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Old 26-01-2020, 07:31   #1
AST
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 23
solar boost 2000e not charging

Hello everyone,
I recently bought a 1992 IP and it came with 100w solar panel with Solar Boost 2000e controller.
I am trying to see why the "Output Charge Current" is always 0.
Here is what I know.

1- The previous owner is not much of help.
2- On a sunny January day here in NC, I see the voltage coming into the controller from the panel around 11.5 - 12.5 V. So I guess the panel is ok.
3- The controller reports the voltage of the battery correctly and I measure the voltage across the connectors that are coming into the controller from the battery and I get the same voltage as the battery, so I concluded the fuse between the controller and the battery is good. Right?
4- The controller is not connected to temp. sensor and dip switch 3&4 are off. That should correct.
5- Dip switch 1 & 2 is on (as required by the factory).
6- The battery is setting around 12.75 V

Any idea how to troubleshoot this issue?
thanks,
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Old 26-01-2020, 09:13   #2
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by AST View Post
Hello everyone,
I recently bought a 1992 IP and it came with 100w solar panel with Solar Boost 2000e controller.
I am trying to see why the "Output Charge Current" is always 0.
Here is what I know.

1- The previous owner is not much of help.
2- On a sunny January day here in NC, I see the voltage coming into the controller from the panel around 11.5 - 12.5 V. So I guess the panel is ok.
3- The controller reports the voltage of the battery correctly and I measure the voltage across the connectors that are coming into the controller from the battery and I get the same voltage as the battery, so I concluded the fuse between the controller and the battery is good. Right?
4- The controller is not connected to temp. sensor and dip switch 3&4 are off. That should correct.
5- Dip switch 1 & 2 is on (as required by the factory).
6- The battery is setting around 12.75 V

Any idea how to troubleshoot this issue?
thanks,
Your panel is not providing a high enough voltage for the mppt charger to start charging your panel.

An mppt charge controller typically works in buck mode and requires a voltage higher than the battery charge voltage, it will then take in the high voltage/low current power from the panel and output a lower voltage/ higher current to your battery bank.

I am not familiar with your particular controller, but would guess that a minimum of 16 to 17v would be required at the input before it will "switch on".

Check the voltage at the panel terminals with a multimeter while the panel is disconnected from the load (open circuit), if 12.5v is confirmed then your panel is shot - if a significantly higher voltage is measured then check all cables and connections between panel and controller for damage/corrosion.

Make sure that the panel is in full sun during the test, any shading at all can crash the output.
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Old 26-01-2020, 09:15   #3
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

...should have read "start charging your battery" obviously!
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Old 26-01-2020, 09:19   #4
AST
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

thanks. That makes sense. I will do this measurement in couple of days when I return to the boat and will update the post
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Old 26-01-2020, 11:31   #5
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

There is a reasonably good chance that either there is a problem with your panel or you have a shadowing problem. A panel putting out zero amps should have no problem producing well above 12 volts even at this time of year assuming that no shadows are covering part of the panel. The classic test of a solar panel is to test open circuit voltage and short circuit current. This must be done with no shadows on the panel. Even a small shadow can have significant effects on output. Depending on panel design bypass diodes can minimize these effects. Many designs use bypass diodes in groups of cells instead of individual cells to keep costs down. Since each group of cells contributes to the total voltage one group being bypassed can have a significant effect. Also if one cell in a group has failed that whole group can be bypassed which will drop output voltage substantially. Check to make sure you do not have any shadows from the rigging falling across your panel, disconnect the panel from the 2000e and measure the voltage across the wires. It should be near the panel's OC voltage which should be printed on the panel label. It might be useful to tilt the panel so that it points perpendicular to the sun when doing the test. At this time of year you might not be able to get all the way to OC voltage but it should be relatively close. Fir example if the OC voltage is rated at 23V, anything in the 20V range would indicate that you don't have group of cells being bypassed. If it's still only in the 12v range you have a bad panel.
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Old 26-01-2020, 12:25   #6
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

Another thing to check is how the controller is set. I have the same controller and it has a lot of functionality. Check the bulk, absorption and float voltages. If they are set improperly, it could cause the output to be zero.
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:53   #7
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

BlueSkyEnergy support is pretty good- you should contact them.
You could also try resetting the controller- it is actually powered from the battery side.
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Old 27-01-2020, 09:06   #8
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

getting ready to add solar to my new boat old boat new to me. so all this is new to me. Great info!
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Old 28-01-2020, 15:53   #9
AST
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Re: solar boost 2000e not charging

Success. Thanks to everyone. I am getting solar power now.

In case someone is interested in the steps:

1- My controller (and I think just about all) has ports to connect to the panel and ports to connect to the battery

2- I removed the wire coming from the panel

3- measure the voltage across the panel wire: 20 volts (that is a good
sign). This is called VOC

4- measure the ISC. This is a measure of the AMPS generated by the panel. I got zero.

5- at this point I am suspecting bad panel

6- The wire between the panel and the controll had a taped piece right after the panel. I suspect there might be something there so I took out the tape to reveal a connection within the wire

7- disconnected the connection and remeasured (much closer to the panel). I got good voltage and AMPs.

8- Now I suspected it was just a bad connection. Cleaned the wire ends and reconnected and everything think worked.

thanks,
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