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Old 12-02-2022, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Low solar charging problem

Hello. Anyone solved a issue where your solar panels suddenly stoped sending full power to the controller? I usually average around 100v and now I am seeing around 14. (and under 2 amps). Controller in and out reads the same about the volts and no errors on the controller. Connections on the roof look good. Settings on the controller look good. Figuring a broken wire somewhere? The batteries are not dull (around 13 v, full being 13.4). Plenty of sun. Controller is a Epever Tracer just over a year old.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2022, 06:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alan19067 View Post
Hello. Anyone solved a issue where your solar panels suddenly stoped sending full power to the controller? I usually average around 100v and now I am seeing around 14. (and under 2 amps). Controller in and out reads the same about the volts and no errors on the controller. Connections on the roof look good. Settings on the controller look good. Figuring a broken wire somewhere? The batteries are not dull (around 13 v, full being 13.4). Plenty of sun. Controller is a Epever Tracer just over a year old.

Thanks

That controller shows a max open circuit panel voltage of 100 volts, so when you are running normally it should be less than that by a fair amount.
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:20 AM   #3
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Thank you, appreciate the help
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:36 AM   #4
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What wattage and voltage panels do you have, and how are they wired? If the controller sees over rated voltage, which it may be doing sometimes, it can damage the controller.


If you have three 24v nominal panels they will work at about 32v apiece and the open circuit voltage would be about 45v each.


That would give you 96v when charging well and 135v open circuit if you have the three in series.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alan19067 View Post
Hello. Anyone solved a issue where your solar panels suddenly stoped sending full power to the controller? I usually average around 100v and now I am seeing around 14. (and under 2 amps). Controller in and out reads the same about the volts and no errors on the controller. Connections on the roof look good. Settings on the controller look good. Figuring a broken wire somewhere? The batteries are not dull (around 13 v, full being 13.4). Plenty of sun. Controller is a Epever Tracer just over a year old.

Thanks
Was the panel a Grape panel provided by AMSolar? They have had several failures and have been sending out replacement panels.

I personally know of two instances. They did not explain what the panel failure was but the symptom was reduced charging amps.
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:37 PM   #6
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Hello. I am the original owner of this 2016 Roadtrek CS Adventrous XL. I have had my Roadtrek dealer work on the power systems to replace the original controller and batteries. The dealer has been recommended and seems to know what they are doing. I am traveling and have spoken to them. Unfortunately I only have some information below and will need to contact the dealer. I can tell you that the solar panel to controller does not make sense to me ( to much panel for one controller) and I have always seen around 100v from the panels.

The van has the “core wrap package” with 800 watts of panels going into a single solar controller. It is a 12v system. Panels are 1-400w, 1-200w and 2-100w. The wiring is mostly hidden but each panel I can see has a separate wire, maybe there is a junction box hidden somewhere.

There was no paperwork for the panels (ratings) so I will try to get more information.

Appreciate the reply and help
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:50 PM   #7
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Snip of wiring https://share.icloud.com/photos/0ca8...gFBihHpYf_qcBw
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Old 12-04-2022, 03:30 AM   #8
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The wiring diagram shows a single 10ga wire from the panels to the controllers, and that would be typical of 800 watts wired in series. My guess would be that the 400 and 200 are 24 volt panels and the 100s are probably 12v panels.


It would be wired with them all in series for a total of 72v nominal rating, 95-100v maximum power point, and about 120-130 open circuit maximum voltage.


The 10ga wire to the batteries is pretty badly under sized for a 12v operating system as it will be carrying up to about 40-50 amps. It should be at least #4 and better at #2.
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Old 12-04-2022, 12:50 PM   #9
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Thank you, your information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2022, 05:29 PM   #10
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Hello. Here is an update. The controller is bad. Voltage direct from the panels is being limited by the controller. When the panel wires are removed and reconnected the voltage goes over 100 and sometimes slowly drops to 14. In looking at a new controller I will pick a 150v, but the input watts is the question. My old 40a controller panel input is 520w. My system is 800w. An 80amp controller gets me above 800. That 80a controller is much bigger (size and weight). I just don’t want to go overboard with the controller (Eperver Tracer 80a).
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