Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-13-2019, 10:39 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Solar panel ‘idle’

Hey all. Local dealer installed a WattMobile solar system on my new 2020 Bambi 22FB. Boondocked for the first time this weekend. Was unable to get the panels to charge the batteries. There was full sun on the panels but the Remote Meter was showing a moon next to the panel icon (meaning it thinks it’s night time) and had the mention next to solar charge. Scoured the manual and I cannot find a solution. My portable Zamp panel connected to the Zamp outlet worked fine, but not the fixed panels, even when the portable panels were disconnected. Any thoughts? Below is a link to the controller I have.

http://azimuthsolar.ca/product/mppt-...-1224v-ml2440/
__________________

steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2019, 11:52 PM   #2
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
Some photos if the install might help. Maybe there is a panel disconnect switch Between the panels and the controller that is turned off. Or maybe a breaker tripped.
__________________

GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Some photos if the install might help. Maybe there is a panel disconnect switch Between the panels and the controller that is turned off. Or maybe a breaker tripped.
Thanks. I don’t believe there is a switch between the panels and controller. The latter is hidden away (not sure where it is to be honest) and the dealer never mentioned one at delivery. I’d be surprised they would have put a switch next it if tucked away like that. And I f a breaker tripped, would the remote meter not be off? I was more thinking it’s a controller config thing. Manual is cryptic. I park my AS a local warehouse. Will go and visit today to bring back pictures.
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:49 AM   #4
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
Ok,

If it was properly installed there should be a “disconnect” between the solar panels and the controller. As you know Solar panels put out voltage any time they are exposed to sunlight. The purpose of the panel disconnect switch is to have the ability to turn off the panels and remove that voltage source from the system for maintenance and or service without having to cover the panels on the roof.
A proper install should have this disconnect.

I’m not familiar with your brand charge controller, but with the “moon” displayed it is telling you that the voltage coming from the solar panels is zero or below the threshold to turn the charger on.
(Best Guess)
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:58 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
If it was properly installed there should be a “disconnect” between the solar panels and the controller. As you know Solar panels put out voltage any time they are exposed to sunlight. The purpose of the panel disconnect switch is to have the ability to turn off the panels and remove that voltage source from the system for maintenance and or service without having to cover the panels on the roof. A proper install should have this disconnect.
Thanks again. I will search for such a switch. Guess it would be in the storage compartment under the bed (22FB) as the meter is mounted on the base of the bed (terrible location BTW) and the panels are right above on the roof. I suspect the controller is somewhere in there. At any rate, will head over to my AS today and bring back photos/findings. Appreciate your help.
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 08:11 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,209
Call your local dealer who installed it. I realize they were closed for the weekend, but they'd be my first call when the manual did not help.


Good luck.
rowiebowie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 11:00 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Ok,

If it was properly installed there should be a “disconnect” between the solar panels and the controller. As you know Solar panels put out voltage any time they are exposed to sunlight. The purpose of the panel disconnect switch is to have the ability to turn off the panels and remove that voltage source from the system for maintenance and or service without having to cover the panels on the roof.
A proper install should have this disconnect.

I’m not familiar with your brand charge controller, but with the “moon” displayed it is telling you that the voltage coming from the solar panels is zero or below the threshold to turn the charger on.
(Best Guess)


Ok so just went to my AS. Could not locate a panel disconnect switch. Only thing is a 30 AMP fuse between controller and battery connector inside the trailer or that’s what I believe it is. Only anomaly I as a newbie was able to pickup is that the green negative wire from the solar panel seemed connected to the positive terminal of the controller. The cryptic manual seems to say the fat left terminal is positive. Not sure if that matters though I’d suspect yes. Thought of trying to reverse the two but before I do, thought I’d check in with the experts here! I’ve attached a few photos. All thoughts welcome!Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0794.JPG
Views:	19
Size:	210.4 KB
ID:	354226Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0795.JPG
Views:	22
Size:	560.6 KB
ID:	354227Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0799.JPG
Views:	21
Size:	211.4 KB
ID:	354228Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0790.JPG
Views:	16
Size:	252.0 KB
ID:	354229Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0803.JPG
Views:	21
Size:	479.0 KB
ID:	354230
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 12:50 PM   #8
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
That sounds like your problem. If you can confirm the polarity of the solar wires is correct then swap them that should solve your problem.
If that turns out to be the case. NEVER go back to that installer. They should have checked that system before releasing it to you.
If that is the problem then that means they never check the output before returning it to you.
Sloppy work.....
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 01:58 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
That sounds like your problem. If you can confirm the polarity of the solar wires is correct then swap them that should solve your problem.
If that turns out to be the case. NEVER go back to that installer. They should have checked that system before releasing it to you.
If that is the problem then that means they never check the output before returning it to you.
Sloppy work.....

Yep. Will for sure talk to the dealer about this. Two more quick questions for you if I may:

1) Aside from swapping the wires, is there any other way to determine polarity of what’s coming from the panels?

2) Any precautions I should take before swapping the wires? Turn off all the beakers I assume? What about the controller? It’s on even when I disconnect the battery.

Thanks again.
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 06:45 PM   #10
3rd one is the charm?
 
pcskier's Avatar

 
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,440
Solar panel ‘idle’

Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
Yep. Will for sure talk to the dealer about this. Two more quick questions for you if I may:

1) Aside from swapping the wires, is there any other way to determine polarity of what’s coming from the panels?

2) Any precautions I should take before swapping the wires? Turn off all the beakers I assume? What about the controller? It’s on even when I disconnect the battery.

