Join Date: Sep 2019
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Solar panel plus VSR damaged battery?
Hi there, I was hoping some of the brains on this forum could help with an issue before I replace parts in case it happens again!
I have a homebuilt camper with leisure battery, 175w solar panel, mppt charger and a VSR split charger. At the moment we mainly live in the van, travelling around Europe slowly..
When I wired it all up, it worked perfectly for a year or two, both the engine when running, and the solar panel charging the leisure battery whilst running sensible loads day and night in the van (we'd switch off the fridge in the night or in low light), and the Tracer charge controller would cut the load if the battery voltage got too low anyway. The solar panel also kept the starter battery fully charged when parked up for a while..
A month or two ago the VSR (Durite 140A) would keep clicking (switching on and off) when the engine was running, and it seemed no charge was not getting to the leisure battery. If it was really sunny it would stop clicking however, suggesting the charge was going back to the engine battery so it was probably working in that direction. Didn't know if this was a fault in the VSR or a voltage problem (battery?)
Was considering replacing the VSR (still am) but the other day we came back to the van after nightfall and the leisure battery was completely dead (11v) even after a sunny day (was fully charged when we left with no load). Now it is useless - it seems to charge in the day but as soon as you put any load on it the voltage drops to the elevens, and is completely dead by night.
So obviously I need a new battery, but before I get one, can anyone see a flaw in the system, for example could the VSR plus solar be overcharging the battery, or could the VSR be fried by jumping two directions every day? I just don't want to damage the new battery, and also need to know if I need a new VSR as well.
Thanks in advance for any insight or ideas.