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Morningstar DC-Coupled Retrofit Battery Backup System

Morningstar DC-Coupled Retrofit Battery Backup System
Morningstar DC-Coupled Retrofit Battery Backup System
Item code Brand name Model number
KITDCCOUPMSTAR1 Morningstar Corp Morningstar DC Coupled 1

See these videos with Morningstar to learn more about this 600V Solar Charge Controller and how DC Coupling works!

Morningstar DC Coupled
Retrofit Battery Backup System

Are you looking for a system to power your most important electronics during a power outage? Is scaleability important to you? And the added efficiency of having a charge controller manage your energy storage during such times? If so, let's talk about the basic concept of "DC Coupling".

How does a DC Coupled system work?

DC Coupling is, in essence, the retrofitting of a grid-tie solar power system to include battery back-up without changing the PV array configuration. At the center of this system is the Morningstar TriStar MPPT 600V Charge Controller. This controller features a DC Transfer Switch, which is great for systems that were just set up as grid-tie. Now, during a power outage, you are able to switch from the grid-tie inverter that is in your system, to a battery back-up solution - with the flip of a switch. And have power when the grid goes down - all hope is not lost! And it's scaleable - start with a small battery bank for only your most critical loads, and add batteries and inverter capacity in the future, if needed.

To be more specific, in this solution, the controller continues to keep the batteries charged while the grid goes down, so that you'll have power for lights, the refrigerators, the computer, or cell phone charger. Then, when power is restored, you simply turn the controller's transfer switch from "Controller On" to the "Grid On" position.

Another big benefit of using the Morningstar TriStar MPPT 600V Controller with Transfer Switch is that you can OVERSIZE THE ARRAY - without harm to the controller. Yes, that's right! Though the max array input power for the controller is 3.2kW, there is no issue connecting a 6kW or even 7kW array to it. This is not the case in an AC coupled solution, where the max array power is usually 85% or 90% of the inverter power. The Morningstar MPPT Controller will limit the input power and provide it's rated continuous output current into the batteries. So during sunny conditions, the controller ignores input power in excess of 3.2kW, protecting the smaller battery bank. On cloudy days, however, you still get full power from the larger array. In this DC Coupled solution, when connected to an oversized PV array, the controller will put out significantly more power. Huge benefit. See more great info in Morningstar's White Paper on DC Coupling vs. AC Coupling.

Until now, the only options to add backup power to your Grid Tie System were a Generator, which pollutes, is noisy, needs maintenance and periodic cycling, or AC Coupling which is fairly complex, and much more costly. With the Morningstar DC Coupling solution, you can have clean, economical backup power to run your critical loads when the grid goes down. It requires no roof work, and you can leave your PV array just as it is. It can be installed outside, in your garage, or in the basement. You just need to add the following:

  • Morningstar TriStar MPPT 600V Solar Charge Controller w/DC Transfer Switch
  • A small battery bank
  • An inverter/charger
  • A critical loads sub panel
  • Some wiring and balance of system components

  • Morningstar DC Coupled System 1:
    Part Number Item Description Quantity
    MORTSMPPT600DT Morningstar TriStar 600V MPPT Charge Controller with Transfer Switch 1
    MORTS-M-2-600V Morningstar TriStar Digital Meter for TS-MPPT-600V Charge Controller 1
    SCNCONSW4048 Schneider Electric Conext SW4048 Inverter/Charger 1
    XANXWPLSYSCNTRL System Control Panel for SW Inverter/Chargers 1
    MIDMNE175SW Midnite Solar E-Panel for Conext SW Inverter/Chargers 1
    MIDMNSWSLIDER30 AC Bypass Kit for Single Conext SW E-Panels 1
    KLV2100PLC KiloVault 2100 PLC 180Ah 12V Advanced AGM Battery 4
    ALTBC-2/0-120RB altE Battery to Inverter Cables, 2/0 10Ft,Pair 1

    TriStar MPPT 600V Charge Controller, Transfer Switch

    Morningstar TriStar 600V MPPT Controller

    This version of Morningstar's TriStar 600V MPPT Solar Charge Controller comes pre-wired with a DC Transfer Switch. This feature is ideal for systems that were just set up as grid-tied. Now, during a power outage, you are able to switch from the grid-tie inverter that is in your system, to a battery back-up solution. Easy- you just turn the switch!


