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Default Solar panel charging 12V battery - prevent over charging

I'm trying to diagnose a possible problem with a solar panel on a
motorhome.

The charge controller - NDS Energy Sun Control SC 15-240 - is supposed to
charge the habitation battery, and then switch over to charging the
vehicle battery.

This thing:
https://www.ndsenergy.it/prodotto/suncontrol/?lang=en

Manual (such as it is) at:
https://www.roadpro.co.uk/userfiles/...ion/NDS/C5621%
20Manual%20for%20NDS%20regulator%20SC15-240.pdf

Now it seems to have charged the habitation battery, or at least is happy
that the habitation battery is charged, because the LEDs show that it is
only charging the vehicle battery.

Habitation battery is at 13.8V, vehicle battery is showing (through the
Sargent EC450 controller) charging at about 0.2A with a voltage between
14.5V and 14.6V.

I think that the solar panel should no longer be charging the vehicle
battery and that there may be a fault on the controller.

However the PDF manual gives 4 charging modes:

"
A) Charge curve for GEL battery
B) Charge curve for FLOODED battery
C) Charge curve for AGM battery
D) Charge curve with limited voltage max 14.5V"

This makes me wonder if, where you have a different type of battery in the
vehicle and the habitation, perhaps a Gel in the habitation and a standard
lead/acid ?flooded? battery in the vehicle, if you need to use the voltage
limited profile (D).

So is the solar controller behaving correctly?

If the solar controller is behaving correctly then there might be an
interaction between the solar controller (happy to float up to 14.6V at
low amperage) and the Sargent controller cutting out because an over
charge has been detected.

Ah! Sun has just come out and 15.8V showing for the vehicle battery. Now
that can't be right, Shirley?

Cheers



Dave R


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Default Solar panel charging 12V battery - prevent over charging

On 19 Jun 2018 13:05:54 GMT, David wrote:

snip

Ah! Sun has just come out and 15.8V showing for the vehicle battery. Now
that can't be right, Shirley?

Just OOI, where and with what are you reading these voltages?

I ask because if it's the display on the controller itself and it's on
fairly long / thin leads between that and the batteries, it could be a
metering thing or just a non calibrated meter etc?

I would be interested to see (if it's not what you have already done)
is put a known / calibrated meter across the batteries themselves and
see what they actually read in comparison to the controller display?

FWIW I have a fairly wide range of ages and chemistry of LA batteries
here and I wouldn't like to set a specific voltage (down to two DP
especially) on any of them! ;-)

Cheers, T i m


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Default Solar panel charging 12V battery - prevent over charging

In article ,
David wrote:
Now it seems to have charged the habitation battery, or at least is happy
that the habitation battery is charged, because the LEDs show that it is
only charging the vehicle battery.


Habitation battery is at 13.8V, vehicle battery is showing (through the
Sargent EC450 controller) charging at about 0.2A with a voltage between
14.5V and 14.6V.


Neither of those figures makes sense. A fully charged battery after left
to settle for a while doesn't read anything like 13.8v That is the figure
you'd see when on a float charge.

And a ordinary car battery with 14.5v across it will take a lot more than
0.2amp.

You need to measure the actual battery voltages with a decent DVM.

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Default Solar panel charging 12V battery - prevent over charging

On Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:29:29 +0100, T i m wrote:

On 19 Jun 2018 13:05:54 GMT, David wrote:

snip

Ah! Sun has just come out and 15.8V showing for the vehicle battery. Now
that can't be right, Shirley?

Just OOI, where and with what are you reading these voltages?

I ask because if it's the display on the controller itself and it's on
fairly long / thin leads between that and the batteries, it could be a
metering thing or just a non calibrated meter etc?

I would be interested to see (if it's not what you have already done) is
put a known / calibrated meter across the batteries themselves and see
what they actually read in comparison to the controller display?

FWIW I have a fairly wide range of ages and chemistry of LA batteries
here and I wouldn't like to set a specific voltage (down to two DP
especially) on any of them! ;-)

Cheers, T i m


Solar panel goes to solar charge controller then via a short lead to the
main charge controller which handles all the motor home electrics, 12V and
240V.

The voltage is on a digital read out on the main charge controller so I
assume that it is accurately measuring the incoming voltage from the solar
charge controller.

I've seen it go as high as 15.8 V which is higher than the supposed
maximum output of 14.5 V, so I've disconnected the solar input because it
seemed to be tripping the safety settings on the main charge controller.

Now working O.K. as far as I can tell.

The whole thing confused by the fact that the 30A fuse to the habitation
battery had blown so some symptoms were due to that.

Cheers



Dave R


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Default Solar panel charging 12V battery - prevent over charging

On Fri, 22 Jun 2018 14:29:54 +0000, David wrote:

The whole thing confused by the fact that the 30A fuse to the habitation
battery had blown so some symptoms were due to that.


I just use a 14V zener diode across the battery to cap the solar panel's
output. You don't need anything fancy or complicated for a simple
application like this.



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