Originally Posted by sentientcj
Hello good people of CF.
My low battery alarm just went off so I guess it's time to figure out this electrical mess. The original owner of the boat went crazy with the electrical, so says everybody who's looked at it. So I am aware that it is a mess.
Nonetheless, can anybody tell me a) what these things are, b) what they do, and c) what they are generally supposed to be connected to?
Basically I'm trying to figure out how to get the battery to charge from the solar panel, b/c right now it isn't.
Many thanks for any suggestions. I'm about as green as it gets.
using farmer John troubleshooting logic.
- Remove the wires from the solar panels
as close as possible from where they bundle together to go to the boat.
- Stick a volt meter across the wires and see if you are getting voltage from the panels
- Presumably the red wire from the solar goes to the grey charge controller in your pics (25+v Max Input) and the black or ground wire from the solar goes to a ground bus or the battery negative.
- you need to see if there is continuity in these wires - disconnect the red input wire at the charge controller and the black ground wire wherever it attaches to the ground bus or battery.
- join the red and black together at the solar panel and put an ohm meter on the red and black you removed at the boat end. There should be little to no resistance - if there is high resistance you have a dirty connection somewhere or a busted wire.
- If the resistance checks OK - reconnect at the solar end and check the red and black at the boat end for voltage this time - if that is OK reconnect to the charge controller.
- remove the output from the charge controller and check between the red and ground on the output side. If no output the charge controller is likely fried. if output exists trace the red out put back to the battery or positive bus and check for voltage there.
- This should complete checking the solar circuit.
The other devices should not be in play unless one of them is grounded/failed. The circuit breaker (first item) can easily be checked by disconnecting the wires and putting an ohm meter across the input and output terminals - should be zero resistance.
The echo charge should only be in play when the house is full - I can't see the third wire in the echo charge but that may be the photo angle. It needs house+, Start+ and ground. You can actually disconnect the house+ temporarily for troubleshooting the solar and be assured it is out of the system.
This is basically a pretty easy troubleshooting exercise - start at the solar panels and ccheck in various places along the way "following" the flow of charge current
until you get to the batteriies.