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Old 07-30-2022, 03:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Solar panels not charing

So I had an issue with my solar panels where the solar panels were bypassing our shutoff switch because we had it connected to our bus bar. But our 12v fuse pannel was getting really hot and powered when we shut off the batteries so we took the solar of the bus bar and connected it directly to the batter which it was how it was supposed to be in the first place. And since we did that it's not having that issue but now between the charge controller and our batteries we have a breaker that keeps flipping which didn't before and now the batteries won't charge. ?? Which they also did before. Any advice?

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Old 07-30-2022, 09:58 PM   #2
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There's so many concerning statements in this post I don't know where to begin. Do I understand correctly that your solar panels were connected directly to the bus bar? Do you not have a solar charge controller of some kind?



Any images of this setup for our reference?


PM me if you want to have a more direct conversation about this...
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:15 PM   #3
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No no no sorry I'm terrible at explaining. So our solar panels are connected to a combiner box which we didn't really end up needing anyways because we were going to have 8 panels and ended up going with 3 400w ones instead. Then the combiner box is connected to a 40 amp breaker which is then connected to the 60 amp charge controller which goes to another 40 amp breaker (which we switched out for a 100 amp just for testing purposes) then that breaker goes to the batteries. Which we previously had instead of going to the batteries we had going to the bus bar first. Which we switched when we realized the error. But it was charging before and now it isn't charging at all.
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Old 07-31-2022, 02:16 AM   #4
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Do you have power from the solar panels going INTO the charge controller?
IF NO - Problem is From (and including) solar panels to the charge controller input.
IF YES - Test for power, at the charge controller output.
IF NO - Fault is in charge controller. Can it be reset or is it bricked?
IF YES - standard trouble shooting down the line to the batteries and have the batteries tested if need be.
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:31 AM   #5
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If your charge controller is able to put 60 amps into the batteries, you'll need an 80A circuit breaker (60A x 1.25 NEC margin = 75A, round up to 80A) for its output, and that will need 2AWG cables to the batteries to avoid voltage loss and/or overheating. What voltage is your CC's output and your batteries? Is your CC an MPPT or a PWM type? (MPPTs can harvest more solar power than PWMs, and can therefore put more power into the CC.) If it's a 12V system, with up to 1200W theoretically going into the CC (yes, I know that will rarely if ever happen!) you may possibly overload your CC. Some CCs limit their input power to prevent overloading their output, but some other CCs don't...

FYI, for my 12V system I have two MPPT 60A CCs, each one fed with up to 36A at 30V from four 255W panels, and that's about as much as any 60A CC can reliably handle.

John
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Old 07-31-2022, 02:37 PM   #6
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My charge controller Is mppt it's renogy 60 amp and I believe the cables are 2awg they are the ones the charge controller came with. Our multimeter ran out of battery currently so I'll have to get one of thoose before I can check that but the charge controller is getting input from the solar and reading voltage from the panels 800 watts. I believe it can be reset so I'll try that because the batteries everything seems good
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Old 07-31-2022, 02:46 PM   #7
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what type of multi meter do you have?
some are good for what you are doing but with your issues you might need one that reads true RMS signal.
aint a sparky but i play with enough to be dangerous to myself.
120v hurts but a 24v/48v bank hurts even more especially when hot and sweaty and lay across the battery bank?
more to that story. but will leave it there.
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:13 PM   #8
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That does not sound like a good idea at all. Electrical is dangerous. I'm not sure what we have there's a ton of stuff on it.
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:56 PM   #9
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gotta know what you are doing to play with any electrical.
yeah anyone can buy a multi meter but it doesnt come with true safety instructions from the manufacturer.
if you are not comfortable with it then find somebody that is.
once you learn it its not a big deal.
my problem was underestimating a 24v DC system.
and i deal with 208/230/460 volts daily in my opinion DC hurts more than A/C.
and i say that because i was in my battery box with a slide out drawer with two 8d batteries and sweaty and i have extra cable for the battery slide to pull out but on slide back in that extra cable was crammed behind the batteries going in?
my retrieval effort at the time was to crawl in the battery box and pull the cables up.
gottem up but everytime i got shocked the back of my head hit the battery box i was in .i cAn only call stupid on me.
and i knew better
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Old 07-31-2022, 06:31 PM   #10
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12 volts DC can definitely hurt you. In the Corps we were constantly reminded of safety. Safety notes in the manuals, annual or more often "safety stand downs", magazines about safety with stories of "see we told ya so".
Two things for mechanics.

1) never wear jewelry, even a wedding ring, when working on mechanical or electrical equipment.
2) Those dog tags you're supposed to wear all the time, that's "jewelry". Take them off and lace one or both into a boot or both boots.


Many ignored both.


Then we had one of OUR guys in OUR shop, bend over a battery, his tags fell out, and that cute metal bead "necklace" they're on shorted across the positive and negative poles of a 12 volt battery.
For the first micro second he was okay as the current passed between the poles though that chain.......FOR A MICROSECOND (maybe even a nano second).
Then it burned through and the power went the next shortest path, all the way around the back of his neck.


Third degree burns, a scar that so many stories could be made up about....because who's going to say a battery kicked their butt?


YEP 12 volts can hurt you.
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Old 08-01-2022, 12:10 PM   #11
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Definitely STOP using the electrical system until you have a better understanding of what is going on. Sounds like something is seriously wrong if your breakers are tripping, and you will easily fry devices or start fires from what little you've said.

You have to put some pictures up to diagnose this one. It sounds like the system was working, then you changed something, now it is tripping breakers, right? You said "...which we previously had instead of going to the batteries we had going to the bus bar first. Which we switched when we realized the error. "

What did you change? (description and pictures if you have them).

What is the rating of your solar panels, how many do you have, and how are they wired (serial or parallel)?

Is your power system 12v or 24v?

Happy to help with more information.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:56 PM   #12
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Where are you located?
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Old 08-14-2022, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Where are you located?
Located in northwest Indiana
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:06 PM   #14
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I also have had the system shut off while it's not working I turn it on when I'm trying to test and thats all. I finnaly got a multimeter. And all the readings on it are what they are supposed to be. 14.2 v coming out of the charge controller 14.2 going to the batteries. 48v coming in to the charge controller and off the solar pannels. So there's power everywhere. I don't get this at all I'm so ******* confused. But our solar pannels are 425 watt 48 volt and like 8 amp. I talked to renogy and they said it's not working because my batteries are charged.. which is deffintly not the case
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:06 PM   #15
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My system is 12 v
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:25 PM   #16
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Also my email address is tiffanyclairem@gmail.com if anybody wants pictures of the system because I can't figure out how to on here
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