solar power not getting past controller

I have set up 6 100 w (12volt)  Grape Solar GS100 panels flat mounted on the roof of my Motorhome Via parallel connection + to+  all six are in pairs so three separate wire runs to rooftop combiner box using buss bars again still parallel. This has a single rune down to the Shunt -side and a catastrophic fuse on the + side then to the controller via a cut off switch. I also have a tm2030 monitor and a sc2030 controller... I previously had a Morning star 45 pwm that I had trouble with overcharging (sending about 16 volts to the batteries ) that I couldn't get to stop.(That's another story)  I wanted to go with the bogart controller so i just changed. So after that set up on what I have .... my problem is this  
All worked great until the bedroom mechanism cut the phone cable control wire to the TM monitor. I rerouted and  replaced the cable.
the monitor works but wont see solar volts and neither will the controller show any amps flowing to the Batteries ..either connected to the monitor or not (removed the phone line com cable for stand alone sc2030 operation). . I replaced the controller( I have another place to use it. ) thinking something was wrong with it but i get the same results. The monitor works great showing the inverter charger amp input etc 

I have a voltmeter that shows 20.+ give or take volts at ea panel separately. (normal?)  and at the combiner on the roof and at the on off switch and at the controller input .. until I turn the controller on it cycles then shows no voltage in. Basically the reading when on is the battery current  Volts and the Monitor shows no amp change. Ralph from Bogart suggested the controller was showing no solar input and that the panels might be the problem He suggested that  I try connecting the panels directly to the battery and look for amp use drop and I did so with 2 of the panels and saw a immediate drop in the amperage draw on the batteries. 
At this point my limited Knowledge is stumped. I've pulled panels one by one thinking one was a problem ,I've checked wiring to insure its correct, It has to be in the panels,but All 6? How do I check the panels other than what I have done. Any other Ideas ??    

Comments

  • DConlyGuyDConlyGuy Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭
    the voltage seems ok on your panels , the sc2030 controller says it can use 540 watts of solar at 12 volts, im not sure how the extra 60 watts your putting into it would effect it. for me i have a trusty old analog amp meter to check amps when the digital stuff seems to not work, may want to get one and see if you are really getting amps or not
    600 watts of solar panels,Epever 30 mppt , 2 PWHR12500W4FR battery's in 24 volt setup
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016 #3
    The only thing I see that could be suspect in the PV input line is the fuse. If it's good it should show continuity with no load, but if it's blown it will never carry a load. I also can't see how the monitor line would be related to a PV input problem.
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 207AH LiFePO4 no BMS, 4500W genset.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭✭
    BJ_OR said:
    IAny other Ideas ??    
    Temporarily jump around the controller (i.e. remove controller and connect solar directly to battery) while the panels are in the sun.  Measure voltage at panels; should be slightly (.1 to .5 volts) higher than battery voltage.  Measure current with clamp-on meter; should be significant.  Don't do this for too long as you will overcharge the batteries if they are close to full charge.

    If that works, then the problem is inside the controller.
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Thanks the 600w is over by a bit but they are flat mounted and the controller will take the over and and limit it as I understand it.
    I have jumped the controller but I will do some more measurements, as soon as I get full sun ( current location is a problem with that)
    3 separate controllers fail to pass the power so it has to be a panel problem. Could they all have been fried somehow ? I had ea pair line fused 15 amp but pulled them to see if that effected the results.
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Also if this fails I'm totally at a loss ... Are there any Rv solar companies ( Rv) in Florida that anyone recommends ?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,768 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016 #7

    I suspect you just need someone who knows solar, Where in Florida are you? I know people around Tallahassee who might be able to direct you to someone, Daoubt Al at Simpler Solar systems is still working, but someone there might help, if it's still in business.

    Key West to Pensacola is over 800 miles...


