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Old 10-06-2015, 11:35 AM   #1
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Solar not charging

2015 AI coach being loaded for the Blue Ridge fall colors and noticed batteries at 65%, display is showing 670 hours and .0 charge in bright FL sunshine today. We use our coach weekly and have always held around 90%. Checked above and panel is free from debris. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. (I have zero knowledge in amperage/voltage)
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:03 PM   #2
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The controller is supposed to cut in at 12.4 volts (80% displayed). The fact you have a few hundred hours clocked on the display indicates it was working before.
The parts book lists a fuse and a breaker, but I'm not sure where they're located. I would try to find those and check them.


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Old 10-06-2015, 05:52 PM   #3
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I havre seen 2 fuses used in Airstream's solar installations.

The first is located inside the plastic junction box that attracted directly to the underside on the panel.

The second is on the output wire from the charge controller, which is usually under your rear lounge.

I haven't been in any 16s yet, but I understand that with the batteries under the floor and the control panels in front behind the driver's head that the locations have changed.


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Old 10-06-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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Sounds like mine when the charge controller went Tango Uniform. Atkinson Electronics sent me a new one free as long as I returned the old one, which I did. Don't know if Airstream still uses that charge controller on the newer models.

I was told that the cut-in voltage was 12.7 V if the jumper wasn't cut which I believe is the way Airstream installs them. YMMV.
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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Solar not charging

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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
I was told that the cut-in voltage was 12.7 V if the jumper wasn't cut which I believe is the way Airstream installs them. YMMV.

My manual says its 12.7 volts for flooded batteries, and 12.4 volts for sealed batteries, which presumably are glass mats. And that seems to correlate with what I see on mine.
Don't know about how my jumper is clipped though.


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Old 10-06-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
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My manual says its 12.7 volts for flooded batteries, and 12.4 volts for sealed batteries, which presumably are glass mats. And that seems to correlate with what I see on mine.
Don't know about how my jumper is clipped though.


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Correct but if the jumper is not clipped, it will be 12.7 V. The Atkinson engr. told me that 12.7 V was the best setting for the Midwest temp. range. Clipping the jumper drops the cut-in and cut-out range 0.3 V thru-out the temp. range of 0*C to 45*C.

Not sure which is better for AGM batteries. Maybe Lewster can chime in.

Does yours use the Atkinson Electronics charge controller?
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:54 PM   #7
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I just replaced my solar system and the blue jumper on the old charge controller was cut by Airstream.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:21 PM   #8
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Does yours use the Atkinson Electronics charge controller?

Yes, it's the Sunexplorer PVCM25D by Atkinson.


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Old 10-06-2015, 09:37 PM   #9
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I just replaced my solar system and the blue jumper on the old charge controller was cut by Airstream.
Do you have the Magnum Inverter/Charger?
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:39 PM   #10
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Do you have the Magnum Inverter/Charger?
Yes, the 1,000W Magnum
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:49 PM   #11
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Yes, the 1,000W Magnum
Might be why they cut it or maybe they read the instructions.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
I havre seen 2 fuses used in Airstream's solar installations.

The first is located inside the plastic junction box that attracted directly to the underside on the panel.

The second is on the output wire from the charge controller, which is usually under your rear lounge.
.....
Question for whomever -

On the issue of fuses generally, are there any specific operating conditions for which we should remain on the look-out because they might be correlated with a greater likelihood of one or more of them being blown? Does anyone know what conspiracies of circumstances are most likely to blow them?

If it were just a matter of fuses in the main panel, the question wouldn't be so important - you'd just pop open the panel and replace, no hassle.

But with two hidden fuses in the solar system (one of which is nine+ feet in the air), at least one hidden fuse in Dometic fridges (for which one must dismantle the fridge to reach it), and one in the generator (for which one must crawl under the vehicle to access it), it becomes more important to know what NOT to do to help prevent blowing them.

I'd rather not visualize myself one day laying in three inches of mud because my generator quit working. And we've already done the fridge tear-down (twice). I'd hope not have to do either on the road.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:09 AM   #13
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Question for whomever -

On the issue of fuses generally, are there any specific operating conditions for which we should remain on the look-out because they might be correlated with a greater likelihood of one or more of them being blown? Does anyone know what conspiracies of circumstances are most likely to blow them?

If it were just a matter of fuses in the main panel, the question wouldn't be so important - you'd just pop open the panel and replace, no hassle.

But with two hidden fuses in the solar system (one of which is nine+ feet in the air), at least one hidden fuse in Dometic fridges (for which one must dismantle the fridge to reach it), and one in the generator (for which one must crawl under the vehicle to access it), it becomes more important to know what NOT to do to help prevent blowing them.

I'd rather not visualize myself one day laying in three inches of mud because my generator quit working. And we've already done the fridge tear-down (twice). I'd hope not have to do either on the road.
GOOD QUESTION!

First, a fuse is also called a circuit protection device, just like a circuit breaker. The main purpose of a circuit protection device is to protect the WIRE from carrying too much current (more than it's rated for) and melting or burning in the event of a catastrophic short to ground or other over current event.

If it were my RV, I would remove ALL of the 'hidden' and difficult access fusing (obviously all after-thoughts) and reposition them either in the DC fuse panel that already exists or a second fuse panel located within 18" (NEC spec.) of the battery that is fed by an appropriately sized cable (and fuse or breaker). This might entail a bit of difficulty in finding the appropriate cables in question, but would certainly alleviate hunting for a bad fuse at 1:00AM in the rain because of an unanticipated device failure.

I know that Dometic usually has a fuse panel for their fridges located at the back of the units that are generally within reach, but there simply is no reason to hide fuses that require removal of said fridge, or any other appliance or device, for access.
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:50 PM   #14
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Yes, it's the Sunexplorer PVCM25D by Atkinson.


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Atkinson just replaced my 2013 PVCM25D controller under warranty after I suspected it was malfunctioning. They asked me for a credit card and then sent me a new controller. After testing, they confirmed the old one was bad and sent me an email saying they consider the new one a warranty replacement. No charge! I love it when the corporate world does the honorable thing.
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