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RF Noise - Best charge Controllers?

Radio/Satellite/Phone/E-mail

RF Noise - Best charge Controllers?

by Raymond Tougas » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm

Ordinarily, I'd put this in the power forum, but it really concerns my SSB radio performance more than charging. Ther are many chargers...

I can't help but notice that many charge controllers put out radio interference on HF SSB. I'm builiding my electrical from scratch, capacity about 300 Amp hour at the present (smal boat/low tech).

>>> What charge controllers do you have experience with that are efficient for solar and do NOT put out RF noise?

Thanks -

Ray
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RF Noise from Chrage Controllers

by ka4wja » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:59 pm

Ray,
I have 2 Blue Sky MPPT controllers, model 2512ix.....and they DO put out some RF noise, BUT not nearly enough to cause any problems to my HF set-up......
I've found the slight RF noise to be "hardly noticable" most of the time, on most of the bands.....and certainly below the natural noise (static, etc.) on the lower bands at night (3.5 - 8mhz)

I also have a "Sun Selector PWM-15" attached to my SALT TM-500 battery monitor system, which regulates the Hehr Powerline 120-amp alt. and while it is a PWM (pulse width modulation) type regulator, it doesn't seem to make any RF noise.....at least none that I've noticed in the past 2 years of use, since I installed it.....

So, if you're after a MPPT Controller (probably, Yes), my experience with the Blue Sky 2512ix is good....
If you're looking for just a multi-stage controller, then I'd say the Sun Selector PWM-15, is a good choice....



Now, that I've answered your specific question, allow me to elaborate a bit....

ALL "MPPT" or "switch-mode" or "high-frequency" or "programmable, voltage-adjusting" regulators/charge controllers WILL produce some RF noise......
It's the nature of how they work....
How much, and to what extent it will affect your HF radio operation, depends on many factors.....
Not the least of which is how well everything is installed.....
Also how well that specific charge controller was designed and how well it was made......(which, I assume is why you asked the qusetion that you did...)

An old-fashioned simple voltage regulator.....one that simply engages and disengages a relay when a certain voltage point is reached.....will probably produce no RF noise, but it hardly seems worth it to sacrifice the extra battery charging capability available from multi-stage regulation nor, especially the extra power available from MPPT controllers, just to avoid some RF Noise......
Now, please understand I'm a long-time HF operator (both Ham and Marine) and take my radio very seriously.....and for me to make the statements I wrote here, is a big deal.....

I, too, had concerns about RF noise produced by Blue Sky MPPT controllers and was told by one of the tech guys at Blue Sky (BEFORE I bought them) that it should be minimal (which it is) and if I needed to receive something critical, all I need to do is switch off the controllers (in my case by simply throwing a breaker "off") and all will be fine.....



And, that's what I know from my experience, with 520 watts of solar panels on board.....
Others may have other experineces to share.....

I hope I helped a little.

Good luck.
John
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

(currently lying, Sewall's Point, FL)

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Thanks-

by Raymond Tougas » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:41 pm

John,

Thanks very much for your first hand information. That's precisely what I posted for.

I do understand that 'long term HF operator' mode of life. I'm known as 'RadioRay' to most who know me, because of this particual mania. As you know, there is NO 12 Step Program for 'radio-maniacs'. ha ha

I'll do some websearching to flesh-out the information you provided and determine what fits my system needs.

Thanks for your assistance and Fair Winds,

de RadioRay (W7ASA) ..._ ._
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RF noise from charge controllers

by ka4wja » Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:14 pm

Radio Ray....
I did take another look at things.....and to my astonishment, I found an error......

So here's my correction:
On the 22mhz marine band, I found some RF "birdies", rather than RF noise, coming from my Blue Sky 2512ix MPPT Controllers......
It is not too bad, but certainly would cover up a weak signal, if I were trying to copy one.....

And, that's the worst I can find coming from them....


Good luck!
73,
John
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

(currently lying, Sewall's Point, FL)

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Minor correction, slightly off topic

by Michael Homsany » Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:05 pm

An old-fashioned simple voltage regulator.....one that simply engages and disengages a relay when a certain voltage point is reached.....


Almost all regulators have to 'waste' part of their input energy, how much is wasted when is a function of a voltage/current algorithm, some of which are more efficient than others. (The algorithm is also part of the charging problem: trying to solve for a complex ('chaotic') equation, which is what accounts for such differing results that end-users have with identical systems, esp. in the case of valve-regulated or semi-valve regulated batteries).

I made up several 'goes' at a shunt-type, micro-processor controlled charge controller a number of years back, with the 'surplus' energy going into a water-cooled TEM module on the chilly box. The 'waste' electrical energy was thus stored as 'cold' energy (and the chilled beer enhanced the mental work on a hot day!).

It's somewhat ironic that many of the 'brainless' charge controllers allow for a shunt to do this with, but few of the well thought out ones do!

Regards,
Michael
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