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Old 01-07-2017, 06:32 PM   #1
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Sure Power battery separator clicks and cycles continuously.

I started this discussion on a already established thread and am now continuing here as suggested by a helpful senior member.

I have a 2006 Sportsmobile with a Life Line AGM house battery, Specialty Concepts Mark PV charge controller, Inteli-Power 9100 converter, Sure Power 1315-200 battery separator and Charge Wizard, and solar panels.

I have read several posts on the subject of the battery separator clicking continuously but none with my specific possible issue causing it.

As I stated before while running on solar my Sure Power separator continuously clicks each time my charge controller shows a reading of 12.9 volts and starts to climb to a higher reading ending at 13.8 volts which induces another click. The reading then goes back to 12.9V and starts the cycle again. I understand the separator contacts are opening and closing but I want to find out why.

The voltage on both my starter and house batteries indicate fully charged at 12.8 volts. My starter battery terminals and ground are clean and tight. I have not taken my house battery down yet. I want to check on all other considerations first. The battery is only 2 years old and I had a rough time getting it in place. All wire connections associated with the separator are clean and tight along with the solar connections.

I opened up my Sure Power battery separator and cleaned up the contacts. It was pretty dirty and burnt looking. I might need a new one.

I have tried several combinations of connections at the separator, all with slightly different results but nothing that has stopped the controller reading to stop cycling.

When running on shore power there is still the clicking and cycling of the voltage reading from 12.9V to 13.8V.

With the ground wire off the separator the van starter turns the motor over very easy and fast and it starts right up, no issue. The voltage reading on the controller stays at 14.3V while the motor is running at high rpm and the separator is quite. With the motor off the controller still cycles the voltage reading but now tops out at 14.3 volts not 13.8V.

With the starter battery cable and ground wire disconnected from the separator the controller reading tops out at 14.3V before cycling back to 12.9V.

I am actually leaning towards something is wrong with my charge controller and not my battery separator at this point.

Any suggestion you have will be appreciated.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:27 PM   #2
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I also had an issue with excessive cycling of the Sure Power separator. Turned out to be a loose connection on one of the wires running into the solar controller. Discovered this when I went to change out the solar controller. Still not sure how the wire came loose. Tightened things up at the controller and the excessive cycling stopped. Definitely worth checking those connections before moving on to more complicated fixes.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:11 PM   #3
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I also had an issue with excessive cycling of the Sure Power separator. Turned out to be a loose connection on one of the wires running into the solar controller. Discovered this when I went to change out the solar controller. Still not sure how the wire came loose. Tightened things up at the controller and the excessive cycling stopped. Definitely worth checking those connections before moving on to more complicated fixes.
Thank you for the response.

I actually unclipped both wires to the separator when I removed the unit to open it up and clean it. I did not notice either of the wires to be loose.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:12 PM   #4
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Loose connection was at the solar controller.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:20 PM   #5
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Loose connection was at the solar controller.
I guess I read your response to fast. I will open my controller tomorrow and check the wiring and what ever else is there. Thanks for correcting me.
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:15 AM   #6
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In the rare case that your solar panels are bad or have very low output, you could see the separator connect upon initial voltage increase from the solar. Once connected, the 1A draw of the separator slowly draws the voltage down to the point where the separator opens and the pattern repeats. Do you have a way to monitor your amperage in/out?
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:28 AM   #7
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In the rare case that your solar panels are bad or have very low output, you could see the separator connect upon initial voltage increase from the solar. Once connected, the 1A draw of the separator slowly draws the voltage down to the point where the separator opens and the pattern repeats. Do you have a way to monitor your amperage in/out?
Yup...that's one of the issues with the coil-based Surepower products. When there is little sun, say less than an amp's worth, a good chunk of that solar power goes into heating up the relay instead of flowing to the batteries.

If you end up replacing the separator, consider a Blue Sea ACR....the basic units are around $75 and the fancy 7622 is about $175. They are both bi-directional for solar and don't have relay coils to burn power.

There are a number of threads here discussing the Surepower units cycling; do a search for Surepower.

It sounds like your house battery may be the problem.....an easy and cheap test would be to temporarily replace the house battery with another good battery (doesn't have to be a deep cycle for testing, steal the battery from the wife's car)....and see if the cycling stops.

Does it cycle in full sun?
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:57 PM   #8
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I also had an issue with excessive cycling of the Sure Power separator. Turned out to be a loose connection on one of the wires running into the solar controller. Discovered this when I went to change out the solar controller. Still not sure how the wire came loose. Tightened things up at the controller and the excessive cycling stopped. Definitely worth checking those connections before moving on to more complicated fixes.
I checked my controller wiring and all is good. Thanks again for the suggestion.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:35 PM   #9
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A good battery monitor can tell you a lot. One way I can tell I have an issue with a battery is seeing unusually high amperage during a charge and it doesn't taper off to an amp or two after a charging session. It's normal for the Surepower separator to act that way if a battery isn't allowing the solar to keep it at a float level. That would be my first guess and would try what BW posted suggesting you pull the battery and stick a different one in there. However what I did was to get rid of that separator ASAP. I had a host of issues with Surepower.
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:56 PM   #10
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In the rare case that your solar panels are bad or have very low output, you could see the separator connect upon initial voltage increase from the solar. Once connected, the 1A draw of the separator slowly draws the voltage down to the point where the separator opens and the pattern repeats. Do you have a way to monitor your amperage in/out?
I am a bit of a amateur when it comes to electrical, unfortunately, and am having a little trouble trying check the amperage. The truth is I am not getting any readings at all. I am using a multimeter and have done some research on how to check amperage but so far am not getting any readings at all. I think my meter is not working properly.

My voltage reading coming out of the solar panels is 13.4 volts being read at the controller and my meter. Shouldn't that be enough to stay ahead of any 1A draw? My separator is cycling instantly back to back continuously.

I have been playing with this again all morning disconnecting wires and determining where they go and what they do. Checking if they are hot and how much voltage. I am trying to learn and understand how this system works. I have had my starter battery disconnected from the separator part of yesterday and again today and just realized that it is loosing voltage/charge. It is down to 12.4. I checked my records and I have had it 5 years and 2 months. I am going now to purchase a new one. This is the same battery that two auto parts stores tested and said it was good.

Thank you for your advise. I will follow through with monitoring the amperage in/out.
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