Kyocera solar panels 135 watt

TQA

Super Anarchist
1,208
35
Caribbean
I have 3 Kyocera solar panels and am very happy with them. They are at least 11 years old and still doing the business. I would like to add another 

 Kyocera 135 watt solar panel size is 650mm by 1440 mm

I understand that they may not be available anymore.

If not what is the best alternative. Ideally something close in dimensions. 

 

TQA

Super Anarchist
1,208
35
Caribbean
Looks like I might be better selling my existing set up of 3 x 135  w Kyocera panels in a frame with a Blue Sky 2000e MPPT controller and replacing them with 2 265 w panels from Innova and a 45 amp controller possibly a TriStar.

The key thing is the two 265 w panel footprint is only slightly longer and slightly wider than my existing set up. It will fit nicely onto my existing rear arch with pivot. 

Any 'gotchas ' I might have missed?

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,784
2,970
If you're going with a Morningstar Tristar MPPT, note that only the 60A version has the webserver built in for monitoring via ethernet. That's ethernet, not wifi. I've got the 60A unit and it's a great charge controller but their software and web monitoring is archaic. They've been promising updates for three years now with no apparent action. 

Also note that the Tristar will go into bulk every morning whether you want it to or not so it's good to have a panel cutoff switch in addition to a cutoff for the unit itself. That way you can kneecap it if you don't want it to charge but still want it powered up for monitoring.

 

TQA

Super Anarchist
1,208
35
Caribbean
If you're going with a Morningstar Tristar MPPT, note that only the 60A version has the webserver built in for monitoring via ethernet. That's ethernet, not wifi. I've got the 60A unit and it's a great charge controller but their software and web monitoring is archaic. They've been promising updates for three years now with no apparent action. 

Also note that the Tristar will go into bulk every morning whether you want it to or not so it's good to have a panel cutoff switch in addition to a cutoff for the unit itself. That way you can kneecap it if you don't want it to charge but still want it powered up for monitoring.
I am a full time liveaboard and run my fridge overnight so the morning bulk thing should not be a problem.

I would like a controller that has a screen that shows the amps going into the battery. It is not clear from their ads which model has this built in and which needs an additional remote device. I don't think I need the facilities the remote device has in terms of fine tuning the charging regime. I have a 675 ah flooded wet cell deep discharge capable battery bank. 

Can I get a TriStar 45 amp MPPT controller with a screen showing the charge in amps. ?   I don't need the fancy ethernet stuff. 

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,784
2,970
Yeah, you can either get a meter that replaces the sheetmetal front panel on the Tristar unit itself or, better IMHO, a remote version. Details and specs are here:

https://2n1s7w3qw84d2ysnx3ia2bct-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/TriStarMETER-RM2-datasheet2.pdf

If you plan to mount the controller in a visible location and you want something smaller and less pointy and sharp, you might be better off with their Prostar MPPT 40A model with a built-in display. It has most all the functions of the Tristar 45 but is much smaller, uses less power, offers some load shedding if your batteries run flat, and is about $100 cheaper due to the built in meter. 

 

TQA

Super Anarchist
1,208
35
Caribbean
The Prostar MPPT 40A looked like what I need but it gets very poor user reviews with the company seemingly abandoning development and failing to fix the bugs.

I think the Tristar 45a with the remote will be better. Gets good use reviews on reliability. 

In the Eastern Caribbean dealing with warranty is a nightmare with multiple visits to customs if you are sending stuff back for repair.  

 
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