Combined MPPT Controller, B2B and Battery Master.

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Revolvor, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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    I originally posed this in the “Chat” section, but it should have been here.

    Sorry for long post, but I have had replies from Sargent and Power Associates that may be of interest to Funsters ... see below.

    I still think the Power Integrator (http://www.amperorassociates.co.uk/c-solar-regulators/PowerS-PI.html) looks like a useful bit of kit, and would save over £200.
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    I have an Autotrail Excel 600B, with a Sargent EC225 Control Panel, and I want to improve the electrical situation for when I do not have EHU.

    I have fitted second 100Ah Habitation Battery and plan to fit Solar Panels, a “Battery Master” to keep the Habitation and Vehicle Batteries charged, and eventually, a B2B charger.

    The EC225 can accept the input from a Dual output Solar Charge controller.
    (I will probably not utilise the Sargent wiring as the EC225 is 2 metres from the Hab Batteries, and I understand the Charge Controller should be as close to the batteries as possible.)

    Update – finding a reasonably priced Dual Output MPPT Charge controller is proving difficult.

    Costs for this (not including the Solar Panel(s), brackets/fittings and wiring will be in the region of:

    MPPT Charge Controller £110 (Victron)
    Battery Master £60 ( Jim’s Shop)
    B2B Charger £210 (Sterling 20A pro Charge B)
    Total: £380

    I have read many of the posts in the “Solar Panel” section of the forum and have come across this:

    Power Integrator: (£170)
    http://www.amperorassociates.co.uk/c-solar-regulators/PowerS-PI.html

    It is a combined MPPT Charge Controller, B2B Charger and will also trickle charge the vehicle Battery.

    A free remote display/controller is also included

    The B2B capability does not seem as good as the Sterling one, but it is still a great improvement on just charging via the alternator.

    It seems too good to be true, but from the photo appears to be a well-built unit.

    Does anyone have any experience of a “Power Integrator”, or have any comments?

    Edit to previous Post:

    Reply from Power Associates to my questions:

    1 Where does the power for the “trickle-charge” to the Vehicle battery come from? Is it from the Habitation Battery, or does it need a supply from Solar/Wind? Would it serve to trickle-charge the Vehicle Battery when the Habitation Battery was being charged by the Mains Electrical Hook-up charger?

    The power comes from the first 1A is taken from the solar panel and is directed to the starter battery to maintain its charge. When that battery is charged the power is then diverted into the leisure battery. This can’t divert power from the mains charger to the starter battery.

    Does the Orientation of the unit matter? Could it be mounted on a vertical panel, with the Battery terminals either on top, or to the right?

    The unit can be mounted vertically of horizontal on a wall or on the floor. We normally mount the unit with the fan at the top and connections at the bottom .... remember to leave enough clearance for air circulation.

    I have asked Sargent whether they envisage any conflicts between the EC225 and a Power Integrator, but I also wondered if you have encountered any issues with a Power Integrator when installed in conjunction with a Vehicle Battery Charger, such as the EC225?

    In the early days we found that 15 Volts could cause the Sargent unit to turn off, but the voltage was adjusted and capped to 14.4 Volts and it has now been fitted to many vehicles with no further issues now.

    We supply the Power Integrator to a number of motorhome manufacturers and converters that install it with Sargent units.


    Reply from Sargent:

    It is impossible to comment upon whether fitting the power integrator will have any negative effect on the standard electrical system of the motorhome as we have not tested one with any of our electrical systems. If you wish to fit the unit, this is entirely up to you; the equipment manufacturer have stated they have tested it and it won’t have any impact on the standard installation in the van – should you have any problems occur after fitment, you will need to contact the manufacturer. With regards to motorhome manufacturers fitting it as a standard product, all I can confirm is none of our main customers (AutoTrail, AutoSleepers, Swift Group or Lunar) fit the product or have wiring in place to fit it as an optional extra.

    I still think the easiest and most cost effective option would be a well sized solar panel and a dual channel regulator. This would keep both batteries charged, and is a tested solution known not to interfere with the standard running of the electrical installation. In terms of not utilizing the existing wiring, this isn’t a problem – the cables are easily able to handle the extra load of the solar charge, and keeping the solar regulator as close to the battery as possible isn’t really an issue in a motorhome if your cables are of suitable size – it is only a volt drop issue, and this won’t be a problem with the standard wiring ……the cables are of suitable size.

    John
     
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  2. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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    Having just read some comments about Sargent "Smart" Chargers and their standard gauge wiring, in a recent post.......Cab battery charging but not leisure, I feel even less inclined to connect Solar Panels to the Hab Batteries via the EC225 unit!
    John
     
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