Problems getting the new Schneider/Xantrex C-35 controller to work...

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
Spent the morning trying various possibilities like re-reading the manual and re-doing connections and installing a controller ground wire.

The LED trouble light has never quit blinking. I thought it was a red blinking light which indicates load control mode. I am definitely in charge control mode. So the blinking light is orange indicating a "disconnected load".

VmP is 42 on 24 volt system. Controller battery terminals gives me the battery voltage level (24.7)...so the connection is there.

I might try a brand new charge controller. Then I have a used controller of less value. Worth it?

I have tried the reset button a few times...

The controller looks good. The manual is written for people with a pretty decent working electrical knowledge. Had a pretty good opinion of everything until............


First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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Comments

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    I had a similar situation once and it turned out to be one string's wrongly labeled polarity.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    I had a similar situation once and it turned out to be one string's wrongly labeled polarity.
    That happens pretty easily....whether manufacturer or installer.  I wouldn't have a VmP of 42 in that case?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    There was a person years ago here that had one of the bi-color LEDs acting strange. Turns out, it had fallen out of the socket and he installed it again--But backwards.

    Other than making sure to connect the battery first (which I am sure you know)--I don't know what else you can do other than call the seller/Schneider tech support.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #5
    I may not have connected the battery first. Can't remember. This is only my third string hook-up. Did I blow something up? I don't see any fuses... Didn't hear anything bad... Oh shit?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    I had a similar situation once and it turned out to be one string's wrongly labeled polarity.
    That happens pretty easily....whether manufacturer or installer.  I wouldn't have a VmP of 42 in that case?

    Sounds more like open circuit voltage

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    I had a similar situation once and it turned out to be one string's wrongly labeled polarity.
    That happens pretty easily....whether manufacturer or installer.  I wouldn't have a VmP of 42 in that case?

    Sounds more like open circuit voltage
    It is the reading at the charge controller.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    Guess I'll try a different controller and make sure the battery is connected first. Seems a bit delicate if that caused the problem. They should issue prominent warnings? The manual is 92 pages.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This may be new to you but Trace made the C series before without LED's in the late 80's, so the design is very old and not what I would call friendly.
    It is a decent regulator and all there was for some time.
    Once you get it working, it is new right? Make sure the jumpers are set correctly. Good Luck

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    It was made 12/15. Agreed that it isn't overly user friendly. I got the jumpers right before installation. Studied them again to make sure. Also have the owners manual.

    BB scared me with the notice that the battery must be hooked up first. I can't thing of any other possible cause...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    Spent some time at the web site. Company looks pretty gigantic. Could not recover a phone number. Took their survey that asked the same question a few times.

    Anybody have a phone number? Whats my best bet now?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    This may be new to you but Trace made the C series before without LED's in the late 80's, so the design is very old and not what I would call friendly.
    It is a decent regulator and all there was for some time.
    Once you get it working, it is new right? Make sure the jumpers are set correctly. Good Luck

    I want to do small, affordable cabin installations. That is all that I am presently qualified for. Can you recommend a good, affordable charger for such installations? Figure the average wattage is 600.....for part time cabins. Could be 300 watts....could be 1200 watts or so.
    You and I are at opposite ends of the installation spectrum...as you know.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #13
    Right completely oposite. I do not think I can help you there.  This forum is excellent for that and using used equipment,  stuff from E-bay. I try to help Schneider and Outback users because I own their stock and believe in them. Since I own their stock, and know many of their guys I want them to do well and they can't by answering questions on used equipment. Same as the store here. They ask for serial or proof of purchase.
    There is no-one with a bigger heart for what you want than Bill! I mean that in a very good way! He is so helpful!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • DConlyGuyDConlyGuy Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭
    edited November 2016 #14
    just opened my c35  in the bottom picture there is the 12/24 setting jumper. make sure it on 24 volt pins.  the next button is a reset button and then the next jumper is the load /charge controller jumper make sure it in the charge controller jumper pins, this controller must have battery's hooked up 1st for it to run right. and was the orange lite fast or slow?
    600 watts of solar panels,Epever 30 mppt , 2 PWHR12500W4FR battery's in 24 volt setup
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the idea on re-booting. Had been considering but feeling a bit beat-up at the moment. The jumpers were done right, by me, the first time. I believe that more modern designs tend to automatically recognize voltage.

    You running a residence or a part time cabin on your array? Just curious about possibilities.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #16
    Bloody hell....checked the battery voltage this morning and got ~42 volts....at the controller terminals. Yesterday that was the readout for panel VmP (at controller). An alien switched the battery and panel cables last night? Strange phenomenons when I work with electrical stuff at times.

    With three strings, three controllers, and three battery banks...there are a hella lot of cables running through two holes in 12" walls. Guess I got turned around. This is why I said that these three strings are at the edge of what I feel comfortable with.

    The light was a slow blinking orange. Now it is a slow blinking red. Seems to be working though I did charge that battery bank with a different string yesterday. It is possible that I can't confirm proper circuits for a few hours.

