Morningstar solar charge controllers are different from other brands, as you can see in this five-minute video. The high-frequency design allows Morningstar solar charge controllers to react more quickly to rapidly changing conditions. This provides higher efficiency over a wide variety of Power Ranges. Moreover, Morningstar’s TRAKStar technology deployed in its MPPT controllers provides industry-leading sweeping speed of the entire IV curve and leads to a higher energy harvest compared to our competitors.
Regarding our high-temperature architecture, Morningstar uses a higher grade of copper pour in our printed circuit boards, higher temperature rated terminals, and 105-degree C-rated capacitors for Reliable off-grid operation in extreme temperatures. This all adds up to the very long life and high reliability of the electronic components.
Morningstar controller cases are metal or very durable Lexan polycarbonate which is much more durable and protective than thermoplastics that are used in other controller brands.
If you are using lithium batteries, sometimes temperatures delve into the ranges that are outside the charging window for the battery. For Morningstar’s newer controllers, the battery charging algorithm can be set to account for low temperatures and reduce charging current during those periods in order to maintain long battery life.
Many controller brands have a 2-year warranty, but Morningstar’s Professional Series controllers have a 5-year warranty.
And all Morningstar controllers are passively cooled without fans which create noise and are known to draw in dust and debris across the circuit board. Furthermore, fans can fail, thus causing the controller to retain heat which diminishes the product’s quality, performance, and longevity.
Below is a snapshot of some of the components within the case of a Morningstar ProStar MPPT solar charge controller to give you a better idea of what sets it apart.
Figure 4: ProStar MPPT controller components
This Morningstar controller’s meter provides a clear crisp backlight for high visibility even in direct sunlight.
The specific choice of Coilcraft inductors is made for compact design, high-speed operation, and surface mount Manufacturing to maximize design longevity.
A three-phase design in our MPPT buck converter allows us to cancel Much of the DC Ripple which is both hard on Power Electronics as well as the battery.
Fast-acting transient voltage suppressors provide a 4500W surge protection to prevent the number one cause of failure: induced surge damage from nearby lightning. These devices do not degrade and are designed to last as long as the life of the product.
The Wire terminals are a high torque and corrosion resistant, and large to help facilitate easy and reliable wire connections.
The direct field-effect transistors (FET’s) package for much of Morningstar’s switching technology is used because of the benefits of cooling, compact design, and reliable surface mount technology. By applying the FET’s on the backside of our board in direct contact with the heatsink thermal pad, they stay extremely cool.
The extruded heat sink design contains more pure aluminum than cast designs and ensures very high conductivity.
The data port on this controller supports MODBUS protocol and data logging of battery voltages, absorption charging times, and power inputs and outputs from the controller.
Morningstar utilizes ARM processors for their high-speed control ability and extensive IO and memory features.
Self-diagnostics are provided via LED lights that display or flash different colors to alert you if you have made an installation error, or if your controller is experiencing a short circuit, or high temperatures, or high voltage inputs.