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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ: T80 Charge Controller

Q.

Can I mount the unit lying down or on its side?

A. No, for highest efficiency, it must be mounted vertically to allow for proper airflow through the heatsink.

 

Q.

How much mounting clearance is needed?

A. At least 2” should be allowed on the sides to allow for proper airflow through the heatsink and vents. There should also be adequate spacing allowance at the bottom, around the wiring box, to provide for a proper bend radius for input and output cables.

 

Q.

How loud is the fan?

A. The fan at full speed runs at 35 dB/A. The output noise is further reduced by a variable speed control algorithm which only runs at high speed under the highest current and temperature conditions. In most cases, the fan is not noticeable.
 

Do the relays click?

A. The T80’s proprietary MPPT algorithm requires clicking the relays only once an hour during normal operation, when the unit drops below or above 5A out.

Q.

What justifies a cost higher than the controller just about everybody is now using? Do I really need 80 Amps?

A. In high power applications, the T80 provides 1/3 more power than our competitors. This saves using multiple units, thereby offering a lower cost per watt. Just what are the main advantages over the other controllers out there? Higher output current; Runs cooler; Built in Emeter function; 90 day energy harvest to name a few.
 

Q.

Does the T80 come with a shunt?

A. The T80 does not come with a shunt, but includes a printed circuit board (called the Apollo Shunt board) which mounts to a standard 500A-50mv shunt.
 

Q.

What is the effect of high temperatures on the unit? Can I run my T80 in “desert like” conditions?

A. The maximum recommended operating temperature is 40¼C (104¼F). The T80 monitors its internal temperature, and will fold back its output current if it is too high. The internal fan runs at 52 CFM (full speed), and moves air very efficiently across the internal components. There is also a provision to add an external fan controlled by an auxiliary relay. The T80 is currently being “proven” in desert like conditions.

 

Q.

Does it hurt the efficiency have a higher input voltage?

A. While it is possible to input 72 Vdc and output 12 Vdc, it is not the most efficient configuration for the controller. A system which had 36 Vdc input and 12 Vdc output would run more efficiently from the T80’s perspective. The most efficient configuration for the T80 is with 60 Vdc input and 48 Vdc output. Never-the-less, in many cases the savings in wire costs and the slight advantage of earlier wake up and shut down make the “inefficient” higher voltage to low voltage conversion the best system choice. Many systems input 72 Vdc for 24 and 48 Vdc batteries.
 

Q.

What input power should I use for a 12, 24, 48V battery system?

A. The recommended array Vmp for a 12V battery system is 16 – 62 Vdc; for a 24V battery system, 32 – 102 Vdc. For a 48V battery system, 60 – 112 Vdc is recommended.
 

Q.

Why don’t I have an option to Equalize?

A. In order to enable the Equalization option, the T80 temperature sensor must be connected.
 

Q.

Why does the Charge Controller not disply SOC data?

A. Both battery voltage and current are required to calculate SOC. If either the shunt, or the battery sense cable is not connected, the T80 will not display SOC data.
 

Q.

What is the maximum input voltage? Max VOC?

A. The maximum operating voltage of the T80 is 140 Vdc. Above this, the unit will shut down to avoid damage. The absolute maximum applied input voltage the controller can accept without damage which is 150 Vdc. Each PV module has specific ratings for voltage and current at standard test conditions and temperatures, the manufacturers also publish current and temperature coefficients. The Voc for any PV module increases in cold temperatures. Modules are rated with an assumed cell temperature of 25o C, when calculated at 0o C there may be as much as a 25% increase in the rated Voc. The Voc voltage temperature coefficient for the specific location of the installation must be calculated from known weather data. Once the maximum Voc of the module is found a series string voltage may be determined.
 

Q.

What makes your Charge Controller so efficient?

A. The Apollo Solar TurboCharger is the most efficient PV battery charge controller available today due to 3 specific areas in the core design:

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

All the power circuit components are designed for very low resistance. The amount of power lost in any conductor is proportional to the resistance times the current squared. Since the output current can exceed 75 Amps, we have used special design techniques to keep all the resistances as close to zero as possible.
 

