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Old 12-05-2019, 12:28 AM   #1
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Heliotrope Solar Charge Controller Wiring

Hey guys,

I gotta quick question. I upgraded my solar, gosh I got so much to tell you, and the Heliotrope and 100w panel is not connected to the rest of my new solar.

So since I got plenty of solar for the house batteries now, I decided to disconnect the house connection from the Heliotrope so it just charges the chassis batteries.

Well my chassis batteries were dead today, so the question is, do I have to keep the house batteries connected to the Heliotrope in order for the chassis batteries to charge?

I am asking because the manual says, when the engine battery voltage is less than the house batteries, "some of the charging current is sent to it". If the house batteries are disconnected, the controller would see zero volts?, and therefore would never charge the engine batteries. I don't know if they mean all the time or just when the house batteries are less.

If I have to reattach the house batteries to the heliotrope, is that going to mess up my new solar house system?

Can I check my solar panel amps at the heliotrope terminals cause I can't get on the roof.

Thanks guys. I spent all night looking this up and its kinda a strange question to get an answer to.
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:52 AM   #2
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If your new solar is connected to the house batteries, it should have charged the chassis batteries, the same as the old system.

I think you need to check the system that combines the house and chassis batteries for charging. That would be the device the manual talked about that shared the charge.

Look for a large solenoid that has cables from both battery banks. It is the isolation/charging solenoid.
Voltage to each large terminal should read battery voltage, testing to ground. If they differ, push and hold the boost/aux switch and see if they even up. If not, that solenoid is not connecting internally or not powering up by the switch.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:36 AM   #3
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"Look for a large solenoid that has cables from both battery banks. It is the isolation/charging solenoid."

For some reason I had to reset this same solenoid on my coach by shutting off the house battery switch and turning it back on...Then everything worked for me.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:59 AM   #4
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Thank you guys,
My new solar system (with its own controller) is connected directly to the house battery terminal. It does not connect through the solenoid. The battery boost system, when used, I am sure works fine. And when connected to shore power or generator, I am sure the chassis batteries are receiving a charge.

But on the Heliotrope it has separate terminals for the chassis and house batteries. The device that talked about sharing the charge was the heliotrope controller. You have separate charges that go out to each battery bank. The heliotrope decides which battery bank the charge goes to. So its a matter of how the heliotrope works. Does the heliotrope need to see some house voltage before it will send a charge to the the engine batteries? see pic
In case you're curious, the house negative and engine negative are combined. Thats why you don't see a engine negative label.

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Old 12-05-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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You peeked my interest so I just took the time to read the manual on my controller, a RV30D Heliotrope.

I believe you will have to leave your house batteries connected as the controller relies on these to determine state of charge etc.

Not sure if you could swap the charge lead from House to Chassis and fool the controller into thinking the chassis battery is the house and continue charging.

I have been contemplating adding additional solar with 2nd charger so your questions are relevant.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #6
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EXACTLY JIM!!!

update,

I spoke to Dave at AM solar today. That is exactly what he suggested. So I am going to move the orange engine battery wire one spot over to the left on the above picture. The heliotrope has to see some house voltage. Since I had disconnected it, it saw zero and would never send charge to the engine batteries.

All I gotta do is move the orange engine wire to the house positive terminal AND change the engine fuse from a 3 amp fuse to maybe 7.5 or 10. I only have the 100w panel the coach came with on the heliotrope so. I will look for that fuse tomorrow. This will also allow me to use the temperature compensation, voltage charge set point jumpers and the equalization feature the heliotrope 45d has on the engine battery bank because the heliotrope thinks its is a house battery.

In case anyone is curious, The two wires for the house are one for house + and the other goes to the Aladdin.

Also those people who used the inverter wires in the big bay to go back to the batteries, I did too, will not be able to charge their batteries when the coach is in storage without leaving the house and engine disconnect sws on (and possibly the inverter, I can't remember). I have since disconnected all of that, put on more solar panels connected to a mid nite solar charger in the bedroom closet. That system is connected directly to the house battery terminal. The heliotrope will now charge my chassis batteries without having the disconnect sws on. Just like the factory setup minus the house batteries on the heliotrope. Also this will allow the entire amperage to charge the engine batteries instead of a sharing situation.

So here are some fuse holders that I need to identify on the aft wall of the engine battery compartment. I will probably end up taking the batteries out so I can really get in there and look around.

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Old 12-06-2019, 07:42 AM   #7
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Good to know, being able to charge the chassis battery with the original configuration makes sense. Will you just disconnect the temperature sensor or move it to the chassis battery?


Lets us know how it goes after doing the swap.


Thanks
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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Update,
I have identified the right wire in the engine battery compartment connected to the solar controller in the big bay using a continuity check. They brought the orange wire into the battery compartment and then spliced it to a black wire which went into a 15 amp fuse. None of the fuse holders had a 3amp fuse or an orange wire. So I had to trace each wire going into the box until I found an orange wire. There were only 4 wires to trace.

That 15 amp fuse was blown. I don't know how it could have blown since the controller will only send 3 amps to the engine batteries. That particular fuse holder is behind a vertical metal angle iron. It maybe unreachable when the batteries are in the compartment. There is no telling how long that fuse was blown. The holder metal inside was not shiny and looked kinda dull and dirty.

I checked the voltage on the solar panel wire. I disconnected it from the controller and read 19.5 volts. But I got "overload" when I tried to test the amps. It was cloudy out.

So now the engine wire is on the house terminal, I set the state of charge dip sws to 14.2, I set the temp compensation jumper to ON, and I set the jumpers to auto=equalize. The controller will send the full 6amps of the panel to only the engine batteries. I put a new 15 amp fuse in the holder. Now I just need some sun and I'll put it back together. I will update again to let you know if they are getting a charge.

Does anybody know what is hot wired to the engine batteries????

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Old 12-07-2019, 01:33 PM   #9
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Sorry I can't be much help. When I responded to your other post I wasn't aware you had so many devices on board. But there are a lot of other knowledgeable people and I'm sure you'll get it figured out.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:44 PM   #10
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The transmission is usually wired directly to the chassis battery.
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