Tutorial: How to Solar Power Your Home / House #4 – Off Grid setup, PWM vs MPPT


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In this tutorial we take a look at off grid solar power setup, pulse width modulated vs maximum power point tracking charge controllers (Steca PR1010, Morningstar Sunsaver TrackStar MPPT, Outback FlexMax 60)
Solar panels and charge controllers: http://astore.amazon.com/m0711-20?node=6&page=5
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Outback FLEXmax 60 Specifications / FLEXmax 80 Specifications:

Steca PR specifications:

Morningstar Sunsaver TrackStar MPPT:

MPPT vs PWM Solar charger performance – Part 1 HD:

MPPT vs PWM Solar Charger – Part 2 Follow-up HD:


48 replies
  1. Слава Слава
    Слава Слава says:

    So they will make a truck… That's good. For some time now I've been figuring "If Tesla really wants to make money, they'll make a viable ( lovy.biz/44oi )1/2-ton LUV fleet-truck.". And they plan to make Class-8 semi-tractors & buses as well? Makes me look forward to the first luxury EV motor-home, built with fixed roof-top & retractable solar panels, all powering the EM-induction cook-top, water-heater & washer/clothes-dryer. Add a water collection system with reverse-osmosis treatment & UV-sterilizing, and you'll be set to survive anywhere, anytime!

  2. David James
    David James says:

    As a 12V battery approaches 14.4V, it takes LESS charge current. So the actual efficiency of a 100W solar system will be LESS when the battery is near (or at) full charge and there is no load on that bank.

  3. David James
    David James says:

    Errors in this video. Since when does a charge controller use 10.5V to charge a 10.5V battery? Last time I checked it takes a higher voltage to charge a battery such as 11V to charge a battery at 10.5V. So in your calculation at 10:00, it should be 11V * 5.55A = about 62 watts, not 58.275 watts like you have. Rookie mistake.

  4. Rene Jakobsen
    Rene Jakobsen says:

    There are no batteries that are 10,5v. That lead battery is dead. Always have your battery in about 12,25 Then it is about 50%. So u do that in the controller (do not go under 12,3v load). Your battery will loose much of its recharge cyclus…

  5. kazuza9
    kazuza9 says:

    great vid. I have 3 solar panels that only put out 36v dc. I dont have a 36v charge controller but i have 3 12v 24v charge controller. The question here is can i connet the 36v ouput from panels to 3 charge controllers in series to divide the input at the controllers . this way i can still get an output of 12v to the 3 batteries i got. Thx

  6. Dave George
    Dave George says:

    It's got to have a transformer or you lose power. Look for heatsinks and the extra weight. I go ripped off on ebay, vendor claimed MPPT, but it was just PWM in fact. I went inside and turned pots and now works on 45 amps instead of 30. I'm adding a dc to dc step-down for more amperage and adjust for overcast light. I ran a 12v buss for internet/wifi, fans,pumps and lights so I save power by bypassing power converters. My Mac PS runs off of a 60v step-up direct from battery to the 120v power converter. It works on 60-240 a/c and DC.

  7. JohnnJulie Van Bysteren
    JohnnJulie Van Bysteren says:

    Excellent detailed rundown on a solar system set up for off grid home!! I would be excited to know if you have compiled your hand written notes that go through the details from PV/wind to setting up the home electrical panel.

  8. Joseph Naigan
    Joseph Naigan says:

    Good morning is my Solar panel is 30 Watt and my controller is 5 amps and my battery is 12 volt is that ok.
    They can make on the electric fun , and 4 bulb of light 1 watts each bulb. They can. How many electricity will load to battery.? Please tell me what to do.?.

  9. Sparkymax L
    Sparkymax L says:

    I have 4 x100 watt solar panels in parallel ,
    and at the moment with a PWM charge controller.
    Not sure what the Amps is.
    I am running a 12 volt system with 2 x 6 volt batteries with the possible upgrade of 2 more 6 volt Batteries for a total of
    4×6 volt batteries.
    I am interested in purchasing an MPPT charge controller,
    but I don't know if I should get a 10 amp a 20 amp or a 30 amp MPPT charge controller?
    Can tell me which one would be best suited to my system?


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