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Old 17-03-2020, 11:26   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Grenada
Boat: Montevideo 43 sloop
Posts: 151
Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

Help please...
Problem : the amp meter starts off calm in the morning and then later starts to quiver from about 2 amps , up till 6 amps. It tends to drop back to 2 and the straight back up to about 5 , all the while quivering/fluttering.
Scenario :-
Medium size single solar panel ( new to the boat - still not sure wattage ) connected to a Steca Solaris sigma N368 solar charge controller.
I have a master volt MICC that shows batteries are being charged.
The Aero6gen windcharger is operational and charges indicate from zero to about 5amps in current wind. I am not seeing any correlation between the wind charger lows and highs and the variations of the solar charge.
Current battery level is 80% , highest I have seen is 86% recently...
..
I am assuming I have a bad connection somewhere - but so far have not seen any evidence - alternatively , I have a failing solar charge controller ?
..
All advice gratefully received...
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Old 19-03-2020, 03:10   #2
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Re: Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

I’d suspect it’s a PWM controller, and working properly.
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Old 19-03-2020, 04:36   #3
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Boat: Hunter Marine 38
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Re: Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

I agree the quivering, fluttering must be a controller issue.
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Old 19-03-2020, 05:09   #4
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Re: Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

Are there MC4 connectors in line anywhere? I had a similar issue and the MC4 connectors had some corrosion in them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MC4_connector
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Old 19-03-2020, 06:44   #5
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Location: VA Beach/Norfolk, VA
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Re: Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

First, grab the wires on the solar controller and move them around while it's fluttering and see if it stops.

This fixes about half my solar problems.

Afterward. Reconnect/reseat all wires or at least the wires you suspect had the bad connection.
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Old 19-03-2020, 15:45   #6
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Location: Grenada
Boat: Montevideo 43 sloop
Posts: 151
Re: Solar power amp meter “fluttering”

Okay - thanks for all the advice ...
In the process of checking all the connections I came across a push button contact switch , connected to the amp meter (old analog style) which appears to have no effect when pressed. This boat used to have two panels , when I got her , only 1.
All the connections appear clean and properly connected.
Single length of twin cable from the panel connecting box (clean) to the controller - looks good. Quite difficult to get to - so just wiggled the wires.
My gut feel is the batteries are being saturated , ie. full , and due to age of batteries , cannot be charged more. It reached 83% today and then charging l3vel on the ammeter dropped to 2 amps...
The batteries are about 5 years old and probably due for replacement. But I am reluctant to fiddle with them now - Grenada isn’t cheap and add to that Corona...
I’ve never had a fancy controller and master volt display before... so am learning ��
My previous boats have been barebones simple.
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