Controller for the DM 145 Watt Panels - Which One and Why?

I purchased one of the DM 145 Watt solar panels and the plan is to get a couple more down the road.  I'm wondering what controller would be the best, economically, to start with.  Is that Sunforce 60032 - 30 amp one the best for the buck (Yes, I want something with a display)?  Is anyone using that with 4 - DM-145 panels, and if so, how's it working out?  Any input would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

John

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I've got 6 of these.. and I've had 2 hooked up in series in 93-99'F heat on the Midnite Solar Classic MPPT controller..

I got just about 104-109 watts per panel getting to the battery bank in that testing.. cooler temps are always better..

Pics showing the IN and the OUT from the Classic 150 display.. I did NOT have a load too draw the battery down..

at 12:05 and 99.4'F outside.. battery getting full.. pumping only 6 amps in.. and getting 13.X amps out..

My next test will be with 1 panel and a load to draw the battery down to make the controller and panel MAX out hopefully.. Stay tuned for NEXT weekends (8/12) video..

At $160 per panel you can't do any better at all for the money IMHO..

Hey John, the Sunforce 30 amp has been the most popular "inexpensive" controller around in the 30 amp range. But since these DM Solar 145 watt panels are putting out around 8 amps you are only good up to 3 panels. I wouldn't do 4 panels.

Lately we have been promoting the Wagan 30 amp controller [here's the link]  and it's less then $50 with free shipping. But like the DM Solar panels, as soon as we started promoting it they are out of stock. I talked to the manufacturer and they'll be back soon. Some members here are using Wagan products and say they are reliable.

Thanks Ray.  Right now I have two Harbor Freight kits and am using two controllers (one for each kit) so I figured I'd leave those alone as is, but just want something to hold me over for awhile and being the DM Solar 145 kits come in lots of two, that would give me the three that I would need until I would do my next upgrade.  I know I should just go for a bigger controller and maybe I will.  What would you recommend after the 30 amp controllers (next level up)? 

 

Next step up from there would be the Xantrex C40 [here's the link], super reliable, you can do 12, 24 or 48 volt with it no problem and it has a great "dump feature". Search around the forum to see some of our discussions about dumping access power. Especially into a water heater etc. And if you ever get into a small wind turbine it would be a perfect controller for that.

John
The sunforce is a nice controller, and in stock! Ray missed there! I own 3 and have had no problems with them. Ray is right only 3 panels can be attached! If you really want nice controllers go MPPT, they do up the panel output considerably but are costly. Personally I fail to see the pay back for the high cost at todays prices.
Here in Minnesota I see 8.5 amps per panel quite regular, yesterday we were usually hot out and output was down about 18%.

What did I miss W.R.?

    Mr. Ray

I checked on that link for controllers, sounded like a good deal and I'm looking for a few but there out of stock!

   Bill

Hi Ray, I checked out the Xantrex C40, looks great. What would you recommend for hooking up a display, reading amps, volts, watts, etc.

For more money it comes with an optional digital display. What kind of price range are you looking at?

Might be better off doing a couple of the Wagan Tech 30 amp, I just saw there is only 6 left though. You can buy two of them 60 amps, less then $95 including shipping,

Here's the link > http://astore.amazon.com/newworldsolar-20/detail/B002C25YCS

Um, there is only 5 left as of a few minutes ago- as I bought one myself for my pair of 145 watt panels. Checked quickly on eBay and they want $65 for this same unit.

I'm going to apply a sun tracker to my pair as I bought a "kit" from Home Store:

http://homecsp.com/store/

at around $100 including a 18 inch linear actuator. It was too hard to resist that deal vs. piecing together a kluge of parts right now. Perhaps later I'll work on building my own,  but right now I'd  recommend everybody go there and check out his "stuff'. Has a lot of neet things and is quite helpfull chap.

 

Will report on my progress from time to time.

 

Bill

Thanks Ray, that sounds like a great idea. Now im also interested in that tracker. Looks very doable

Thanks Bill..... only 1 left.

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