help- voltage fluctuation problem

My brand new Outback FM80 is not locking on to incoming voltage and the factory says "loose wire issue". Well there aint that many wires and I've checked them all. Outback said that because the voltage coming in from the pv array was constantly changing, the FM80 could not lock in and do its stays in bulk setting pretty much constantly.

AZ W&S said to check each panel individually for wild fluctuations so I did. Several panels did fluctuate much more than the others and I removed them from the array and still absolutely no change.

I made the panels myself however they are all putting out over 18 volts each in the sun. The Outback inverter is 3500 watts and just stays in yellow or red charge light position since the FM80 wont let the bat's absorb...

This is off grid and I am stranded with no one seeming to be able to explain the problem and every single piece of the system is brand new including the four 6 volt batts.

Just powering an RV for computer and tv use but I'm stumped.

Any ideas?


  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,493 admin
    Re: help- voltage fluctuation problem

    What are the panels (brand/model) and their configuration (x series by y parallel, etc.).

    What is the input voltage/current.

    What is the output voltage current to the battery bank?

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: help- voltage fluctuation problem

    "I made the panels myself"

    try to be sure it is not the homemade pvs. know anybody with another stable power source to try the controller on?
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: help- voltage fluctuation problem
    luckydogaz wrote: »
    and every single piece of the system is brand new including the four 6 volt batts.

    99% sure the problem is the brand new home made panels. heat up in the sun, and the internal connections are going intermittent.

    The $49 DIY books are quite misleading as to how easy it is to build reliable PV panels.

    Beg or borrow 2 factory made panels and see how it works with them.
    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

    gen: ,

  • Kamala
    Kamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: help- voltage fluctuation problem

    Solid components all around except the panels. That would be my first point of suspicion.

    I've been a DIY guy for all of my 57 (as of today) years. I terrified my mother by disassembling my baby crib while she assumed I was safely contained within it (don't remember doing it but she insisted I did.) Still, I would never try to DIY a solar panel. To me, I might as well try to make my own transistor. Anyone remember those things? :roll: