Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-12-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,973
Solar power - no charge

Looking for some troubleshooting advice on my solar system. My Blue Sky 2000E is showing no Solar Panel Current, and no Output Charge Current, even during the middle of the day. The Charge Mode is set to Normal. I've read the manual, but I clearly did not have an "ah-ha" moment.

I've had my solar panels flexing at highway speeds, with the crossbar bumpstops slamming my penthouse roof, so it could be damage to the panels or the wiring. I'm just looking for any experience or advice with the controller or panel wiring, so I can avoid a day off work and over $100 in fuel.


thanks in advance
Herb
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,600
I'm guessing the solar-panel bone is not connected to the controler-panel bone... have you checked all the wiring?
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 02:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 200
Hello Herb,

I'll try to answer your solar controller/panel questions.

Remove the solar controller and check the voltage on the two pairs of wires connected to it. One pair is from the solar panels and one pair is from the battery, both pairs should be red and white 10 gauge wires. Confirm that there is no voltage across the wires connected to the 'array' terminals. If there is power across these terminals (usually about 17-18 volts DC when the panels are exposed to full sun without any shadowing), then you know the panels are producing power and perhaps the problem is with the controller. If there is no power at these array terminals, you should see if there is any output at the panel itself. You should get a reading of about 17-18 volts DC across the two wires that come out of the small black control box on the solar panel when the panel is exposed to full sun without any shadowing. If you don't, check the connections inside of this small black control box. If you still don't have any output from the panel, it is probably bad.

Loose or corroded connections can be the problem too, so check that all connections are good. There could be some connections under the velour trim on the penthouse rail that need to be checked also. A simple
"pull-test" on the wire at each connector will confirm if the crimp is "good". A bad connection is the most llikely scenario.

Good luck!
John K.
John Kalmbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 07:26 AM   #4
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,973
Thanks John, I'll do that.

The controler owner's manual does mention an inline fuse, but if there is one, I don't know where it's located. I do have a 30A fuse in a spot labled for a Furnace, but I don't have a furnace. It might just be a spare. That fuse, along with all otheres in the fuse panels are good.


Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,833
Garage
Herb I had SMB install the same controller and wondered why I have never seen as much current as I did with the old controller. I do see some flow, but it's been from less than 1/2 amp to only about 3 amps. Before I had over 6 amps typically. Sounds like yours is flat out dead. I am assuming that if the batteries are fully charged the controller will keep the amps low. I will have the chance to test it this weekend. I read this and I hope it's correct or I too have a problem.



"The lower the state of charge in your battery, the more current a MPPT puts into them - another time when the extra power is needed the most. You can have both of these conditions at the same time".
Dave Boyer
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 10:13 PM   #6
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,973
Before my problem, my controller was showing up to 5A, so something has changed.


Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
VANZILLA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: COLORADO
Posts: 14
Herb -

Might want to double check this isn't the problem. I believe John's voltage test of the panels would tell. I copied this from Badger's website.

"After some time we noticed that the solar input seemed lower than expected for the time of year, but would fluctuate, sometimes matching expectation. Finally tracked it down to the "flexible" Solara solar panels. One of them had a number of cracks in the tinned copper traces running between the constituent cells. It appears that when it had been trod upon, the sharp edges of the silicon wafers had cut the traces that transitioned over the edges of the cells. Just flexing the panel a bit would drastically change its current output. I carefully examined each trace at the transition points, cut out the rubber coating over each one that appeared cracked, soldered the cracks, and re-sealed the cuts. Panel output became high and consistent."
__________________
Cheers,
Don
2006EB 4x4SMBw 6l PSD PH Custom - "Zilla"
VANZILLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,973
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kalmbach
Hello Herb,

I'll try to answer your solar controller/panel questions.

Remove the solar controller and check the voltage on the two pairs of wires connected to it. One pair is from the solar panels and one pair is from the battery, both pairs should be red and white 10 gauge wires. Confirm that there is no voltage across the wires connected to the 'array' terminals. If there is power across these terminals (usually about 17-18 volts DC when the panels are exposed to full sun without any shadowing), then you know the panels are producing power and perhaps the problem is with the controller. If there is no power at these array terminals, you should see if there is any output at the panel itself. You should get a reading of about 17-18 volts DC across the two wires that come out of the small black control box on the solar panel when the panel is exposed to full sun without any shadowing. If you don't, check the connections inside of this small black control box. If you still don't have any output from the panel, it is probably bad.

Loose or corroded connections can be the problem too, so check that all connections are good. There could be some connections under the velour trim on the penthouse rail that need to be checked also. A simple
"pull-test" on the wire at each connector will confirm if the crimp is "good". A bad connection is the most llikely scenario.

Good luck!
John K.
John,

At the back of the Control Panel, I'm showing zero volts across the two PV panel inputs.

Going to the panels themselves, at each CellProtector, I'm showing 12.2V, at approximately 2:00pm, with minimal shadowing. Though this is clearly low, shouldn't it be enough to provide at least some power to the Control Panel? Maybe I have a combination of problems.


Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2008, 11:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 200
solar

Hello Herb,

If you're seeing some voltage at the solar panels, but none at the controller, then there is probably a loose connection (bad crimp) between the panels and the controller. You coud also have some corrosion at the panel itself. The small black cover will unsnap and expose the contacts for inspection.

The solar panel output is really effected by even the slightest of shadowing. For instance, a Yakima or Thule crossbar will reduce the panel output by at least 15% if the panel is mounted fore/aft. If it's mounted across the van and has a crossbar shadowing it, don't expect anything out of it.

I'm not sure what the minimum voltage input is for the controller to operate, but you're not even getting the 12.2 volts from the panel to the controller. Usually the solar wiring is routed up the front driver inside corner of the PH canvas. There may be some connections under the PH rail velour trim that need to be re-crimped. You can also check the voltage at the 10 guage red and white wires routed in the front driver corner, if there is not the same voltage at these wires as at the panel, then the problem is between there and the panel. If you do have the same voltage, then the problem will be between the point of the voltage check and the controller.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,
John K.
John Kalmbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2008, 10:56 PM   #10
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,973
Just got back from a business trip, and from driving the SMB back home from SMBw.

Turns out the solar panels themselves were bad. Don't know if it was a quality issue, or the constant flexing up and down of the panels.

The NEW panels are mounted in an angle iron (aluminum) four sided frame. There is much less panel flex than before, and no more thumping of the panels on the penthouse roof.






Herb
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×