Totally revamped, several key features of this charge controller are:
Current handling capacities are based on the mode of the charge controller and battery system voltage.
**The C160/C160M can handle 160 maximum amps total current flow wired in the diversion mode when used in a 12-volt battery system and 120 amps maximum in a 24-volt system, both at a 20% duty cycle. 100 Amps continuous (50 amps/relay) design amperage is recommended for both voltages. Please see technical specs portion of the manual for more details.
Solar mode maximum current handling capability is 120 amps for a 12 volt system and 100 amps when used with a 24 volt system (50 amps/relay).
Maximum continuous solar charge wattage should never exceed 2800 watts, with a recommended maximum system design of 1200 watts for a 12 volt system (12 x 100 watt panels) and 2000 watts for 24 volt systems. (8 x 250 watt solar panels for instance), where ½ the panels are routed to one relay, and the other ½ to the second relay.
Higher amperages and/or volts will reduce the life of the relays.
High contrast LED meter displays battery voltage directly, allowing you to clearly see the status of your battery bank. The meter has an auto-brightness feature that automatically dims in low light conditions. An on/off switch allows you to turn the meter off when it is not needed.
Microprocessor controlled. The microprocessor is the heart of the controller. It is given the battery voltage and the user changeable trip points. This information is analyzed and acted upon by the microprocessor.
The battery level is checked and based on that information the Green LED flashes or is illuminated as follows**:
Steady green means the battery is full.
Settings are adjustable. Changing the trip point will alter the flashing levels of the green LED.
The red LED is illuminated when the relays are enabled and the battery is being dumped at 14.5 volts or the charge source diverted.
The dump remains active for a minimum of 5 seconds, at which time it is checked by the microprocessor. If battery voltage drops below the "Dump Cancel" level (about 13.4-13.6 volts), then the dump is disabled, otherwise the dump is continued and rechecked every 5 seconds. (Please see the discussion on EDM for extended diversion mode performance.)
When you click the "TEST" push-button - the 5 second cycle is started (one time, unless the batteries are within the "Dump start" and "Dump Cancel" zone.) Settings are user changeable! By simply turning a simple potentiometer with a small screwdriver, you can quickly adjust the trip point.
**This information is for a 12 volt system. It will be double for a 24 volt system, etc.
Wire Size: 160 amps is a lot of current! The terminal blocks inside the case will handle 6 AWG wire and are better used for switching loads of 60 amps or less. Higher amperages of up to 80 amps for short periods of time (20% duty cycle) in the diversion mode are also acceptable.
LED Battery Voltage Meter: By popular demand, the 160 amp charge controller features a high quality LED voltage (battery) meter. This meter is high quality with auto-contrast brightness (it gets brighter as the ambient light is increased). The meter draws only .0013 amps, so it's a real miser, yet because we know that no one wants to waste that hard earned energy, we have put a on/off switch on the front panel, so the meter can be shut off when you do not need it!