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gscriba avatar image

Best way to connect 4 MPPT controllers to Cerbo GX 6 meters away

Question regarding the wiring of 4 Victron SmartSolar MPPT controllers and the Cerbo GX. The Cerbo GX has only 3 VE direct ports. The controllers will be mounted about 6 meters from the Cerbo GX. Should I keep all the controllers together and use a USB hub with a single VE Direct cable to a single port on the Cerbo GX? Alternatively, I would need to run 3 VE Direct cables to the 3 VE Direct ports (once again, 6 meters away) and one VE Direct to USB cable (6 meters) to one of the USB ports on the Cerbo GX. Appreciate your thoughts re: this. Thanks.

cerbo gxsmart solar set-up help
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1 Answer
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

Do you already have the MPPTs?

The new VE.Can MPPT’s were designed for this application - https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-charge-controllers/smartsolar%20mppt%20ve.can

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If you must use VE.Direct MPPT's, then I would suggest running the individual VE.Direct cables, and the extra on a single USB-VE.Direct adapter. While extra initial installation hassle, this would be more a reliable solution, as it eliminates the most unreliable part, the USB hub.


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I have not purchased yet, but other than the connection advantage, I do not like the idea of spending considerably more for the larger controllers. Will Victron have smaller capacity VE Can SmartSolar chargers? In the 100/30 range?

Ahh, I see, but now am also wondering why so many small MPPTs instead of a few larger ones?

It might be possible in the future that this VE.Can feature comes to smaller models, but not anytime soon. It is really intended for large installations (where many MPPT's are necessary). If there is a lot of demand for the smallest model, then it is more likely a smaller one will be made.

oceanwolfe avatar image oceanwolfe Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ ·

Guy, I know this is long after the initial post, but since I'm in the same situation it seemed worthwhile to have you understand that when one has multiple panels on a boat, shading WILL move among the panels and separate MPPT controllers is intended to maximize the output of the panels as a whole.

Exactly this. I have 4 x 100/20s on my boat for this reason (one per 430W panel). The connection to the Cerbo from the two connected with USB adaptors have proven to be occasionally unreliable.

CIGS solar panels may be worthy some consideration. With a diode for every two cells, it basically does not suffer from shading in the same way conventional panels does and in theory can eliminate the requirement for multiple controllers. Being flexible it is even used around lamp posts for street lighting.