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Old 11-25-2018, 10:13 AM   #1
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HELP with Solar Installation

First let me say that I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous so I need so help.
I bought a 150 amp panel, a Tracer 3215BN 30 amp controller (just in case I wanted to add an additional panel) and a MT-50 remote controller.
I had the panel mounted on the roof to the pre-wired cables that ran down to where my inverter is located. I then mounted and wired the controller near the inverter and ran the output of the controller to the batteries. I plugged in the remote and it came on. Wow! that was simple. However my controller shows 12.9 volts from the panel and NO AMPS and 12.9 volts at the battery and NO AMPS.

I found a page on the remote that shows status and it says the controller is off. I checked the controller and all the both lights are solid green.

ANY IDEAS??? Does anybody know of someone in the Phoenix area that does this type of work on an Motorhome?
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:30 AM   #2
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It could be as simple as your batteries are fully charged, so there won't be any current draw and the controller charging mode is off. put a Load on the batteries by using your inverter, plug something into the inverter 120VAC power and run it for awhile, when the batteries draw down your solar controller will recognize this and hopefully start to charge. I believe you have 150 watt panel, a 150 amp panel would be the size of football field. See if that works, good luck and be safe
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder28T View Post
It could be as simple as your batteries are fully charged, so there won't be any current draw and the controller charging mode is off. put a Load on the batteries by using your inverter, plug something into the inverter 120VAC power and run it for awhile, when the batteries draw down your solar controller will recognize this and hopefully start to charge. I believe you have 150 watt panel, a 150 amp panel would be the size of football field. See if that works, good luck and be safe
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:48 PM   #4
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Well, that didn't make any difference.

Does anyone know someone who can work on the in the greater Phoenix area????
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruceea View Post
First let me say that I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous so I need so help.
I bought a 150 amp panel, a Tracer 3215BN 30 amp controller (just in case I wanted to add an additional panel) and a MT-50 remote controller.
I had the panel mounted on the roof to the pre-wired cables that ran down to where my inverter is located. I then mounted and wired the controller near the inverter and ran the output of the controller to the batteries. I plugged in the remote and it came on. Wow! that was simple. However my controller shows 12.9 volts from the panel and NO AMPS and 12.9 volts at the battery and NO AMPS.

I found a page on the remote that shows status and it says the controller is off. I checked the controller and all the both lights are solid green.

ANY IDEAS??? Does anybody know of someone in the Phoenix area that does this type of work on an Motorhome?

Could it be a 150 watt panel?


There is a solar guy in Glendale. D&R Family RV, 6344 W Orangewood. I'm told he is very busy in Winter but not in Summer. Makes sense to me.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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If you can get a hold of a conventional volt meter, it will be more accurate at measuring voltage than the meters that come with those units. A fully charged battery should be higher than 12.9 volts.

Try to measure voltage at the controller input.

As a practical matter, the challenge might simply be that the panel voltage is not high enough to operate the setp. A PWM controller might be better if you only have one panel.

Here is the logic:

- Vmp of the panel - most likely is 18 ish volts.
- Imperfect sunshine / angle on panels - now 17 volts
- Loss in the wires - 0.5 - 1.0 volts
- Voltage drop it takes to run the MPPT Controller ( could be 2 - 4 volts)

This drop is not really a "loss" as much as it is the voltage "differential" required for the electronics to work properly. It is really intended for feeding 12 volt batteries from 2 - 4 panels in series.

EDIT - I looked at their spec and it says that this "mppt voltage" is 2 volts, but it doesn't take much to be off a tad. Very good quality solar charge controllers from other suppliers often list a 4 volt mppt number, so it isn't uncommon.

Add it all up:

(17 at the panel) - (1.0 wire loss) - (3 or 4 volts to operate) = 12 volts or so at the battery.

My guess is that this controller "voltage drop to operate" is what is messing you up.

It is pretty common on mppt controllers - Victron, etc, only difference is that for some brands it is more than for others.

If that is the problem, you can fix it either by adding another panel (in series) or changing to a pwm controller.

If you have a spare panel around, it can be electrically added on the ground for testing purposes. It probably sounds funny for someone to have spare panels sitting around to play with but I work quite a bit with RVs and panels so for me that seems normal.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:43 PM   #7
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Interestingly, your 12.9 volts is right on the edge of the low voltage disconnect voltage. That is the battery voltage that it can turn "on or off" if it things that your battery voltage is too low.

https://www.solacity.com/docs/EPSola...22vk0JT9vH.pdf

I didn't read the manual, but the data sheet implies that this setting might be user defined.
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