Solar controller not charging

Hey everyone I have a magnum MM1512 inverter hooked up to 4 Trojan T-105 batteries,
I'm just trying to supply power to 4 lightbulbs from 7 pm - 10 pm
I have 3 matrix pw-1000 solar panels and I'm using a Morningstar prostar 30.
My problem has been that the batteries do not charge.
I noticed that these controllers have a place to hook up a load. But wasn't sure if that's the problem.
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Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    No, it's not the problem. The LOAD terminals are for low current DC loads only.

    What you've got: 450 Amp hours @ 12 Volts worth of battery. Good for up to about 2.7 kW hours.
    If those are the panels I think they are they are 95 Watt. Three makes for 285 Watts, which is not going to recharge that much battery properly.
    You've got about 15 Amps peak current potential, which would be a charge rate around 3% which is well below the 5% recommended minimum.

    My advice: disconnect two of the batteries.
    225 Amp hours @ 12 Volts should manage 1.3 kw hours
    The panels will charge them at a rate of about 6%, which is just over minimum.

    Calculate the size of the lights * the three hours use and see how many Watt hours you're consuming, and don't forget the inverter will be using power while on too.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Also be sure the batteries are setup in 2 strings rather than 1 or 12 volt system rather than 24, and Morningstar prostar 30 is setup to charge 12 volt rather than 24. All this based on your 12 volt inverter.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • EnduranceEndurance Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Why is it necessary to invert 12v to 110v just to run four lights? Unless the lights are really specialized, you could simplify by going to 12v or 24v lights and ditching the inverter.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Also make sure those panels are in 12v configuration not 24 or you are only getting 50% of their rated power. That family has 2 configurations, 12 v / 24v.

    http://www.proidea.hu/bps-business-power-systems-107698/photowatt-napelemek-252476/PW%201000.pdf
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    How do I wire them so that they are 12 v?
    Right now I have 3 of them connected +- +- +- connected directly to charge controller.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    castilloj wrote: »
    How do I wire them so that they are 12 v?
    Right now I have 3 of them connected +- +- +- connected directly to charge controller.

    If you wrote that the way you meant you have three panels connected in series which is a minimum of 36 Volts and won't work at all on a 12 Volt system with a PWM controller.

    Measure the Voltage on one panel with nothing connected to it except the meter. If it's a bit more than 20 +/- Volts they're 12 Volt panels. If it's a bit more than 40 +/- Volts they're 24.

    You want 12 Volt panels in parallel (all positives together, all negatives together) for that controller & 12 Volt system.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    I repeat, that family of solar panel has 2 configurations. One is 12 volt and the other is 24 volt.
    You need to know which configuration you have.
    Use a multimeter to check the PV output of each panel as Coot said.
    You need them in 12 volt configuration. If not you are losing power...

    As well the Charge controller and the batteries must be in 12 volt setup so it will all work together.

    EDIT ADD: look at the first table on this link as it gives the values to use to determine if each panel is wired 12 or 24 volt. http://www.proidea.hu/bps-business-power-systems-107698/photowatt-napelemek-252476/PW%201000.pdf
    NOTE: these numbers are from a lab test and in reality you will get something less in the field.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    My Hungarian is a little rusty but it looks like the ol' familiar 404 error on that link.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    My Hungarian is a little rusty but it looks like the ol' familiar 404 error on that link.


    If you either copy that link and paste it into a text editor or just click "Reply with Quote", or even look at the mouse over in your browser, you can see that the person who inserted it just copied the visible part of the link, not the actual URL behind it. It is OK to see "..." in the visible text of the link, but it is not going to work if the "..." is also in the link url itself.
    Here is what it looks like with the linking facility of the forum defeated:

    [u*r*l*]http://www.proidea.hu/bps-business-p.../PW 1000.pdf[/url]

    If only we knew what was hidden in that "..." we could fix the link. :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    I copied it from my initial posting which I clicked on to make sure it worked and it did so copied and pasted it, so here it is again from the 'original' page...
    http://www.proidea.hu/bps-business-power-systems-107698/photowatt-napelemek-252476/PW%201000.pdf
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Okay, that one works! :D
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    westbranch wrote: »
    I copied it from my initial posting which I clicked on to make sure it worked and it did so copied and pasted it, so here it is again from the 'original' page...
    http://www.proidea.hu/bps-business-power-systems-107698/photowatt-napelemek-252476/PW%201000.pdf

    Just be sure to use right click and "Copy Link" instead of just highlighting it and using "Copy". That way you get the real link URL rather than the visible text.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    So i wired three panels positive/positive negative/negative and I'm getting 12.6-12.7 right now at 10:27 Am.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    castilloj wrote: »
    So i wired three panels positive/positive negative/negative and I'm getting 12.6-12.7 right now at 10:27 Am.

