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Author Topic: Need help troubleshooting solar system  (Read 1846 times)

shorts

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Need help troubleshooting solar system
« on: April 16, 2019, 10:01:51 AM »
We just returned to our RV after a 2 month overseas trip. It was stored but the solar was keeping the fridge and a couple other items powered while we were away. Everything seemed to be fine but when we arrived from the airport about 1:00 am and started using more power, the power started tripping off and on. The overhead lights (wired directly to 12v) did not go off but everything else that is set up to be powered by the inverter does.

We thought the inverter might be the problem but in looking at the manual and troubleshooting it, the lights all show correctly, no error codes, did a soft reset and no change. We can hear a clicking noise coming from the compartment where the controllers and batteries are. The inverter is in the compartment next to them. The power doesn’t constantly go off and on. It will stay on for awhile then go thru a few minutes of off and on. When hooked to shore power, no problems.

We have 12 165 watt panels, 3 blue sky controllers, magnum ms2812 2800w inverter, and 10 100ah lithium batteries.

If anyone can offer any suggestions of what we can start checking or looking for, we would sure appreciate it.

Vicki and Mark
Traveling today but should arrive later this afternoon at our campground.


« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 11:28:51 AM by shorts »
Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

donn

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 10:28:37 AM »
Ahhhh  I assume this is a reaidential setup?
Good chance you have one or more batteries bad.  First check water levels, then start load testing each battery.

Oops read again, lithium batteries.  Still a chance you have some bad batteries.  But check the input from the panels, then output from batteries, input to the inverter, oitput from the inverter.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 10:30:29 AM by donn »

solarman

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 01:22:17 PM »
could be a low voltage disconnect tripping..

can you please post more detail on your controllers, panels and batteries

thanks



« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 01:23:53 PM by solarman »
KZ MXT20 480 W solar
ORV 24RKS 960 Watts solar
48V LFP, 2000W inverter/charger
Ram 2500 CTD

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 03:46:30 PM »
could be a low voltage disconnect tripping..

can you please post more detail on your controllers, panels and batteries

thanks

What kind of details do you need?
Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

solarman

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 05:17:27 PM »
What kind of details do you need?

panel type, controller model, battery model would be beneficial..

.
KZ MXT20 480 W solar
ORV 24RKS 960 Watts solar
48V LFP, 2000W inverter/charger
Ram 2500 CTD

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 12:15:40 PM »
panel type, controller model, battery model would be beneficial..

.

The panels are actually 160w but I could not find a manufacturer name. They are pretty standard frame panels we are able to tilt, wired 4 together to each of 3 Blue Sky SB3024iL Solar Boost MPPT Solar Charge Controllers. Below is a picture of the panel. The batteries are Battle Born LifePO4 100 ah

Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

Lou Schneider

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 01:08:41 PM »
Lithium batteries have a pretty flat discharge curve, then they shut off hard and fast.  Not like lead acid batteries that slowly fade out when they're discharged.

Your inverter is probably set to disconnect shortly before the lithium batteries get to end of charge.  Was your RV stored in full sunlight, or were the panels shaded?  If the latter, it may be your batteries are close to fully discharged because the solar didn't provide enough power while you were gone.

Plug in overnight to let the converter help recharge the batteries and see if the problem is still there the next night.

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 01:48:48 PM »
Lithium batteries have a pretty flat discharge curve, then they shut off hard and fast.  Not like lead acid batteries that slowly fade out when they're discharged.

Your inverter is probably set to disconnect shortly before the lithium batteries get to end of charge.  Was your RV stored in full sunlight, or were the panels shaded?  If the latter, it may be your batteries are close to fully discharged because the solar didn't provide enough power while you were gone.

Plug in overnight to let the converter help recharge the batteries and see if the problem is still there the next night.

We stayed 2 nights at a campground plugged in so batteries fully charged then boondocked the next night and the same thing happened. So don’t think it’s the batteries.
Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

Kevin Means

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 02:15:31 PM »
The behavior of the inverter seems like it's a low voltage/low current issue to me too (We have the same inverter.) Do you have a way of determining your Li battery's SOC? Any idea of the temps the batteries were exposed to during your two month trip?

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

Lou Schneider

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 02:34:07 PM »
Also check all of the connections between the batteries and inverter.  A little bit of corrosion can restrict the current flow into the inverter, making it shut down when you apply a load.

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 02:42:02 PM »
The battery monitor shows SOC at 100% and also showed that they never went below 70% while we were gone. The RV was stored just outside of Houston and we did keep watch on weather and temps. Think the highest outside temperature got to 89 degrees the day before we returned.

Not sure how else we can check the batteries other than the monitor. Thanks Lou, we’ll check the connections.

Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

AStravelers

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 06:34:53 PM »
We can all guess at what is the problem.

I assume you had someone install the system.  By this I am inferring that you didn't have extensive knowledge and input in the design and installation of the system.  Nothing wrong with that, however when there is a problem the person who designed and installed the system would be the first person to consult on what could be wrong and what to do.

You have a wonderful system with enough power to actually run a single air conditioner(if it is wired into the system) for a few hours if everything is working properly.

What is needed is battery voltages, preferably the voltages of each lithium cell when the problem is occurring.  Each of your 12V 100AH lithium batteries has 4 lithium cells.  A top of the line lithium system has a BMS (Battery monitor System) which will display individual cell voltage. 

This could just be a failure which just happened to occur while you were away, or it could be too much power was taken during the 2 months and damaged something.  The fact that the battery monitor shows they never went below 70% full (or does the monitor show 70% discharged?) basically means the batteries probably where not over discharged.

Voltage readings are very, very important to trouble shoot the problem. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2020 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Diesel
650 watts residential solar panels--400AH Lithium batteries

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2019, 10:29:09 AM »
Yes, we had the system installed by someone else and have been trying to reach him but he’s traveling right now and is hard to connect with. Mark is pretty handy and does most of our repairs. He did install the lithium batteries when we switched from the 6v GC batteries we originally had. But that was quite a while ago.

Today is the first day Mark is really getting a chance to start checking out all the suggestions made so far. Thanks everyone.

Vicki
Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

shorts

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2019, 10:35:13 AM »
Just reporting back, Mark found one of the batteries SOC was only 10-11v while the other 9 were fully charged. We’ve contacted Battle Born and sending it to them for further diagnosis and possible replacement. So thanks for the suggestions of where to start checking. We had not run into this problem before and wasn’t sure what was happening to know where to start.

Vicki
Vicki and Mark Shorter
2015 Forrest River Blue Ridge RS3600 5er
2015 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 4wd
On the road fulltime!

Kevin Means

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2019, 11:37:20 AM »
Glad you found the problem. Thanks for getting back to us.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

AStravelers

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Re: Need help troubleshooting solar system
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2019, 06:20:28 AM »
Yes, thanks for coming back with the update.  Always good to know what the fix is. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2020 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Diesel
650 watts residential solar panels--400AH Lithium batteries

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/