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  1. #1
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    Default Charge Controller Fubar?

    Good afternoon.

    Been to supplier of the controller to query my issue with it, they seem to be more into sales/saying loose connection.

    Cheap PWM controller, 100 watt panel and 102 a/h battery in good shape.

    Controller little screen switches between PV voltage, Temp (battery) and battery voltage. I have a secondary (piece of mind volt meter)
    Controller does not charge the battery anything over 13.2V, and my fridge is running off it permanently. What makes me think it has gone faulty, when display switches through all the readings, PV and battery voltage always the same or maybe 0.1 difference. Measuring with multimeter the panel (sunny day) give 20V but display only says what battery is.

    Time for upgrade or what else can I look at?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Connect batery first then the panel.
    Go direct to batery from controller.
    It does not like switched connections.
    otherwise your batery is full and floating.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by janseekat View Post
    Connect batery first then the panel.
    Go direct to batery from controller.
    It does not like switched connections.
    otherwise your batery is full and floating.
    I have tested the following:
    1: solar panel to connector - measure 20.7V (weather/sun dependant)
    2: connector from solar plug to controller (measured on controller) 12.7-13v
    3: Removed solar wire from controller and measured again and 20.7 volt Weather/sun dependant

    I have 20.7 volt from the solar panel to where it goes into the controller. The controller simply limits it to 13.3 v max (late afternoon)..

    lyk my ek shop vir 'n Victron MPPT 75/15. Nou om dit vir die beste prys te kry

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne P View Post
    I have tested the following:
    1: solar panel to connector - measure 20.7V (weather/sun dependant)
    2: connector from solar plug to controller (measured on controller) 12.7-13v
    3: Removed solar wire from controller and measured again and 20.7 volt Weather/sun dependant

    I have 20.7 volt from the solar panel to where it goes into the controller. The controller simply limits it to 13.3 v max (late afternoon)..

    lyk my ek shop vir 'n Victron MPPT 75/15. Nou om dit vir die beste prys te kry
    It is working exactly as it should.

    When you measure the Solar Panel voltage with the solar wire removed you are measuring the panels Open Circuit (OC) voltage. The moment you connect the panel it's voltage will collapse to be the same (give or take a very small loss of a volt or so) as the battery.

    To see what is happening you should measure current.
    Cheers

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    But that is what a controller is meant to do i.e control the voltage tor use by other 12 v thingies

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    PWM controllers do not take kindly to be connected to the Panel before connecting to battery....

    Always connect battery first then panel
    Last edited by Dungbeetle; 2021/04/15 at 12:20 PM.
    Donít blame yourself over past mistakes. Itís like driving down the N1 while looking in the rear view mirror only.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Not 100% sure a MPPT will solve your problem

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    it has been connected for year and bit working well without issues. Lately I have noticed that the charge rate to second battery does not go higher than 13.2v , with a fridge running, charging of some phones/light etc on it. Overnight battery will go down to 12.5v and in the morning regains to 13v mark. Display of unit remains as per battery voltage and does not indicate it receives 20v from panel (which it used to)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne P View Post
    it has been connected for year and bit working well without issues. Lately I have noticed that the charge rate to second battery does not go higher than 13.2v , with a fridge running, charging of some phones/light etc on it. Overnight battery will go down to 12.5v and in the morning regains to 13v mark. Display of unit remains as per battery voltage and does not indicate it receives 20v from panel (which it used to)
    The only time it will indicate 20V on the charger is when there is no battery, or the battery is 100% charged, AND there is no load drawing current.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne P View Post
    Good afternoon.

    Been to supplier of the controller to query my issue with it, they seem to be more into sales/saying loose connection.

    Cheap PWM controller, 100 watt panel and 102 a/h battery in good shape.

    Controller little screen switches between PV voltage, Temp (battery) and battery voltage. I have a secondary (piece of mind volt meter)
    Controller does not charge the battery anything over 13.2V, and my fridge is running off it permanently. What makes me think it has gone faulty, when display switches through all the readings, PV and battery voltage always the same or maybe 0.1 difference. Measuring with multimeter the panel (sunny day) give 20V but display only says what battery is.

    Time for upgrade or what else can I look at?
    How did you determine that?
    Make 100% sure it is ok.

    No harm in replacing 'cheap' PWM with MPPT though

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    How did you determine that?
    Make 100% sure it is ok.

    No harm in replacing 'cheap' PWM with MPPT though

    Load tested

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Charge Controller Fubar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne P View Post
    it has been connected for year and bit working well without issues. Lately I have noticed that the charge rate to second battery does not go higher than 13.2v , with a fridge running, charging of some phones/light etc on it. Overnight battery will go down to 12.5v and in the morning regains to 13v mark. Display of unit remains as per battery voltage and does not indicate it receives 20v from panel (which it used to)
    Very normal for the controller to show very near the same panel and battery voltage. As indicated you cannot use the panel 20V when panel is under no load. Also check with normal charger if battery can go higher than 13.2V. If 13.2V after sunset then it is high enough and the battery should be full.

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