Phocos Solar Controller

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WarrenD
Inshore Skipper
Posts: 176
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 21:27
Location: Blairgowrie, Vic

Phocos Solar Controller

Post by WarrenD » Sep 27th, '17, 23:33

A few years back I purchased the Phocos solar 10amp controller (CIS 10-1.1 CN) from Whitworths. I haven't yet replaced the old one.
I run either a 20amp panel (for on mooring) or a 80amp flexible panel (for cruising).
I have been reading lots on MPPT type controllers. I am debating whether I should I forget the Phocos controller and purchase a MPPT.
Can anyone assist?
Many thanks
Warren D
Noelex 25 Radiance NX1020

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zebedee
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Joined: May 9th, '07, 02:05
Location: Bayside Melbourne

Re: Phocos Solar Controller

Post by zebedee » Sep 28th, '17, 00:19

WarrenD wrote:A few years back I purchased the Phocos solar 10amp controller (CIS 10-1.1 CN) from Whitworths. I haven't yet replaced the old one.
Your existing controller is a fairly sophisticated example of an obsolete technology with more than simple voltage regulation built in. Specs at the link; some details below:
Features
For applications in demanding and harsh marine environments
The CIS features no moving parts switches or buttons
Robust aluminium housing
Epoxy encapsulated PCB to prevent corrosion (IP68)
Intelligent timer functions
Wide range of programmable functions
4-stage battery charging (main, float, boost, equalization)
Dual load or dimmable load output
Automatic system voltage recognition (12/24 V)
Compact size

WarrenD wrote:I run either a 20amp panel (for on mooring) or a 80amp flexible panel (for cruising).

Presumably you mean 20Watts on the mooring and 80Watts when cruising?
With a conventional regulator such as you currently have, you'll get about 1 Amp from the smaller panel and 4 Amps from the larger one - but only until the battery is charged.

Most places in Australia will average the equivalent of about 5 to 6 hours a day of full sunshine to a horizontal surface over summer, down to about 1.5 hours a day in winter. So in six days on the mooring in summer your battery should recover about 30-36Ah from a 20W panel in summer.
WarrenD wrote:I have been reading lots on MPPT type controllers. I am debating whether I should I forget the Phocos controller and purchase a MPPT.
Can anyone assist?
Many thanks
With an MPPT regulator you can expect to get about 20-30% more from a panel. So you'd add about an extra 6-10Ah per week on the mooring with the 20Watt panel, which hardly seems worth the trouble; how big is your battery?. Also your existing regulator does things like float charge, which a cheaper MPPT regulator won't. You'd be better off spending the money on a bigger panel.

The 80W panel which is only used when sailing is a bit different. Because it is regularly removed, there's not much to be gained from a really sophisticated MPPT regulator. But the extra power would be welcome; you'd go from about 20Ah per day to about 26Ah per day in summer, which might be enough to keep up with your fridge.

Presumably at the moment you remove one panel and plug the other into the same inlet point on the boat, which in turn connects through the regulator to the battery? Consider leaving the 20W panel on the existing regulator and getting a basic MPPT regulator for the 80W panel. A regulator rated for 10Amps would make sense unless you see yourself ever replacing the 80W panel with something bigger than 140W, in which case 15 or 20Amps would be adequate.
A man's boat is his Castle. The Gippsland Lakes are my moat. Castle 650 #10, Roller Coaster.

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