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Old 09-14-2023, 10:05 PM   #1
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Steamboat Springs , Colorado
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Victron System Issues and Questions

Here's what I have:
Victron wall mount Digital Multi-Control
Victron BMV 712 Smart Battery Monitor
Victron MultiPlus 24V |300va
Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller - MPPT 100|30
Batteries - Two- Ampere Time LIFEPo4 24V 100Ah

Issues:
-On a recent trip solar charging stopped working like 58% SOC and only 10ish watts from solar array with full sun, not SOC improvement during the day, kept declining
-only blue bulk led light on charger is blinking
-no led lights on wall multi-control are on

What I've tried:
- confirmed battery settings on Victron app for MPPT controller, and for BMV 712 are correct (from battery manufacturer)
- Connected to shore power and battery charged to 100% and appropriate bulk, absorption, and float activity and led's illuminate. said simply the system works
-Checked all fuses including the one for the solar array

Questions:
-What's my Problem?
-What should I try?

- Do I need to change settings on the BMV 712 Smart Battery Monitor also, or is that just a status deal?
- Does is matter if I have the multiplus switch on charger only or inverter?
-Does is matter if I have the wall mount digital multi controller on charger only or inverter?
-What should the "current limit" dial on the wall mount digital multi controller be set at?
-Should I get a PhD in solar electrical engineering to figure out all this stuff? :-)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bix1
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Old 09-14-2023, 10:45 PM   #2
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According to what I see on the Victron website, the blinking blue light likely means that the controller is waiting for PV power to come through. Seems like this would mean either you have a blown fuse/circuit breaker on the input side somewhere or you have an open connection some where on the input side.

Have you confirmed voltage coming from your solar panels to the controller?
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Old 09-15-2023, 08:21 AM   #3
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Richard,

Thanks for the reply! I have not. Is the best location to test it at the MPPT connection?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2023, 08:45 AM   #4
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I'd start by checking for voltage on the input side of the solar charge controller. If there is nothing coming in from the solar panels there, then go further upstream. You likely have a circuit breaker or fuse on the lines between the solar panels and the charge controller, so be on the lookout for that.

If you still don't find voltage on the lines from the solar panels (and assuming that you have sun hitting the solar panels) continue upstream connection by connection until you're up on the roof.

My guess is that you either have a loose connection or a tripped breaker/blown fuse. Especially if this is a new(er) system, a loose or poorly made connection would be my primary guess. Lots of places to get things wrong with all the connections, so one may have been made 'sort of' right - at least good enough to work for a little bit. After a few miles of jostling down the road it works itself loose and you have no power from the solar panels.

Word of caution...those solar panels are still making voltage whether or not they are connected to the solar charge controller. Be very careful working with the wiring between the panels and the controller - there is a real possibility of shorting things out if you're not careful and doing damage.
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Old 09-15-2023, 02:44 PM   #5
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:33 PM   #6
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:44 PM   #7
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Old 09-20-2023, 12:08 PM   #8
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Richard,


I have checked the voltage and amperage at the solar input to the MPPT charger, and I have checked battery voltage at that location. Good news is I have proper current on both.


I am not clear on what "Mains" means. Is that only relevant when connected to shore power? Does it matter if I have the multiplus panel set to inverter or charge only when I am looking to charge with the solar panels?


Scott
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:08 PM   #9
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It might be best to post what exactly you found. You did not say what kind of panels you have but I would expect 24ish volts on the battery side and 40ish volts on the panel side.

The MPPT should be able to charge no matter what the mutliplus is doing
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix1 View Post
Here's what I have:
Victron wall mount Digital Multi-Control
Victron BMV 712 Smart Battery Monitor
Victron MultiPlus 24V |300va
Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller - MPPT 100|30
Batteries - Two- Ampere Time LIFEPo4 24V 100Ah

Issues:
-On a recent trip solar charging stopped working like 58% SOC and only 10ish watts from solar array with full sun, not SOC improvement during the day, kept declining
-only blue bulk led light on charger is blinking
-no led lights on wall multi-control are on

What I've tried:
- confirmed battery settings on Victron app for MPPT controller, and for BMV 712 are correct (from battery manufacturer)
- Connected to shore power and battery charged to 100% and appropriate bulk, absorption, and float activity and led's illuminate. said simply the system works
-Checked all fuses including the one for the solar array

Questions:
-What's my Problem?
-What should I try?

