Dilemma new inverter or two charge controllers

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

Moderators: OutBack Moderator Team, OutBack

Post Reply
rickdemers
Forum Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:31 pm
My RE system: outback fm 60

Dilemma new inverter or two charge controllers

Post by rickdemers »

Hi Guys
Here is my dilemma I have a very nice royal pure sine 3000 watt inverter, with a 9000 peak ,that works very well with my jet pump as it needs over 6500 watts on start up and has energy saving mode ,where the unit is not inverting power when there is no demand ,it just send out a pulse every 3 or 4 seconds , so no power lost overnight and one more thing is I just picked up another same unit for $300 as spare with only I year use on weekend , but this inverter is a 12 volt only .so stuck with 12 volt battery bank , and currently using a FM 60 with 3 solar panels , And now I what to install another 8 panels at 220 watts each , I am leaning towards purchasing Two outback FM 80 as this would be cheaper to take the amount of panels , or do you suggest I go to a new inverter and I would still need a other charge controller ,
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 3829
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Dilemma new inverter or two charge controllers

Post by raysun »

It is a dilemma.

A nice thing about additional charge controllers is they are very long-lived, and can be used with any battery in the future. Not necessarily so with the inverters. An Outback FM80 is about US$500, and will support a PV array of 1000W at 12V.

A 3kW Outback inverter will cost around US$1800. A rugged, capable unit to be sure, and 48V is more efficient. The 48V battery configuration will permit 2880W PV panel array on a single FM60.

Additional panels in both cases will have the
same cost/watt.

If offgrid, having controller redundancy is a good thing.

If the inverter is doing the job, additional PV array/controller capacity will be helpful. By the time the battery needs replacing, the inverter may be a candidate for consideration as well.
Post Reply