I have a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 solar charge controller and an LFMP Lithium battery bank. This charge controller has a series of DIP switches that allow for various pre-configured charge settings. However; none of them are appropriate for a Lithium battery (the correct absorption and float voltages) so one must configure the system “manually.”
Thankfully, that is fairly straightforward.
To accomplish this, you must connect your computer to the charge controller and use a software utility called MSView from Morningstar to communicate. The utility is available here on the Morningstar website.
The version of the charge controller that I have has both Serial (RS-232) and Ethernet interfaces. I elected to go with the serial option as I didn’t feel like pulling out an Ethernet switch and I didn’t have a crossed cable. At some point, it might be neat to have it connected via Ethernet as there are some alerts that can be configured to send via email. This doesn’t strike me as terribly important when living with it each day but… still cool!
A tip for using this utility. You cannot be connected to the device (and viewing real time information) in the column on the left while running the configuration wizard – at least not with the serial interface. It took me several minutes to figure out why the wizard was saying it could not connect when I was clearly connected. Duh….
I was told to change the absorption voltage to 28.4 volts for ten minutes and the float voltage to 27.2 volts. So, being a very good boy, I did what I was told.
After running with these settings for a few sunny days, it appears that the entire solar charging system and lithium batteries are happy. And that makes me happy!
I wasn’t done however!
While doing all the above, I noted that the charge controller firmware was fairly old (2013). The latest on the Morningstar site was dated 2016. So, might was well take advantage of all the things that have been fixed/improved.
The instructions for the firmware update are easily found online and not any harder than any other firmware that I’ve updated. It only took about ten minutes.
The system is now running with the latest code and configuration and all seems to be working just fine.