Q.

Can I chain together more than one T80?

A. Yes, with a Network Option Card, which allows multiple units to act as one.
 

 

Q.

Can I mount the unit lying down or on its side?

A. No, for highest efficiency, it must be mounted vertically to allow for proper airflow through the heatsink.

 

Q.

How much mounting clearance is needed?

A. At least 2” should be allowed on the sides to allow for proper airflow through the heatsink and vents. There should also be adequate spacing allowance at the bottom, around the wiring box, to provide for a proper bend radius for input and output cables.

 

Q.

How loud is the fan?

A. The fan at full speed runs at 35 dB/A. The output noise is further reduced by a variable speed control algorithm which only runs at high speed under the highest current and temperature conditions. In most cases, the fan is not noticeable.
 

Do the relays click?

A. The T80’s proprietary MPPT algorithm requires clicking the relays only once an hour during normal operation, when the unit drops below or above 5A out.

Q.

What justifies a cost higher than the controller just about everybody is now using? Do I really need 80 Amps?

A. In high power applications, the T80 provides 1/3 more power than our competitors. This saves using multiple units, thereby offering a lower cost per watt. Just what are the main advantages over the other controllers out there? Higher output current; Runs cooler; Built in Emeter function; 90 day energy harvest to name a few.
 

Q.

Does the T80 come with a shunt?

A. The T80 does not come with a shunt, but includes a printed circuit board (called the Apollo Shunt board) which mounts to a standard 500A-50mv shunt.
 

Q.

What is the effect of high temperatures on the unit? Can I run my T80 in “desert like” conditions?

A. The maximum recommended operating temperature is 40¼C (104¼F). The T80 monitors its internal temperature, and will fold back its output current if it is too high. The internal fan runs at 52 CFM (full speed), and moves air very efficiently across the internal components. There is also a provision to add an external fan controlled by an auxiliary relay. The T80 is currently being “proven” in desert like conditions.

 

Q.

Does it hurt the efficiency have a higher input voltage?

A. While it is possible to input 72 Vdc and output 12 Vdc, it is not the most efficient configuration for the controller. A system which had 36 Vdc input and 12 Vdc output would run more efficiently from the T80’s perspective. The most efficient configuration for the T80 is with 60 Vdc input and 48 Vdc output. Never-the-less, in many cases the savings in wire costs and the slight advantage of earlier wake up and shut down make the “inefficient” higher voltage to low voltage conversion the best system choice. Many systems input 72 Vdc for 24 and 48 Vdc batteries.
 

Q.

What input power should I use for a 12, 24, 48V battery system?

A. The recommended array Vmp for a 12V battery system is 16 – 62 Vdc; for a 24V battery system, 32 – 102 Vdc. For a 48V battery system, 60 – 112 Vdc is recommended.
 

Q.

Why don’t I have an option to Equalize?

A. In order to enable the Equalization option, the T80 temperature sensor must be connected.
 

Q.

Why does the Charge Controller not disply SOC data?

A. Both battery voltage and current are required to calculate SOC. If either the shunt, or the battery sense cable is not connected, the T80 will not display SOC data.
 

Q.

What is the maximum input voltage? Max VOC?

A. The maximum operating voltage of the T80 is 140 Vdc. Above this, the unit will shut down to avoid damage. The absolute maximum applied input voltage the controller can accept without damage which is 150 Vdc. Each PV module has specific ratings for voltage and current at standard test conditions and temperatures, the manufacturers also publish current and temperature coefficients. The Voc for any PV module increases in cold temperatures. Modules are rated with an assumed cell temperature of 25o C, when calculated at 0o C there may be as much as a 25% increase in the rated Voc. The Voc voltage temperature coefficient for the specific location of the installation must be calculated from known weather data. Once the maximum Voc of the module is found a series string voltage may be determined.
 

Q.

