Solar panel controller (1 Viewer)

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Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
MH
Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
Hello there !

I've just discovered that my solar panel charger might not be set up correctly. I found the instructions online for a Vechline PWM solar charger. There is no LED showing for the MODE although there are 3 individual LEDS lit for Panel, Battery and Load.

The instrructions details a variety of Mode setting includings 'Light operated and time controlled for 'n' hours. One option is 'Purely light operated' and another is 'long term ON mode'

Essentially I don't understand any of it.

Any help appreciated !
 
Apr 27, 2016
7,019
8,224
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Essentially I don't understand any of it.
No need to understand it. Completely ignore the 'Load' and anything to do with it. It's not used in a MH installation.

Basically it's for a situation where you are powering a light or illuminating a sign. You can set the time on/off, on/off at dusk/dawn, and there are sometimes options if the battery power is not enough to keep the light on all the required time.
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
MH
Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
Thanks for that - but I'm still confused !

If I was to ignore the settings for light operated and time controlled which setting should I use..

'Purely light operated' or 'long term ON mode'

I can't find anything much on the internet about this.
 
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Sep 23, 2013
2,594
9,024
Lincs
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28,231
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 2008 (started in a VW T4 campervan)
It won't matter what you select - it won't make any difference.

You will have 6 terminals on the controller. The panel will be connected to two of them. The battery will be connected to two more. The final two will be marked 'Load' & won't have anything connected to them.

The settings you are looking at control when power is supplied to the 'Load' terminals. As nothing is connected, the settings have no effect.

All the 12v appliances you have in the van are connected to the battery, not direct to the solar panel controller.
 
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Aug 6, 2013
11,977
16,596
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
Le-Voyageur RX958 Pl
Exp
since 1999
For some obscure reason the makers of solar controllers assume they're going to be used as part of a stand alone lighting system that isn't part of a vehicle installation. Hence the misleading inf abou load settings. As @TheCaller said :).
 
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Sep 23, 2013
2,594
9,024
Lincs
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Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 2008 (started in a VW T4 campervan)
For some obscure reason the makers of solar controllers assume they're going to be used as part of a stand alone lighting system that isn't part of a vehicle installation.
I can only assume that the global market for off-grid stand-alone lighting systems is bigger than the market for solar panels on motorhomes & the like.
 
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jollyrodger

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 1, 2012
6,292
26,437
Devon/Cornwall
Funster No
23,107
MH
Mercedes Sprinter
Exp
Since 1968'ish
What you could do ,what I did on a similar controller.
Install a cigar multi plug in ,nip off the single plug +/_ into the corresponding terminals usb/cigarette plug adapter for charging phone etc
 
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Apr 27, 2008
11,882
14,155
Eastbourne East Sussex
Funster No
2,327
MH
Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
I use the load output on my solar controller for a few things just because its convenient. It runs the fridge fans and the beer cold box under the bed. Its just set to be on all the time (the default on mine)

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Jan 27, 2018
2,741
2,199
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
The load can be used for applications like controlling a fridge. When the voltage drops to a preset value the controller turns off the supply. The supply wont be reestablished until the voltage exceeds a much higher voltage indicating charging has occured ( eg Solar or Ehu) . A simular system exists on some compresser fridges, in that they switch off allow battery to relax and turn on, further heavy drain switch off , then continue downward spiral to kill the battery.
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
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Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
Thanks for that, all interesting. The Solar Panel light sometimes flickers ON/OFF and sometimes it's permanently On. Is this correct ?
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

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Oct 22, 2018
366
174
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56,861
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Mc Louis Glamys 40
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Since 2019
Well that makes sense but while reading the poorly-translated documentation it said something about over and under voltage conditions.
 
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Jan 27, 2018
2,741
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Northampton
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Rapido & Bongone
Thanks for that, all interesting. The Solar Panel light sometimes flickers ON/OFF and sometimes it's permanently On. Is this correct ?
Some controllers use light permamently on to indicate a fully charged battery and flickering to indicate charging.

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Bobby22

Free Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,537
6,408
Scotland
Funster No
29,386
MH
Rapido 680ff
Exp
since 2013
Thanks for that, all interesting. The Solar Panel light sometimes flickers ON/OFF and sometimes it's permanently On. Is this correct ?
My PWM controller has 3 led 's in normal charging

1/ flashes green denoting solar is charging, no flash no solar charging
2/ batteries status solid green = batteries well charged
Solid/mixed Green/Amber/Red denotes batteries
Getting low
Flashing green = fully charged
3/ red or off when button pushed for load.

The load terminals on the controller are a 12v supply from the batteries that have a switch for on or off or a timer.
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
MH
Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
Thanks for that Bobby22.

Sounds like your PWM controller user interface is different from mine.

I've three red LED's one each for Load, Battery and Solar Panel. No test buttons or other colours.

Both the LED's for Load and Battery are permanently red. The Panel LED can be either flashing or permanently ON.

I suppose I could get a mulitmeter and test the Solar Panel voltage. I'm not sure what values I'd be looking for.
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
MH
Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
The habitation battery after a week parked up is reading 14.7 V so it must be charging correctly. Does that sound right ?
 
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Graham of Madrid

Graham of Madrid

Free Member
Oct 22, 2018
366
174
Funster No
56,861
MH
Mc Louis Glamys 40
Exp
Since 2019
Yes I should put the multimeter on the solar panel input to the controller just to what it's supplying to the controller. I'll pack the multimeter with the sausages and beans when we go out in it at the weekend.

But I'm happy that the hab. battery is well charged after sitting for a week.
 
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TonySkerl

Free Member
Apr 17, 2021
3
0
East Sussex UK
Funster No
80,461
MH
Roller Team T590
Exp
Since 1996
Hello there !

I've just discovered that my solar panel charger might not be set up correctly. I found the instructions online for a Vechline PWM solar charger. There is no LED showing for the MODE although there are 3 individual LEDS lit for Panel, Battery and Load.

The instrructions details a variety of Mode setting includings 'Light operated and time controlled for 'n' hours. One option is 'Purely light operated' and another is 'long term ON mode'

Essentially I don't understand any of it.

Any help appreciated !
 
Upvote 0

TonySkerl

Free Member
Apr 17, 2021
3
0
East Sussex UK
Funster No
80,461
MH
Roller Team T590
Exp
Since 1996
Hello there !

I've just discovered that my solar panel charger might not be set up correctly. I found the instructions online for a Vechline PWM solar charger. There is no LED showing for the MODE although there are 3 individual LEDS lit for Panel, Battery and Load.

The instrructions details a variety of Mode setting includings 'Light operated and time controlled for 'n' hours. One option is 'Purely light operated' and another is 'long term ON mode'

Essentially I don't understand any of it.

Any help appreciated !
 
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TonySkerl

Free Member
Apr 17, 2021
3
0
East Sussex UK
Funster No
80,461
MH
Roller Team T590
Exp
Since 1996
Hi ... do you have the link to the manual ... my controller is showing top two red lights on constantly .. I’m sure they used to flash
 
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