Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pictures of My eBay Chinese MPPT 15 Solar Charge Controller

So I finally got my Chinese MPPT 15 Solar Charge controller. It powers up and looks okay. I opened up the case to get a closer look inside and also took some high resolution pictures of the guts of it. I came across a few videos on YouTube that showed why these are not true MPPT controllers. One guy did say that it could function partially as an MPPT controller but I will do some testing against my Chinese PWM charge controller as well. There is a black box component with "Wellsee MPPT" on it but I think that is just a relay and not a true Wellsee component. Take a look:

MPPT 15 Front View

MPPT 15 Back View

MPPT 15 Board View

MPPT 15 Board View- Close

MPPT 15 Bord View - Top

MPPT 15 ISO View

MPPT 15 Side View

Thursday, November 22, 2012

60 Watt Solar Panel Power System Working

Hi All, I wanted to write today to show my 60 watt Solar Panel Power system working with a deep cycle battery and a solar charge controller. The below picture was taken at 10:00am today, November 22nd. Happy Thanksgiving!. I am in the Desert Southwest so we are getting good sun exposure for this time of year. From the pictures you can see that my battery starts off at around 12.4 volts and after connecting it to my solar panels that are in direct sunlight the reading jumps up to almost 13.5 volts. I really need to add an ammeter to my setup to know how much current I am producing. As mentioned in my other posts I am learning that my solar panels will make good voltage during the day 16 volts to 20 volts but the current varies greatly due to the amount of direct sunlight they get. My panels are rated for a total of 3.5 amps for both at nominal and a max current of 3.8 amps. I will be purchasing more panels and batteries in the near future with a goal of creating a small solar setup capable of running my chest freezer in the garage and also a little extra for when power goes out and lights are needed. My next system will be properly sized according to all the available solar power calculators that are available online. My favorite solar power site right now is Solar Panel Talk. You can find them at Here are pictures of my system:

60 Watt Solar Panels with Portable Battery, Charge Controller and Inverter

12.5 volts before Connecting Panels

Almost 14 volts after Solar Panels Connected

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MPPT 15 Chinese Solar Charge Controller

I purchased a cheap Chinese MPPT Solar Charge Controller on eBay. I did some additional reading on other blog sites and they seem to be pretty unpredictable in quality and actual operation. I will be taking it apart and taking good pictures of the both sides of the circuit board to compare it to the Chinese PWM charge controller I already have. I will then test its operation and see how if performs against the PWM controller I have. I can then justify buying better charge controllers if the results of these two controllers are not good.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

Well I found an affordable Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar panel kit on Craigslist and purchased it. I tested it and read more about them before I decided to keep them and build a larger system using the panels and controller. Here is what my setup looked like.

45 Watt Solar Panel Set

Harbor Freight Solar Charge Controller with Inverter & battery

I used this system to test out how the controller works and the how the panels make power. I ended up selling this system so that I could get larger panels that produced more power. I also read that these panels really lose power after a few years and I thought it was best to get what I could for them now while they were still new.

Closer Look at the CMP 12/24 Solar Charge Controller

So I have been using my portable solar power system since I first posted about it and I am learning a lot more about solar along with more about charge controllers and batteries. The CMP 12/24 is a Chinese imported solar charge controller that you can get cheaply off of eBay. They claim it is a PWM controller but I have read that others say it is just an on-off controller and not much more. I know for a fact it does limit voltage out from your solar panels. It does not let 20 volts go directly into your battery but I am still learning how to tell what else it does electronically. Here is a closer look at the circuit board and components of the PWM controller. I took a lot of close up pictures of both sides of the circuit board.

CMP 12 Charge Controller

Bottom View CMP 12/24

CMP 12/24 Circuit Board View

CMP 12/24 Cicuit Board View-Top

CMP 12/24 Circuit Board View - Bottom