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Old 02-01-2022, 12:01 PM   #1
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High Amperage Charge Controllers on 12 Volt System

Greetings,

So in reading up on the various threads, I've come to the realization that the 80 amp charge controller I have isn't large enough to handle the optimal 1260 amps from my six solar panels. (I admit I thought I knew what I was doing after having done my own house panels many years ago--I humbly admit that I am now an idiot.). So I guess my main questions are, (1) if my panels output more watts than the charge controller is rated at, does that in any way harm the controller? (But yes, I'd like to use every watt I can!), (2) I've read that at such higher wattage, I should consider converting to 24 volts, but my old 5K watt inverter (that still works fine) is for 12 volts, so it seems I would have to buy a new inverter, as well as a new charge controller. Is that true? (3) Do you have any recommendations as to vendors?

Thank you so much! Skoolie.net has saved my butt on many occasions!

Cheers,
Jim

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Old 02-01-2022, 01:22 PM   #2
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You should be able to parallel charge controllers, but if it were me I'd reach out to the manufacturer & make sure, and use another identical model (not saying this is necessarily necessary, but it's what I'd do to best assure the least potential for problems).

If your charge controller works w/ 24V, then yes, you could opt to keep only this charge controller (no need to replace it and/or parallel with another unit), and change out the inverter & bank to 24V. Seems like this route would be more expensive but if you haven't wired everything yet the money saved on copper could potentially make up for it.
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Old 02-01-2022, 01:55 PM   #3
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Best partial shade handling comes from one SC per panel ratio.

Victron units are priced very low to give that sort of flexibility, great quality, 5-year warranty

Yes most SCs may have some overhead allowed above the max amps they output, but often not more than 10-20% before reliability is affected.

With Victron I've put a 300W panel on an SC rated for 230W. But the max voltage spec, stay below 80-85%
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Old 02-01-2022, 10:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jch511 View Post
Greetings,

So in reading up on the various threads, I've come to the realization that the 80 amp charge controller I have isn't large enough to handle the optimal 1260 amps from my six solar panels.

<snip>

Cheers,
Jim
How many watts do your solar panels produce? I think you have a math error. Solar panels generally don't produce more than about 500 watts, right?

Regardless, you should watch some youtube videos on sizing and configuring panels. Your solar charge controller should be sized to that.

I took notes and did the math on mine, not too complicated but you have to look at the manufacturers label and follow the rubrics.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
How many watts do your solar panels produce? I think you have a math error. Solar panels generally don't produce more than about 500 watts, right?

He said 1260 Watts in another thread (combined panels), which makes more sense. Think the amps was a typo.
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Old 02-03-2022, 05:53 AM   #6
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Jch511./ Jim. I think you are fine, not that 24v and multiple charge controllers would not be better...
Assuming 1260 watts solar and 12 volt batteries. I would not be to worried with your current charge controller.
Before you do anything I would first check how often and for how much your actual charge current is. If you run 1 hour per day in your max 80 amp and you would have been able to get to your theoretical 100 amp then that is a small percentage of your overall harvested energy.
With flat panels I doubt you will see even the full charge current of 80 amp that often.
Maybe no need to spend more money.

Good luck.
Johan
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