Winter solar panel charge rate

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by GRUMPY OLD GIT, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. GRUMPY OLD GIT

    GRUMPY OLD GIT Funster

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    I have 2x80w solar panels on my MoHo,they are linked to 2x85amp LB's through a 20A C2430 Solar Controller using 6mm cable.
    I fitted it all about 18 months ago and all has been fine with periods of up to 6 weeks off grid in Portugal last year.
    Went to storage last week and LB's down to 11.5v and contoller showing low battery and no charge(low winter sunshine). Took her out for the day,,,,,70 odd miles and batteries back to normal. Next day down to 12 .3 v and contoller still showing no charge,checked all wires and connections,all good.
    Multimeter reading showing between 1.5 and 2v from panels but no charge to batteries.
    Do l suspect my controller or am l expecting too much from solar in low January sunshine.

    Any help/advice or even the usual derogatory comments appreciated
    Cheers Bob. :thumb:
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I can understand no charge, are you sure 1.5V. Something not right there.

    I'd expect 15V or so and 0.1A in sunshine. Give or take !
     
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  3. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi Bob,

    We have a similar size solar set up, and I've been getting 1.5A when the sun has been out, and 0.5A when overcast. Both the leisure and starter batteries are showing a full charge by mid afternoon. :thumb:

    Have you checked the fuse between the solar controller, and the batteries. When ours blew, (unknown to me at the time), I got amps and volts readings on the controller, but no sign of charging, which then led me to the fuse. :Doh:

    HTH,

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
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  4. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    Had a similar problem with my panel. If you disconnect the solar regulator, on a bright day you should have anything up to about 20volts out of the solar panel. If it's ok try a spare reg if possible. The regulator is probably a shunt type. These effectively short out the solar panel as the voltage on the battery rises, does this to control the charge.

    I had a bad connection on a plug and socket located just as the cable comes throughout the roof. Found it by leaving the regulator in circuit and waggling the wires until located. Sounds very much like a hole in the wiring between panel and regulator.

    Some regulators have a fuse built in if this was gone then panel volts would be more than you measured in bright light.

    Good hunting
     
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