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Solar Controller Problems


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#41 pvstoy

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:32 PM


OK, so then what do we know?  If the diagram is accurate:

 

1) With the camper on AC power, you will always have power inside the camper, no matter what position the kill switch is in.  Is that the case for you?  Is that the case for all FWC from the factory?

 

Yes, Also If you have a 2 way refg it will switch over to run on 120 volt AC. The Iota charges the battery only with the kill switch in the on position. 

 

2) If you unplug the AC power, and leave the kill switch OFF (is that pushed in?) then if the LOAD setting in the MPPT is set to OFF, then you should have no power in the camper.  Is that the case for you?  Is that the case for all FWC from the factory?

 

Off for the kill switch is pushed in, no power DC in camper. FWC has gone weird with the load wire to fuse block and can't say if this is standard.  

 

3) With kill switch OFF and the LOAD setting in the MPPT set to ON, you should have power, even with no sunshine falling on the solar panels, you will have power because it goes from the battery through the MPPT to the LOAD terminals. (That sounds goofy to me.... because it means the KILL switch doesn't kill all power).  (Same questions).

 

Yea, goofy to me too.  Don't know how FWC has been wiring MPPT to battery.  But should be a direct from MPPT to battery, and the ground, so you can always receive charge to the battery from solar when the kill switch is off or on.

 

4) Per your troubleshooting above, if you disconnect your LOAD terminals, and the KILL switch is OFF and AC is not plugged in, you should have NO power in the camper.  (Same questions)

 

Yes that isolates the battery to the camper to prevent draining down with small loads, like propane detector.

 

Any other testing you can report on would be good.


Edited by pvstoy, 27 March 2020 - 09:34 PM.

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#42 rando

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:54 PM

The fuse block should either be wired to the battery OR to the load terminals on the controller, not both.    This is a wiring mistake and explains both the odd behavior and could explain the failures off charge controllers. 

 

The position of the kill switch doesn't matter if the DC circuits are also powered from load terminals on the charge controller.

 

However, once  the charge controller fuse blew, pulling the kill switch would shut everything down, including disconnecting the charge controller from the battery (albeit through the load terminals), which can be hard on the charge controller.    


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#43 acmedave

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 11:48 PM



OK, so then what do we know?  If the diagram is accurate:

 

1) With the camper on AC power, you will always have power inside the camper, no matter what position the kill switch is in.  Is that the case for you?  Is that the case for all FWC from the factory?

2) If you unplug the AC power, and leave the kill switch OFF (is that pushed in?) then if the LOAD setting in the MPPT is set to OFF, then you should have no power in the camper.  Is that the case for you?  Is that the case for all FWC from the factory?

 

3) With kill switch OFF and the LOAD setting in the MPPT set to ON, you should have power, even with no sunshine falling on the solar panels, you will have power because it goes from the battery through the MPPT to the LOAD terminals. (That sounds goofy to me.... because it means the KILL switch doesn't kill all power).  (Same questions).

 

4) Per your troubleshooting above, if you disconnect your LOAD terminals, and the KILL switch is OFF and AC is not plugged in, you should have NO power in the camper.  (Same questions)

 

Any other testing you can report on would be good.

 


Q 1) yes that IS the case for me

Q 2) yes that is the case for me

Q 3) I don’t have power in this case

Q 4) yes that is the case

 

I have borrowed a better multi meter and found that the positive wire in the load pair at the controller is ALWAYS hot. I can’t yet find where it is coming from as it disappears behind an interior cabinet divider.

 

In post #28, I said:

The load positive wire [at the controller] is connected to the fuse box and the fuse box has power whether the load positive was connected at the controller or not.

and that statement is wrong.

The load positive wire at the controller is NOT connected at the fuse block, I am trying to discover just where it originates and why it is always hot. 

 

Really wish FWC had some basic wiring diagram.

 

Was considering just disconnecting and taping off the load wires but a hot wire in the cabinet with an unknown source seems dangerous.