    This morning the charger was buzzing a little bit. After changing connections, the led changed from orange to red. The little buzz returned.

    Yesterday the controller battery connections read 24.7 while the panels read 42. Very interesting....

    If the led doesn't soon quit blinking red, I am going to try switching the jumper to load mode from charge mode. It is easy for assemblers to do things backwards. Hmmm.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The photo supplied by DC ONLY GUY of the controller face would indicate that you are in load control mode as blinking red indicates load control mode and slow blinking orange indicates load disconnected.

    Often when one is connecting a setup, one simple error may confuse the installer and lure them into trying different things in an attempt to rectify the problem, this cam manifest into more problems and further confusion.
    Often the best solution is to disassemble everything and start fresh in a step by step methodical way, with a clear head. 

    One observation was the jumpers used in mode and voltage selection, have in the past when installing fire alarm and access control panels come across  similar jumpers with loose or missing metal insert resulting in an error of setup, a common problem which prompted some manufacturers to change  to dip switches. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To add to my previous comment if I were in your predicament, my first course of action would be to bench test the controller to verify it is working before connection  of the ballance of system.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #19
    Replaced the controller and installed a circuit breaker. Blinking orange light....about every second. Schneider apparently calls this a fast blink. It started blinking like this as soon as the battery was connected. The reset button does not help. Arghh.

    EDIT: It is very cloudy today. Hoping that is the problem....though I doubt it. Panels are showing VmP of 41. With very little current to be sure. It may snow...it is that cloudy.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The C-35 is a pretty tough beast of a controller, and hard to actually damage it.

    If you ever measured 42V at the battery's terminals, I want some of those solar panels to super charge my batteries.
    I think you are getting confused with the names of things.

    So disconnecting all , and connecting the battery cables first, to let the controller boot, then connect the solar (that's why I use input and output circuit breakers for ease of testing)  should put you in business.
    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 ,

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm still thinking you may have a polarity problem. Have you checked the polarity of EVERY module? Maybe I'm wrong but I had a very similar problem with a C-40 controller once and finally figured out I had one module connected to one string with the polarity reversed.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    Green light is flashing as it should. Yesterdays "problems" were caused by very cloudy weather.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 #23
    Been flashing red awhile now. If I cut the power from the panels, the led is a steady green.

    A buddy thinks the incoming voltage to the Xantrex C35 may be too high. It reads 42 volts at the 24 volt controller. The upper left corner is at 242F. That seems to be the problem.

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You have something wired wrong, 242F is damaging to the electronics,  
      That controller I think is rated for 48V batteries and would take 65V panels for charging and EQ of a 48V bank.
    Are you set for Load Diversion or some other weird mode ??
    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 ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    The C35 is made for either 12 volt or 24 volt. Jumpers may also be set for load mode or charge mode. The jumper settings have been looked at many times. I have also tried a second C35 charge controller. It performs the same.

    The Ideal 61-766, or 768, does beep while showing a voltage of 42 at the controller. Not sure what that means...

    It is pretty clear that I erred....somewhere. Though I am playing with the idea of simply trying a different charge controller...

    If the ~42 volt Voc panels were wired improperly.....would I get a 42 volt reading at the charge controller? I would think a mistake would draw down the voltage reading. There are four 150 watt panels. I don't think it is hardly possible that their amperage could exceed 35 amps. Their Isc is barely over 5 as memory serves...

    Of course....still perplexed for now.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Ideal "beep beep" is to warn you that the voltage is over 30V, can be disabled via a switch in the battery  compartment.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • morenamorena Registered Users Posts: 1
    Hi 
    Have a C35 that's stopped working after been disconnected from PV+ for a few months. While reconnecting, I'm told DIP IC is damaged and the component reference number can't be read. Does anyone know the reference number for the 16 pin IC DIP labelled C16 and how this could of been damaged?

    thanks
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    With the thread re-opened: I opened another C35 and used one of them when my Morningstar died. It works fine with the small array that fed the Morningstar. The other C35 still refuses to work, the light flashes red. Flashes green until the panels are hooked up. The panels read about 40 volts on a 24 volt system.

    Is it possible that hooking both C35s up to the same battery connections would cause this problem?

    I would just try switching things around but that seemed to kill my Morningstar. Controllers should be a little sturdier I would think. Only pros will know the correct sequence for hooking them up. As for me....I forgot.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    All I can think of is you may have one of your panels polarity reversed. I have seen similar problems with a c series controller before. I was positive it was all wired correctly, that was my problem. After completely dewiring the array I found it. I had labeled the output wires of one panel wrong. 

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    All I can think of is you may have one of your panels polarity reversed. I have seen similar problems with a c series controller before. I was positive it was all wired correctly, that was my problem. After completely dewiring the array I found it. I had labeled the output wires of one panel wrong. 
    Agreed that is a very possible culprit. A problem is that I checked for this four times I think. Unless the manufacturer put one together wrong.......

    Thanks for motivating me to check again.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    The C series controllers are, while dated, pretty tough customers. If that is your problem and it gets corrected your controller should be fine.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

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