Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

I have a situation where the "installer" didn't install (he lost - or whatever) the button to reset the charge controller. I am trying to clear a HVD error...and can't.
I have tried cutting off the breaker to the charge controller - the dummy lights are still lit. (Battery-powered? Magic?) I have cut ALL power to the house - and they're still lit. I have tried pushing the "button" with the front panel off - no luck. The lights remain lit and flashing.

I would like to reset/restart the controller - but it seems to be sitting outside of my control! Everytime I try to charge my low batteries for the last two days - it goes to this error.

Additionally, I would like to reset the DIP switches on the controller to reflect that the system is 24 volt. (My fraudulent, lying installer didn't bother to set any custom switches...). But it immediately goes to a G-Y-R light sequencing...even if the power is "off". Resetting at the breaker has no effect.

Two questions:

1. Are the batteries charging with the HVD error lights flashing?

2. How can I clear the error? Reset the DIP switches?

BTW, the appalling lack of user documentation for these products is nothing short of criminal. They were obviously written by engineers for installers who leave. Period. There is nothing in the docs or manuals about key concepts that might be related to troubleshooting problems. There are references to self-diagnostics - but no clue as to what they are. References to "restarting" the controller -but no clue as to how. References to "faults and errors" - but no trouble tree to help diagnose the problem. Arrgh! This is Morningstar's docs. Outbacks are even worse. An installation manual and a programming manual. No ongoing maintenance/user manual at all.

Thanks in advance (sorry for the rant)

CBear

Comments

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    I don't have one, but if it's like 99% of the others, There is no button, never was. Stick a ballpoint pen or a tooth pick in the hole and push the reset switch on the pcb board. If it's auto ranging it probably didn't need the switches set.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/tristar%20mppt will get you to the online docs.
    4.3 Push button
    The following functions can be enabled with the pushbutton (located on the front cover):
    PUSH
    • Reset from an error or fault.
    • Reset the battery service indication if this has been activated in custom settings. A new
    service period will be started, and the fl ashing LED’s will stop blinking. If the battery service
    is performed before the LED’s begin blinking, the pushbutton must be pushed at the
    time when the LED’s are blinking to reset the service interval and stop the blinking.
    PUSH AND HOLD 5 SECONDS
    • Request battery equalization manually. The TriStar MPPT will begin equalization in either
    the manual or automatic equalization mode. Equalization will begin when there is suffi cient
    solar power to charge the battery up to the equalization voltage. The LEDs will blink the
    sequence defi ned in table 4-3 below to confi rm that an equalize has been requested. The
    equalization request will automatically stop per the battery type selected (see Section 4.4).
    Equalization will only occur if the selected battery type has an equalization stage.
    • Stop an equalization that is in progress. This will be effective in either the manual or automatic
    mode. The equalization will be terminated. The LEDs will blink to confi rm the equalize
    has been cancelled as shown in table 4-3 below.

    Item # 17 is the button.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Hmmm... On page 40 of the instructions, it indicates that you have entered the equalizing stage... It also says that the button will reset the battery service indication if this has been activated in custom settings. Not sure if this mean you have to program this function via computer... Also, if it is at factory settings, it is using battery voltage to sense what size bank you have... Do you have a breaker between the controller and battery you can turn off? As well, if you have factory settings, then it may not be right for your kind of batteries, as shown on page 19... Also, it talks about the auto-equalize function on page 20... That's as far as I am with mine, as the batteries need to be picked up this week...
  • CBear42CBear42 Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the quick replies. But, I have the read the docs. The problem is pushing this button has absolutely NO EFFECT on the error code or the lights themselves. Cutting off the breakers to everything in the house - also has no effect on the charge controller - apparently.

    I agree, paulskirocks (nice name) - the factory settings probably aren't correct. BUT, the charge controller isn't letting me alter them via the DIP switches. As soon as I try to alter them - it starts the G-Y-R sequencing that indicates I tried to change the DIP switch settings while power was connected. Supposedly, using the reset button would allow you to still reset the DIP switches. BUT, my button has no apparent effect on the operation of the controller. I have tried at least 50 times to reset the switches with varying configurations of breakers on/off, etc. No luck with any of those.

    I have a breaker to the inverter, a breaker between the PV panels and the charge controller, a breaker between the inverter and the house - and none of them have any effect.

    Thanks,

    CBear
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???
    CBear42 wrote: »
    I have a breaker to the inverter, a breaker between the PV panels and the charge controller, a breaker between the inverter and the house - and none of them have any effect.

