Solsum DC light failure, opinions?

bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
My 11 watt Solsum DC light failed after approximately 200 hours of use. This is in my shop which only sees use one day a month. I power out with an 85 watt panel , a Morningstar Sunsaver 10 amp CC, witb 80 Ah of battery.
Last week i left this light on for the whole week, and it was burnt out when i got back to it.

Now, the manufacturer claims this is a long life product of over 6000 hours. Additionally there is a 2 amp fast blo fuse inline between battery and switch. It is still intact. The manufacturer also claims power use of 0.8 amps per hour. Its hard to believe my battery would spike without blowing the fuse. If the voltave were too low, the light should simply shut off.

Can anyone think of other reasons for this light to fail, or could it be defective. I bought it from our host about year and a half ago. Thanks.

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?

    COULD be that it just failed for no apparent reason, but if left on for a whole wk, it may well have been exposed to some rather high voltages during battery charging, and that could have initiated the failure process.
    As to the 2 amp fuse not blowing - - the fuse will not protect the lamp from over-voltage, and in fact would not blow until the lamp was drawing well over twice it's rated wattage, by which time the lamp would be well and truly ready for the recycle bin. The fuse is to protect the wiring between the source (battery) and the load (lamp) from over-current, not over-voltage.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    COULD be that it just failed for no apparent reason, but if left on for a whole wk, it may well have been exposed to some rather high voltages during battery charging, and that could have initiated the failure process.
    As to the 2 amp fuse not blowing - - the fuse will not protect the lamp from over-voltage, and in fact would not blow until the lamp was drawing well over twice it's rated wattage, by which time the lamp would be well and truly ready for the recycle bin. The fuse is to protect the wiring between the source (battery) and the load (lamp) from over-current, not over-voltage.

    Thank you for the response. I had considered the possibility of high voltage, But I also had hoped that the morning star charge controller would not allow the voltage to go that high. The Sunsaver Is after all an on/off switch, its only status light is constant-green when the sun is shining. It's difficult to know when the charge voltage is high enough to damage 12V product. Maybe the Sunsaver is bad?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    bmet wrote: »
    It's difficult to know when the charge voltage is high enough to damage 12V product. Maybe the Sunsaver is bad?

    Possibly, but unlikely. It's quite normal to have charge voltages reach 14.8 or sometimes even over 15 volts, depending on overall conditions necessary to properly charge and look after the battery. That's equivalent to having you're household grid voltage going from 120 volts to over 150 volts. Some things will not be able to handle it. This is why I now run almost everything off quality inverters that can accept anything from 11 volts to 15.5, and in one case over 16 volts, yet deliver a relatively constant 110 to 120 volts AC.
    I found that running things directly from the "12" volt supply was too hard on them because of those voltage swings.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?

    the sunsaver only has 2 settings it could be placed at, 14.1v and 14.4v. neither should harm a light designed for 12v. it just may be a bad light.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    niel wrote: »
    the sunsaver only has 2 settings it could be placed at, 14.1v and 14.4v. neither should harm a light designed for 12v. it just may be a bad light.

    The Solsum 12v DC CFLs are rated to work with an input voltage ranging from 10 volts DC to 15 volts DC. I have seen other (AC) CFLs that just suffer an occasional early failure, regardless of their rated voltages.
    Is the fixture in which it is installed properly ventilated? Poor ventilation or operation of the lamp in a base-up position in an enclosed fixture might cause temperature problems and shorten its life. The heat dissipated in the electronic ballast will probably be greater at the high end of the allowed voltage range.

    That said, I also do not know how accurately the sunsaver settings for output voltage, as described by niel, actually are and whether those are the maximum voltage for all stages of the charging process.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    inetdog wrote: »
    The Solsum 12v DC CFLs are rated to work with an input voltage ranging from 10 volts DC to 15 volts DC. I have seen other (AC) CFLs that just suffer an occasional early failure, regardless of their rated voltages.
    Is the fixture in which it is installed properly ventilated? Poor ventilation or operation of the lamp in a base-up position in an enclosed fixture might cause temperature problems and shorten its life. The heat dissipated in the electronic ballast will probably be greater at the high end of the allowed voltage range.

    That said, I also do not know how accurately the sunsaver settings for output voltage, as described by niel, actually are and whether those are the maximum voltage for all stages of the charging process.

    the sunsavers are simple pwm regulators that have only bulk and absorb. once it hits the prescribed voltage it will hold it there. there isn't any float or eq stages to the controller and they generally work well from my past experience with them.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    inetdog wrote: »
    Is the fixture in which it is installed properly ventilated? Poor ventilation or operation of the lamp in a base-up position in an enclosed fixture might cause temperature problems and shorten its life. The heat dissipated in the electronic ballast will probably be greater at the high end of the allowed voltage range. .

    The light is(was) installed in a standard ceramic screw-type base, affixed to the side of a 2x4(making it point horizontally). This means there isn't much clearance between it and the planking above, but this light was hardly warm to the touch, so heat dissipation wasn't a thought.

    Sort of disappointed that this expensive light, protected against weather, didn't last 3% of it's estimated span.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    bmet wrote: »
    Sort of disappointed that this expensive light, protected against weather, didn't last 3% of it's estimated span.

    Could be you were just unlucky. Was there any warranty with it? There will be a certain percentage of infant mortality in any electronics.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Solsum DC light failure, opinions?
    inetdog wrote: »
    Could be you were just unlucky. Was there any warranty with it? There will be a certain percentage of infant mortality in any electronics.

    I don't know if NAWS has a replacement policy for Solsum products. The manufacturer claims >6000 hours of operational use. I would have had to have left the light on 12 hours a day to reach that amount since it was purchased.

    I have much faith in my Sunsaver CC. The highest voltage I have ever measured with my dvm was 14.5 volts. Since it was a Harbor Fright meter, I am guessing accuracy was within a couple tenths of a volt.
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