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Old 09-29-2017, 04:22 PM   #1
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1999 Tradewinds solar panel wiring puzzle.

I am trying to determine if original solar panels were hooked up correctly. The only 12 volt distribution panel diagram I can find(2002) shows the solar panel wiring attached to F7/P7 but that the wire is "red". The yellow wire currently attached to that pin reads 0 volts when removed and tested for voltage from the panels. However the solar panel output at the roof tests at 17 volts. In addition there is a 12.7 volt reading on the roof wire where the panel was connected even though the yellow wire is disconnected from pin P7. I'm open to suggestions as to what to try next.
Terry
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:17 PM   #2
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Have you checked for continuity of the wire from the roof to the controller? (or the batteries, if no controller) Also check the ground connection of the solar panel, or, if the wire is routed along with the (+) lead, check it's continuity also.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I think that continuity is not a problem as I get battery voltage on the roof wire pair. That means I must be getting solar panel output back to some battery bank but it isn't going through P7/F7 on the distribution panel. These panels are probably 5 watts each and there is no controller. Hopefully the connecting wire is fused. I think my next step will be to disconnect the positive terminal on each battery bank to see if I am getting solar panel voltage to one of those terminals.
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Old 09-30-2017, 04:50 AM   #4
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Panel

I took a look at my panels and connections a while back. As I recall, my panel wiring went to the fuse and pin that controls my interior AC. Never understood why and not sure any charge even reaches the batteries. I was told that the panels are too old and inefficient to help much. This isn't much help for you tho.
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Old 09-30-2017, 07:19 PM   #5
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After disconnecting the coach and chassis batterys from the system I found solar panel voltage on the coach battery supply line to the 12 volt distribution panel. I also found that a relay was clicking in the panel and the voltage from the solar panel would fluctuate betwen 19 and 6 volts with the relay sound. It turns out the solar panel feeds into the CO detector circuit F8, not to F7 as shown on the diagram and that the detector was intermittantly powered on and off and beeped. The solar panel wire is red as indicated on the electrical diagram. Another puzzle is that when the coach batterys are reconnected and the solar power is disconnected, the CO detector is still powered even with no wire to terminal F8 on the panel as shown on the diagram. It appears a bit of rewiring may be in order. Still looking for what, if anything, is powered by the yellow wire originally attached to F7.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:05 AM   #6
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Panel

Took a quick look at mine yesterday. The wire is orange and white going to the panel. I had all batteries out while installing a new battery rack and noticed the power indicator light was still illuminated. Had me scratching my head until I went in the MH after dark and had no light on.
I still don't have it figured out and have had too many other fixes/replacements going on to devote any time to checking into it.
We are actually getting on the road today for long distance travel after taking some time off. We did some short trips and shakedown drives to make sure all systems were up and running but taking the toad for the first tow on it too.
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