The TriStar operates only in one mode at a time. Most of Hotwire’s customers will be using it with the KISS on the Diversion Control setting.
A small to medium solar module can also be used with the KISS since the surplus power will flow into the divert load you select for your system. For those of you using a larger solar array, we recommend a separate wiring circuit and different charge controller. Please see our info on the MPPT solar controllers, a far more efficient technology for larger solar arrays aboard.
Silent, solid state microprocessor control — increases system performance and maximizes battery life. 5 year warranty.
Automatically diverts excess power to a “dummy” load such as a water or space heater to regulate hydroelectric, wind generators or PV/wind “hybrid” systems. (Please see Hotwire’s Divert Load info to see the options we offer.)
Provides 3 stage control of the battery charging process. (If you want the specs on the other 2 modes, please contact Hotwire.)
Optional LCD Digital Display with back-lighting continuously displays battery voltage DC amperage,
TriStar 45 $175, with isolation diode and diversion load – $310
Divert loads are typically needed with a wind generator to reduce the possibility of voltage spikes which could damage a charge controller designed strictly for solar panels. When the batteries become fully charged, a diversion type charge controller sends any excess energy from the wind generator to the divert load. The diversion load also maintains an electrical load on the wind generator when the batteries are fully charged. This prevents the blades from “freewheeling”, thus reducing noise and vibration as well as wear on the wind generator.
A divert load accepts excess power that a wind generator can produce beyond what the batteries are capable of safely accepting and disperses that extra power as heat. With a charge controller but no diversion load, the excess power would flow to the controller and have nowhere else to go, damaging the controller. The divert load helps to maintain system safety.
Hotwire makes a Resistive Load Bank of ceramic resistors to be used as a diversion load, but the preferred option by far is a dual voltage water heater element. It has two loops in one unit. One loop (element of heating wire) is made to work on 12 volts at 300 watts, and the other operates on 120 volts at 500 watts.
You can make hot water from the 120 volt side using shore power or a gen set. Because the 120 volt side is smaller than the original heater element, it will take longer to reheat the water in the tank when all of the hot water has been used, typically 2 to 3 times longer.
The 12 volt side is used to dissipate the excess power from a wind generator or solar panels, and the amount of current going to it is controlled by a diversion type charge controller. The controller senses battery voltage and diverts current into the water heater when the battery reaches the voltage set point.
One of our customers, who has a lot of solar panels on his boat, uses a switch and turns the 12 volt side on every day after his batteries are full. In the past, diversion type controllers sent the excess energy to heating coils that turned the power into hot air, a bit the way Hotwire’s Resistive Load Bank works. With the dual water heater element, you get something useful and don’t heat up the inside of the boat. A distinct advantage in the tropics!
The KISS wind generator is a proven design that makes lots of power quietly in 7 to 25 knots perfect for Caribbean and tropical sailors and RV dry-campers who need to be electrically independent. Contact us for tips for making continuous power in higher wind speeds.
Call us for tech specs:
102 West Fulton Street
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
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