Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-03-2019, 10:28   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
SV Bacchus's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Presently cruising the Bahamas
Boat: Leopard 42 OV
Posts: 1,205
Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

I have two 350W LG panels along with two of the Victron 100/30 controllers, all installed approximately 3 months ago. They have worked flawlessly until a couple of days ago. My batteries are a one month old bank of Lifeline AGM 210 AH batteries which I manage to get to 100% daily with a genset. I need to get back to solar and quit burning up Dino juice!

For background I had the installer, a respected boatyard in Ft. Pierce, FL, install the two panels as separate systems, to a point. Each panel has its own wiring, #6 tinned supplied by the solar company, which runs to a controller, one for each panel. It was my thought to minimize losses due to shading. Anyway, after the controllers the positives go to a buss bar to be joined and run to the batteries on a single #6 wire, which was already present from the previous solar install. I was assured that setup was acceptable and the #6 would certainly handle the voltage post controllers.

Upon close inspection, such as I can do, there doesn't seem to any issues with the wire after the buss bar so I am hoping all is well where the wire is buried in the hidden space leading to the batteries. There is a 30 amp fuse post buss bar and it is not tripped.

A fellow cruiser here in Lake Sylvia (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) suggested rebooting the controllers by waiting until nightfall and removing the wires from the controllers and then reconnecting per Victron recommendations. I did that last night, removed all wires, waited 30 minutes, reinstalled the battery leads to the controllers, waited 30 minutes more and reinstalled the solar leads. Battery first, solar second! I knew I would not have an answer until this morning when the solar kicked in here in sunny So. FL. No joy, as you can see from the screen shots attached.

Oh, forgot to add these controllers are adjusted through an iPhone via Bluetooth. I also have a Victron BMV700 Battery Monitor. It appears to be displaying accurate readings as I can see the amount of discharge each morning.

I tried Google and also Victron's community website and most I could deduce was to reboot, as I did, or the controllers are bad. Strange they would both give up the ghost at the same time???

Any words of wisdom as to changing settings or other ways to reboot or reset the controllers? Any issues with how the install was handled?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5127.jpg
Views:	128
Size:	136.2 KB
ID:	188594   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5128.jpg
Views:	154
Size:	167.6 KB
ID:	188595  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5129.jpg
Views:	126
Size:	193.3 KB
ID:	188596  
__________________

__________________
SV Bacchus - Living the good life!
SV Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2019, 15:43   #2
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 953
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Per the second screenshot, yesterday your batteries were reading 14.52VDC, indicating they are in absorption stage, possibly from an inverter/charger, charger or alternator output. Today, your batteries are reading 28.36VDC. What does an independent DMM at the terminals show? If a 12VDC bank has been subjected to 28.36VDC, they are quite likely scrap.
__________________

__________________
Charlie Johnson
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2019, 16:23   #3
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 14,230
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
Per the second screenshot, yesterday your batteries were reading 14.52VDC, indicating they are in absorption stage, possibly from an inverter/charger, charger or alternator output. Today, your batteries are reading 28.36VDC. What does an independent DMM at the terminals show? If a 12VDC bank has been subjected to 28.36VDC, they are quite likely scrap.
Actually, what the screenshots show is that the MAX voltage seen was 28, but that the measured voltage at the time of the screenshot was 13.67.

But interestingly, down at the bottom of the left column is an orange error symbol, showing "error 1". So, looking in the Victron Connect manual in the error table we see... there is no error 1 listed! It starts at error 2. Damn... I hate it when this happens!

So, I suggest that you phone your friendly Victron dealer and ask for an interpretation of that code. It seems quite likely that it is associated with your problem.

At this point I don't see evidence that your batteries have been harmed.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Connely Bay, awaiting enough water to transit the Dennison Canal, beginning our Northward migration.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 05:07   #4
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 953
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Actually, what the screenshots show is that the MAX voltage seen was 28, but that the measured voltage at the time of the screenshot was 13.67.
You are absolutely correct, the max voltage at the battery terminals was 28.36VDC...that is still not good. A nominal 12VDC bank subjected to twice the absorption voltage quite possibly will damage the batteries, even if the duration of the over voltage is short.
__________________
Charlie Johnson
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 05:27   #5
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Panama Awaiting Transit
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,863
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

I don't see a huge concern with the 28V reading, it occurred right after the OP re-connected the controller to the battery, would not be too unusual for a bad reading to occur during the surge of the electronics powering up during the connection process.

I do have a question about the 0V reading two days ago. Unless the controller got disconnected at that time (OP?) then that is unusual for the low end of the battery voltage. Which makes me think the controller did get 'disconnected' two days ago when the problems started. Which would lead me to want to look at the wiring. Not sure how it could measure 14 (or 28)V with a wiring problem and not be able to charge, but I'm suspicious that the problem started on the day when the low voltage went to zero.

[Edit] can you use jumper cables to temporarily bypass the hidden wiring? If that works then you know you have to start digging through cabinets and behind bunks, etc.[/Edit]
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 09:32   #6
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 14,389
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

The fuse where the solar output connects to the battery is blown!
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 09:37   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 39
Posts: 80
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Time to get out the volt meter and check voltage at the terminals on the controller from PV’s and also from batteries. If no voltage from PV’s, check wiring and connectors to panels. Do this when sunny of course. If there is voltage from pv’s, there should be charge voltage at output terminals to battery. Say 13.3 to 14.5V. If no voltage there, then you have an open circuit to batteries. You say fuse is ok, but did you check continuity with your meter? If fuse is good, check wires to batteries. As previously mentioned, you may want to bypass the connection from controllers to batteries. If bypassing fails to work, controllers are the problem. Either software hard reset or the internal nonreplacable fuse is blown. My 2 cents, for what it’s worth. Good luck.
Mr O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 11:52   #8
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Panama Awaiting Transit
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,863
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Just a thought; 40V-28V=12V. Makes me wonder if the negative from the controller is broken/disconnected. Then the reference for measurement would only be the negative from the panels.
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 12:49   #9
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 14,389
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

you guys do understand how a MPPT controller works don't you??

