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Old 17-04-2015, 04:41   #1
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12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

Folks, more dumb questions ...

My solar panel controller is factory set at 14.25 V and the controller clicks occasionally. When it cli ks, the red light on the controller, labeled "distribute" lights up, and, if I monitor this event with a multi-meter, the VA reading will increase slightly. What exactly does this mean?

Also, the three settings available are "distribute", "flashing" meaning low batt, and green, meaning "charging". The controller never seems to go to any of these settings during sunlight hours. Have not checked at night, but, at night the clicking stops. What does this indicate?

Lastly, I have a solar array that is parallel linked. So are the two house batteries and the engine battery, all of which are linked to a DC distributor.
When I attach a 175 watt, DC to 220 AC inverter to the house batteries, the inverter shows a red "fault" light, each time the controller clicks to "distribute". What does this mean?

Any and all serious replies will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to all for your consistent assistance and support.

Best Regards,

G2L
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Old 17-04-2015, 05:15   #2
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Re: 12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

I think you might get more helpful responses if you can share the make and model of the solar controller.
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Old 17-04-2015, 05:20   #3
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Re: 12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Folks, more dumb questions ...

My solar panel controller is factory set at 14.25 V and the controller clicks occasionally. When it cli ks, the red light on the controller, labeled "distribute" lights up, and, if I monitor this event with a multi-meter, the VA reading will increase slightly. What exactly does this mean?

Also, the three settings available are "distribute", "flashing" meaning low batt, and green, meaning "charging". The controller never seems to go to any of these settings during sunlight hours. Have not checked at night, but, at night the clicking stops. What does this indicate?

Lastly, I have a solar array that is parallel linked. So are the two house batteries and the engine battery, all of which are linked to a DC distributor.
When I attach a 175 watt, DC to 220 AC inverter to the house batteries, the inverter shows a red "fault" light, each time the controller clicks to "distribute". What does this mean?

Any and all serious replies will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to all for your consistent assistance and support.

Best Regards,

G2L
Research done since I posted the above seems to indicate the following:

The distribute signal tells me that the batteries are full and that power coming in from the solar array is being "distributed" elsewhere to avoid over charging the batteries.

It seems that the type of controller I have is actually breaking electrical circuits to avoid overcharging, and when doing that, is blocking my 12v-220 inverter's capability.

If that is the case, the solution seems to be to disconnect the batteries from the solar array using my DC power distributer, turning it to "off". That would stop the circuit breaking and I could use the reserve battery power to power my inverter, and the computer that I would like to run off it.

Make sense?

G2L
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Old 22-04-2015, 04:16   #4
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Latest Re: 12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Folks, more dumb questions ...

My solar panel controller is factory set at 14.25 V and the controller clicks occasionally. When it cli ks, the red light on the controller, labeled "distribute" lights up, and, if I monitor this event with a multi-meter, the VA reading will increase slightly. What exactly does this mean?

Also, the three settings available are "distribute", "flashing" meaning low batt, and green, meaning "charging". The controller never seems to go to any of these settings during sunlight hours. Have not checked at night, but, at night the clicking stops. What does this indicate?

Lastly, I have a solar array that is parallel linked. So are the two house batteries and the engine battery, all of which are linked to a DC distributor.
When I attach a 175 watt, DC to 220 AC inverter to the house batteries, the inverter shows a red "fault" light, each time the controller clicks to "distribute". What does this mean?

Any and all serious replies will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to all for your consistent assistance and support.

Best Regards,

G2L
The fix I noted in my second post did not work. Voltage and faults still occurred. However, wires down current from the batteries and controller seem to operate at a constant voltage. I bought a 12v to 19v converter which fits into one of my 12v cigarette lighter plugs. That has solved my problem in that I am able to use the inverter to power my laptop and related navigational program.

Thanks to all. Hope this helps someone else down the line.

g2l
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Old 22-04-2015, 04:40   #5
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Re: 12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

Its a bit hard to understand the situation, as English is not your first language. However, you are probably correct--your solar regulator has a relay which shuts off the solar panel when the battery voltage exceeds 14.25 volts. This is OK, and the only thing I can think of is that your inverter is wired to the solar regulator output instead of direct to the batteries like your cigarette lighter plug.
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Old 03-05-2015, 21:02   #6
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Re: 12v Solar Controller Reading "Distribute", Inverter Regestering a Fault

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Its a bit hard to understand the situation, as English is not your first language. However, you are probably correct--your solar regulator has a relay which shuts off the solar panel when the battery voltage exceeds 14.25 volts. This is OK, and the only thing I can think of is that your inverter is wired to the solar regulator output instead of direct to the batteries like your cigarette lighter plug.
Believe it or not, English is my first language : } Problem is that I don't know the proper terminology for all the technology I am trying to understand. To clarify, the 12-19v "inverter" and "converter" referred to in my last message are one and the same giizmo. Got everything running, so life is good again. Thanks for your help - g2l
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