Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

2»

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    The only time you see Voltage drop is under load. If the panels are not loaded there is no current flow and no V-drop as a result of trying to feed the Voltage through the resistance of the wiring.

    Your system does sound a touch on the jerry-rigged side. I would be concerned as to what gauge wiring was installed with the original 85 Watt panel, as that would produce only about 4-5 Amps whereas the combined 135 and 100 Watt panels would be around 13 Amps. It also sounds like there is also quite a bit of distance involved.

    BTW you should be able to jumper the Sunsaver's PV (+) IN and BATT (+) OUT with your meter set to Amps and see if it can supply current to the battery.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    I would be concerned as to what gauge wiring was installed with the original 85 Watt panel, as that would produce only about 4-5 Amps whereas the combined 135 and 100 Watt panels would be around 13 Amps. It also sounds like there is also quite a bit of distance involved.

    The 100watt is 5 feet of 18 GA directly to the controller. The 85watt was on 14GA over 18 feet, I have replaced the section from the wall with 10GA so about 13 feet is 14GA, the rest 10.
    BTW you should be able to jumper the Sunsaver's PV (+) IN and BATT (+) OUT with your meter set to Amps and see if it can supply current to the battery.

    Interesting, I will give that a try...
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Interesting thread. I'm having a similar problem on my new Sunsaver MPPT SS-MPPT-15L. Except in my case the unit fails to charge the following day after a power up reset (pull the battery connection). When I experience the issue the SOC LED is yellow (battery voltage is 12.2 V), the status light blink green,, panel is outputting 28 V (3 x PVL-32 from unisolar in series) but no charging. If I pull and reinsert the battery fuse, the SS reset and starts charging. I hooked up via MSView and can pull data etc. Come sunset the load turns on correctly. However next morning no charging and interestingly I can't connect via MSView either. Anyone else have any ideas. Ambient temperature is ~32F and I am not using a remote temp sensor.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Interesting thread. I'm having a similar problem on my new Sunsaver MPPT SS-MPPT-15L. Except in my case the unit fails to charge the following day after a power up reset (pull the battery connection). When I experience the issue the SOC LED is yellow (battery voltage is 12.2 V), the status light blink green,, panel is outputting 28 V (3 x PVL-32 from unisolar in series) but no charging. If I pull and reinsert the battery fuse, the SS reset and starts charging. I hooked up via MSView and can pull data etc. Come sunset the load turns on correctly. However next morning no charging and interestingly I can't connect via MSView either. Anyone else have any ideas. Ambient temperature is ~32F and I am not using a remote temp sensor.

    Two things: I don't understand why you are disconnecting the battery, and are you disconnecting the panels first?
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Well disconnecting the battery resets the sunsaver, similar to the power cycle needed when you make programming changes via MSView software. No I'm not disconnecting the panels first.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Well disconnecting the battery resets the sunsaver, similar to the power cycle needed when you make programming changes via MSView software. No I'm not disconnecting the panels first.

    That still doesn't explain why you keep disconnecting it. Usually you program it and let it run. Unless you are changing batteries a lot there should be no need to repeatedly reset it.

    It is a good idea to disconnect panels first; without the battery connected the panels may raise the Voltage throughout the controller too high. This may 'confuse' the controller.
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    That still doesn't explain why you keep disconnecting it. Usually you program it and let it run. Unless you are changing batteries a lot there should be no need to repeatedly reset it.

    It is a good idea to disconnect panels first; without the battery connected the panels may raise the Voltage throughout the controller too high. This may 'confuse' the controller.

    Just followed the manual.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    That still doesn't explain why you keep disconnecting it. Usually you program it and let it run. Unless you are changing batteries a lot there should be no need to repeatedly reset it.
    It is a good idea to disconnect panels first; without the battery connected the panels may raise the Voltage throughout the controller too high. This may 'confuse' the controller.
    Exactly! To do otherwise is asking for trouble. I've had extensive experience with 4 Morningstar controllers over the years, 3 of them MPPT, and they all work basically the same way. In all these years and controllers I've never had any reason to reset any of them. And to be on the safe side, the PVs always get disconnected first, before the batteries are disconnected, any time power was/is removed from the controllers to make adjustments, wiring changes etc.
    I've found them to be amazingly reliable controllers.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Just followed the manual.

