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Old 08-12-2013, 11:56   #1
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troubleshooting solar output

I have a bluesky 3024il and two 230watt panels connected in series ,12 volt. Last year would get up 14-15 amps on sunny day. Laid boat up for summer ,seemed to work well last week but last few days(sunny in Florida) amp only get to 7-8 full sun. stays in bulk charging battery voltage 12.4-12.5 volts.Disconnected one panel-amps dropped about in 1/2 at 3.5amps. cleaned panel(not very dirty),no change. No work has been done on the electrical system since everything worked well last year. Any ideas-mppt or panels? thanks in advance
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:04   #2
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

are the batteries drained or full? if they are already full they probably won't take more then 7a.

drain the batteries and put some load on the them (turn a bunch of lights on) are you still going getting 7a?

where are you measuring this from? clamp meter on the solar wire? or a battery monitor measuring net battery current?

also I think you mean connected in parallel? otherwise disconnecting one would stop both, and probably give you 24v when on

if they are 12v panels you can connect them straight to the batteries short term for testing. read amps with a clamp meter.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:44   #3
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

yes, i should have said parallel. and no my batteries about 40% down from full capacity. I don't have a amp clamp. may have to get one thanks
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:56   #4
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Poor connection somewhere. Check them properly.
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Old 08-12-2013, 13:02   #5
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I have been noticing the same thing, here in Marathon, FL.
2 weeks ago, north of Miami, output was normal.
Maybe weather???
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Old 08-12-2013, 19:33   #6
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

Think you may have had issues all along, if you have 460 watts and are only getting 15 amp at 12 volts there may be a wiring problem. Now if thats 15 amps at 24 volts that sounds about right and 7 - 8 amps might just be the weather, has it been hazy or a little over cast. Does not take much to make a big difference in output.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:43   #7
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

Panels are 3 years old,evergreen brand total 410 watts-would sometimes see up to 18 amps last year,but reliably double digits,now max 7 amps. Not much of an electrical tester but checking connections at the blue sky this am. Thanks
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:12   #8
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

Is that at 12 or 24 volts, 24 - 28 volts before charge controller, 12 volts after. Where are you measuring your current?

John
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:37   #9
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

measuring amps off a link 2000,and the blue sky display. This am 9:30 clear sunny day reading 10.2 amps
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:01   #10
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

If you have been taking the readings from your link which is presumably sensing the 12 volt system then your system has never worked properly. I thought you said you have 2 x 230 watt panels but even 410 watts on a good day should produce about 20 - 25 Amps taking electrical losses into consideration. Do you have any shadowing at all, even a back stay shadow can drop your output considerably (like 25% - 35%) in some cases. Other than that check the wiring. What brand module are you using, there were a bunch of Chinese modules that made it onto the market which where labeled and sold as producing a lot more power then they really produced. You might want to have someone familiar with solar take a look at you install.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:18   #11
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Re: troubleshooting solar output

Eddie:

We are close to the winter solstice and even in Marathon the days are shorter and the angle of the sun is lower. So unless your solar panels tilt and you can make them perpendicular to the sun, you are going to get less power out of them this time of year.

David
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