    Voltage measured where?
    The other issue, the big one for panels, is the current. Panels are current sources. They can put out Voltage under almost any light, but need full-on bright sun to produce their maximum current.
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Measured right before the controller.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    verify what the pv voltage is without being connected to your batteries and inverter.
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    When I measure the panels before I connect to controller I get 12.1v . When i measure prostar 30 after I connect, the batteries read 11.8
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    In full sun (really any sun/light clouds), a solar panel designed to charge a 12 volt battery bank should read around 20-22 volt or so Voc (open circuit voltage--Just connected to a volt meter, no loads).

    11.8 is a very low voltage for a 12 volt lead acid battery... That is well below 50% state of charge. You need to get that battery recharged quickly before it sulfates and dies. Connect to a 12 volt AC battery charger until you get the solar issues worked out.

    What brand/model of panels are those? Have you double checked the volt meter that is it accurate (and meter batteries are OK). You can check on a car--Resting, the car battery should be >12.6 volts, with the engine running , the battery should be around 13.8 to 14.2 volts (assuming battery is charged).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    that is not a voltage indicative of 3 pvs in series let alone 1 pv by itself in good working order as open circuit voltages should be much higher even on a single pv. something is amiss somewhere.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    You have "matrix pw-1000 "?

    Check the voltage of each panel, Open circuit, and see what they read. You may have one that has issues, with 3 in parallel one with low voltage will limit the others to that voltage!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    niel wrote: »
    that is not a voltage indicative of 3 pvs in series let alone 1 pv by itself in good working order as open circuit voltages should be much higher even on a single pv. something is amiss somewhere.

    These are connected positive/ positive negative/ negative
    At the panel there is +01 234 56-
    When I measure 1 and 5 I get 12.3 v when I do 0 and 6 I get 38.4v
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    castilloj wrote: »
    These are connected positive/ positive negative/ negative
    At the panel there is +01 234 56-
    When I measure 1 and 5 I get 12.3 v when I do 0 and 6 I get 38.4v

    Well none of this makes sense to me, you have 3 panels?

    disconnect them all and measure each individually, if they are roof mounted and you find you can't tell which wires go with which panels iff all wires are disconnected, attach a lead (one end of the volt meter) to one wire and only one other should give you a reading. If more than one gives you a reading something is wrong.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    I looked and best i could find was a thread here where I had found some info and a pdf file of wiring that nolonger works;

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/archive/index.php/t-7621.html

    If you want to run all the different connections for current and voltage, I suspect someone here can tell you how to wire them, It's done with 2 wires and that makes the connections between the series of cells and likely you hook up the connections to the other 2 at the ends of the series of cells.

    I tried but need to do a few other things now.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    I'm NOT the elctrical wiring guy...

    but you have exposed diodes in this and the power runs toward the silver strip, and they are normally connected to the + side (?)to prevent current from discharging through the panels/string of cells, so you would want to connect the strings of cells that terminate at the siver side of the diodes...

    For 24V configuration 2 of the strings would run to the negative side of another string and for 12 volt they would be connected...

    Any help out there, I'm really out of my area. HELP!

    are there any 'wires connecting things in the junction boxes (Jbox) now?

