Sargent 328 solar regulator

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Post by Molly3 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:02 pm

I am upgrading my solar panel from 30 to a 100 W ,would I be advised to fit a new
mppt controller and bin the Sargent ,
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:13 pm

I kept the one in mine when I fitted a 100W panel. It's been in use for more than 3 years and seems to work fine.
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Post by Molly3 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:34 pm

-mojo- wrote:I kept the one in mine when I fitted a 100W panel. It's been in use for more than 3 years and seems to work fine.
. Can you tell me the peak amps shown on control panel .
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Post by Paramedic on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:57 pm

Hi Molly3, your owner manual should inform you the maximum rating the PSU built in solar charge management feature to control the input from the SP. We were fortunate to have the factory fitted 80w over a 30w which was the specification on the 2013 Broadway sales literature at the time. The EC500 PSU on our van can take up to 120w SP which I believe is standard for said PSU. Regards.

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Post by -mojo- on Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:10 pm

As Paramedic says, the max rating is shown in the manual - though strangely I think some versions of the manual said 100W and others 120W!

The "peak amps" can be a bit misleading, because a controller may record and display transient peaks which don't mean much because they are very short-lived and don't contribute significantly in terms of charge retained in the batteries. But I see sustained charge rates of over 5 Amps on a regular basis. An MPPT based controller might get you a bit more, but at the time that I did the work there were few 2-channel MPPT-based solar controllers around and they were very expensive.

There was also the bonus that all I had to do was plug the panel into the base of the EC328 rather than mess about with more wiring, but that was not a major factor (honest!). The remote solar display works well, but they seem to have gone up in price a fair bit now.

[BTW, it would be worth checking your firmware version with Sargent - as I recall, older versions do not work too well with 100W panels and can shut down unexpectedly on occasions.]
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Post by Molly3 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:37 pm

Thanks for reply I am curious to know what readings I could expect on the Sargent contract panel
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:24 pm

Don't know - I never look, mainly because it's inaccurate and it also shows an aggregate of inputs and outputs, so if you're using power you won't get an accurate measure of what's coming out of the panel.

That's why I use a remote display connected directly to the solar controller inside the EC328 instead.
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Post by Molly3 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:41 pm

-mojo- wrote:Don't know - I never look, mainly because it's inaccurate and it also shows an aggregate of inputs and outputs, so if you're using power you won't get an accurate measure of what's coming out of the panel.

That's why I use a remote display connected directly to the solar controller inside the EC328 instead.
thanks sound's good .
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Post by Spospe on Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:58 pm

-mojo- wrote: But I see sustained charge rates of over 5 Amps on a regular basis.

From mojo's avatar, he has a raising roof model of van and I can readily believe that he can get over 5 amps during the summer months in the UK with the panel orientated towards the sun. Mounted flat on a Nuevo roof, the best you will see from a 100 watt panel in the UK, will be about 4.3 - 4.5 amps for the hour around noon in the summer. At the present time, you will be very lucky indeed to exceed 1 amp around noon and very little indeed for the two hours following sunrise and before sunset.
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Post by -mojo- on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 am

Yes, I think you're right about that. I can only recall getting somewhere around 4.5 Amps with the roof down (which is actually when I need it most to keep up with the fridge when parked up rather than when camping).

However, I'm fairly sure the 150W panel on the Trooper will make over 5 Amps in decent 3-seasons sunlight (again, not an MPPT controller) and that's always horizontal - though that would exceed the capacity of the controller in the EC328 (probably).
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Post by ChrisP28 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:11 am

If you have any doubts phone Sargent's technical people they are really helpful. 01482 678981.
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Post by Molly3 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:57 am

Thanks all for replies
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Post by Mike187 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:03 am

-mojo- wrote:
[BTW, it would be worth checking your firmware version with Sargent - as I recall, older versions do not work too well with 100W panels and can shut down unexpectedly on occasions.]
Hi mojo, do you know what the latest firmware version is as I have had it occasionally shut down after replaced the original 30watt with 120watt panel.

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Post by -mojo- on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:31 am

Mike - I don't know if it's the latest as I put my panel on over 3 years ago, but Sargent updated mine to V2.22.

It no longer shuts down, but it does occasionally bleep and light the backlight when the panel is in full sun - but continues to function Ok!
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Post by Mike187 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:55 pm

Thanks mojo I'll check when I go to the van next and if necessary contact Sargent, least their are only about 5 miles away from me.
Thanks again
Mike

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