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Replacing the SunSaver 6 Solar controller


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#1 Resqman911

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 04:54 PM

I have a 2013 Hawk with the factory solar panel and sunsaver controller and would like to upgrade the controller that gives me a little more info on my battery use and status. Can anyone recommend a plug and play option?
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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 05:26 PM

To clarify, you are talking about the controller, not the monitor?

 

The SunSaver is likley a PWM unit, correct?  What solar panel?  Factory was likely a 12 volt, 100-160W panel.  Just going to MPPT controller will not necessarily give you more power delivery.  That is a major factor when you upgrade to 200W+ panels.

 

To get more info, you want less of the RV quality gear and get gear more aimed at the marine market, like the Victron stuff I use.

 

Now, all that said, if you do not yet have a shunt based controller (Victron Smart Shunt comes to mind) then get that before you upgrade your controller.  It may give you all the info you need.

 

As for ease of plug and play, it depends on your skills or desire to learn those skills. 

 

Please ask more questions.


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#3 Resqman911

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 08:45 PM

Yes the Sunsaver is a PWM unit and I have a 100w panel. My concern is not needing more solar as my panel and batteries handle my usage fine right now, I would just like to be able to monitor what my panel is generating and what I’m using on the battery side and was hoping there was a pretty easy replacement for the sunsaver that could meet these needs.
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#4 Vic Harder

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 12:42 AM

Yes the Sunsaver is a PWM unit and I have a 100w panel. My concern is not needing more solar as my panel and batteries handle my usage fine right now, I would just like to be able to monitor what my panel is generating and what I’m using on the battery side and was hoping there was a pretty easy replacement for the sunsaver that could meet these needs.

Better off getting the SOC meter then.  It will tell you what's going on with your battery, which is far more important than what the solar panel is doing.  Why?  The solar panel could be operating ideally, but if you are drawing more power than what it is putting out, how would you know?  Voltage?  That's not an accurate measure of AH capacity.  We can walk you through the installation process.


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#5 ckent323

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 05:41 PM

I second Vic's recommendation.  A shunt based battery monitor is essential.


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#6 Resqman911

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 05:52 PM

OK awesome!!! Thank you for the advice. Can you recommend an SOC meter? Thanks again for the help
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#7 Vic Harder

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 07:23 PM

Victron Smart Shunt. I buy my electronics from PKYS.com. No affiliation, but consistently good service and prices.
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#8 Jack

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 03:10 AM

+ to PKYS.com. The Victron warranty requires purchase from an authorized dealer, so eBay is dicey. I've also bought from Amazon (2 day prime delivery) but I made sure the seller was authorized. On the other hand, the Victron stuff is very reliable, so used Victron from eBay is still worth considering.


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#9 ckent323

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 08:10 PM

I also recommend PKYS and Victron.


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