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Thread: Solar reg question

  1. #1
    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    Solar reg question

    I mentioned recently that I thought my 80 watt panel was U/S.
    Macca suggested to throw it on the roof and power my outside lights with it.
    I tried it on my battery that powers my car radio sound system out the back
    and after one night it looked like a few volts had leaked back out the panel
    as the meter was on 10 volts with no radio going.
    So just before I thought Id check the panel before the reg and found I was putting out 19 plus volts
    Horay.
    This leads me to believe the reg has shite its self, I have had this Smart reg 8 from Piranha
    since about '94.
    Question is IMO the panel is ok now what type of reg to use, just a 20/50amp one from Jaycar ??

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20A-MPPT-...item5af3cb1395

    WoW how prices have come down I brought that reg for $100 back in '94 and that was with a discount from Alan
    Last edited by threedogs; 15th January 2015 at 03:21 PM.
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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    You may find the reg is fine & that either there is no blocking diode in the back of the panel, or that it has gone to diode heaven. Jaycar will probably have one for a dollar, it goes between two of the terminals on the rear of the panel.

    http://www.solar-facts.com/panels/panel-diodes.php

    http://www.marlec.co.uk/wp-content/u...structions.pdf

    If it is your reg that is the problem & it was previously had a blocking function (some did, some didnt) then it may still be regulating ok (Check its output same as you did with the panel) & fitting a blocking diode to the panel may suffice. If you do need to buy a new reg youd probably scrape by with a 5 amp one.

    I assume the battery was well charged before you connected it & left it overnight?

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, Lovells GVM upgrade, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697s, Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    the multi meter showed 12.9 out of the reg but no Amps or AH
    I removed the reg and it rattles so pretty sure its U/S.
    Yes that battery was showing about 12.8 so happy to say it leaked out the panel.
    Would the small reg on my 20watt panel be too small to test on the 80 watt panel.
    Ill have a look at your suggestion thanks bud
    All those big black diodes on the back are split in two, panel worked a treat for ages
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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    When you got the 12.9v out of the reg was it still connected to the battery?

    You need to measure the panel output & the reg output at much the same time/same light conditions.

    Try testing it without it being connected to the battery.

    If you still get the higher voltage from the panel than from the reg then the reg is working.

    If you tested for amps without the battery being connected you would not get an amp reading.

    How & where did you test for amps?

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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    tested , well looking at one of those watt meters [blue]
    I'll swap regs with my smaller panel and see if thats better
    hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow all these clouds are full of rain AtM
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    I am he, fear me the evil twin's Avatar
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    Agree with Cuppa, if the battery went down over night the Blocking Diodes are probably shot.

    You can't test (reliably) a fair few Solar Regs if no battery is connected as they are trying to sense the battery voltage so you will get some weird readings depending on the type of Voltmeter you use etc.

    Having said that it does sound like the Reg is U/S as well.

    Is there any chance it has had a lightning strike/near miss at some stage?
    Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    [QUOTE

    Having said that it does sound like the Reg is U/S as well.

    [/QUOTE]

    Removed the reg as I was pretty sure thats where the fault was and gave it a shake .
    I could hear loose pieces so I pulled it apart and the top of two transistors fell out
    plus there was a burn mark where they were, So the printed circuit board is US.
    That reg cost $100 with a discount about '94. Brought on on ebay today for $14
    for a 20 amp reg mppt

    Doesn't the reg have blocking function built in ??
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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    Heres the reg the burnt out part is near the red wires
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    I am he, fear me the evil twin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogs View Post

    Doesn't the reg have blocking function built in ??
    Some do, some don't, you will need to check the specs for the Controller.
    Also some panels have them and some don't so, again, you need to check.
    Your Solar Controller sounds like it was a good one so I am guessing it had a Blocking Diode which must be fried and also the Regulator.
    Burn marks and the lid blown of trannies is usually the sign of a lightning strike or very large voltage surge more so than over current but no biggee, it is shagged either way

    Any decent panel will have Schottky Blocking Diodes and, possibly, Bypass Diodes on the panel.
    Bypass diodes aren't needed in 12 Volt systems but are desireable in 24 and essential in anything higher.
    Having one doesn't necessarily mean it has the other.
    If there are diodes on the panel, Blocking Diodes will be "inline" in the +ve and Bypass will be between the +ve and -ve.

    Edit... just saw the pics and, yeah, given the amount of gear that has been microwaved it got been zapped by something methinks.
    Where some of the Diodes used to live looks like the aftermath of a Napalm strike so I am tipping thats your Blocking Diodes gone
    Last edited by the evil twin; 16th January 2015 at 12:20 PM.
    Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    Remember a while back a very fierce storm up the Murray, and we were pretty sure lightning hit our camp
    It was just FLASH/BANG very loud. I don't take the panel often as my AUX battery battery lasts for a weekend running the Engel
    [Food only] all drinks are in a big 85 litre Baileys ice box . Plus now with my LED camp lighting even less stress on the battery.
    Always have my spare 100ah battery in the camper as well, I charge that at home via solar and also via alternator on the way up.
    Yeah been some big lightning events where the panel has been out, Good pick up ET thanks.
    I brought that Smart8 reg from Piranha off road years ago so $5 a year its done its job.

    In future how can I stop lightning strikes
    face the panel away or simply un plug it during a storm ????
    Panel would be used mainly over the warmer months
    when the storms are about

    Must remember to move my 20 watt panel that keeps my Radio battery[backyard] topped up
    if there are electrical storms in the area
    Last edited by threedogs; 16th January 2015 at 12:37 PM.
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