Thanks again.

Only thought I had is if they put the neg green prewire on the pos side of the controller—is there a chance they did that because they used the green as the positive up at the combiner box and were too lazy to change it? Just a thought! Nothing surprises me any more!

Also, it’s ok not to have a switch before the controller if the fuse has a trip switch which some people use to isolate the panels. (See yellow tab on attached pic) I have a dedicated switch as well, but might be worth seeing if the breaker is manually tripped.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5875.JPG
Views:	19
Size:	186.6 KB
ID:	354254
pcskier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:06 PM   #11
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
Yep. Will for sure talk to the dealer about this. Two more quick questions for you if I may:

1) Aside from swapping the wires, is there any other way to determine polarity of what’s coming from the panels?

2) Any precautions I should take before swapping the wires? Turn off all the beakers I assume? What about the controller? It’s on even when I disconnect the battery.

Thanks again.
You can determine polarity with a volt meter. Place the positive lead (red) to the wire marked Positive and negative lead (black) to the wire marked negative. If you get a positive reading i.e. (12 volts) then your wire polarity is correct if you get a negative reading i.e. (-12) your polarity is reversed.
Also not picture below. Using a high-flow DC breaker is a much less restrictive choice.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	0FB80F80-DD0C-42DD-B65C-517EC9CFB3AE.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	338.4 KB
ID:	354256  
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #12
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
Here is a pic of the disconnect switch needed between the panels and controller.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	6778857A-15C3-4289-B1E3-6E9640715E0B.jpeg
Views:	12
Size:	77.9 KB
ID:	354257  
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 09:07 PM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
You can determine polarity with a volt meter. Place the positive lead (red) to the wire marked Positive and negative lead (black) to the wire marked negative. If you get a positive reading i.e. (12 volts) then your wire polarity is correct if you get a negative reading i.e. (-12) your polarity is reversed.
Also not picture below. Using a high-flow DC breaker is a much less restrictive choice.
Thanks. Got a volt meter. Will swing by my AS this week and test this.

If they are reversed, do I just swap them or should I disconnect the controller from the battery first, I guess by removing the fuse?
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 09:41 PM   #14
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
Thanks. Got a volt meter. Will swing by my AS this week and test this.

If they are reversed, do I just swap them or should I disconnect the controller from the battery first, I guess by removing the fuse?
Hi

If they are reversed, there's a pretty good chance the controller has been damaged by the reversal. If you have any sort of warranty on the device, you might want to look into that.

A call to the manufacturer probably is a good idea if this is some sort of packaged system.

=====

If this into enough of a mess that you rip it out. Do the next one with more normal ( = commonly used ) components

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 12:55 AM   #15
3rd one is the charm?
 
pcskier's Avatar

 
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,440
Solar panel ‘idle’

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post

Also, it’s ok not to have a switch before the controller if the fuse has a trip switch which some people use to isolate the panels. (See yellow tab on attached pic) I have a dedicated switch as well, but might be worth seeing if the breaker is manually tripped.
Attachment 354254
Doh!! Disregard my comment. The switchable fuse like the one I pictured is between the controller and battery, not between the panels and battery. I have a switch like GMFL pictured between panels and controller.
pcskier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 07:15 AM   #16
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Ok so I went and tested he wires with a volt meter. I just a reading of zero. What would that mean?
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 07:27 AM   #17
Overkill Specialist
 
GMFL's Avatar

 
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3,326
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
Ok so I went and tested he wires with a volt meter. I just a reading of zero. What would that mean?
We’re the panels getting sun.
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #18
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
We’re the panels getting sun.
How silly of me. No sun. My small AS is sandwiched between two very high class As and it was early. Sun was low. Will return when sun is higher.

Have also emailed my dealer with photos of install. Awaiting reply.
steilkurve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 09:29 AM   #19
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
How silly of me. No sun. My small AS is sandwiched between two very high class As and it was early. Sun was low. Will return when sun is higher.

Have also emailed my dealer with photos of install. Awaiting reply.
Hi

I would go direct to the manufacturer. If the dealer didn't know enough about the system to wire and test it correctly, there is little chance he is very familiar with this system.

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 09:52 AM   #20
3 Rivet Member
 
2004 30' Classic
California , MD
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by steilkurve View Post
Ok so just went to my AS. Could not locate a panel disconnect switch. Only thing is a 30 AMP fuse between controller and battery connector inside the trailer or that’s what I believe it is. Only anomaly I as a newbie was able to pickup is that the green negative wire from the solar panel seemed connected to the positive terminal of the controller. The cryptic manual seems to say the fat left terminal is positive. Not sure if that matters though I’d suspect yes. Thought of trying to reverse the two but before I do, thought I’d check in with the experts here! I’ve attached a few photos. All thoughts welcome!Attachment 354226Attachment 354227Attachment 354228Attachment 354229Attachment 354230
Wiring is kind of a mess. Only a few more minutes, and some care, and they could have cleaned this all up.
__________________

cru-in is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

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
Honda 2000 rough idle after storage....???? crazylev Generators & Solar Power 31 12-07-2011 02:37 PM
Sprinters: to idle or not to idle? briborg Sprinter and B-van Forum 12 06-04-2007 11:14 AM
Cooling at idle bkahler Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 15 04-08-2007 01:52 PM
Yikes! No Idle Adjustment - Fast Idle. lebolewis Tow Vehicles 97 08-27-2006 06:20 PM
idle ?s about quality of space, life suspiria_2 Full-Timing 21 10-22-2003 07:53 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.