What's the Best Controller for My Solar Panels?


I watched your video on YouTube. I have just installed two 160W 12V solar panels, should I buy 2 PCM controllers or just one? Do you have a recommendation? House batteries are six 79AHr, AGM and I have an inverter with a smart charger. - Gary


Thanks for contacting PYS about solar panels aboard your Vagabond 47’ sailboat.  Unless you expect no shading on any of your panels, I suggest installing a dedicated MPPT controller for each 160 watt solar panel. It’s unlikely your solar panels will experience no shading, considering all the rigging aloft, but without the chance of shade you can install your panels in series and wire to one larger MPPT controller that can handle the combiner wattage and amperage of two panels in series.

Follow-up Q. Thanks Jeff for answering my query.  Having redundant controllers for the solar panels make sense.  I looked up the cost of two MPPT controllers the prices vary all over the place. Can you make a recommendation for a good unit that’s reasonably priced?

A. I’d recommend the Victron 75/15 MPPT controller.  We’ve had lots of success with it.

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