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Old 09-30-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
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Solar Panel Problem

I recently bought an 05 FDTS 40'. It has 4 solar panels and the shop says there is juice to a panel by the breaker switches, but from there, no juice is going to the batteries. The tech suggested that instead of spending a lot of time trying to track down the problem, that they just put in new wires between the panel and the batteries. Does that make sense, or are we missing something so obvious it got overlooked?
Thanks, Mike

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Old 09-30-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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Not sure what the panel is that you are talking about. I would find the controller and make sure it is working. Mine Morningstar controller failed and was replaced under warranty.

Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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As mentioned above, sounds as if you need to locate the charge controller, it maybe defective, or not turned on. Also some installations have an in-line fuse between the charge controller and the panels, or between the charge controller and the batteries, it maybe bad.

If you decide to re-wire, although you did not say much about the solar panels make sure they rewire with 6 guage wire or larger, will limit line losses, therefore making your panels perform better.

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Old 10-01-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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there is a fuse in the fuse block above the batteries, in your case within the black metal box w/the small wing nuts on the frame, for the solar. that fuse may have blown; I believe but have not verified that is the connection to the batteries from the solar. its also possible that when the prior owner added extra panels, they did not route past this fuse; you may have enough watts now that this fuse won't hold regardless. The tech should be able to determine if there is controller juice hitting this fuse, and the incoming wire that carries it. If you need to reroute you can do it from there as a maximum (assuming when adding panels they didn't do some re-routing we don't know about)
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the input. The tech was starting to rewire when he found a broken or cut wire. Repaired that, so all is fine now.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Hi Mike,
I have a 100 watt solar panel on my 2006 Alpine coach.
I looked in the battery compartment for a wire in order to test the volts (6) to see if the panel is working.
Any idea how I can make the voltage test?

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Old 03-09-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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You can also test it where it comes into the controller, mine is under the bathroom sink. It ought to be close to the fuses (maybe). It then goes to the batteries. I was able to identify mine by looking at the wire as it leaves the controller and finding it when it goes into the battery box.

My diagnosis sent me to the roof, where I found the panel had come unplugged. I cleaned the connections, added some rescue tape and electrical grease, then re-caulked the roof penetration, including the plug.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #8
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Another weak point is the connector on the roof. I found one pin on the 12V plug corroded completely through. Why they used a plug up there is beyond me.

Wayne & Kathy
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