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Old 07-28-2017, 06:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 45
Controller Polarity

I just received my solar equipment that I thought would be a fairly simple installation since the wires from the roof to the battery area were installed by the factory.

I usually jump right in and start these kind of projects but this time, I decided to do things right and read the manual first.

When I got to the controller manual, (It's a Tracer 2210A MPPT Controller) it shows a simple wiring diagram for the controller, Solar Panel, Batteries, etc. When I looked at the battery connections, it shows the battery as having a POSITIVE ground.

Of course, since I ordered this on Amazon, I'm at the mercy of the factory who happens to be in China.

Does anyone know if this is normal or is there a work-around?
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:18 PM   #2
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I believe you need the 2210 RN controller.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:35 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
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When I was checking out the units available on Amazon, they listed the 2210A as the upgraded version of the RN model.

I also just found a statement in the manual that says "The Tracer A series controllers are positive ground controller. Any positive connection of solar, load or battery can be earth grounded as required." Not sure what that means???
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
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There is a cadre of folks who like Positive ground, negative distribution. You got suckered in. I'd communicate with the seller and see what they say.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:19 PM   #5
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I had the same problem. The company was great to work with to get it returned. I then purchased a Solar Epic MPPT negative ground controller
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:16 AM   #6
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Location: Arizona
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THANK YOU to those who replied. I appreciate your input.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:01 AM   #7
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POSITIVE GROUND - Not what you think it is.. This statement isn't referring to the battery connections, its referring to how the load shedding option is switched. The controller supplies the MINUS to turn something ON and OFF.

In a Negative ground, the controller would supply PLUS to turn something on / off,.

I bought a inexpensive Renogy 100 watt kit several years ago. The controller was a Positive ground. NO BIG DEAL

Here's why.

The controller gets wired to the solar cells and the batteries. The controller will charge and maintain the batters.

ALSO - the controller has another neat feature. The controller monitors the battery voltage, the solar cell voltage, and some will even have a time function. If the battery or cell voltage gets to low, or the timer is set for specific times, the controller can "shed loads". When the voltage comes back up again, it can turn the "loads" back on. It does this at the "LOADS" connection on the controller. Kind of like an internal switch.

The "Positive ground" is referring to this feature. specifically, how the "loads" connection is connected inside the controller. When the controller wants to turn a load on, it connects the LOAD terminal to the battery MINUS terminal.

You can use this feature in a "Negative Ground" system, but the load thats connected cannot be connected to the negative ground, otherwise it will be turned on all the time. The best example I can think of is something like a dash radio that has a metal case that bolts to the negative ground. This won't work, because the metal case will supply a MINUS to the radio all the time, even when the controller removes the MINUS.

However, if you wired a relay or a light bulb, or anything else that didn't have this hard connection to the minus, you could control it with this output.

Look at the link and read through it.

I even did a hand sketched diagram on post # 19..
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:45 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 45
WOW! That was a lot of info but very helpful. It all makes sense now.

Prior to receiving your reply, I contacted Amazon, they gave my an instant return label and credit for the purchase and I ordered the latest upgraded version that is negative ground. It was about $12.00 more money but I think in the long run, it's worth it for the Pease of mind.

I also liked the post about using "muffin" fans off the load terminal to help keep thing cool. Think I will do the same.

Thank you very much for all of you who contributed, you are all so helpful.
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