A few weeks ago I decided to upgrade my two Plasmatronics pl40 40A charge controllers with one large 83A MPPT controller.
Why i did the was because apparently the two Pl40's needed a external device so they could talk to each other and run as a team together. Running the two regs without the unit caused some issues with one unit getting stuck in bulk while the other was trying to do absorb and eventually just one unit would take over 90% of the charge while the other sat idle.
This extra linking unit wasn't installed when my system was first built ,funny enough the unit is listen on the system design spec sheet
Anyhow the unit has a RRP of $400 . It also adds some other features in regards to logging and remote control although its all a bit dated and I didn't fancy investing that kind of money into the two older tec charge controllers. I found a guy on a local solar forum who was keen to purchase one of the old controllers from me for $250 so I put that money towards a new MPPT charge controller from Midnte solar. I kept one PL40 for a backup emergency unit and I might put it to use as a single 40A reg in another system or project down the line.
This new Midnite solar Class 150 is a great solar charger. Max output 83A from the single unit. I picked the classic for it's features and support. USB firmware that's user upgradable was a big one to. Another reason and my favorite is Ethernet connectivity and remote online monitoring and control and data logging. Being MPPT is nice as I will gain some extra efficiency from my Pv array
Whats in the box
The installation went smooth and the unit fitted perfectly into the old location of the two PL40's with only slight cable modification and upgrading was needed. The job was done and system back online in a few hrs. Setting up wireless communication and remote monitoring was a snap with detailed simple instructions.
The guys at midnight seem to be keen to keep the firmware updates coming and feature list improving on a regular basis and seem to read there own forums and listen to the customers requests for improvements.
This is a screen shot below of my remote monitoring software. You can see all the basic data for the system input - output volts amps total KWH produced for the day and instantaneous output watts, fet temp, pcb temp, battery temp.. other windows in the program offer historical data logging and graphing as well as the ability to change all the controllers programed settings remotely.
This screen shot was taken at 8:30am The classic is very efficient I have 4000w of Pv and its extracting almost every last watt on a nice day. My pack is usually on float my 9am
and the home is running directly from PV for the remainder of the day. Its great for keeping check on the system when we are away from the house for some time.