Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100/20? Good, Bad, or Comparison to a Midnite KIDD?

sidpost

Solar Enthusiast
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Mar 27, 2021
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82
Location
Texas, USA
Victron Energy BlueSolar MPPT100/20

I have experience with the Midnite Kidd charge controller for reference. I don't need the $300+ cost and the more advanced feature set so while looking for an MPPT charge controller I came across the Victron 100/20 which looks like a good relatively simple MPPT charge controller for ~$160.

I need this to work with both 12V and 24V systems and support 24hr a day loads from 18W to 36W. At 36W, I would expect to need two batteries for 24V and ~200Ah (nomial 100Ah batteries) for Wintertime use. Panels are TBD but, I'm looking at 400W~600W probably in parallel to stay within the 100V threshold which should keep me in the 7A~11A range from the panels I'm considering.

I could save a little money getting a lower-rated MPPT but, the 75/15 would only save me $40 and give up 48V capability (which is a distinct possibility in the future) and would allow me to panel up even more if I felt I needed to for long overcast periods during Winter.

Am I on the right track considering the Victron 100/20 MPPT controller? How is the quality, durability and, customer experience with this controller?

TIA, Sid
 

rmaddy

Full-time Solar-powered Trailer Life
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Nov 16, 2019
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You can't go wrong with Victron. But I would suggest buying from a good dealer rather than Amazon. The dealer will give help if needed. I used http://baymarinesupply.com with no regrets.

As for deciding if the 100/20 is best, check out Victron's MPPT calculator. You can enter the specs and layout for your panels and it will tell you which size controller to use.

 

jwu_cc

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
70
I have ~10 Victron SCCs from 75/10 to 250/60, and I've not had any issue with them, so they are very reliable and well built. Also I love the data collecting capability that Victron ecosystem provides, which is accessible anywhere in the world via VRM portal if you have it set up.

One thing to consider is to spend a little more to get the SmartSolar version instead of BlueSolar even if you don't want to use the Bluetooth feature now. The reason is that with Victron SCCs (and some other products), you can set up a VE Smart Network that allows multiple devices to talk to each other and share their data via Bluetooth. For charge controllers, you can have multiple of them connecting to the same battery bank, and they can do synchronized charging via VE Smart Network. That would allows you to add more charge controllers as you add more panels very easily. So it's possible to just get a 75/15 now for 400Wp of solar panels, and add a 100/30 in the future if you want to add another 800Wp panels to the system.

You are right in that the lower power SCCs won't be able to do 48V, but going from 24V to 48V also requires a different set of equipments like inverter, DC-DC converter. You may even need to swap out power distribution components like battery switches, fuses, busbars, as they may not be rated for a 48V nominal system. So that's not a light decision to make unless you plan your system with 48V to start with.
 

sidpost

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
82
Location
Texas, USA
You can't go wrong with Victron. But I would suggest buying from a good dealer rather than Amazon. The dealer will give help if needed. I used http://baymarinesupply.com with no regrets.

As for deciding if the 100/20 is best, check out Victron's MPPT calculator. You can enter the specs and layout for your panels and it will tell you which size controller to use.

https://www.solar-electric.com/
My friend has used this place with satisfaction.
 

sidpost

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
82
Location
Texas, USA
I have ~10 Victron SCCs from 75/10 to 250/60, and I've not had any issue with them, so they are very reliable and well built. Also I love the data collecting capability that Victron ecosystem provides, which is accessible anywhere in the world via VRM portal if you have it set up.

One thing to consider is to spend a little more to get the SmartSolar version instead of BlueSolar even if you don't want to use the Bluetooth feature now. The reason is that with Victron SCCs (and some other products), you can set up a VE Smart Network that allows multiple devices to talk to each other and share their data via Bluetooth. For charge controllers, you can have multiple of them connecting to the same battery bank, and they can do synchronized charging via VE Smart Network. That would allows you to add more charge controllers as you add more panels very easily. So it's possible to just get a 75/15 now for 400Wp of solar panels, and add a 100/30 in the future if you want to add another 800Wp panels to the system.

You are right in that the lower power SCCs won't be able to do 48V, but going from 24V to 48V also requires a different set of equipments like inverter, DC-DC converter. You may even need to swap out power distribution components like battery switches, fuses, busbars, as they may not be rated for a 48V nominal system. So that's not a light decision to make unless you plan your system with 48V to start with.
Great advice!

I'm am standardizing on 48V components for commonality. 48V switches, fuses, etc. may be overkill but, I also don't have to worry about mixing components with another system or borrowing from the 48V system. I'm debating taking my only 12V system to 24V and going forward, I don't see 12V systems in my future.
 
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