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Old 09-16-2019, 01:35 AM   #1
H2oboxer
 
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Default Solar system shutdown problem.

Well, I am making my cross country trip from NY to OR and had my first cold night in Alamosa, CO where I needed to plug in the heating blanket to my inverter. I had tested the system before leaving home and all worked as expected. Last night I turned the cutoff switch that I installed in front of the inverter and the entire system shut down. No ceiling fan, no USB ports and could not connect to controller or monitor. Since it was dark, we decided to tough it out and check into it in the morning. At 7:00AM my USB light started flickering and a few minutes later the fan came on. I was able to connect to the smart monitor and it said my battery was 100% charged.
I canít figure out what happened and am looking for troubleshooting suggestions. I have a 100AH Battle Born battery, 100/30 Victron controller and a 300 watt solar panel. BTW when I tried the system this morning there was no issue. It seems to only happen when the panel is not getting sunlight.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

What is a cold night temp? BB has a BMS that shuts down charge once the temp goes below a specific temp not that this should be the issue.
Do you run your load through the MPPT? Some solar controllers allow this but possibly not when the PV is shut down.
Please point out the equipment you have installed and how it is configured.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H2oboxer View Post
I had tested the system before leaving home and all worked as expected. Last night I turned the cutoff switch that I installed in front of the inverter and the entire system shut down. [...] At 7:00AM my USB light started flickering and a few minutes later the fan came on. I was able to connect to the smart monitor and it said my battery was 100% charged.[...] It seems to only happen when the panel is not getting sunlight.
Your statements point to an obvious starting point for unraveling the problem. The best chance for assistance will require a diagram of how the components of your system are interconnected as well as make/model of the major components. With respect to your testing of the system before you left home, is it a valid assumption that your testing was conducted in daylight and not the dark of the night?
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

My set up is almost identical to this
https://ourkaravan.com/wp-content/up...rical_2019.pdf

From the solar panels to the inverter (I have a inverter, not the inverter/charger).
Just one 100ah battle born battery.

No galley in mine as of yet. When I get a chance, I will make my own diagram.
And yes, I only tested it during the daytime.
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Old 09-17-2019, 03:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

My first guess is that one of the switches, breakers of fuses between the batteries and the loads have been flipped off (or blown, if a fuse).

2nd guess is "check the grounds (black wires in diagram) from loads to negative bus bar.

*Where* did you test your battery voltage?

It's possible the battery's main switch isn't ON, and that all your loads were running directly from solar.
(or the wires to and through the shunt aren't really connected)

If it's not immediately obvious from the above list, clip your voltmeter's negative probe to the battery's negative post.
Then verify that all the stops along the way that should have "12v" (which might be 14v) have that level of voltage (battery postive post, then other side of main switch, then other side of breaker, then any fuse in the fuse box, then onward to the loads...
At some point in that chain (or repeat the chain) move the black probe to the negative bus bar.

"Almost identical" .... well, what's different?

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Last edited by autostaretx; 09-17-2019 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

Not sure why you have a 200 amp glass fuse on one battery and a 1000 watt inverter that has a max amperage of 133 amps. In my opinion this does not offer any protection as you can never really reach 200 amps.

Get your voltage meter out and start chasing it down with a continuity tester to see if you have had connections, blown fuses or bad breakers. You did check to see if your battery has a full charge right? Open the PV breaker and test without any PV. I assume you use the 600 amp simplex inverter only when the engine is running and underway. You have to plug that 15-20 amp shore power plug into the Simplex inverter when running or external shore power when parked?

How did you connect your cable lugs? Did you use a hydraulic crimper?
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geriakt View Post
Not sure why you have a 200 amp glass fuse on one battery and a 1000 watt inverter that has a max amperage of 133 amps. In my opinion this does not offer any protection as you can never really reach 200 amps.
Many 1000 watt inverters allow for 1500 (or even 2000) watt operation for a limited time (30 seconds? A minute?) ... partly to cover for stalled motors when they're first energized. If you're planning on using that feature, you need 200 amps.

Some folks believe in the precept: "the goal of the fuse is to protect the wiring, not the device" and size the wires and fuses based upon that. (i tend to do both: small fuse for known small load, but "wire-sized" fuse for unknown loads)

Heck, i've got circuits in my house with 12 gauge wire, 15 amp fuses, but only a total of (perhaps) 600 watts of light bulbs/fixtures as the total load (no outlets). (wired before CFLs and LEDs).

--dick
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

Do you have a meter capable of reading voltage? I would start by ignoring the solar part of the setup and check voltage at the battery.

Then work your way to your fuse panel.

I am a dealer for Battle Born batteries and have put quite a few in now. I have yet to have any issues with them so I suspect your issue may be further down the line.

If you have any pictures of your electrical system, please post one up. A picture might reveal the problem right away.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
Many 1000 watt inverters allow for 1500 (or even 2000) watt operation for a limited time (30 seconds? A minute?) ... partly to cover for stalled motors when they're first energized. If you're planning on using that feature, you need 200 amps.

Some folks believe in the precept: "the goal of the fuse is to protect the wiring, not the device" and size the wires and fuses based upon that. (i tend to do both: small fuse for known small load, but "wire-sized" fuse for unknown loads)

Heck, i've got circuits in my house with 12 gauge wire, 15 amp fuses, but only a total of (perhaps) 600 watts of light bulbs/fixtures as the total load (no outlets). (wired before CFLs and LEDs).

--dick
In my vehicle RV I would prefer fuses to blow easier to protect my equipment and $1000 battery and would size my fuse on the highest load in the circuit. I $5 megafuse is easier to deal with than a fried $1000 battery or $1500 inverter.
Home 120/240 vac is a totally different type of system it does not have a DC battery in it and all breakers are sized small 15 amp, 20 amp, 30 amp, 50 amp before the main 150-200 can break. If we relied on the 200 amp breaker to protect our houses there would be many fires.

Again you are better off with a smaller fuse that can always be sized up.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Solar system shutdown problem.

A monitoring system's data is based on it being calibrated. (verify full, etc)

It isn't difficult to make a monitoring system display read any number that you like.

The electrical system that you have installed is just barely enough to run the fridge, lights and fan - and only as long as you have plenty of sun every day. 1 BB battery isn't a lot of capacity unless it gets fully charged every day.

My guess is that your battery SOC is really closer to 10 - 20 % vs 100%. When the sun goes down, there just isn't enough power to keep things on.

Do you have an actual active charging system that pulls power from the alternator to feed that BB battery of just a relay connection?

Another possible option is that when you turned on the DC breaker to feed the inverter, the capacitors inside caused a current "rush" and it tripped something. Don't be in a rush to turn on / off the inverter. Yes they do use some standby power, but it isn't all that bad.
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Last edited by HarryN; 09-18-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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