Solar Project – EPSolar Tracer Series 2215rn Charge Controller

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Here is my promised video review of the Tracer 2215rn which is a 20 amp charge controller. There isn’t much on youtube so I figured I”d make another to help others. ┬áIt looks to work well, it doesn’t really help me yet as I only have 15 watts of power… but solar panels are coming to boost my array to about 180 watts so then I should really get to see what this thing can do.

[youtube DrG3ilmxrFU]

Pros:

  • Backlit display
  • full GUI remote screen for it
  • Lots of info on the screen (can’t say how much I like the screen, only because no other charge controllers really do it as well)
  • Easy to configure
  • Dual timers
  • the remote meter
  • Once you have the meter, you can upgrade your controller to the 30 amp or 40 amp versions. Meter is compatible, thats nice! Feels really good and safe to have an upgrade path. Sure.. not everything, but its just one more thing to make the DIY hobbiest go for it.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t display the amperage or watts coming from the solar panels. That side of things you need a wattmeter or voltmeter at the ready to calculate that. Add that and this would be an amazing controller
  • nothing else really.
  • UPDATE: The SOC (state of charge) is based on the top charge that the battery will take / sit at under charge which is 14.7 volts. But when the sun is down, the battery floats down to its regular state of about 12.7. So in fact, 12.7 should be the 100% charge mark, 14.7 should be an overcharge marker. Right now when the battery sits back to 12.7 volts, the SOC icon on the interface shows like 50% when infact by other measurements, its really at its 100% charge level. A BIG oversight, that is the most used icon and the most critical information on that meter that you’re always monitoring and its not accurate, thats a disappointment. Ideally they would allow one to select the voltage threshold for 100% so you could set your own range.

Overall, its great for the price, the big juicy screen provides great confidence and warm fuzzies that all is working well. Its fine to have a green LED confirming the panels are producing, its even nicer to have an info graphic showing such. I think the whole unit takes about 100 milliamps. So with my 15 watts, that is a large percentage of power. With 180 watts, now its next to nothing.

Hope this helps the next guy. Oh, got it off ebay, controller and meter at the same time. Unit does sell without the meter but why would you do that? So much easier to configure and see whats happening at a glance with the meter!

[youtube DrG3ilmxrFU]

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