    Thanks,

    CBear

    Ah, but you have no disconnect between the controller and battery? Also, did you press and hold the rest button for five seconds, according to manual, to cancel equalize?
  • CBear42CBear42 Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Yes, AFAIK, there is no disconnect between the controller and the batteries themselves.

    Also, there is no automatic equalize set up - via the DIP switches - which is one thing I was wanting to do.

    So, yes, the button has been held - although according to the Morningstar software logs - these batteries have NEVER been in an equalization mode.

    The button - has NO effect.

    Thanks,

    CBear
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Well, I would disconnect the battery before going any further...
  • CBear42CBear42 Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Also, just to clarify - the LED buttons do not indicate that I am in Equalization mode.

    They are sequencing G-R rapidly. According to docs this = High voltage disconnect G / R sequencing

    Equalization mode is = Equalize request start G+Y+R / G+Y+R / G / G

    Thanks,

    CBear
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    This little tidbit from page 44: "Settings (DIP) Switch Changed (R / Y / G sequencing)
    If a settings switch is changed while there is power to the controller, the LED’s will begin sequencing
    and the solar input will disconnect. The controller must be restarted to clear the fault
    and begin operation with the new settings."

    So, now the solar has been disconnected, but the only way to restart (not reset) the controller would be to disconnect battery power, change the dip switches, then reconnect battery...
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,576 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???
    CBear42 wrote: »
    ...They are sequencing G-R rapidly. According to docs this = High voltage disconnect G / R sequencing
    ...

    Don't own this charge controller, but they seem well respected in the field. The Charge controllers I have owned, I made changes to the dip switches when there was no power to the charge controller. I suspect the Switces set for 12 volt and you want to change to 24 volt. It's 'seeing' the higher voltage and shutting down.

    I suspect that the installation instructions state to set the paramiters/dip switches for battery, voltage, type, charging voltages, monthy equalizing,.. before being attached to the batteries and to hook up to batteries, and bringing the CC up, before flipping the switch for your array.

    So first I would attach the CC to the other side of your battery inverter breaker, then you should be able to shut the CC down with the same breaker.
    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.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Well, no matter what, as per page 27: "Circuit breakers or fuses must be installed in both the battery and solar circuits." Not only will you be safer, you can then disconnect the battery and restart the whole thing...
  • CBear42CBear42 Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    Thanks everyone - I appreciate all the time you've taken and the responses you've made.

    This gives me (at least) a place to start. I also have a call into Morningstar Corp and hopefully, they can point me further along the way.

    Happy New Year all and Happy Solar-ing!

    CBear
  • operoseoperose Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    This charge controller _must_ have the batteries disconnected in order to be shut down. It will not run on PV power, it will only be powered on when the batteries are connected. If you have not disconnected the batteries when you are trying to change the DIP switches you need to do so. Should not be any need to wait for Morningstar to get back to you.

    As for the lack of documentation, this info is all from the manual that I received when purchasing my charge controller and it seemed they had good docs available online as well. Perhaps your unscrupulous installer simply tossed the nice "manual" that is more like a book.
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    I have 2 of the Morningstar TS-60 which is a PWM version, but operates very much the same. I suggest you CAREFULLY disconnect the voltage sense wires. (That may be giving it power when the breakers are off, haven't tried it on mine) I always connect the solar connector on the charge controller to the correct size breaker (Load side) and the line side of the breaker to the solar panel or string(s). The battery connection goes to the load side of the breaker and the line side goes to the positive bus. I use Midnite breakers and bus bars from NAWS. Very handy things to have around. Both breakers need to be off in order to power down the controller, and don't forget to disconnect the voltage sense wires very carefully as they will be hot. I would disconnect the sense wires at the battery first.

    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    I've have both the "standard" PWM TS-60 and now using the TS-MPPT-60. They are basically identical to the 45 models In all cases, the controller must be de-powered BEFORE the dip switches are changed! It's in the manual. There MUST be a breaker or fuse between the controller and batteries! Otherwise, a short in the controller could draw full battery power and cause a fire! It's VERY easy to restart / reset these controllers. First, cut the power from the panels (to be safe), THEN cut the power from the batteries! It then receives no power, so will be powered down! Then reconnect the battery power to the controller (switch the breaker back on, or reinstall the inline fuse etc), the three lights will sequence, then settle on the battery voltage state. Then reconnect the solar panels. There is NO WAY to shut down or reset the controller without cutting battery power!
    Of course the lights will continue in alarm until the controller has been powered down and restarted.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???
    H2SO4_guy wrote: »
    I suggest you CAREFULLY disconnect the voltage sense wires. (That may be giving it power when the breakers are off,

    Skip

    No, these wires only provide battery voltage sensing signal, they do not provide operating power to the controller. His problem, apparently, is that he has no breaker or fuse between the batteries and the controller. Scary! And no switch, so the controller is constantly receiving power from the batteries therefore cannot be shut down. And if it can't be shut down, it can't be restarted and the alarm state can't be reset.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone Here Have a TriStar 45 MPPT charge controller installed???

