Victron MPPT review; is the name really that good?
All the solar in the world connected to a rubbish quality regulator is a recipe for disaster. If you want quality gear, Victron is a great place to start. I can say this with complete honesty and integrity; I spent my hard earned on their Victron 100/30 MPPT regulator and Bluetooth dongle, and was using it for about 2 years in our soft floor camper trailer, before we sold it and bought a Reconn R2.
The Victron 100/30 was the heart of our Camper Trailer Electrical Upgrade.
I’ve been nothing but impressed with this unit. It works well, the app and Bluetooth dongle is truly awesome and it works extremely well connected to 400W of panels on the boat loader solar system.
Victron have been making solar regulators for a long time now, and not just the 12 and 24V gear; they make inverters for house panels and much bigger solar systems. They have a hugely respected reputation for quality gear, and have awesome customer service should you require it. The Victron Solar Controller would be one of the most highly recommended one online, and for good reason.
One of the reasons I went with a Victron MPPT regulator was that it will take up to 100 volts, which means that it is compatible with 12V panels wired in series, or house panels if you will. You cannot do this with many normal DCDC battery chargers, as they wont accept the higher voltage.
These are often rated as the best MPPT charge controllers in Australia, and for good reason.
Panels are in series
I spent a lot of time looking at how its best to wire your panels up. Do you feed the power in at double the volts, and then convert it back to 12V, or wire them in parallel? In the end, I went with the series setup, knowing I can change it fairly easily with a few swaps of the plugs.
This enables the panels to work better in cloudy conditions and they start charging earlier, but to be honest, I’m still not sure either way really matters much.
How much power will it produce
The unit itself is good for up to 30 amps, and they suggest 440W of 12V panels to be attached as the maximum.
The panels on the camper trailer are fixed, and when facing the sun at 65 degrees, and north, it will top out at about 280 – 300 watt hours, or around 20 – 21 amp hours. Perhaps if the panels weren’t fixed you’d get a little more, but it does what I want it to without having to lug big heavy panels around during the day.
The power comes in at about 36 volts, and is converted down to charge the batteries.
The unit is not IP rated
The only complaint I have about the unit is its not very durable in terms of the elements. My initial intention was to mount it outside the camper trailer, and I never even thought to look at whether it was dust and waterproof. Turns out its good for neither, which means you need to mount it in a clean, dry environment. The unit is IP43 and IP22, which is basically useless outside of a clean enclosure.
I solved this by mounting it inside an electrical enclosure, which was a bit of a pain due to space requirements and it ended up costing more, but my fault for not looking into it a bit closer.
Victron MPPT Solar Controller review
My Victron solar controller review scores very well. I would absolutely buy another one, and recommend them to anyone else (and we might end up with another one when we move to Lithium Batteries!).
We sold the camper trailer about a year ago, but it was flawless the whole time we had it, and I know that anything made by Victron is seriously good quality gear. If you want a solid MPPT controller, Victron is a fantastic option. If you want to read more 12V posts, check out our Electrical page.
Alternatively, keep looking online for more Victron reviews and I’m sure you’ll see pretty quickly they are one of the best brands out there.
Sorry to hear you’ve been messed around. Diagnosing electrical issues and providing recommendations isn’t so easy online, but I need to know what setup this is in. Is it a bus or something? How old is it?
What are the batteries that were put in? They should have a brand, and number of amp hours on them
That Projecta unit is a 240V charger, and if you aren’t ever plugged into that then its not going to help.
Can you speak to another auto electrician, who will actually heed your information and provide a suitable setup?
All the best
Hi Aaron , Carol here. Thanks so much for your info …all of it! I am currently having a pretty frustrating experience. I recently had my charging setup checked by auto elec. he told me my sealed AGMs weren’t holding charge and needed to be replaced , and that the DCDC was not working. He said he could replace the batteries there and then….$600. I discover later he swapped them out with car batteries, no tray and difficult to access. He also suggested I buy BATTERY CHARGER PROJECTA12V AUTOMATIC 35A 7 STAGE IC3500. I’m assuming it’s a dcdc charger replacement. He said no, I don’t need a DCDC charger, that this will do the job. I rarely plug in to 240. I’m now interstate travelling, and have seen the batteries drop to 11.8 in cool mornings. I’m used to seeing around 12.5-12.7 with previous set-up. I m still learning but made the mistake of trusting the work would be done as required. Having read your articles on dc chargers and solar controller , I think I need to get it all sorted by someone who is used to doing this kind of stuff. I wish I knew your guy! I want to get the batteries swapped back to sealed AGMs for now, upgrade the charger, get a DC charger put back in, and finally add a portable solar panel. currently running 140w, which has been enough in the past but extra would be awesome. Any thoughts on the guys remark that I don’t need a DC charger with that projecta unit he suggested i buy? it’s a 240 charger! But I didn’t know this!!
thanks Aaron. love the family photo by the way, what a great life for you your wife and kids!
Yep, it was taken out of context, but sometimes people interpret things differently than its written.
Great to hear of your extensive experience using Victron gear. I really like it too, and would happily get more of their gear (and probably will in the future!).
Clickbait? Taken out of context…
I agree/great review…. Victron… awesome gear. I have various installations set up at site from standalone solar remote telemetry, AC input UPS’s, UPS’s with solar backup, solar battery DC supply for wall mount marine sat phone docks.
Had no issues with anything with some items sitting in 50-degree plus heat/outdoor comms boxes for several years. Victron is well priced, have a huge uniformed range, more reporting/stats than could ever need, remote cloud access, apps that work, accessible via all interface types (when fitted) the central management controller (Cerbo/Venus) has Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB and DHCP that also just works, QR codes scan/set ups, great easy to access documentation and support….. But that that’s just my experience with the stuff….:)
I’m glad you found the article useful, and sorry that you interpreted the title as clickbait. It was certainly not meant that way. Victron have a huge reputation, and I wanted to see if their product reflected this, as per the title. In my experience it does.
All the best
Shame you have to relate to poor clickbait article titles for an otherwise decent article. It fits affect your company image you know? Made it sound like you had something to say about why Victron wasn’t as good as it sounded. Poor form.