    It's not the best, it's adequate once you do like you are and get some clarity. It seems to be a universal approach to pull the panels first then the batteries and it makes sense to me, this forum is an *Excellent* resource for info without the usual ego-centric grandstanding I encounter on other ones.
    New controller is out for delivery, I hope this takes care of it.

    And I am still trying to understand how best to use the "Battery Watts" reading of my RM-1's battery info display, like anything I use for work, if I am not totally clear on something, it makes me restless until I am 100% confident.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Got the new controller in, it seems to behaving differently / better than the other one, all the readings looked good. I put a good bit of load on the battery, exhaust fan on high, lights on, fridge / freezer on high and only had about 10 minutes of low angle sun before it went behind a mountain, the RM-1 read 17.8V, 40 watts going into the battery, fairly low on the watts but so was the sun.

    I'll see what awaits me in the morning, hopefully stable SOC w/ decent battery reading, normal operations. It is warm though, high of 42 low of 28 tomorrow.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    If you return the bad one, and they tell you what the problem was, please post what they tell you... would like to know.:cool:
     
    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
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    Gloworm wrote: »
    Got the new controller in, it seems to behaving differently / better than the other one, all the readings looked good. I put a good bit of load on the battery, exhaust fan on high, lights on, fridge / freezer on high and only had about 10 minutes of low angle sun before it went behind a mountain, the RM-1 read 17.8V, 40 watts going into the battery, fairly low on the watts but so was the sun.

    I'll see what awaits me in the morning, hopefully stable SOC w/ decent battery reading, normal operations. It is warm though, high of 42 low of 28 tomorrow.

    Glad to hear, you've inspired me to ask for an RMA on my unit - after changing everything except the Sunsaver MPPT it refuses to charge for more than one day, doesn't log and communications via MODBUS are flaky.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Glad to hear, you've inspired me to ask for an RMA on my unit - after changing everything except the Sunsaver MPPT it refuses to charge for more than one day, doesn't log and communications via MODBUS are flaky.

    What is the first three numbers of your serial number and what firmware are you using? Mine was 103_____ and the first firmware...now it is 131_____ and the latest firmware.

    Also, I gained a new reading on my RM-1, battery current and downloaded the updated meter maps from Morningstar....I wish there were an in depth link, thread or something as a point of reference to break down what each reading means, how to use it in day to day operations. Kind of a "RM-1 for Dummies" who don't want to be dummies.
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Glad to hear, you've inspired me to ask for an RMA on my unit - after changing everything except the Sunsaver MPPT it refuses to charge for more than one day, doesn't log and communications via MODBUS are flaky.

    Got an email from Tech Support with a new firmware file. Appears to be different than file that is provided on the website, filename is ssppt_v10_boot.hex.msc vs SSMPPT_Update_v09.msc on the website. Updated unit tonight, I'll see if it behaves and report over the next couple of days.
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...
    madscot wrote: »
    Got an email from Tech Support with a new firmware file. Appears to be different than file that is provided on the website, filename is ssppt_v10_boot.hex.msc vs SSMPPT_Update_v09.msc on the website. Updated unit tonight, I'll see if it behaves and report over the next couple of days.

    Fixed. No more comms issues (exporting logs works in that there is more than Cell A1 populated) appears to charge properly.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Interesting you got FW version 10, my new unit is on 9 but I have to say, even with days of no sun, 2-3" of snow on the panel and lows in the single digits, everything is working just fine.
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    It is not at all uncommon to have electronics quit around freezing temperature,
    particularly the [inexpensive import] type.
    Commercial rated ICs typically are not specified below 32 deg F.
    I have some inverters that quit anytime they get below about 20 deg.
  • madscotmadscot Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Spoke too soon. Log files are back to being a single time stamp in cell A1 (when opened in Excel) - power cycling has no effect. Let's see what tech support suggestion
    madscot wrote: »
    Fixed. No more comms issues (exporting logs works in that there is more than Cell A1 populated) appears to charge properly.
  • GlowormGloworm Solar Expert Posts: 28
    Re: Sunsaver MPPT fails to charge in cold weather...

    Bummer, sorry to hear it. Mine has been flawless since getting the controller replaced...wood + knocks on...
    madscot wrote: »
    Spoke too soon. Log files are back to being a single time stamp in cell A1 (when opened in Excel) - power cycling has no effect. Let's see what tech support suggestion
Sign In or Register to comment.