    I have the MPPT 60, big brother of yours. You have to disconnect it from the batteries to reset. Your installer owes you another breaker. Also get a serial-USB translator cable, and you can program and clear errors from your computer.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    The Tri 45/60 PWM controller manual here:

    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1267528/Morningstar-Tristar-Ts-60.html?page=22#manual
    DIP Switch Number 7 - Battery Equalization:
    Equalize
    Switch 7
    Manual Off
    Auto On
    In the Auto Equalization mode (switch #7 On), battery equalization will
    automatically start and stop according to the battery program selected by
    the DIP switches 4,5,6 above. See Section 4.0 for detailed information
    about each standard battery algorithm and the equalization.
    In the Manual Equalization mode (switch #7 Off), equalization will occur only
    when manually started with the push-button. Automatic starting of equalization
    is disabled. The equalization will automatically stop per the battery algorithm
    selected.
    In both cases (auto and manual mode), the push-button can be used to start
    and stop battery equalization.

    4.4.1 Standard Equalization Programs

    Both automatic and manual equalizations can be performed using either the
    standard charging programs
    (see 4.2)
    Manual Equalization
    The TriStar is shipped with the DIP switch set for manual equalization only.
    This is to avoid an unexpected or unwanted automatic equalization. In the
    manual mode, the push-button is used to both start or stop a manual
    equalization. Hold the push-button down for 5 seconds to start or stop an
    equalization (depending on whether an equalization is in progress or not).
    The LEDs will confirm the transition (all 3 LEDs blink 2 times). When the
    battery charging enters into equalization, the Green LED will start fast blinking
    2-3 times per second.
    There are no limits to how many times the push-button can be used to start
    and stop equalizations. Equalizations will be terminated automatically per the
    charging program selected if the push-button is not used to manually stop the
    equalization.
    Automatic Equalization
    If the equalization DIP switch is moved to the ON position
    the equalizations will begin automatically per the charging program selected.
    Other than starting, the automatic and manual equalizations are the same and
    follow the standard charging program selected. The push-button can be used
    to start and stop equalizations in both the manual and automatic mode
    There are several manuals for the TS 45/60 at the above site... But the couple I checked seem to be consistent about the EQ instructions.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
    edited March 26 #20
    I have 5 Morningstar controllers with one a 45MPPT version 2, its 8 years old, the first version was not so robust.

    It must have a breaker on the source/generator and another breaker on the batteries.

    The DIP's must be set for your battery voltage and for there charging regime.  I always set equalisation for manual as it would conflict with my other Morninstar Tristars.    It is also possible with a Laptop to get access to the internal settings for minor adjustments to the DIP's settings.    A led display Screen is also helpful as you can walk gently through what it is doing and switch on /off the Equalization.

    As you can see in the photo its along side a Midnite200, but i much prefer the Tristar 45 MPPT.

    My other Tristars, set for diversion loads, are also bulletproof and even continue doing there job when overloaded and then another steps in, the first show Error but carry's on. 

    Yes, after 12 years using Morningstar Tristars i can not fault them.

    them. 

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (12 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 years) .... 9kW PV AC coupled using Used/second hand GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with the AC Coupling and OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries. 

  • mike_smike_s Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭
    You guys do realize you're responding to someone who hasn't been active here for 8 years, don't you?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    Newer member JRHill that asked the question about EQing with TS-45 controller... However, he has since deleted the original post. Why, I do not know (perhaps found the manual/answer himself while we were posting).

    -Bill "moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • JRHillJRHill Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭
    BB. said:
    (perhaps found the manual/answer himself while we were posting).

    BB is correct - I found the manual! Sorry to cause a false start.
    Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFX 3648, FM80, FNDC, 240 xformer, three SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. Miller Bobcat.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    No problem.

    Bill "carry on" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭
    least it was not me re-animating a zombie thread...  done that a few times on other forums  :blush:
    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, 20 sharp 200 watt panels,  morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. 
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