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Old 11-10-2014, 11:04   #1
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MC4 connection issues

I have 2 100w panels wires in series and run to a Tracer 30A charge controller. The panels are connected with MC4 connectors that have been checked multiple times to insure proper contact. After leaving everything alone and connected for a week or so, I will notice that the panels are only putting in about half of their output (3-4 amps). If I disconnect the MC4 connectors and then reconnect them, it will work fine again for a week or so (7-8 amps).

Of course this makes me think the connection is bad, but I've changed the connectors multiple times and checked and rechecked them. Any ideas on something else that could cause this? The panels are flexible and mounted on my bimini, which is why I want to continue to use a removable connector instead of just hard-wiring them.


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Old 11-10-2014, 12:00   #2
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Re: MC4 connection issues

Are your batteries full at the time you test? If this solar is going through a charge controller, perhaps the controller is resetting at the disconnect and the charge voltage then starts out higher.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:03   #3
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Re: MC4 connection issues

Also, a related question. If I measure the voltage from the panels when they are not connected to the charger it'll be around 35-38 volts. When I connect them to the charger and measure the voltage on the input side of the charger it'll be significantly less. Is this supposed to happen?


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Old 11-10-2014, 12:05   #4
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Re: MC4 connection issues

No, they are not full. They are showing a 75% charge. Is it possible that the controller thinks they are full? If I start the diesel the charge controller for the alternator does not recognize the batteries as full and puts around 50 amps into them for quite a while.


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Old 20-10-2014, 20:41   #5
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Re: MC4 connection issues

Hello,

Do you have anything connected to the load terminals ?

Do all your trimmer(s) settings match with the manual suggestions, or set to "n" to disable that ?

Is the battery type set to match the 3 types it is designed for ?

Is the "Temp" light is on when you come back to the vessel when you have the low charging ? A temp alarm will lower the output.

Are the wires secure inside the terminals ? I tend to solder (tin) the wire ends at the controller so when tightening the terminal screws down, it is a solid connection with every strand of the wires.

I have never done this, but is there a way to reset everything back to factory defaults, and then program again ?

Alan


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