BTW - his problem is fixed and I'll let him tell you what it was
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 13:09   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
SV Bacchus's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Presently cruising the Bahamas
Boat: Leopard 42 OV
Posts: 1,205
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Hi all and thanks much for the input. I apologize for taking so long to get back but I have been buried in the bowels of the boat.

A big thanks to Sailorboy1 who texted and phoned all day with helpful suggestions and yes, it is now fixed.

In a nutshell, and kuddos to Jim Cate for noticing as well as Sailorboy1, there was an error code. In simple layman's terms it was telling me I had lost 12V connectivity. Immediately after the controller is a 50A breaker that was not tripped. I made the silly assumption the 12V was A-OK, which it wasn't.

I began tracing the 12V wire back to where it tied into the system. Bacchus is a catamaran, the panels are on the roof of the cockpit hard Bimini, the controllers are in a cabinet in the salon (Yes, there are two of them) and the 12V wire actually runs from the controllers to the batteries in a forward hatch only accessible from the outside. It is about a 12' run of #6 wire so I shouldn't lose too much juice.

Here is where the long story gets short, real short. There is a fuse block inside the battery compartment! I simply had not thought the PO would have put a breaker and then later placed a fuse. Sailorboy1 pointed out I should have a fuse as close to the battery bank as possible and by golly that is where it is, maybe 12 inches away.

The fuse block had a 30A fuse from the prior solar install, which was 3, 105W panels. So the 30A was fine for that arrangement. The vendor in Ft. Pierce that connected my new panels saw the 50A breaker and the #6 wire and felt the system was good to go so he simply fed the power through the existing wire.

The 30A fuse did last several months, good for it! I have now upgraded my fuse, plugged everything in and it is all good to go.

Thanks again all for the valuable input!
__________________
SV Bacchus - Living the good life!
SV Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 13:13   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
SV Bacchus's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Presently cruising the Bahamas
Boat: Leopard 42 OV
Posts: 1,205
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr O View Post
If there is voltage from pv’s, there should be charge voltage at output terminals to battery. Say 13.3 to 14.5V. If no voltage there, then you have an open circuit to batteries. You say fuse is ok, but it wasn't! Good luck.
You were spot on and exactly in line with what Sailorboy1 was telling me. I now have a much better grasp of the whole system, panels to batteries, that I did not have before.

A great learning experience!
__________________
SV Bacchus - Living the good life!
SV Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 13:17   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
SV Bacchus's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Presently cruising the Bahamas
Boat: Leopard 42 OV
Posts: 1,205
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Unless the controller got disconnected at that time (OP?) then that is unusual for the low end of the battery voltage. Which makes me think the controller did get 'disconnected' two days ago when the problems started. Which would lead me to want to look at the wiring.
Yup, you are correct, that is apparently when the fuse blew and the disconnect happened. I have learned so much in the past two days!

Thanks
__________________
SV Bacchus - Living the good life!
SV Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2019, 08:37   #13
Registered User
 
Davidhoy's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 872
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Bacchus View Post
Yup, you are correct, that is apparently when the fuse blew and the disconnect happened. I have learned so much in the past two days!

Thanks
And I have learned from this too! I have a pair the exact same panels and MPPT controllers, planning to install them on a Catalina 470 that I'm buying in Fort Lauderdale (we're almost neighbors, Bacchus!). I was a little worried at the beginning of the thread that there was a real issue with the gear, happy to hear that it was simply a fuse. I'll make sure I pay attention to that when I upgrade the existing panels, that total 260 watts, to the 700 watt array.

Regards,
David
__________________
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Davidhoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2019, 09:47   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
SV Bacchus's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Presently cruising the Bahamas
Boat: Leopard 42 OV
Posts: 1,205
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
And I have learned from this too!
Excellent! Glad this little thread helped someone else besides just me.
__________________
SV Bacchus - Living the good life!
SV Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2019, 12:33   #15
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor

Join Date: May 2016
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to eMarineSystems
Re: Two Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar Controllers - Not Charging

Hi guys. Great troubleshooting. No doubt that fuse was a little overstressed at high noon in a hot compartment and finally gave up its life. Just as a reminder to everyone that uses Victron charge controllers, they have had several upgrades in firmware and would recommend when you connect to the Internet that you update to the latest and greatest. They continue to maximize energy harvesting and improve some of their charging algorithms, the upgrade software is free so take advantage of it.
__________________
e Marine Support Team
eMarineSystems is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charging, mppt, solar

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Victron SmartSolar and BMV712 connections to shunt? Scrimma Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 28 25-02-2019 04:45
Victron MPPT Battery Charging Algorithm noelex 77 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 15 01-07-2018 04:56
Charging with shorepower vs. Victron MPPT controlled solar SFH Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 18-03-2018 15:18
Victron blue solar controllers Dod42 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 19-01-2016 11:03
MPPT solar charge controllers Phil Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 01-02-2006 22:11



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:09.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.