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Old 08-27-2006, 05:21 AM   #1
Auzzee's Avatar
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Default Solar charging

The solar panels (2 x 40w, 1 x 80w)are outputting their usual voltage (17v +), but this charge is apparently not getting to the batteries. The batteries ( 7: 2 cranking, 4 deepcycle house, one windlass) are all sealed and almost new. I have just noticed the problem and have yet to begin the detective work, which I should be able to start on Tuesday. Any thoughts on possible causes for the charging problems...or any suggestions on the sequence of checks to carry out will be warmly received. David.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 08-27-2006, 06:51 PM   #2
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This is probably oversimplifying, but over many years of installing and fixing electronics on oceangoing vessels, I have come up with two general rules that help me troubleshoot. Maybe they might help you,

rule #1, its ALWAYS connectors.

rule # 2, think about what's been changed since it was last working.

Life in the Devil's Triangle
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:50 PM   #3
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Hi David, What type of regulator do the panels go to? Did you check the voltage at the panels, regulator input and output. Have you checked what current is flowing? If you haven't found the problem yet, give us a detailed description of your setup.

Happy fault finding.

Happy Sailing,


Crowther Windspeed 36

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Old 08-28-2006, 09:36 PM   #4
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You don't mention if the 17V is at the panel or at the controller?

This is what I would do first; with a voltmeter you can verify the panel voltage then check voltage at the controller. Any voltage drop would point to bad wires/connections. I had wiring that was blackened inside the insulation creating way too much resistance. Since the problem is "no charge" vs "overcharge" the controller output is checked by making sure the same voltage is passed on to the batteries.

Goodluck Duckhead
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:53 AM   #5
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Make friends with your voltmeter.

Troubleshoot from the panels, work down the line until you find the point of no power.

I'm with canibul...

#1....check every connection...rust, dirt and crud will kill the contact...

#2...what has changed since the last time it worked???

Are all the switches in the correct positions??

My kids were constantly playing with the switches, trying to turn on the vee berth reading lamps.

Shut down the entire system one day....

grounded forever.....

Beware of comparing yourself to others,

They may be more screwed up than you think.....
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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Vessel Name: Sandettie
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Thanks all for your valuable advice. I am off to the marina, multi tester in hand. I will report back when I discover the fault. Cheers. David.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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