MPPT Charge Controllers

12 Posts
Jul 1, 2009 01:26 am
MPPT Charge Controllers

Hey everyone!  This is the best site out there.  I currently do not have any renewable energy products but I am trying to put together a small off-grid system.  I'm going to go with a MPPT charge controller and was wondering your opinions between the Outback and the Xantrex.  I would personally go with the Xantrex but I feel my decision a bit bias.  So fill me in with your thoughts and comments, all are appreciated.

13 Posts
Jul 1, 2009 02:31 am
Re: MPPT Charge Controllers

xantrex is better option if u can afford it. Else u can go with the other
578 Posts
Jul 1, 2009 09:03 am
Re: MPPT Charge Controllers

without more detail, it is hard to say.  either is a nice controller.  without knowing the application (which is key) i can tell you two of the basic differences between them.

1. the xantrex mppt has an integrated ground fault protection device.  this is a nice feature, but it confuses many folks just starting out.  ground fault protection devices are a fire prevention and safety mechanism that senses current on the equipment grounding circuit, and opens the circuit, taking the ungrounded conductor with it.  in most off grid systems, this is accomplished with a circuit breaker combo that would be located in the dc load center.  if you go with an all xw system, all the manuals will sync, and you will be fine.  if you dont, all other wiring diagrams will assume an external gfp, and this confuses many folks in their wiring.  the xantrex internal gfp can be the only bond of grounded and equipment grounding conductors in the system.

2.  the xantrex includes a battery temperature sensor, while the outback is a sold separate add on of around 20 bucks.

minor differences

the xantrex uses only a heat sink for cooling, while the outback uses heat fins and a fan.  the 2nd gen outbacks (flexmax) are updated based on the feedback from the first unit regarding fan placement.

the outback is a little roomier in the wiring compartment than the xantrex is.  there is a partition in the xantrex for the xanbus network cable to the xw that can be frustrating when wiring.

like i said above, both controllers a very nice, it is a matter of preference.  we have both in our hq office right now.  if you are going to integrate an inverter by either manufacturer, then usually we see folks select the same brand charge controller for communication network benefits.

let the forum know what you are up to (loads list, array, potential array growth) and i am sure folks will chime in with opinions.

altE staff

"Making Renewable Do-able"

Tel: 877.878.4060 x107  or +1.978.562.5858 x107
Fax: 877.242.6718  or +1.978.562.5854
12 Posts
Jul 1, 2009 01:24 pm
Re: MPPT Charge Controllers

Thank you both for your responses!  I'm still in the designing phase of my build so my system will be small (1 or 2 panels to start) but I want to build it to be able to grow.

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