Solar Panel

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Loujess, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    I don't know if I'm going bonkers but our panel is not taking on the amps it was. Sandy has washed the panel (90w) and we're not under trees but in hot sunshine we are only taking on about 2.8A. It would normally be 4.5A in good sunshine. Our leccy doesn't seem right either. We have one of those panels with five buttons and the middle is a rocker. We have always had it on the top rocker but now the lights go so dim that we have to push it onto the bottom rocker. We have EHU and the kettle and boiler are fine. The panel is about 7 years old but do they need replacing? I'd be grateful for any advice, tips or opinions. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sounds like either your battery charger isnt working or the battery is seriously damaged (high internal resistance)....probably the battery as its also affecting the solar charge.

    switching the rocker to the other position means you are using your engine battery to power lights.
     
  3. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Thanks John. Our leisure battery is just a year old so it shouldn't be that but what you say sounds right. Oh well - off to Wilco when we get home. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    A battery can fail at any time or any age Ivy. :Sad:
     
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Feel free to drop by and let me have a look Ivy. It is now Autumn and the sun is low in the sky so don't expect 4.5amps. 2.8 seem good to me at this time of the year and does suggest a fairly low battery, as voltage comes up so the rate of charge drops. A poor earth or dirty connection at the battery could be the problem. But must admit it sounds like the battery is not getting/holding a full charge.
     
  6. wasp

    wasp Funster

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    Ivy duck, I think the rocker switch on the panel in the van is either leisure battery or vehicle battery so be cautious when switching, you don`t want to run your van battery down. Cheers Rob
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Battery FULL ?

    Battery problem ?

    First check the connections on the battery and the fluid level.
     
  8. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I would vote for time of year. My charge rate from the solar panels has dropped quite a bit since june as well.
     
  9. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Thank you everyone. It is cloudy just now and we have a reading of 14.4 taking on 0.7A and we're on EHU. I must admit we did use the vehicle battery last night just to have some light and read. The real test will be if we go without EHU on the way home. Since the kettle and boiler and electric plugs all work, does this mean they are on a separate system and always come from EHU? If you're on EHU, why aren't the lights on that too? Sorry for being a pain but I don't understand electrics. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
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  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Are you saying that you were on hook-up and the lights did not work until you switched to starter battery ?
     
  11. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Yes, that's right Brian. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    A step nearer.

    I don't know your system but I'll have a go. Your voltmeter, I take it if you flick between leisure/starter batteries and you get 2 different readings. If so what are the readings ?

    It's still looking like bad leisure battery, fuse to this battery or connection of the main battery terminals.

    We have a 50A fuse right next to the leisure battery.
     
  13. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Sorry I left you high and dry there, my wifi ran out and we didn't have any at all last night (wifi that is you cheeky boy). Anyway, I fiddled around with the leisure battery a couple of days ago and it seemed as if the red cap was a bit loose so I pushed it on harder. Last night we didn't have EHU and it did seem as if the light stayed brighter. Tonight we have EHU so it will be interesting to see what happens.

    I have just switched the switch between leisure and veihicle and it was 13.9 and 12.9 respectively, then the leisure reading started darting up and down from 14.4 to 12.8 and back again. This happens on the solar panel reading too. At night, it will read 10.9 up to 11.4 and down to 9.8.

    When our leisure battery conked out at Lincoln last year, the reading went down to 9.6 and the tv would go off then but we haven't had the tv on for weeks now but I suppose it would have gone off.

    My first thought is that we need a new leisure battery but would that cause the inconsistent readings? I'm completely baffled.

    I will have to get it looked at when I get home but thanks for thinking about it. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  14. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    My panels do not give out as much this time of year... as Wildman and Gromet say the sun is lower.

    Also when my batteries are full and I turn an appliance on (in sunlight) the amps and volts readings go up and down.

    I think this is because the power alternates between coming from the battery and from the panels...

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ahhhhhhhhhhh. The + terminal is always the killer, it gets a hard crust inside. You need to separate the joint and scrape all surfaces clean, spread with Vaseline and reassemble.
     
  16. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    But go easy on that Vaseline Ivy! :Wink:
     
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  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Sorry.. a little TOO much information there !!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    Crikey - he's nearly put me off my dinner. Must be bad. :Eeek:
    Ivy
     
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