What makes your Charge Controller so efficient?

A. The Apollo Solar TurboCharger is the most efficient PV battery charge controller available today due to 3 specific areas in the core design:

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

All the power circuit components are designed for very low resistance. The amount of power lost in any conductor is proportional to the resistance times the current squared. Since the output current can exceed 75 Amps, we have used special design techniques to keep all the resistances as close to zero as possible.
 

Q.

Can I chain together more than one T80?

A. Yes, with a Network Option Card, which allows multiple units to act as one.
 

 

  
FAQ: T80HV Charge Controller

Q.

Does the T80HV have ground fault protection?

A. No, Ground fault protection is not built in, but Apollo Solar offers GFP circuit breakers for both the T80 and T80HV.

 

Q.

How does the T80HV increase battery life?

A. The T80 & T80HV incorporate precision charging.  Through 4-wire measurement of battery terminal voltage; high resolution analog to digital conversion of critical inputs; and battery temperature compensation, the batteries are charged more efficiently.  This equates to longer battery life.

 


Q.

Does the T80 automatically sense the battery size and type, and configure appropriately?

A. The T80 & T80HV automatically sense the battery voltage, and prompts the installer to enter the battery type and capacity through an easy-to-use user interface.

 


Q.

Can I reduce the number of panels needed by using the T80 HV Charge Controller?

A. The T80 & T80HV MPPT algorithm harvests up to 35% more energy than comparable units.  This gets you more energy with less panels.

 

 

Q.

What is the maximum input voltage? Max VOC?

A. The maximum operating voltage of the T80 is 140 Vdc. Above this, the unit will shut down to avoid damage. The absolute maximum applied input voltage the controller can accept without damage which is 150 Vdc. Each PV module has specific ratings for voltage and current at standard test conditions and temperatures, the manufacturers also publish current and temperature coefficients. The Voc for any PV module increases in cold temperatures. Modules are rated with an assumed cell temperature of 25o C, when calculated at 0o C there may be as much as a 25% increase in the rated Voc. The Voc voltage temperature coefficient for the specific location of the installation must be calculated from known weather data. Once the maximum Voc of the module is found a series string voltage may be determined

 

Q.

What makes the Apollo Solar Charge Controller so efficient?

A. The Apollo Solar TurboCharger is the most efficient PV battery charge controller available today due to 3 specific areas in the core design:

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

All the power circuit components are designed for very low resistance. The amount of power lost in any conductor is proportional to the resistance times the current squared. Since the output current can exceed 75 Amps, we have used special design techniques to keep all the resistances as close to zero as possible.

 


 

Q.

Does the T80HV have ground fault protection?

A. No, Ground fault protection is not built in, but Apollo Solar offers GFP circuit breakers for both the T80 and T80HV.

 

Q.

How does the T80HV increase battery life?

A. The T80 & T80HV incorporate precision charging.  Through 4-wire measurement of battery terminal voltage; high resolution analog to digital conversion of critical inputs; and battery temperature compensation, the batteries are charged more efficiently.  This equates to longer battery life.

 


Q.

Does the T80 automatically sense the battery size and type, and configure appropriately?

A. The T80 & T80HV automatically sense the battery voltage, and prompts the installer to enter the battery type and capacity through an easy-to-use user interface.

 


Q.

Can I reduce the number of panels needed by using the T80 HV Charge Controller?

A. The T80 & T80HV MPPT algorithm harvests up to 35% more energy than comparable units.  This gets you more energy with less panels.

 

 

Q.

What is the maximum input voltage? Max VOC?

A. The maximum operating voltage of the T80 is 140 Vdc. Above this, the unit will shut down to avoid damage. The absolute maximum applied input voltage the controller can accept without damage which is 150 Vdc. Each PV module has specific ratings for voltage and current at standard test conditions and temperatures, the manufacturers also publish current and temperature coefficients. The Voc for any PV module increases in cold temperatures. Modules are rated with an assumed cell temperature of 25o C, when calculated at 0o C there may be as much as a 25% increase in the rated Voc. The Voc voltage temperature coefficient for the specific location of the installation must be calculated from known weather data. Once the maximum Voc of the module is found a series string voltage may be determined

 

Q.