    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    this might seem simplistic,BUT, please go through each of the different tests you have done and write them out for us...And what you did , step by step, so that we can be aware of any issues  that might have been missed.
    Particularly, did you power up the controller before the PV???Oh is your combiner Fused between strings?

    hth
     
    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
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Currently traveling but will describe in more detail asap
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Quickly
    Yes there were in line fuses (mc4 )15 amp on each string of 2 panels I removed them at one point thinking the fuses had failed. Also a 60 amp fuse on the combined input after the combiner there is also a 100 amp fuse on the battery line out from the controller , near the battery .
    I used a cut off box as a on off switch so battery to controller and Pv to controller are controlled by the same pull bar. Both power in and out are at the same time. I did that thinking I could isolate the controller in one action
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    BJ_OR said:
    I used a cut off box as a on off switch so battery to controller and Pv to controller are controlled by the same pull bar. Both power in and out are at the same time. I did that thinking I could isolate the controller in one action
    I don't know if it is the cause of your problem, but most controllers need to be connected to the battery for a few seconds before they are connected to the PV.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    this might seem simplistic,..........................
    Particularly, did you power up the controller before the PV???

    hth

    that may well be the problem, as VT said.....  Simultaneous connection could well confuse the CC....
     
    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
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭✭
    I'd think, in any sophisticated MPPT charge controller, i.e.; Midnight Solar, it would be best to allow it to boot up for a minute or so before hitting it with the PV.

    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.

  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    I'll wire it for that this weekend when I get some time however it's worked for the last year with both sides being powered at virtually the same time. But it does make sense to try it that way. Here's hoping
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Got a few minutes so set it up with a separate switch on the Pv side ... Batteries first then the Pv a minute later .. No change in fact no lights or reaction until the Pv is turned on
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭✭
    If you get nothing when the batteries connected sounds like an issue with 1, the batteries or, 2, connection problem or, 3 a bad controller.  If you show 20+ volts at the controller connection points that would indicate an open circuit condition. My guess is that your CC has bit the dust

    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.

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016 #17
    BJ wrote:  All worked great until the bedroom mechanism cut the phone cable control wire to the TM monitor.... Hmmmmmm

    This probably was effectively   A SHORT CIRCUIT event, no telling what happened......
     
    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
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016 #18

    Just a drive-by comment;

    Most MPPT CCs will not tolerate a short on the PV input terminals (ie  PV+ to PV--,  or the common ground connection).
    Think this situation can damage the FETs ...

    Assume that the "TM monitor" could possibly be a TriMetric (?).   So if the PV input terminals are always 0 volts,  is it possible that the PV input leads from the PVs got shorted during that "bedroom" event?   A DC Clamp Ammeter,  measuring the current flowing in the PV input cable,  in good sun,  might help diagnose (parts of this may have been covered previously).

    FWIW,  Good luck,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited July 2016 #19
    Will check however I'm using a pwm bogart controller actually 2 of them ! The old one and a new one fresh out of the box and also a Morningstar 45 pwm I had prior ...... both that weren't part of the monitor control wire cut and yes a trimetric ( that controls the sc2030 .. The reason I switched from the Morningstar )
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,934 ✭✭✭✭
    BJ_OR said:
    Will check however I'm using a pwm bogart controller actually 2 of them ! The old one and a new one fresh out of the box and also a Morningstar 45 pwm I had prior ...... both that weren't part of the monitor control wire cut and yes a trimetric ( that controls the sc2030 .. The reason I switched from the Morningstar )


    Hello BJ_OR,

    Sorry,  had read this Thread ..  Discussion ...   some days ago,   and had forgotten about your PWM CC,  but then saw the reference to "any sophisticated MPPT CC"  and went off on a Secant ...   sorry.

    Good Luck!   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • scrubjaysnestscrubjaysnest Solar Expert Posts: 174 ✭✭✭
    When the wiring was repaired to the Trimetric was something missed wired? like shunt wiring, PV(battery2) etc?

  • BJ_ORBJ_OR Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    The shunt wiring was cut along with the phone cable control wire sc to the meter. The shunt wiring is pretty straight forward .. Match the colors so I don't think other than The moment it was cut there was any other event.
    I have two older 13 year old original panels on this 13 year old motorhome that went to a heliotrope controller .. I replaced the old heliotrope with one of my sc 2030 controllers that wouldn't work in my new system and it works great It lights up the solar power indicator light and is sending out 5-6 amps to the batteries. Controllers work fine.
    As soon as this heat wave in lets up , I'm climbing up on the roof pulling the wires and rewireing the system 1 panel at a time.
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