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Old 07-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Solar and Blue Sky controller...

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that our solar panels apparently went out and, after talking to Peter at SMB West, I made an appointment to have the whole system replaced.

Well, I was there last Thursday and the first thing they did was to check out the output from the panels, etc. And the first thing that they found was a blown fuse behind the controller. Once this was replaced, the panels were charging again. I debated about going ahead and replacing the panels and controller but, since panel design is changing so rapidly and everything seemed to be working, I decided to leave not replace the panels but did decide to replace the controller myself. Mine was circa 2004.

On Peter's recommendation, I ordered a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E. I installed it yesterday and it seems to be working. However, the Battery Level Graphic isn't working. It isn't a big deal but is there a reason why it isn't displaying the battery condition?
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

My 2011 2000E does not have a graphic indicator only a LCD readout. Does it look like this? Are you not seeing anything on the LCD readout?


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Old 07-18-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

My Blue Sky, installed around 2008 or so, looked just like Tapatio's.


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Old 07-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

Our BlueSky from 2007 is the same as well. Thanks for posting what the problem was, that will definitely help someone else out in the future when they have similar symptoms.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

I thought that the "Battery Level Graphic" was supposed to show the battery level via some LEDs. But, I just reread the instructions and now realize that it is only a "table" showing battery voltage
level vs. whether the battery is Good, Low, etc.

I guess my expectations were different since my previous controller had a number of green, yellow, and red LEDs which gave a quick indication of battery voltage (to the 0.1v) without the need to look at the display. It was always reassuring when getting up at night to look at that controller and see that the voltage was high enough that it was still in the "green" zone...
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

Yeah, I kinda missed that as well. You just have to wait until the batteries float back up to the SOC voltage. But having the amp gauge is nice. I was surprised what the charge rate was under light fog. A least you'll get an idea.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

If you want to keep a closer eye on the battery, consider a battery monitor. We have a Xantrex Link 10 mounted next to the SolarBoost, and it keeps track of the amp-hours remaining in the battery.

It has a precise countdown available with the press of a button, and at all times there is a four-led gauger showing 100%, 75%, etc. remaining capacity. It also shows a number of other data points, but we use it almost exclusively for the amp-hour feature.

It will also give you warning when the battery begins to lose capacity, in time to have it replaced before it fails (which, of course, always happens in the middle of a trip).

Installation is easy (it does require a shunt); I did the installation in the predecessor to our SMB, and we had SMB West install the Link 10 as part of our build.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #8
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

I think Jack has a link-10. Seems like I asked him about it way back in 05 when I installed mine.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Solar and Blue Sky controller...

Good memory Dave...yes, we had one installed during our build at Fresno. It was very helpful when the van was new (especially the amp-hour feature) but, once we got solar, I rarely looked at it again. I'm since disconnected it.
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