Originally Posted by CTRvs666
I have been looking at 30AMP solar controllers and I find they range from $26.00 to $150.00. I am adding an additional 100W solar panel and two more batteries.
So can anyone tell me a good brand that will work without giving me problems.
It is going into my 2021 Magnitude XG32 that comes with a 10AMP controller.
I only want to do this one time.
Personally.... I would save your money and spend it on something else.
I have a 2020 SV34 with the same 10A Go Power Solar Controller. The 2020 Magnitudes / Omnis were only solar prepped. I added two Renogy 160W flexible solar panels. I also added two Duracell 6V Deep Cycle Batteries.
The 10A would work just fine with two 100W panels and keeps the house and chassis batteries topped off if there is sun and no shore power.
I know the "experts" will say you need a bigger controller but when you look at it more closely and real performance versus theoretical performance, the 10A can do the job:
- Solar panels are not 100% efficient
- Solar panel performance degrades over time from the first time light hits them
- Unless you are tilting the panels directly to the sun at all times and have complete unobstructed sunshine you are not getting the full power generation of the panels
- Unless you are going up on your roof and cleaning your panels every week you are not getting the full power generation of the panels
After all of that real world consideration, I am probably luck to be pulling 10A from my panel generation.
So unless you intend to install 5 or 6 panels, the 10A Controller can do the job. With 320W of "potential" power generation on my roof, my controller and wiring does not get hot, I have not blown the fuse and my four (and sometimes 6 batteries when the BIM160 latches to charge the chassis batteries as well) get topped off just fine.
are cheaper and older technology. They are less efficient but still a good option for maby basic solar implementations. They are unable to limit their current output so they just use the array current. So if the solar array can produce 20 amps of current and the charge controller you’re using is only rated to 10 amps, the controller could be damaged. It is also limited to 25V - 50V max so wiring panels in series is generally not a good practice with this controller.
The bottom line is PWM controllers supply a tiny amount of power to keep batteries full. PWM controllers are best for small scale applications because the solar panel system and batteries have to have matching voltages.
The Go Power is a PWM Controller and again.... I have had no issues after a year of using it with two 160W panels in parrallel and it does the job for keeping the batteries topped off. If it fails eventually, then I will likely replace it with a 20A or 30A PWM or MPPT controller.
are typically used with larger and more complicated systems but they still can be used for an RV application. An MPPT controller will decrease the amount of current drawn in order to maintain a desirable voltage at the output of the panel. When it becomes sunny again, the MPPT controller will allow more current from the solar panel once again. They also limit their output so you can make a solar array as large as you want and the controller will limit that output. However, this means your system isn’t as efficient as it could be since you have panels that aren’t being properly utilized. Even if your panels could produce 50A of current, a 30A MPPT Controller would only allow 30A to be used.
An MPPT Controller can accept 100 volts of input, which means you can wire the panels in series. The resulting higher voltage can mean lower currents but if one panel's performance degrades (it gets dirty, starts fialing, etc.), it takes the performance of the entire system down with it. You can still wire the panels in parallel as well.
The 10A Go Power Controller
Thor uses is only available to RV OEM's. It has the following features:
-3 Battery Charging profiles: Gel, AGM, Flooded, and Lithium
-4 Stage Charging: Bulk, Float, Absorption and Equalize
-Monthly Equalize option
-Reverse Polarity protected
-Accepts up to 190 watts of solar at 12 volts (so it really could handle two 200W panels when you factor in my real world parameters above)
- Accepts up to 25V input
- Has over-current and over-temp protection (neither of which have I ever had happen with two 160W panels)