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Old 11-03-2019, 05:28   #1
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What should I expect?

For first time in over 6 years of cruising we left our boat on a mooring and returned home for a few months. On previous occasions it was either on the hard or in a slip.

I left my solar panels on so my 660 amp gel battery bank would be fully charged when we returned.

The only devices left on were the bilge pumps. It is a very dry boat so I really didn't expect them to run unless a real problem developed.

A friend went on board recently to check the boat and report on the house battery bank. I have a Balmar SG200 meter installed and the 450 watts of solar panels are controlled with a Blue Sky 3024i controller configured for gel batteries.

The meter at around 14:00 hours showed 14v and 0.0 amps of current. The meter also showed the batteries as being fully charged which is what I would have expected. What bothers me is that I would have expected a lower float voltage based on the Blue Sky manual - 13.2v.

What are your thoughts? Do I have a possible problem?
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:31   #2
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Re: What should I expect?

Yes they should not be getting Floated at that voltage.

Does that SC allow user custom profiles?

Maybe it was just momentary if the bilge pump had been working that morning.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:14   #3
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Re: What should I expect?

Many solar chargers run a charging cycle every solar day, bulk->absorption->float.

If your boat watcheer observed the voltage on a cloudy day,, the voltage was simply observed before it had dropped to float for the day.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:51   #4
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Re: What should I expect?

No it was a sunny day unfortunately. How much battery damage do you think I’m sustaining? In other words should I ask him to go back and shut down the panels? It’ll be at least two more weeks before I can get there.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:06   #5
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Re: What should I expect?

Have him power up a load and watch the meter
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:19   #6
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Re: What should I expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostinato View Post
........


The meter at around 14:00 hours showed 14v and 0.0 amps of current. The meter also showed the batteries as being fully charged which is what I would have expected. What bothers me is that I would have expected a lower float voltage based on the Blue Sky manual - 13.2v.

What are your thoughts? Do I have a possible problem?
Is the solar controller temperature compensating? Is it cold where your boat is?
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:42   #7
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Re: What should I expect?

I had the same Blue Sky controller operating two Solbian panels just at the rated maximum capacity. The third year the controller failed and started delivering 14-15 V midday. It dried out and destroyed a brand new set of Concorde AGM batteries. I bought two new 3024i's and dedicated each to a single panel, under control of the remote display.

System has worked fine ever since.
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Old 11-03-2019, 22:45   #8
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Re: What should I expect?

It is not possible to confirm whether or not you have a hardware fault or misconfiguration, without someone knowledgeable going out there and spending some time with some basic gear.

Much less judging whether "damage" is being done.

Are the pumps running at all and if so how many minutes / Ah per day is a key question.
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Old 12-03-2019, 19:26   #9
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Re: What should I expect?

I'm not familiar with the SG200. But is it possible your friend was looking at amps being used at that moment?
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Old 12-03-2019, 19:49   #10
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Re: What should I expect?

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Originally Posted by Sailing Drummer View Post
I'm not familiar with the SG200. But is it possible your friend was looking at amps being used at that moment?

Not a chance. The display is extraordinarily simple and labeled very clearly. The chances of the pumps running is also remote though not impossible.
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