What makes the Apollo Solar Charge Controller so efficient?

A. The Apollo Solar TurboCharger is the most efficient PV battery charge controller available today due to 3 specific areas in the core design:

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

The use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) makes the entire PV system up to 30% more efficient because it uses all of the output from the PV panels regardless of sunlight, latitude or temperature conditions. Our patent-pending MPPT system provides the quickest tracking to follow rapid changes in these conditions.

All the power circuit components are designed for very low resistance. The amount of power lost in any conductor is proportional to the resistance times the current squared. Since the output current can exceed 75 Amps, we have used special design techniques to keep all the resistances as close to zero as possible.

 


 

  
FAQ: Shunt

Q.

What are the benefits of using the Apollo Solar shunt?

A. The Apollo Shunt is essential for the system to operate at optimal levels. It serves as a hub for connecting critical measurement sensors: battery voltage sense, current sense, and battery temperature sensor. This is key to the built-in Energy Monitor function, which tracks energy harvest data and the battery state of charge.

 

 

Q.

Why is the shunt listed on the price list?

A. The shunt is offered as an optional product since many applications are a “retrofit” and will already have a shunt.

 

Q.

Can I mount the shunt on the shunt board I already have in the system?

A. Yes, as long as it is a 500A – 50mV shunt whoe measurement terminals are 1” apart.

 

 

Q.

Why would I need the Apollo Solar Shunt?

A. The Apollo Solar Shunt is designed to provide the proper voltage and current input to the T80 in order to facilitate the TrimetricTM function. It also provides a convenient means or connecting the T80 battery temperature sensor which is required for equalization.

 


Q.

What are the benefits of using the Apollo Solar shunt?

A. The Apollo Shunt is essential for the system to operate at optimal levels. It serves as a hub for connecting critical measurement sensors: battery voltage sense, current sense, and battery temperature sensor. This is key to the built-in Energy Monitor function, which tracks energy harvest data and the battery state of charge.

 

 

Q.

Why is the shunt listed on the price list?

A. The shunt is offered as an optional product since many applications are a “retrofit” and will already have a shunt.

 

Q.

Can I mount the shunt on the shunt board I already have in the system?

A. Yes, as long as it is a 500A – 50mV shunt whoe measurement terminals are 1” apart.

 

 

Q.

Why would I need the Apollo Solar Shunt?

A. The Apollo Solar Shunt is designed to provide the proper voltage and current input to the T80 in order to facilitate the TrimetricTM function. It also provides a convenient means or connecting the T80 battery temperature sensor which is required for equalization.

 


  
FAQ: Cellular Modem

Q.

What do I need to use the Cellular Modem to monitor my Apollo Solar system?

A.
1 - An ASNET card installed in each T80 Charge Controller

2 - One Apollo Communications Gateway,  connected to one charge controller or inverter

3 - Ethernet Cables to connect any TSW inverters and T80 Chage Controllers to each other daisy-chain style

4 - One Apollo Cellular Modem, connected to the Gateway using an Ethernet cable, and a power connection

5 - A SIM card for the network that you will be communicating with.  In order to configure the cellular modem, you will want to find out the APN (Access Point Name) for the network

 

 

 

Q.

What do I need to use the Cellular Modem to monitor my Apollo Solar system?

A.
1 - An ASNET card installed in each T80 Charge Controller

2 - One Apollo Communications Gateway,  connected to one charge controller or inverter

3 - Ethernet Cables to connect any TSW inverters and T80 Chage Controllers to each other daisy-chain style

4 - One Apollo Cellular Modem, connected to the Gateway using an Ethernet cable, and a power connection

5 - A SIM card for the network that you will be communicating with.  In order to configure the cellular modem, you will want to find out the APN (Access Point Name) for the network

 

 

 

  
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