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 > Portable Solar Smoking

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Grodyman

Southern California

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Posted: 08/08/19 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I inherited a NaturePower 120 Watt suitcase solar kit. Opened it up and hooked alligator clips to terminals of battery, after a short time, smoke coming from the wiring/charge controller area behind the solar panel.

What could cause this? Wire run was maybe 6 feet.

Gman


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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/08/19 05:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reversed polarity?


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Grodyman

Southern California

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

Reversed polarity?


Maybe, if the red and black wires are mixed up from the factory.

Also, no current going into the battery was registering on my battery monitor.

Johnny G1

Clearwater, British Columbia ,Canada

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Should have hooked up controller first before opening suit case possible blown controller, controller need's battery power first. Foud that the hard way when a battery went out and fried a $3oo controller, no where for power to go from panel's. Possible reversed cable's????


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Grodyman

Southern California

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not reverse polarity. Interesting about the controller needing battery before opening panel. I wasn't aware of that. It is a cheap plastic controller, garbage.

naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Probably is garbage now. Controller must be hooked to battery before any solar. Usually that’s taken care of by hooking controller to battery, THEN hooking panels to controller. Shut down by disconnecting panels THEN disconnecting battery. Since panels produce a small amount of power even in dim light, there’s no room for error. If there’s smoke, something is burnt up.





BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a "kit" the panels are already wired to the controller's array side, so all you can do is connect the controller's battery side to the battery. This should not fry that controller.

Some controllers, not all, will go bad if you do not follow the proper sequence in their user manuals--connect battery first then array, and VV when disconnecting.

Must be something else the matter. Take it all apart and check each panel aimed at the sun using your DMM to make sure each one is ok (see their Isc and Voc specs), then re-assemble and try again.

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

naturist wrote:

Probably is garbage now. Controller must be hooked to battery before any solar. Usually that’s taken care of by hooking controller to battery, THEN hooking panels to controller. Shut down by disconnecting panels THEN disconnecting battery. Since panels produce a small amount of power even in dim light, there’s no room for error. If there’s smoke, something is burnt up.


This is great info. I'm planning to get a 300w suitcase type unit with controller to supplement my 300w on the roof if we get in a shady place. Who knows what order I may have hooked it up in. Good info for sure.

Thanks,


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Denali, stock....for now. 2015 Creekside 20fq w/300 watts solar. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 08/08/19 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

naturist wrote:

Probably is garbage now. Controller must be hooked to battery before any solar. Usually that’s taken care of by hooking controller to battery, THEN hooking panels to controller. Shut down by disconnecting panels THEN disconnecting battery. Since panels produce a small amount of power even in dim light, there’s no room for error. If there’s smoke, something is burnt up.


This is great info. I'm planning to get a 300w suitcase type unit with controller to supplement my 300w on the roof if we get in a shady place. Who knows what order I may have hooked it up in. Good info for sure.

Thanks,

Grodyman

Southern California

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Joined: 06/04/2006

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Posted: 08/08/19 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Controller is connected to rear of panel, so I would need to connect the clips while keeping the suitcase covered from the sun, then open the panels to the sun after connecting.....Is this the standard procedure?

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