Morningstar Prostar question

MikeyMikey Registered Users Posts: 5
I just finished building a small (150ah) solar generator and have a question about the operation of the Morningstar Prostar charge controller.

I plugged some LED lights into a cigarette lighter that is wired into the "load" side of the charge controller. When I push the "load off" button, the lights almost turn off, but stay on just a little bit. I'm assuming that is not normal, but I wanted to check with others that may be using this same charge controller.

I put a volt meter on the lugs of the load terminals, and with the load turned on it was reading a little over 13 volts (I had just charged the battery). With the load off, the terminals said just over 12V.

Any input would be appreciated.

Comments

  • SlappySlappy Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question

    I have the PS-30m and it has a bleed over (like you are describing) when the switch is off. I just shrugged it off and gave it no more thought. (Haven't used it in a few years). But why it does this I really don't know..
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question

    Put an incandescent bulb on the load terminals and check the 'off' Voltage again. The 'switch' is a solid state unit and may not respond properly with some types of loads (i.e. needs a certain amount of resistance across the terminals to function correctly).

    Or the unit could be defective.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,509 admin
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question

    If you only see a little light from the LEDs in a very dark/dead dark room--That is probably not going to hurt anything. LED's can output a surprising amount of light with very little current flow.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • MikeyMikey Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question

    Thanks all for your input. It sounds like it's something I don't have to worry about. For my own curiosity, I may try a load with higher resistance and see what it does.

    I guess I'll just use the switches on the LED lights themselves. Not a big deal.
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question

    I have a ProStar 30M. When I turn off loads using that button, they are completely disconnected, including one temporary 3 watts LED I have mounted by the panel.

    I have never put much thought into checking to see if there is any bleed over voltage with it switched "off". I will check it tomorrow, though, when I go to the farm. I will report back here, after I return home.
    Paul
  • MikeyMikey Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    ILFE wrote: »
    I have a ProStar 30M. When I turn off loads using that button, they are completely disconnected, including one temporary 3 watts LED I have mounted by the panel.

    I have never put much thought into checking to see if there is any bleed over voltage with it switched "off". I will check it tomorrow, though, when I go to the farm. I will report back here, after I return home.

    Do you have other loads alongside the LEDs? I'm wondering if it's like Cariboocoot suggested, enough resistance to allow the switch to work.

    I'll be interested in your findings...
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    Mikey wrote: »
    Do you have other loads alongside the LEDs? I'm wondering if it's like Cariboocoot suggested, enough resistance to allow the switch to work.

    I'll be interested in your findings...

    Yep. I have two primary bus bars connected (run with #6 wires), through a 30 amp breaker, attached to the load side of the controller.
    Five circuits, all in all, are wired from those two bus bars.
    I have four smaller, fused CFL lighting circuits, one with one 3 watts LED attached to it, off the primary bus bars.
    Then, I have one circuit that feeds two other (sub?) bus bars four meters away (again, run with #6 wires), to the "entertainment area" of the house.
    Off those two bus bars, we power a 12vdc television, 12vdc DVD player, and a 12vdc phone charger, so my wife's family can have some entertainment.
    If all lighting and appliances were powered simultaneously, the total draw would be between 12 and 13 amperes.
    Again, this is with all power being drawn, routed through the controller load circuit.

    To my knowledge, the (1) LED lamp I have (nor any other lamp), has never illuminated after the load switch was "off". I am curious to see what I find, as well.
    Paul
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    Mikey wrote: »
    I'll be interested in your findings...

    Okay. Went to the farm today.

    I switched on various loads. All worked fine.
    I switched the LED lamp by my panel on. Worked fine.
    I switched the button off. Doing this completely disconnected all loads from the controller.
    I checked the voltage. None present. Not even a glimmer of light coming from the LED lamp.
    So, there was zero "bleed over" voltage "leaking" through the load circuit.

    As I stated previously, this is a Morningstar ProStar 30m (with the meter). It has been connected to my array for about two months.
    Paul
  • MikeyMikey Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    ILFE wrote: »
    Okay. Went to the farm today.

    I switched on various loads. All worked fine.
    I switched the LED lamp by my panel on. Worked fine.
    I switched the button off. Doing this completely disconnected all loads from the controller.
    I checked the voltage. None present. Not even a glimmer of light coming from the LED lamp.
    So, there was zero "bleed over" voltage "leaking" through the load circuit.

    As I stated previously, this is a Morningstar ProStar 30m (with the meter). It has been connected to my array for about two months.

    Thanks for reporting back. I'll have to try mine with different loads to see if it changes anything. I guess it's not hurting anything if there is a little bleed over as long as I don't really care about using that feature.

    I have the Morningstar ProStar 15M (with the meter).
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    Mikey wrote: »
    Thanks for reporting back. I'll have to try mine with different loads to see if it changes anything. I guess it's not hurting anything if there is a little bleed over as long as I don't really care about using that feature.

    Typically, I don't use it either.

    Mikey wrote: »
    I have the Morningstar ProStar 15M (with the meter).

    I would have said that maybe it was a design flaw in the 15m. But, slappy posted his is a 30m and suffers the bleed over as well. Who knows?

    Either way, I am sure it doesn't affect the performance of the unit. A breaker or fuse in between would sort that anyway.
    Paul
  • MikeyMikey Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Morningstar Prostar question
    ILFE wrote: »
    A breaker or fuse in between would sort that anyway.

    That's not a bad idea if I plan on using it in the future.
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