1st world problem?

Jan 27, 2018
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I have lifepo4 550w solar and votronics controllers 250& 350 and a votronics b2b. I have set up the fridge to run off 12v using the aes signal from the 250 controller. With the battery at 80% it all works perfectly. Last weekend we went away fridge on alternator, arrive battery now 100% . No aes signal solar sut Down thus no fridge on 12v. Is the votronics controllers working as it should? Way out? Separate switched signal to get battery discharged enough to get aes signal?
 
Apr 27, 2016
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If all Votronics controllers act like this, it sounds like an oversight by whoever wrote the firmware. You could implement a separate switched signal as you say. You could even use a couple of pushbutton switches and a relay to start the fridge on 12V, then let the AES signal take over when it eventually comes on.

And no, it's not just a 1st world problem, I'm sure there's more fridges run off solar outside the 1st world.
 

Lenny HB

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I'll have to have a look but I think it normally switches to 12v quite soon after the batteries are at 100%, it does work in blocks so as not to flatten the batteries, not sure but I think it's 30min block but may depend on state of charge, so it will alternate between 12v & gas. Maybe when you stopped it was in the middle on an off cycle.

If you use EHU you might want to fit a mains relay to switch the AES feed from the Votronic as the fridge firmware is dumb it has 12v solar as the primary power source so when on EHU once the batteries are charged the Votronic will give an AES output and the fridge often turns to 12v. As the fridge mains element is larger than the 12v you really want it running on mains.
 
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the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
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Thanks lenny, the damn aes has switched off again (at 96%)
I have a switch on the aes line for mains use. Currently (groan) only use ehu at home. All due to your help and assistance.

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movan

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I don't understand any of this thread and percentages etc. :(

Do I need to? :(

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Sep 29, 2019
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Wired mine in yesterday.

Batteries at 100% and it didn’t come on. :-(

It did however 30 minutes later, I think it has to wait a while to ensure there is enough solar.

Works great!

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funflair

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And for the "boys" if the alternator B2B has been running the batteries the Votronic will quite possibly have gone to sleep, it will only wake up when there is some work for it to do and then it will need a bit of time to work out that the batteries are full but the sun is shining so eventually it gets around to turning on the AES.
 
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the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
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Thank funflair for an answer to why itz on and off, pherhaps I'm not giving it enough time to be lazy. Tomorrow's another sunny day?

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Sep 29, 2019
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So have i to date , but was wondering if advantages disadvantages of using 2.
I couldn’t see any advantage, so I didn’t. They are set to identical profiles so should switch on and off at the same time.
 

funflair

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I think that two will work OK but not sure, might even cut down on some of the down time but if you are using the S+ it’s not so critical.
 
Apr 27, 2016
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I don't understand any of this thread and percentages etc. :(
A solar controller will fill the batteries to 100%. If they are full by lunchtime, any more solar power is wasted. To use that wasted power usefully, the fridge manufacturers and solar controller manufacturers got together, and worked out a solution.

When the solar controller has filled the batteries, it sends an S+ signal to the fridge. The fridge turns off the gas or mains, and switches to 12V. This uses the excess power that the solar controller would otherwise waste. When the sun goes down, the S+ signal goes off, and the fridge goes back to gas or mains as before.

This thread is about some special circumstances where this doesn't work as you would expect. If something else like the alternator has already filled the batteries to 100%, it seems the solar controller doesn't send the S+ signal to turn the fridge to 12V.

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movan

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A solar controller will fill the batteries to 100%. If they are full by lunchtime, any more solar power is wasted. To use that wasted power usefully, the fridge manufacturers and solar controller manufacturers got together, and worked out a solution.

When the solar controller has filled the batteries, it sends an S+ signal to the fridge. The fridge turns off the gas or mains, and switches to 12V. This uses the excess power that the solar controller would otherwise waste. When the sun goes down, the S+ signal goes off, and the fridge goes back to gas or mains as before.

This thread is about some special circumstances where this doesn't work as you would expect. If something else like the alternator has already filled the batteries to 100%, it seems the solar controller doesn't send the S+ signal to turn the fridge to 12V.
Wow! Thank you. I undderstood that. :)
 
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