- Do I need to change settings on the BMV 712 Smart Battery Monitor also, or is that just a status deal?
- Does is matter if I have the multiplus switch on charger only or inverter?
-Does is matter if I have the wall mount digital multi controller on charger only or inverter?
-What should the "current limit" dial on the wall mount digital multi controller be set at?
-Should I get a PhD in solar electrical engineering to figure out all this stuff? :-)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bix1
I just went thru this . My solar panels , (3out of 4) were shot. My solar controller was saying that I didn't have enough solar input or a fuse was the problem. I went to a Victron dealer, and they tested everything and it ended up being the panels. They asked if I had been struck by lightning and I had, but they didn't go out immediately. I had a surge protector that was fried when I was struck. But you can still have damage that doesn't present right away. We ordered new panels, installed yesterday and I'm back in business. My panels were glass but underneath each one is a panel box kind of like a ballast and that's what likely went bad.
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Old 09-20-2023, 09:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bix1 View Post
Richard,

I have checked the voltage and amperage at the solar input to the MPPT charger, and I have checked battery voltage at that location. Good news is I have proper current on both.

I am not clear on what "Mains" means. Is that only relevant when connected to shore power? Does it matter if I have the multiplus panel set to inverter or charge only when I am looking to charge with the solar panels?

Scott
"Mains" usually refers to the shore power side of things. Not sure on your set up, but usually the solar charge controller works independently of the Multiplus to charge the batteries.

Can you post a few photos of how your system is set up, or maybe a wiring diagram if the installer gave you one?

IF you have proper voltage on the INPUT side of the solar charge controller when the sun is shining and still have little to no current flowing on the output side, then I'd suspect that something is amiss with the solar charge controller and/or its settings.
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Old 09-23-2023, 08:28 PM   #12
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I'd start by checking for voltage on the input side of the solar charge controller. If there is nothing coming in from the solar panels there, then go further upstream. You likely have a circuit breaker or fuse on the lines between the solar panels and the charge controller, so be on the lookout for that.

If you still don't find voltage on the lines from the solar panels (and assuming that you have sun hitting the solar panels) continue upstream connection by connection until you're up on the roof.

My guess is that you either have a loose connection or a tripped breaker/blown fuse. Especially if this is a new(er) system, a loose or poorly made connection would be my primary guess. Lots of places to get things wrong with all the connections, so one may have been made 'sort of' right - at least good enough to work for a little bit. After a few miles of jostling down the road it works itself loose and you have no power from the solar panels.

Word of caution...those solar panels are still making voltage whether or not they are connected to the solar charge controller. Be very careful working with the wiring between the panels and the controller - there is a real possibility of shorting things out if you're not careful and doing damage.


Iíll be following as well hoping to learn something. I have a 2023 Basecamp with the airstream solar package on it with upgraded batteries to four BB batteries, Victron charge controller and smart shunt, and GoPower Inverter. We just picked up from dealer two weeks ago with 100% battery level after supposedly having a thorough check of all systems, used for short trip then noticed the battery continuing to drain.

I monitored the solar charge at between 50-180 watts (out of 300 watt capacity) as the sun moved across the sky and behind clouds, but it still drained. I plugged into house 110V to charge and still saw power draw more than charge (see picture) the image is with a sunny sky, plugged in, all appliances powered off, no fans, no lights, just the water heater, co2sensor, and other built in circuits on.

Hoping I can find the answer here and learn the system enough to full understand the processes. Btw, I am very familiar with electric circuits as I was an ET in the Navy but solar is new to me. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-23-2023, 10:51 PM   #13
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Iíll be following as well hoping to learn something. I have a 2023 Basecamp with the airstream solar package on it with upgraded batteries to four BB batteries, Victron charge controller and smart shunt, and GoPower Inverter. We just picked up from dealer two weeks ago with 100% battery level after supposedly having a thorough check of all systems, used for short trip then noticed the battery continuing to drain.

