Price: £620 inc VAT (+ £135 inc VAT for the remote meter) in March 2021
Having tried several solar charge controllers in the past, and been underwhelmed by their logging capabilities, a completely different make and model was chosen to control the solar system that will be used to power some of Go Green IT's infrastructure in their datacentre.
MorningStar have been in the running for previous Solar Charge Controller purchases, but in the end were not chosen.
This time, the MorningStar TriStar 60 MPPT Solar Charge Controller was chosen for the following reasons:
Build quality seems good, and unlike other cheaper charge controllers, all the cable termination is hidden behind the meter/display section (see product picture). Cable entry and exit points are available behind push-out sections of the white case on the left, right and bottom, and the smaller ones take standard M20 grommets.
The controller was connected to 4x275W TrinaSolar panels in a 2p2s configuration to give ~70V input. More will be added as time allows.
Disappointingly, the firmware was "v18", even though "v32" has been available since November 2018. It was decided that the firmware should be upgraded to try and fix the problem of the buggy web GUI. Unfortunately this is only possible via RS-232, and although the manual doesn't tell you, can only happen when the device is booting. Since the upgrade, the Web GUI has been a lot more stable.
There is a reset button on the device, which can be pressed using a thin pencil or similar, but this doesn't seem to do a lot, and certainly didn't fix the problem of the buggy web GUI. The only way to properly reboot the device is to disconnect it from the battery.