 

Have determined that the load control in the app is working. With nothing connected to the load terminals they have 0V with ‘load off’ and 12+V with ‘load on’


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#44 Vic Harder

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 12:52 AM

So your observations match the diagram.  Cool.  Can you clear something up?  You say:

 

1) The LOAD function works

2) You also say "the positive wire in the load pair at the controller is ALWAYS hot"...

 

Is this the wire itself when disconnected from the controller?


Edited by Vic Harder, 29 March 2020 - 12:55 AM.

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#45 acmedave

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 01:55 AM

So your observations match the diagram.  Cool.  Can you clear something up?  You say:

 

1) The LOAD function works

2) You also say "the positive wire in the load pair at the controller is ALWAYS hot"...

 

Is this the wire itself when disconnected from the controller?

It is. I’ve tried to trace it out, but it disappears into the woodwork. I’m not ready to start pulling cabinetry apart yet. Pondering on another way. It is a white wire and the only other exposed white wire of a similar size I have found is at the battery separator.


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#46 Vic Harder

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:51 AM

It is. I’ve tried to trace it out, but it disappears into the woodwork. I’m not ready to start pulling cabinetry apart yet. Pondering on another way. It is a white wire and the only other exposed white wire of a similar size I have found is at the battery separator.

whoa.  OK, so take the white wire off the battery separator, and off the MPPT LOAD terminal.  Check continuity.  Also, check that the 12V hot on the white wire at the MPPT does NOT have power when you take the white wire off of the separator.  That could be another key part of this puzzle.


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#47 acmedave

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:44 PM

whoa.  OK, so take the white wire off the battery separator, and off the MPPT LOAD terminal.  Check continuity.  Also, check that the 12V hot on the white wire at the MPPT does NOT have power when you take the white wire off of the separator.  That could be another key part of this puzzle.

Removed the white wire from the B pole of the battery separator, and lost all DC power to the camper. Checked continuity and with the white wire disconnected at both end and found continuity.

 

Seems to me the white wire from the separator must supply the kill switch and somewhere before kill switch another circuit is run from that wire to the load terminal of the solar controller. Why? Would that be required to monitor the load? and still allow the AC charger to charge the batteries?

 

Also wondering why the 15A fuse in the battery to solar controller failed and if it was like that from the factory could that have inclined somebody to mess up wiring the load terminal?

 

Thinking about just reconnecting the white wire to the solar controller. Setting the load to off. Adding in a BVM. Maybe once FWC opens again someone can explain the path of the white wire to me. I haven’t yet figured out how to get behind the fuse block and kill switch to examine connections.


Edited by acmedave, 29 March 2020 - 08:57 PM.

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#48 Vic Harder

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:26 AM

The white wire on the separator is supplying power from truck battery.  Makes sense that it is supplying power to your camper as long as the truck battery isn't getting discharged too much.  Interesting though, because that means the IOTA is also charging your truck battery.

 

I'm thinking your idea of disconnecting the load wire (cap it with a wire nut for now) is a good one.  rando's suggestion that this is a wiring error makes some sense.  FWC has not been using Victron gear for very long, and the previous units didn't have LOAD outputs, so this is a new area for them.  Issues may still be being worked out.

 

FYI, I wired my system so that the kill switch kills DC power no matter where it comes from.  


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#49 acmedave

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 03:42 AM

The white wire on the separator is supplying power from truck battery.  Makes sense that it is supplying power to your camper as long as the truck battery isn't getting discharged too much.  Interesting though, because that means the IOTA is also charging your truck battery.

But why/how would the camper be running off the truck battery. Don’t like that idea much.

 

When the camper is not on the truck I still have 12V power.

 

And there is a white wire on both sides of the separator. Foolishly I idin’t test both only the one that seemed most likely to be headed to the kill switch. The one on the B terminal.

 

So much to try to understand!

 

 

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Edited by acmedave, 30 March 2020 - 03:43 AM.

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#50 Vic Harder

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:03 AM

Dave,  Camper and Truck are connected by the isolator by design, until either one is below a certain threshold, then it disconnects them.  Works fine that way.

 

Now, are you saying that even with the camper OFF of the truck, you have 12v on that white wire?  That's .... free energy?   :lol:

 

If so, we need to keep digging.


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 





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