’t been touched since I left shortly after July 4th. It’s still working perfectly!
Here’s what I’ve got set up: Two 305 watt solar panels connected in series. The panels go into the SolarEpic MPPT 40A solar charge controller at about 75 volts. Out of the charge controller I go to 4 Trojan 6 volt T-105RE batteries. The batteries are set up into two 12v pairs. The positive lead goes through a 40A fuse. The positive and negative are connected to opposite ends of the battery bank. This provides a complete charge across all the batteries. The leads going to my inverter are on the exact opposite to discharge the batteries evenly. This seems to work very well. The inverter is a Ramsond SunRay 1500 Pure Sign Wave inverter. From there I go into a Kill-a-Watt meter to keep track of power used, line voltage..etc. Out of the Kill-a-Watt meter I go into a fused power strip. Using a 30amp travel trailer adapter to 15amp plug I plug in my travel trailer into the power strip. My travel trailer lights have been fully replaced with LED lights. Everything in the trailer runs (TV, DVD, furnace, fans) with the exception of the air conditioner. The refrigerator and freezer in my trailer are both 120v, so they also run off the solar power system. All these items with the exception of the solar panels, batteries, and refrigerator were purchased from Amazon. With the four T-105RE batteries I can run for two days with no sun. I’m adding four more batteries for my next visit starting in September. I’m also upgrading from the Ramsond SunRay 1500 inverter to Power Tech-On 3000 watt inverter. The larger inverter should run my microwave oven and possibly even start my A/C (not that it’s needed at 7000+ feet in Colorado). It’ll be another four weeks before I return, but I expect the SolarEpic MPPT charge controller and all the rest of the equipment to continue doing their job as I designed. One note – I do have two 36 watt light bulbs on timers in the trailer. They turn on/off randomly at night. This provides some drain on the batteries for the next day’s charging cycle. Wire used is 0/1 awg throughout on the 12v side. From the solar panels I’m running 10awg, also purchased from Amazon. Overall I’m very pleased with how all these parts are working together to provide me with fully off grid power. Do your homework, study, and there’s no reason you can’t create a fully off grid power system that is reliable. This is all for my final retirement home on the same property which is over five miles from any utility.
See the picture I added. This is of my travel trailer in Colorado running on my solar power system now for almost two full months with absolutely no intervention. In my trailer I have two 45 watt(eq) LED bulbs on timers. The lights turn on and off throughout the night. My trail camera picks up the light in the morning just before shutting off for the day. The use of the lights helps to bleed some of the power from the batteries allowing the charge controller to do its job. The light can be seen coming through the door window and front window of the trailer. Just three more days and I'll be heading back up for my final week of the season. I've learned with these controllers, make sure you have them connected up correctly, don't push them to their max, and they run and run....
Best controller I've purchased yet. Just as expected, the controller continued to opperate and keep my batteries at the optimum capcity. My new plan is to mount two 305 watt and two 285 watt panels on the roof of my travel trailer. I'll mount the charge controller and my full sign wave inverter inside my trailer. The battery bank will in a battery box I'll build outside the trailer. I plan on purchasing one more of these charge controllers. Last summer I made it through the entire summer with just the two 305 watt panels. Now that I'm adding the two 285 watt panels I'll have more than enough re-charge capability and power. I actually used the light (load on/off) feature on the charge controller to turn a 12v fan on during the day and off at night, aimed at the controller to help keep it cool. I never had an overheating issue, but not being up at camp during most of the summer wasn't something I was willing to take a chance on. After all, there was more then enough energy created to charge the batteries and run the little fan, so why not. Great charge controller. https://youtu.be/IE3O9eQDGXQ
On this battery bank I normally run a 23 cu ft freezer and a 42 inch TV via a 1000 watt inverter. The charge controller has no problems keeping up with the demand placed on the battery bank.
I use the MT-50 meter and also downloaded the PC software that works with this controller. I have a real old laptop connected to the controller. The software gives you a great deal of control and it collects and monitors about everything I could want with the system.
The heat sink placement is excellent, it's been getting over 100 degrees F here and no problems. I also mounted the device on 1 inch standoffs for air flow on the back side also.
If you think you may run into heating problems with some of your solar devices a thing that works well is to install a old 12vdc computer fan to blow air across the device for cooling. You power the fan off you battery bank as long as it's 12 volts. Used this many times at home and at work. It works, saves money.
Update: 14 Dec 2017 - The charge controller has been running now for about 1 1/2 years. No problems. Works great. It now charges just over 600 AH of batteries.