Solar Controller not working after re-install

If you are going to replace it, I would use a bogart engineering model. Very solid setup.

As a practical matter, 400 watts into a low end 30 amp solar charge controller might be a push.

There are some solar charge controllers that are more sensitive to wire / terminal interface details. Some will even go so far as to suggest both crimp and solder. I don't solder, but I do have a pretty high end crimper and am really picky about the wire. These controllers aren't just pumping out power, they also take measurements of the battery behavior to operate the charging details.

If you lived near Livermore, CA, you could just stop by the shop and we could try a few things.
thanks

this controller came with the van *shrug*.
sounds like I should be replacing it.

I'm in the north bay ca, but need this issue solved sooner than later. and due to SIP, probably hold off for a bit longer. thanks for the offer.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
If you disconnected battery first with full sun exposure you could have fired the controller.
I'm forced to say "not according to the manual" ....
The manual says "connect the battery last" (with no "shade the panels" warning).
The LEDs have a specific state for "panels active, battery disconnected", so they seem to have thought about it.

--dick
 
im impatient.

i bought the victron 100v/30amp mppt charge controller. pricey for sure, but ill feel better knowing it charges batteries better. and eventually I'll upgrade my solar panels. this just keep the system a bit more posh.

 

HarryN

Active member
im impatient.

i bought the victron 100v/30amp mppt charge controller. pricey for sure, but ill feel better knowing it charges batteries better. and eventually I'll upgrade my solar panels. this just keep the system a bit more posh.

That should work. A /50 might have given a bit more head room (400 / 12 ) is pushing 30 amps hard but will work.

That setup will work better in this climate if you wire the panels to have 36 volt instead of 18.
 

HarryN

Active member
thanks

this controller came with the van *shrug*.
sounds like I should be replacing it.

I'm in the north bay ca, but need this issue solved sooner than later. and due to SIP, probably hold off for a bit longer. thanks for the offer.
Makes sense. We are operating with a 5 meter separation minimum / 10 meter goal and using even more isopropanol than normal. Mask, etc.

Still - being as careful as possible.

It is a pain but 1/2 of my family is doing some kind of front line work from PCR related / pediatrician, even one working for a company doing development of an antibody treatment, so my awareness is pretty high.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
GeoreRa: in my earlier reply to the original posting, i also expressed (extreme) surprise about "batteries last".
This controller is the first/only one i've met that does NOT specify "batteries first".
Many modern controllers use the battery voltage to determine if your bank is 12v or 24v, and then adjust themselves to operate that way.

--dick
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
There is no harm with putting a larger panel on a smaller controller. Remember that a panels rating is nominal, and real world conditions are less than that, usually around 85% max 99.99% of the time.

If the panel can supply more than the controllers output stage is rated for, nothing will happen, the output stage will simply be the limiting factor.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB
GeoreRa: in my earlier reply to the original posting, i also expressed (extreme) surprise about "batteries last".
This controller is the first/only one i've met that does NOT specify "batteries first".
Many modern controllers use the battery voltage to determine if your bank is 12v or 24v, and then adjust themselves to operate that way.

--dick
For safety I labeled which CB to disconnect first. I could have used DPST switch instead of CBs but didn't have a surface mounted one.
GZR00202.JPG
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
There is no harm with putting a larger panel on a smaller controller. Remember that a panels rating is nominal, and real world conditions are less than that, usually around 85% max 99.99% of the time.

If the panel can supply more than the controllers output stage is rated for, nothing will happen, the output stage will simply be the limiting factor.
I would fear (or strongly suspect) that putting an over-current panel on a cheap controller (i.e. PWM) might translate that final phrase into "..the output stage will act as a fuse"

Indeed ... once the magic smoke clears, nothing else will happen.

--dick
 

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