    • Maximizes energy harvest with recognition of multiple power points during shading or mixed PV arrays
    • Can accept up to 2 strings per controller - up 3.2kW of solar. NOTE: The system CAN accept oversized PV arrays (ie. up to 7kW) without harm to the controller
    • Wide array input operating voltage range (100-525 V)
    • Maximum 60A continuous battery current
    • Supports nominal 48 Vdc batteries (custom programmable to 24V, 36V, 60V)
    • Parallel operation of multiple controllers from a single source input
    • Accepts power from oversized PV arrays without damaging the controller
    • Passively cooled for high reliability
    • Remote Temperature Sensor included
    • Enables system monitoring, data logging, and adjustability, through ethernet connection, and utilizes standard MODBUS protocol and Morningstar's MS View software
    • Facilitates simple and cost-effective design (including savings on wiring and labor costs)
    • Advanced 4-stage charging algorithm optimizes battery health
    • Enables use of existing high voltage PV or small wind turbines for battery charging
    • Ease of installation - battery breakers are included for easy connection to battery terminals or E-Panel battery busbar
    • Compatible with all Inverter/Chargers, E-Panels, and battery technologies

    Schneider Electric
    Conext SW 4048 Inverter/Charger

    The new Schneider Electric Context SW 4048 Grid Tie inverter has been designed to offer improved reliability as well as a low installed cost through ease of installation and integrated features. The Conext SW is a pure sine wave, inverter/charger system with switchable 50/60 Hz functionality. This unit is available in 120/240 VAC, but there is also a 230 VAC model available.


    • Configures quickly into compact wall mounted system
    • True Sine Wave output
    • Generator support for larger loads
    • Compatible with FLA, Gel, AGM, Custom batteries
    • Supports AC coupled and DC coupled off-grid and grid-tie architectures
    • Intelligent functionality enables self consumption with solar prioritization, peak shaving and, assisting small generators with heavy loads
    • All models stackable and support both 50 Hz and 60 Hz output
    • Remote monitoring and configuration with the Conext ComBox

    Midnite Solar
    Schneider Conext SW E-Panel

    The MNE175SW E-Panel is designed for use with a single Schneider Electric SW inverter/charger. The SW inverter is mounted directly to the right of the E-Panel. It comes installed with a 175A breaker for the SW4048 Inverter.


    • 175A Inverter/Battery breaker
    • Knockouts for up to (6) din rail mount AC or DC breakers
    • (4) panel mount breakers or DC-GFP80 breakers
    • Massive tin plated copper bus bars directly connect to the SW's battery terminals
    • Bus bars for AC inputs, AC output, neutral, ground, PV + in, PV- in, Bat +, Bat-
    • 500 amp shunt
    • Location to mount 2 charge controllers to the top with corresponding knockouts

    PLC 2100 Advanced AGM Battery

    KiloVault 2100 PLC AGM Battery

    The 2100 PLC is a pure lead carbon sealed AGM deep cycle solar battery, for cycling applications.  KiloVault 2100 PLC is a cost-effective, maintenance-free battery that offers superior performance in Partial State Of Charge (PSoC) applications, combining pure lead and advanced carbon technology for extended battery life and rapid charging.  The batteries are designed for residential or light commercial off-grid, backup, or self-consumption applications.


    • Maximized Cycle Life - Affordable high performance with 3000 Cycles @ 50% depth of discharge
    • Partial State of Charge Applications - Pure lead + carbon = greater cycle life in both PSoC and non-PSoC off-grid operations
    • Super-Fast Charging - High charge rates allow the 2100 PLC to go from 50% up to 90% state of charge in under an hour

    Morningstar Tristar DC Coupled System

    This DC Coupled system includes the basics that you'll need for your solar installation. In this table, we've listed a few more items that you may want to include with your system order.

    Recommended System Add-Ons
    Part Number Item Description
    SQUH361RB Square D 30A DC Disconnect
    MIDMNEDC-60 Midnite Solar 60Amp 150VDC Panel Mount Breaker
    KLV2100PLC KiloVault 2100 PLC 180Ah 12V Advanced AGM Battery
    ALTBC-2/0-120RB altE Battery to Inverter Cables, 2/0 10Ft,Pair

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