I monitored the solar charge at between 50-180 watts (out of 300 watt capacity) as the sun moved across the sky and behind clouds, but it still drained. I plugged into house 110V to charge and still saw power draw more than charge (see picture) the image is with a sunny sky, plugged in, all appliances powered off, no fans, no lights, just the water heater, co2sensor, and other built in circuits on.

Hoping I can find the answer here and learn the system enough to full understand the processes. Btw, I am very familiar with electric circuits as I was an ET in the Navy but solar is new to me. Attachment 437137
Nearly impossible to know for sure what's going on with your system without laying eyes on it, but it sure sounds like you've got a switch, fuse, or disconnect of some type keeping things from working. Or possible a setting somewhere in the system is wrong.

Have you confirmed that your converter/charger or inverter/charger is outputting the proper voltage? If yes, is that voltage reaching your batteries? If it's not outputting a charge voltage, then have you confirmed it's getting 110v incoming power? Are the settings/switches/fuses in the proper state?

Same for your solar charge controller? Is there voltage coming in from the solar panels when the sun is shining on them? Is the controller properly connected to the batteries? Settings are correct to charge? Etc.

The 110v charger should be fully capable of charging your batteries and should be able to operate regardless of whether or not there is sun in the sky. Be careful when diagnosing this problem that you don't confuse the two systems (solar charging & 110v charging) as they utilize separate charging systems.
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Old 09-24-2023, 08:54 AM   #14
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Got my system running again

Thanks for all of the coaching on this issue.



As of yesterday I am back in business, battery SOC increasing by solar only.


Here's what I did:


-Checked each solar panel with a multi-meter and all were within specs printed on the back of the panel.


-Insured that the App settings for the battery on the MPPT and BMV were as recommended by the battery manufacturer. (in my case, Ampere Time LifePO4)


-"re-booted" the MPPT charger by:


1. disconnecting solar panel input (I have a switch so didn't have to remove wires.)


2. disconnecting battery from MPPT (I have a separate switch for this also)


3. Waited 5 minutes


4. Reconnected the battery


5. Reconnected the solar panels


Voila.... it worked. I had read on a another thread that this was a potential solution. In my case it worked.


My understanding is that the sequence of this disconnect/reconnect process is important from a "don't damage something" perspective.



I'll keep you posted.


Bix1
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Old 09-26-2023, 07:35 AM   #15
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All good advice. Checked fuses again and found one I missed but all are good.

Before I ended up checking voltage outputs I disconnected the ground at the bus bar (It was night and solar panels under a carport so no solar voltage to worry about) while I checked the fuses...I did check battery voltage and it was in the 11v range so I plugged back into shore power using an adapter for 15A. It immediately went into Bulk charge mode and in about 15 minutes I checked the battery voltage again and it was already higher, the app was showing +1000W vs the -50W I was seeing before.

I am thinking perhaps a reboot of the MPPT may have helped. Even though the app is still not showing a battery percentage the remote panel for the inverter is showing that things are now in float stage, the battery voltage is back in the 13-14V range.

Still taking it back to the dealer to check for any current drain that should not be taking place and hopefully why my app is no longer showing battery percentage, consumed Ah and tie remaining.
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Old 09-26-2023, 12:04 PM   #16
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I also got my issue resolved this morning. While the reboot of the controller seemed to help meaning it did take on a charge something was still wrong so happy I kept my appt at the dealer. The tech that installed the system called shortly after getting it dropped off to say that I was right, there is a problem and he found it. The previous owner did his own re-wiring after having the upgrades installed and that caused issues. There was an over heated wire he pulled out and a converter was re-connected that he originally pulled and gave to the previous owner.

So happy I was not just thinking things through incorrectly. And happy something did not catch on fire with it being wired incorrectly.
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Old 09-27-2023, 08:46 AM   #17
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Congratulations! Your dogged determination won out.
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