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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Weymouth
    Posts
    85

    Default Solar panels not charging

    Problem with Victron MPPT controller & solar panels
    Three days ago my 75v/15A MPPT controller stopped working.

    I have 200W of solar panels installed in April. It had worked perfectly. When I discovered it wasn't working I disconnected the battery positive, reconnected and they worked again. 36 hours later they stopped working. On both occasions the app showed them as off, the blue led is flashing which indicates “not charging”

    I have since, on advice covered the panels, disconnected and reconnected the battery positive and then uncovered the panels. Still not working.

    The other odd symptom, the voltage on the PV wires at the controller is as expected 21v. If they're connected to the MPPT controller the terminal block gives a voltage of 2.1v. If the battery is connected then I get the battery voltage.

    I’ve now tried replacing the Victron MPPT controller but the problem persists.

    Any suggestions appreciated

    Thanks in advance
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
    Live the life you have imagined

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    573

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    You haven't exactly had a lot of Sun recently. However have you tried by-passing the controller and connecting the panels direct to the battery and then see what voltage you get. Use a couple of croc. clips won't hurt the battery while you measure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,423

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    Quote Originally Posted by AB1707 View Post
    Problem with Victron MPPT controller & solar panels
    Three days ago my 75v/15A MPPT controller stopped working.

    I have 200W of solar panels installed in April. It had worked perfectly. When I discovered it wasn't working I disconnected the battery positive, reconnected and they worked again. 36 hours later they stopped working. On both occasions the app showed them as off, the blue led is flashing which indicates “not charging”

    I have since, on advice covered the panels, disconnected and reconnected the battery positive and then uncovered the panels. Still not working.

    The other odd symptom, the voltage on the PV wires at the controller is as expected 21v. If they're connected to the MPPT controller the terminal block gives a voltage of 2.1v. If the battery is connected then I get the battery voltage.

    I’ve now tried replacing the Victron MPPT controller but the problem persists.

    Any suggestions appreciated

    Thanks in advance
    You have replaced the MPPT controller so at least for the time being assume that is OK.

    I think I would disconnect the solar panels from the controller and from each other then, in full sun, check both the open circuit volts and the short circuit current for each panel individually. Also check all the wiring for faults.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Wolverhampton, UK Boat: Gosport
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    You have replaced the MPPT controller so at least for the time being assume that is OK.

    I think I would disconnect the solar panels from the controller and from each other then, in full sun, check both the open circuit volts and the short circuit current for each panel individually. Also check all the wiring for faults.
    Sound piece of advice from VicS - except: I'm thinking "in full sun" might be a tad difficult even with British optimism, weather wise.
    Cheers,
    George

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    573

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    [QUOTE=VicS;6814785]You have replaced the MPPT controller so at least for the time being assume that is OK.

    He says that the problem persists.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,423

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    [QUOTE=Alex_Blackwood;6814837]
    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    You have replaced the MPPT controller so at least for the time being assume that is OK.

    He says that the problem persists.
    I am assuming that a brand new controller will not be be faulty ........ it seems very likely that if a new controller has made no difference that the old one was probably OK too. Therefore look elsewhere for the problem ie wiring or an obscure fault with one of the solar panels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    573

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    [QUOTE=VicS;6814849]
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Blackwood View Post

    I am assuming that a brand new controller will not be be faulty ........ it seems very likely that if a new controller has made no difference that the old one was probably OK too. Therefore look elsewhere for the problem ie wiring or an obscure fault with one of the solar panels.
    Vic, Sorry miss-read you. Agree with you. I did suggest the by-pass as a means of checking if the panels were producing anything on load. I do suspect that it may be a lack of light.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    7,699

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Blackwood View Post
    Vic, Sorry miss-read you. Agree with you. I did suggest the by-pass as a means of checking if the panels were producing anything on load. I do suspect that it may be a lack of light.
    Unless his boat is in a shed, it won't be lack of light.

    Currently seeing 42v from my panels (wired in series). Been getting 500-600 wh per day over the past few gloomy days. Was 950wh three days ago, although the next day was a poor 280wh.

    I'd go with posts 2 and 3.
    Rainbow Marine.
    www.rainbowmarine.co.uk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,423

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    [QUOTE=Alex_Blackwood;6814864]
    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post

    Vic, Sorry miss-read you. Agree with you. I did suggest the by-pass as a means of checking if the panels were producing anything on load. I do suspect that it may be a lack of light.
    Yes I saw that I am simply saying I would take one step back towards basics by directly checking VMAX and IMAX for each panel in the array.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Weymouth
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Solar panels not charging

    Thank you gents, I’ve now found a poor connection in the port lazarette.It was allowing the voltage but insufficient for the charger to operate. Thank you for your prompt suggestions.
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
    Live the life you have imagined

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