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Controller TS 45 how many watts
#1
So I have the Morningstar TS 45 controller and I was wondering how many 135 watt panels I can run off it, I have plenty of panels and only two of these controllers, what is the maximum number of panels that can be run and what happens if I put more then what is recomended will something blow up or burn out??? I was hopping to install 4  135 watt panels per controller or more if I can. Does anyone know the formula for panel wattage to controller amps. Cheers
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#2
Look at the back of your panels and see what the Imp is. How ever many of those will fit into 45 is the answer. It isn't easy finding a direct answer but I believe the wattage limit is either 540 or 600 watts. So either way four 135w panels would be the limit for each controller. My 435w panel peaks out at 30-32 Amps if that gives you a idea. I do know the 60a version is 800w.
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-10-2018)
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#3
Does anyone know what the consequences are of putting too many panels on a controller
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#4
Just had a look at the IMP it says 7.96 so does that mean I can almost put six panels per controller, five gives me just short of 40 so six would be a bit more then 45,
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#5
Hmmmmm

Two lines of thought here. First I do not think it is good to over panel a PWM controller. Were it a TS-MPPT-45 I'd say go for it. Second being that this is PWM and that you may be mounting them flat may have a impact but while you might get away with it, I would hate to be the one to suggest it and have your controllers pop on a cooler day when cloud effect hit you just as you were running a big load mid-day.

http://string-calculator.morningstarcorp.com/
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-11-2018)
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#6
Good, solid advise from Jim.

I will add that generally speaking in the electronics world, it is best to keep the magic smoke particles INSIDE the magic box. 

In other words, running the controller at maximum or over maximum will likely mean a shorter lifespan for the controller, maybe even a VERY short lifespan. 

I would comply with the max ratings.
Wondering about Wandering.
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-11-2018)
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#7
If my controller were 25 amps and the max amperage of my panels were also 25 amps, I'd want a 30 amp plus controller instead.

We live in a world of marketing and lies.

The engineers would preferably call a 25 amp controller a 20 amp, so that their designs have no issues enduring, despite all the enforced cheaper components they were forced to use.

The marketers come in and say we will gain 5% more market share with a 25 amp controller vs a 20 amp, so in theory ,can it handle 25 amps?

"Yes, but.........

Never mind
25 amps it is....

Could it handle 30?

The engineers lok horified and they back off.

That said cool electronics are happy electronics. Poor connections create heat. Allow for adequate heat dissipation when running anything close to its maximum rating. Increase ventilation if regularly approaching the rating.

Consider that the ambient temp of charge controllers never were considered to be the interior of a vehicle baking in the sun.
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-11-2018)
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#8
Overloading a 20 amp PWM will melt components, even if fused correctly.
Overloading a 20 amp MPPT does not harm anything, just wastes the extra panels.
I have done both.

Why doesn't TriStar publish a spec on maximum solar wattage? Renogy does. Inconsistency across manufacturers. Same with batteries.

Renogy 20 amp MPPT controller says max 236 watts. Two 100 watt panels at five amps each.
Which is confusing at a glance. Two 100 watt panels are ten amps total, at five amps each. Ten, twenty?

Panel output amps do not correspond directly to Controller output amps.

Of course, I only found the spec and the relationship afterwards.

Interior van temps exceed ambient air temps by a lot. This affects refrigeration, as well as batteries and controllers. The interior of my van is the most hostile environment for refrigeration. Even a fridge outside with only partial shade uses less energy than it does inside the van.

The more solar available, the hotter the ambient air will be.

A 65 qt Whynter only works in a van, on 400 watts of solar with two batteries, because it has very small capacity. 2.2 cu ft. A small fridge with no freezer is 4.4 cu ft. Power consumed per cu ft is greater for the Whynter, than for the AC only fridge.

If you are "going mobile", then you have to stay mobile and follow comfortable environmental conditions.
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-11-2018)
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#9
We use to use a 20% buffer rule.

So my TS-MPPT-60 is rated for 800w at 12 volts. My 230w panel use to be good for a solid 15a tracking the sun. 800-230 is 570w. 60-15 is 45a. I still say four panels as far as wattage goes. 5 panels are 675 watts but as you said slightly below 40a as far as the Imp goes.

45 amps is the output limit of the controller.
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  • Flying kurbmaster (08-11-2018)
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#10
Thanks guys for all the input, I never mentioned this but this system will be mounted on my shed which
I am turning into an off grid living space. My vans will never need this amount of solar I have a bit less then 200 on one and 110 on the other and that works for my needs, I am not even sure I need this amount in the shed but I have the panels and winters can be rainy and cloudy so with all the advice given, given that they will be on a slight lean although not as high as the ideal lean for the area but they will follow the roof line, I am able to place the controllers in a cool spot, I’m now thinking that 5 panels each should be ok. Now the next question what size fuses should be on the system and where should they be and how many batteries can I afford or find somewhere second hand. I have two 30 amp fuses and fuse holders. They are fat large fuses in a plastic click in holder. Looks a bit like a breaker but to turn it off you pull the lever and it unclips the fuse.
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