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150cruiser

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Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Guys,

was wondering if anybody could shed some light on a problem I am having or the best way to trouble shoot the issue.

I have a 2013 Evolution with roof solar (80W) and a 120W portable panel and with 3 kids, the batteries drop on average 15% a day based on the installed meter. We were away over the new year period in nice hot (mid 30) sunny weather and generally parked in the shade so the roof top panels don't contribute a great deal. The first couple of days the solar panels recharged the batteries with no problems.

The last couple of days, with no real difference in the weather except it might have got hotter, the batteries would only re-charge a couple of % a day and we started to go backwards. This has happened a couple of times and is becoming frustrating. I can't work out whether this is a temperature related issue or something else. Unfortunately I didn't have a volt meter at the time but on checking at home I am still getting power generated by both panels.

The van has the Ctek  dual and smart pass and a sunsaver 10 solar controller. The portable panel has a JUTA MPPT controller and was connected via the Andersen at the draw bar. The wiring behind the panel was interesting to say the least, but hasn't been touched from the factory. 

I know the wiring on the portable panel could be increased but I can't work out why some days it works and other days it doesn't.

Would appreciate any advice or direction.

thanks in advance
Craig


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Nichol

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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi,

It sounds like you have lots of chargers?

With the portable charger if the input is via the Anderson connector on the drawer bar, if this is connected to the alternator input on the smartpass/dual combo then it is possible that no charge will be passing to the batteries as the dual will not use that input until the voltage reaches a high enough level.  Even then it will be double converting the voltage (once in the JUTA MPPT and a second time in the Ctek)

You are best off either connecting the solar regulator directly to the batteries (via the shunt if your charge meter uses it), or to the solar input of the dual without a regulator (the dual is a regulator) if the panels are 12 volt.

Additionally if the meter is a voltage meter then the % reading is not always accurate. If it is meter that ,measures current in and out it is much more accurate.

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150cruiser

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Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Nichol for your reply. I'm still learning about solar and the 12V wiring for this van is not easy to follow ...

The portable panels are connected to the Andersen plug near the handbrake which I was told (by Conqueror) was the solar input. There is a separate Andersen for connection to the car and charging via the cars alternator. I assume it would be worth taking the MPPT controller off the portable panels?

The meter is a Victron Energy battery monitor that came standard. It measures both Amps, Volts and gives SOC as a %

cheers Craig
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Doc

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Senior Member
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Posts: 251
Reply with quote  #4 
I realise this thread is a couple of years old but thought it worth adding a comment about the heat. Yep - heat will affect the effectiveness of your solar panels - the hotter they get, the less effectively they work.
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