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Oregun

Oregon

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bought my used camper last year and a solar panel was already installed when I got it.
My last camping trip I ran the heater overnight for two nights with no problems and was camped under trees so doubt there was much charging during the day. Got home and and after several days figured the batteries should be recharged. Measured the voltage on the two batteries in parallel and it was 14.46 Volts. I then switched off the main 12v battery switch figuring the batteries should be sufficiently recharged. Then I measured the battery voltage and it was still reading 14.46V, I was expecting it to drop down. So is it normal to hardwire the solar panels directly to the batteries rather than going through the 12v disconnect switch? Or perhaps there is a way to turn off the collector panel via its controller that I am not aware of or is it safe to never turn off the charging panel?
Any help is appreciated.

sbryan@vtbryans.com

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my TC the solar panels charge all the time through the charge controller. That way the batteries are always in tip top shape. No danger of ruining them if your controller is working properly. If you don't have AGM (sealed) units then just keep an eye on your water levels.


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Kayteg1

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

14.4 v will shorten the battery life.
Typical maintaining voltage is 13.5V





Oregun

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camper has two RV deep cycle type batteries in parallel currently.

time2roll

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What controller do you have? Generally there should be no switch between controller and battery. Panels should be disconnected first.


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Oregun

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It has a MPPT Solar Charge Controller.

toddb

az

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Posted: 07/11/19 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's not a programmable controller then you may want to replace it. The blue sky controller that came with ours was boiling the batteries as well.

Oregun

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Posted: 07/11/19 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is the datasheet on the controller. It has a float mode so maybe the batteries arn't fully charged yet.
[image]

2oldman

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Posted: 07/11/19 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is nothing 'normal' if the previous owner installed the solar. What is the wattage of the panel? Some panels are so small as to be worthless.

Also, we don't know the age or health of your batteries. Old, low on water.. whatever.. these thing contribute to them never getting charged.

time2roll

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Posted: 07/11/19 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Batteries were not considered full charge yet by the controller. Maybe they are full charge. Some controllers will drop to float immediately when a set voltage is reached. Some will hold the set voltage 2+ hours before dropping to float. The best controllers adjust the hold time based on charge level.

Does the manual shed any light on the actual charging profile?

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