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Old 07-28-2021, 10:44 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
portland , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 5
Solar Panel not charging Battery

Hi,

First time posting so I appreciate any feedback you can give.

We have a 2017 16ft Bambi with two solar panels and a AGM battery that is relatively new (2 years old). On a recent trip we've discovered an issue where the solar panels are fully charged but the charge is not being passed to the battery. We attempted to take this in but we're looking at October before Aistream of Portland can see us. The person scheduling me said it might be a fuse but that the fuse is most likely not part of the panel as the Solar panels were an add on. We looked but couldn't see a place for a fuse but honestly, its not our area of expertise. We're somewhat proficient with the trailer but less with these types of things

Can anyone provide us a bit of direction? Is there a fuse located somewhere else we're missing? Much appreciated, even a few bread crumbs we can follow.

Thanks!
Greg
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:29 AM   #2
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2020 19' Caravel
Ammon , Idaho
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 142
Some pictures can be really helpful here. There is a compartment under the dinette on the road side where you will find a nest of wires. Snap a few photos in there and that will get us started.
When you say the panels are fully charged, what do you mean by that?
There absolutely should be an inline fuse on the positive line from the panels. The photos will help us identify that.
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:19 PM   #3
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portland , Oregon
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Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorIdaho View Post
Some pictures can be really helpful here. There is a compartment under the dinette on the road side where you will find a nest of wires. Snap a few photos in there and that will get us started.
When you say the panels are fully charged, what do you mean by that?
There absolutely should be an inline fuse on the positive line from the panels. The photos will help us identify that.
Thought my message went through but it looks like it may have logged me out. Sorry if this is a dupe.
Thanks for helping!

I didn't see any clear wires inside the dinette but perhaps you are referring to the underbelly of the trailer which I can get under and snap pics. Just let me know.

There are two different panels. Top one is for batter charge and black and fresh tank. The one underneath that is for the solar readings. Here is how it breakdown

Black Panel shows battery at 10.2 yesterday was 9.5

Solar Panel
Battery remaining (%) is 0
Solar charge amps is .3
Battery voltage is 10
Solar Amp hours are 242

Hope that gives you enough! I'll keep an eye on the forum.
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:41 PM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 11,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg1970 View Post
Thought my message went through but it looks like it may have logged me out. Sorry if this is a dupe.
Thanks for helping!

I didn't see any clear wires inside the dinette but perhaps you are referring to the underbelly of the trailer which I can get under and snap pics. Just let me know.

There are two different panels. Top one is for batter charge and black and fresh tank. The one underneath that is for the solar readings. Here is how it breakdown

Black Panel shows battery at 10.2 yesterday was 9.5

Solar Panel
Battery remaining (%) is 0
Solar charge amps is .3
Battery voltage is 10
Solar Amp hours are 242

Hope that gives you enough! I'll keep an eye on the forum.
Hi

First off, if your battery is down around 10V, that's a *really* bad thing for the battery. Anything below 12.0V is past the "stop using" point on a lead acid battery. When you are in that vicinity some converter/chargers and some solar controllers will stop delivering charge to the battery. The assumption is: something's badly broke and we don't want to make it worse.

Get the battery back up above 12.6V. If that's not possible, the batteries may be shot.

Bob
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:44 AM   #5
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2021 19' Bambi
Westlake , OH
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 11
Agreed, sounds like your batteries are unchargeable - you might want to upgrade to lithium
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:53 PM   #6
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portland , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 5
Thanks but the battery seemed to charge alright. Its holding steady at 12.5 right now.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:54 AM   #7
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2021 19' Bambi
Westlake , OH
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 11
12.5 is decent but a new battery would be 13 volts and higher - Lead Acids will slowly hold less charge and discharge faster - keep an eye on it I suspect it is ending its lifespan
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:00 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 11,910
Hi

When charging a lead acid will be above 13V, if not then there is a problem. You *also* need to look at the resting voltage ( no load / not charging) of the battery. After it's been sitting for a while, it should be in the 12.6 to 12.8V range. If it's hot out, that voltage will be a bit lower. If it's cold, it will be higher ....

Bob
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:06 PM   #9
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portland , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 5
Thanks, Yeah I suspect its the battery. Any recommendations for a new AGM battery? The price varies widely so I wasn't sure.
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:24 PM   #10
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portland , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 5
I think I spoke to soon, I went out to check it and its now at 12.9 so must be getting juice from the solar panels. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-10-2021, 06:32 PM   #11
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Currently Looking...
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 11,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg1970 View Post
Thanks, Yeah I suspect its the battery. Any recommendations for a new AGM battery? The price varies widely so I wasn't sure.
Hi

At least to me AGM's are a tough sell. If you get one that actually is worth owning, they cost a lot more than a flooded cell. The "improvement" over a flooded cell is not a lot. Lithiums cost more, but give you a lot more for the money you spend. I'd either go for flooded cells or lithiums ...

Bob
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