The Classic is THE most advanced charge controller on the market. And it's the ONLY one on the market that can control wind turbines and hydro turbines using MPPT, and the ONLY one that includes DC arc fault protection!
The Classic does not have a standard "amperage" rating like other controllers thanks to its sophisticated internal protection circuitry. The actual maximum (63 to 96 amps) depends on both DC input voltage and battery bank voltage. THESE CHARTS
show what you will need for PV systems. Our wind system recommendations are below.
Our friends at Midnite Solar have a real classic here. We've never seen a charge controller that's more versatile. Until now, wind and hydro turbine owners could use only PWM diversion load controllers, which don't reap any of the significant benefits of MPPT (maximum power point tracking) that's commonly used with solar. Beta test results with wind turbines are showing power output improvements of 30 - 250%! It was a tricky technical problem to overcome, because MPPT control of turbines requires the controller to continuously load down the turbine alternator by exactly the right amount to give maximum output, but not let the turbine overspeed or stall. MPPT also allows your turbine to operate at higher voltages -- the wires from turbine to controller can be smaller diameter, because the Classic is working with the open circuit voltage (Voc) instead of lower battery bank voltage.
The Classic is the easiest on the market to install for solar PV; the wizard walks you through it all, and THIS VIDEO
walks you through it all.
To install the Classic for wind or hydro, you'll need to program it with the power curve of the turbine. The Classic comes pre-loaded with the output profiles of a variety of small commercial turbines, and you can also enter your own power curves or "tweak" the existing ones for better performance. THIS VIDEO
walks you through the wind programming process. Future firmware updates (free) will include a new "learning mode" where the controller will safely find the turbine's optimum power curve on its own. As always, Midnite's technical support is top notch if you have questions or problems setting up your Classic.
A few other things we've noticed about the Classic that puts it above and beyond any other controller:
~ The communications capabilities for data logging are excellent and easy to set up;
~ 32 meg of internal data logging lasts a long time;
~ Very easy to upgrade firmware, just plug the Classic into you home network via Cat5 cable;
~ Remote temperature sensor is included;
~ Digital faceplate meter is removable and connects via Cat5 cable, no need to buy another meter for remote mounting.
And more that we haven't even discovered yet....
There are 3 different versions of the Classic (150, 200 and 250 volt), depending on the MAXIMUM open-circuit voltage (Voc) you need for your PV array or turbine. There is also a version designed for 120 volt battery banks.
The open-circuit voltage (Voc) of a wind turbine, which is what the Classic works with, can be as much as 4 times higher than battery bank voltage. If this could approach the limit of the Classic, you will need to install a Clipper to protect the Classic. There are some very high-tech Clippers from Midnite coming out on the market in early 2012, but they will be expensive (Ithey are computer-controlled and "talk" to the Classic) and a more simple approach works fine. There are a couple of easy options available for this; one is home-brew and costs under $50 (instructions come on the Classic owner's manual DVD), the other pre-built option is only about $200. Or, you may be able to just use a higher-voltage Classic. However, we ALWAYS recommend a Clipper, and the home-made one is fine. We plan to offer a kit for this very soon.
Please contact us if you need more information on which Classic you need! If we don't know the answer, Midnite tech support will be able to help you.
For Otherpower wind turbines (or Hugh Piggott style turbine of similar size), these are our recommendations:
Classic 150 max turbine voltage to play it safe 145-150 of course all the Classics have Hyper VOC so there is that headroom before the smoke comes out
ALL Classics will work with the Otherpower 7 foot diameter turbine!
12 volts = 1200 to 1350 watts 10ft Maybe although it will current limit a bit
24 volts = 2300 to 2700 watts 10ft yes
48 volts = 4400 to 5000 watts 10ft yes (17ft Yes with 2 Classics and Clipper)
Classic 200 max turbine voltage to play it safe 190-195.
12 volts = 1000 to 1100 watts 10ft NO
24 volts = 2000 to 2200 watts 10ft yes
48 volts = 3800 to 4500 watts 10ft yes (17ft Yes with 2 Classics and Clipper)
72 volts = 4400 to 5400 watts 10ft yes (17ft Yes with 2 Classics and Clipper)
Classic 250 max turbine voltage to play it safe 230-235.
12 volts = 800 to 875 watts 10ft No
24 volts = 1700 to 1775 watts 10ft yes
48 volts = 3000 to 3200 watts 10ft yes
72 volts = 3400 to 3700 watts 10ft yes (17ft Yes with 2 Classics and Clipper)
63 - 96 amp rating
150, 200 and 250V operating voltages.
12-72V battery charging standard with models up to 120V battery bank
Built in DC-GFP and Arc Fault Detector
Solar, wind and hydro MPPT modes
Set up Wizard walks you through:
Battery hook up
PV array sizing and hook up
Wind turbine program selection
PV combiner selection
Sunrise and sunset program set up
Voltage drop calculations
Ethernet, USB and RS232
Remote and local displays possible
32 MB of data logging
Online firmware updates
DOWNLOAD BROCHURE HERE
DOWNLOAD OWNERS MANUAL HERE
COMPARE WITH OTHER CONTROLLERS HERE
VIEW INSTALLATION VIDEO HERE
VIEW WIND TURBINE PROGRAMMING VIDEO HERE