Blue Sky problems

I hope someone can help me with controller problems on my RV. I have 2 Blue Sky 2512i(x) controllers each wired to 2 Kyocera 130 watt panels. the controllers are hooked to a Blue Sky IPN Pro Remote master controller. From the controllers to the batteries I ran a single larger wire. I did the install myself with info from Blue Sky and the store I purchased from.
The problem is sporadically one of the controllers would go to full charge, run the batts voltage up to 15 volts, and my inverter controls would respond to the 0ver charge and disconnect everything. If I totally disconnect the controller from the batt's and the panels for 5 minutes and re-install it, it would work fine.
Contacted Blue Sky, they'd never heard of that happening in any application, and determined it had to be interference due to proximity to other powerlines,sources or an electronic ignitor for fridge or water heater.
I wrapped the lines as much as I could get to them with heavy duty aluminum foil and it seemed to occur less often, but still would overcharge on occasion. I was very experienced with the disconnect procedure.
Recently one of the controllers stopped passing current through, the light on the controller face comes on, but no power passing through. The second controller will charge upto 14.5 volts and hold there, not idle back down to a 13.4 float . The Pro remote does not change any of the controller problems if disconnected.
If anyone has any suggestions,I'd appreciate them. I'm ready to go to a different controllern setup, as these are less then 2 years old, But I don't want to continue with these type problems . Thanks, B

Comments

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Blue Sky problems

    B,

    What kind of batteries are you using? Flooded cell? VRLA (AGM or gel)?

    More later,
    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Blue Sky problems

    I have 4 trojan 6-volts standard flooded cell.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Blue Sky problems

    B,

    I’ve seen charge controllers get into an over-voltage “dance” with lightly loaded AGM batteries charged by “active” MPPT , but not with flooded-cell batteries. I attribute this behavior to AGM batteries’ slow dissipation of surface charge.

    I find it particularly odd that you’re witnessing this behavior in two controllers. One controller behaving this way might be explained away as some sort of individual manufacturing defect. But having two controllers misbehave this way suggests something more systemic.

    As you know, the 2512ix is very particular about how it’s wired, especially in multi-controller applications. Note, for example, that the PV (+) and (-) connections and the battery (+) and (-) connections must all be individually connected to the controller {no sharing the (-) connection (manual page 9)}. I’m guessing there’s a shunt in the battery (-) connection.

    Blue Sky’s instructions for networking multiple controller’s are detailed and specific. I recommend you double- or even-triple check to make sure everything is installed and wired correctly, including polarities.

    For example, one of your controllers must be designated at the “master” (address 0), and the other as a “slave” (address 1). Charging parameters are set in the master unit only, and the slave will copy the settings. And, the IPN wiring between the controllers must be twisted pair. See manual pages 11-12 for more details. If the controller’s reside in an electrically noisy environment, then you may need to use shielded twisted pair wire and ground the drain wire.

    If you're ready to look at another controller, then a single large unit with both DC-to-DC stepdown and MPPT capability would be the way to go. For eaxample, you could wire your four KC-130 modules as a single 24 V array (a "2 x 2" configuration), and the controller would convert the array's high voltage/low current to low voltage/high current for charging the battery bank.

    The OutBack MX60 MPPT charge controller (street price = ~$500) might be work considering. It can handle up to ~800 W STC of PV modules for 12 V systems (up to six KC-130's). A functionally similar new product is the Xantrex XW MPPT controller.

    HTH, and happy holiday!
    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Blue Sky problems

    Jim,
    Thanks for the help, the wires from the panels to the controllers are seperate, then seperate out of the controllers to a junction box and joined to a larger size single wire to the batteries. There is a shunt installed as specified in the manual.
    I am fairly sure that it is wired up correctly and master/slave settings are correct ( I consulted with Rick @ Blue Sky as I installed and went over all settings when I started having problems). It is a twisted wire between the 2 controllers. Whatever sets off the controller will do it whether or not it is hooked to the pro remote or disconnected and operating on its' own. Rick felt it had to be something generating an interference when in use. probably the ignitor for gas water heater or fridge on gas. I tried to run the wires away from other wiring as much as I could when installing, but options are limited in a Mohome. The batteries are close to the water heater, but the controller would kick when we were plugged into power and not on gas. I thought it might be the Microwave, but again it would kick when we were gone for the day, and nothing pulling power, no A/C, micro, etc. It's been frustrating but I planned on dealing with it until the controllers went out. If a different controller is less likely to react to an interference from other devices, I don't mind the cost, but don't want to repeat the problem.
    Is there any way, short of shielded wire, to insulate the wiring and controllers or isolate them from interference. The controllers are in a metal outlet box and are mounted on a wooden surface. You mentioned a ground might be needed, where would this attach to the controller? I appreciate any help I didn't have any solar power folks in our area that's why i self installed, But may need the experts if I can't resolve this, Thanks, B
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