    "Your out of your tree...
    ...it's not my tree" -from Benny and Joon
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    "Any help out there, I'm really out of my area. HELP!"

    yikes. do we now have to offer help to those helping too. (i need a vacation.:roll::p) i can recommend a psychiatrist named lucy.:p

    he's just going to have to do some measurements and figure out why it's not right. we can lead him to water, but we can't drink it for him to show him how to drink, we're online.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    In light of the lack of a wiring diagram we're going to have to 'black box' this. :D

    Seven connection point in the junction box. Panels are capable of either 12 or 24 Volt configuration. Probably 72 cell panels.
    So there must be one division of cells which equates to 1/2 Voltage 2X current for 12 Volt and all in series for full Voltage 1X current for 24 Volt.
    Other connection points are likely inter-cell for connecting bypass diodes to control shading effect.
    With #0 as positive and #6 as negative we get 38.4 Voc. This should indicate the connection for 24 Volt.
    0 & 1 should be one cell segment. 1 & 2 the next, then 2 & 3, 3 & 4, 4 & 5, and 5 & 6 last. That's six segments of 12 cells in series (nominal 6 Volts each). If there is a bypass diode across each of these segments that is how they have split them up.
    There should be a breakable connection at #3. This would make #0 positive and #3 negative for half of the 12 Volt configuration, and the 'detached' #3 positive and #6 negative for the other half (would need to be paralleled to the first half).

    Here's the thing: the Voc on a 'true' 24 Volt panels should be about 44-46 Volts, not 38. It sounds like one segment is not putting out its 6 Volts worth. The very low reading between #1 & #5 indicates it is one of those segments. It would not be 0&1 or 5&6 because those aren't included in that measurement.

    Check the segments in sequence to find the one that read zero. Chances are the bypass diode across that segment is shorted.

    Or this could all be wrong. :D
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Ok so I have the three panels unplugged and I'm measuring each one by themselves straight on the box.

    Panel 1- 0/6 38v 0/5 25.2 v 1/5 12.5v 1/6 25.2v 0/4 18.7v
    Panel 2- 0/6 38 v 0/5 25.2 v 1/5 12.5 v 1/6 25.2v 0/4 18.7
    Panel 3- 0/6 38 v 0/5 25.2v 1/5 12.5v 1/6 25.2 v 0/4 18.7

    Maybe all of my diodes are bad?
    If that's the case. Could I connect them 0/5 and use the 25.2 v or would this burn my Morningstar prostar 30?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    First you need to pick just one panel and measure it progressively: #0 always being positive, then check Voltage from that point through 1,2,3,4,5,6. This is to figure out what the relationships between the points are. That way you'll have an idea how they are supposed to interact.
    You started doing this but then picked 1 & 5 and 1 & 6; why?

    What you have so far:
    0 & 6 38 Volts, 0 & 5 25.2 Volts, 0 & 4 18.7 Volts.

    This sounds like there is a problem with a segment between 0 & 4 that is losing about 6 Volts. Or it could be that my configuration guess is not correct, as you never know how they wire these things unless they tell you.

    The Prostar would take 25 Voc on a 12 Volt system without any trouble. The problem is if you pick a section of panel that delivers the right Voltage but still contains a bad (for whatever reason) segment you will not get the full current you should as that segment won't contribute.

    The way it is supposed to be is that they are wired all in series for the higher Voltage output, the split in two and wired in parallel for the lower. Until it can be determine what that sequencing is with those panels it is just speculation as to what is wrong. But if all the bypass diodes were bad the output would be zero. How many diodes are there, btw?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar controller not charging
    castilloj wrote: »
    Panel 1- 0/6 38v 0/5 25.2 v 1/5 12.5v 1/6 25.2v 0/4 18.7v
    Panel 2- 0/6 38 v 0/5 25.2 v 1/5 12.5 v 1/6 25.2v 0/4 18.7
    Panel 3- 0/6 38 v 0/5 25.2v 1/5 12.5v 1/6 25.2 v 0/4 18.7

    Are we sure these are Pw 1000 12/24, From all the hunting around yesterday, it appears that there are pw1000 panels set up for 24 volt charging and 12/24 (there might also be panels set up for 12 volt charging only) My guess is they will be marked for the different panels.

    I think it's a good sign that they all have similar readings, your in Haiti, so my guess is the panels are very hot and the voltage is lower than panel rating, might be higher in the early morning before the panel gets hot.

    Just to be clear, Are there any wires inside of the box connecting one string to another? Are all these positive voltages running from the first post to the second post? Is there voltage across 2 and 3 or 2 and 4? with the diodes you will need to check both directions...

    Where are the diodes connected? 1 to 0 with the silver ring on the 0 side? and?

    Can you measure amperage?
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • castillojcastilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
    Re: Solar controller not charging

    Yes there is a jumper cable between 2 and 4
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