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Thread: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

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    Member 62cwil's Avatar
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    Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    HELP! SOLAR SYSTEM ON RV NOT CHARGING BATTERY
    Any suggestions to make work properly are appreciated.

    My system is a Go Power 155 watt solar panel and a Go Power GP-Gpm-30 Regulator. By the way Go Power has just came out with the 155 watt so the instructions for the 145 watt are the same. http://gpelectric.com/products/145-w...r-charging-kit

    http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr..._GP-PWM-30.pdf

    http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr..._GP-PWM-30.pdf

    My readings on 8/24 no sun were 12.3 V 74% and 0.0 Amps
    on 8/25 no sun were 12.1 V 72% and 0.0 Amps
    on 8/26 sunny were 12.2 V 70% and 0.0 Amps

    I took the following readings with my meter:

    On regulator at solar connections with battery terminals connected to regulator and battery 19.67. Readings on solar connections with battery wires disconnected were 19.59.

    On regulator terminals at battery terminals with battery wires connected 1.36. With battery wires disconnected 1.36.

    At battery with wires connected to battery terminal on regulator 12.25. With wires from battery terminals connected on regulator and disconnected at battery 1.35

    I have two 12 volt Sterling 24RV-90 Deep Cell Flooded batteries which both say 14.4 Hours @ 5 amps and 590 CA and 460 CCA with 125 reserve. Per Go Power the positive is connected to the positive on one battery and the negative is connected to the negative on the second battery.

    The install was by a friend who is an electrician who has since rechecked all connections and the crimping at the battery. Also we used the # 8 wire that came with the panel. The panel wires are 5 foot from the regulator and the wire from the regulator to the battery is 17 feet. We understood the instructions to say double the wires and then cut in half we ended up having to splice 5 feet away from the battery with the same wire. The slices are solid and checked and same readings at the splice as at the battery and the regulator 12.25.

    If anyone can tell me what we may had done wrong or what to do or check next I would greatly appreciate it.
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Was this a new install ?

    1). Measure battery only volts, test with a resistance load if possible. This checks battery condition. A shorted cell will not charge. It will pull the whole system down to low volts

    2). You need to take voltage measurements from the PV cells only (disconnect regulator) to make sure they are working.
    3). Ditto with the regulator connected and battery disconnected. This is to see if the regulator is pulling down the cell voltage.
    4). Measure voltage at cells with battery connected. This is to find out if the regulato and batteries are dragging down the system.
    5). You need to take voltage measurements on the battery side of the regulator with battery disconnected. This checks voltage regulation, however, it ignores current capability and draws
    6). Ditto with battery connected. Should be around 14+ VDC. If not, either the battery (shorted cell) or the regulator is not capable of passing current.
    7). Put a DVOM on DC amps in series with battery and regulator (notice DVOM amp (fuse) rating). Does amperage exceed regulator rating ? bad battery or, is it so low it's rediculous (bad regulator) ?

    I'd venture a guess the regulator is defective (even if new)... just a guess.
    Tom & Patti
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    In rereading your post, I believe you have the batteries connected in series, not parallel. This will mean 24 volts DC. I think they should be in parallel for 12 volts DC. Instead of using both batteries, try getting your system to work with one battery and get back.
    Tom & Patti
    Lancaster, PA
    RV - 3670 RL
    TV - 3500 HD DW NBS

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    Member 62cwil's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Thanks Tom. I will go over today and check. Believe it or not when troubleshooting when I got two weeks ago they did send me a new regulator. Yes this is a new install.
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  5. Print this Post   #5
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by RollingHome View Post
    In rereading your post, I believe you have the batteries connected in series, not parallel. This will mean 24 volts DC. I think they should be in parallel for 12 volts DC. Instead of using both batteries, try getting your system to work with one battery and get back.
    Tom, I am on the way to rig now. Assuming I am connected in series and not parallel and if I hook positive and negative to one battery will the keep both batteries charged.
    Heartland 2010 Eagle Ridge 29SBRL
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by 62cwil View Post
    Tom, I am on the way to rig now. Assuming I am connected in series and not parallel and if I hook positive and negative to one battery will the keep both batteries charged.
    I think he's saying that you should take one battery out of the installation entirely. Get it working on a single battery first.


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  7. Print this Post   #7
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by 62cwil View Post
    Tom, I am on the way to rig now. Assuming I am connected in series and not parallel and if I hook positive and negative to one battery will the keep both batteries charged.
    Confuses the heck out of me. WIth 12volt batteries they should be connected positive to positive and negative to negative.

    If you have them connected positive to negative it is gonna be 24 volts and will not charge, Plus sure ain't good for your 12volt appliances.
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Every poster is correct. What I am suggesting is, make it easy, one step at a time. Let's do 1 battery and get it working. Then we will bring in the second battery.
    Tom & Patti
    Lancaster, PA
    RV - 3670 RL
    TV - 3500 HD DW NBS

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    Member 62cwil's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Tom, I went to rig and system is connected parallel so I left them like they were that is positive wire from controller to positive on one battery and negative on controller to negative on battery on the other battery. Also Tom I did disconnect the wires from the solar unit to the regulator and tested the wire and got a reading of 19.86 which is consistent with what it was when hooked up. I assume this means power is coming down from the solar unit. Am I correct, if so I can rule that out. Also checked at the battery terminals on the regulator and got 1.36 both with battery cables hooked and also with battery cables disconnected from regulator. In taking readings at regulator with battery disconnected and I got a reading of 1.36 and with battery connected I got a reading of 12.24. Since my battery only shows a charge of 70% and went ahead and connected up my shore power until tomorrow. I not sure how to do # 7. Are you talking about a meter like I am using to read the volts. If so what should I set it on and exactly where should I test to check the DVOM amp (fuse ratings)
    Note the specs on the links I provided in my original post.

    Dan are you still saying go to one battery even though they are parallel. The batteries are connected pos to pos and neg to neg.

    Thanks for you guys help. If what I said above triggers anything else please let me know or if anyone else has any ideas please respond.
    Heartland 2010 Eagle Ridge 29SBRL
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  10. Print this Post   #10
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    Re: Need Help, Solar not charging batteries

    Dan Meyer, I'm trying to C & P or insert a Microsoft Visio (schematic) diagram to the O.P. and I do not know how to do it. A picture (or diagram) is worth a thousand words and right now I'm speachless... In the past I was able to c&P these but something seems to have changed. Any help would be appreciated. In advance thank you.
    Tom & Patti
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