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Bstream 11-28-2015 10:57 AM

Solar Help please!
Factory installed solar is not charging. Full sun. Panels unobstructed and clean. I have an Atkinson PVCM25D controller that has the full and partial leds lit. The charge light is not on. The batteries are at about 50% full. Any ideas? Is the controller bad?

switz 11-28-2015 11:31 AM

Check to see if there is a disconnect switch turned off between the solar panels on the roof and the charge controller. Also, check to see if the isolator switch from the charge controller to the battery setup is turned on. Verify the main battery "use" switch by the door is on so the battery is not isolated.

dkottum 11-28-2015 12:38 PM

On the factory install the solar panels are always connected to the batteries no matter the position of the Battery Disconnect, and I don't think their are any other switches in the system.

The Battery Disconnect does isolate the batteries from the converter/charger is STORE position with external power, and that's the best position for the Battery Disconnect over the long term.

Otherwise the converter/charger will eventually overcharge and ruin the batteries. Could the batteries have been ruined this way, or maybe just have run their course?

Bstream 11-28-2015 01:00 PM

The batteries charge from my generator or while plugged into shore power. They will die after a day or so of boondocking. Wouldn't the solar still charge of the batteries can charge otherwise?

dkottum 11-28-2015 01:13 PM

When the generator is charging them through the Airstream's converter/charger they will show about 13.4 v or so, which is actually the output of the converter/charger, not the battery charge. After the generator is off and the batteries have settled down, do they still show a full charge, about 12.7 volts?

lewster 11-28-2015 07:26 PM

Check the fuse between the Atkinson and the positive bus bar where it is connected. If the fuse is good, there's a good chance that the Atkinson is bad.

Several threads on that problem.

Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters

Bstream 11-28-2015 07:40 PM

Batteries show a full charge (12.7) after charging with the generator. I checked the fuse and it is good. So, @lewster do I just replace that piece or is there more to it?

richinny 11-28-2015 07:51 PM

the solar will not charge until the voltage drops to under 12.5 volts. try draining the batteries a bit (during full sun) to get the solar to kick in.

Bstream 11-28-2015 08:01 PM

It was at 12.0 earlier today and the solar wasn't doing anything. I think it must be the Atkinson.

alano 11-28-2015 08:12 PM

One last thing, have you verified that the input voltage to the charger from the solar panels is greater than 12 V? Perhaps an open-circuit at the input to the charger would explain your symptoms.

Drathaar 11-28-2015 08:14 PM

If your controller is above the refer, as mine is, pull it out and check the connections on the back. When my system was first installed, the line from the panel disconnected from the controller.

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