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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 14:13 Thread Starter
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Solar Panel overcharging

Hi all, just wondering if anybody can help with an issuewith our solar panel, which over-charged the habitation batteries and blew the25amp fuse and melted the wire.
The panel was fitted prior to us buying the motorhome and assuch we do not have any prior knowledge of fitting and setup.
The panel is connected via a Vechline 10a PWM solar chargecontroller to our two habitation batteries. The controller is located in thestorage locker at the rear of the MH which according to the manual we downloadon-line is the incorrect place (it should be close to or in the vicinity of thebatteries).
To give a little background, since owning the MH we havealways parked on campsites and Aires with EHU, so we have never had to use thesolar.
We noticed prior to one of our trips that the batteryindicators (led green lights in the MH) were showing three quarter charge onbattery no.1 and half charge on battery no.2. This we thought was a little oddas we questioned why they were not fully charged via the panel. We checked theVechline controller and noticed the brown live wire was out of its socket. Whenwe went to re-seat we noticed the screw securing the wire was fully seated andvery tight as such it did not just fall out and could not have been knocked outaccidently.
We re-seated the wire correctly and the controllers 3 lightsindicated panel working, controller working and connection to the batteriesworking.
We left the MH overnight and when we returned to the storagearea the next day, we noticed the CO2 alarm was running and on checking thebattery indicators it was showing fully charged on both batteries, however whenwe checked the habitation battery housing we noticed the 25amp fuse had notjust blow but also melted the wire.
We have replaced the damaged wire, replaced the fuse andfuse holder and when we checked the controller it showed it was on settingno.5. According to the manual setting 5 is Daylight + 5 hours.
My first question is does anybody know what Daylight + 5hours means, is it a setting which could overcharge the batteries?
We have re-set the controller to setting number. Zero(daylight only) but we have not re-connected it in fear of it happening again.
Because of where the controller is located it is possible thata deck chair or table could have rested on the setup button and re-set thecontroller to no.5 setting but we donít know for sure.
Based on above we initially though the controller has afault in that it did not disconnect when the batteries were fully charged, butcould it be that the setting no.5 is what may have caused the overcharge. Themanual is very vague.
The controller does not have any (load) wires connected,although reading about solar panels we believe it is quite common forcontrollers not to have (load) wires.
The manual states the controller has a heat sensor, but asit is located in the locker the sensor was never going to activate a switchoff.
So to re-cap, what does Daylight + 5 hours actually mean, becausewe would have thought once daylight has gone the panel would not produce anyfurther power, should we re-located the controller or should we just invest ina new controller with a proper led display instead of just 3 red lights, anyadvice would be most welcomed. We live in Spain as such not many MH places wecan pop into like the UK. We did phone a couple of dealers here in SouthernSpain but not that much help, the common answer was (we sell controllers whichone would you like)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 15:18
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Without being there it's not an easy one but the panel will normally give out approx 21v to the controller and the controller will give around 13.8v to the batteries so I would first check what is going in and out of the controller.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 15:30 Thread Starter
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Hi Kev, our controller does not indicate voltage, it does not have a LED display is their an easy way to check
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 15:31
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Just buy a cheap multi meter.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 15:36 Thread Starter
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will do, Cheers
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 16:11
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If the controller proves to be duff, change up to an MPPT one they make better use of what ever sun is available, if you have never used a meter before there are a couple of videos here.





This guy is very good at explaining stuff too and he's English, He's from Lancashire but no one's perfick.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 22-09-2021, 21:08 Thread Starter
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Hi Ray, Thanks for the update, we will be checking the input/output tomorrow, will update once checked





This guy is very good at explaining stuff too and he's English, He's from Lancashire but no one's perfick.[/QUOTE]
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 23-09-2021, 07:40
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I would also suggest an MPPT Controller. The one you have sounds outdated and provides no information as to what is going on. The one we have in the van shows the current voltage of the battery and what its charging at, the amount of watts / amps going in and if you have stuff directly attached to the controllers load output it shows you what your devices etc are using.

I know there was a controller that we all bought a few years ago which is the one I have but I cant find it now so wouldnt know really which one to recommend now. I think mine was about £80 a fair few years back now and still going strong.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 23-09-2021, 08:24
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That particular one is still being made Barry, I spoke to Eric recently as I wanted another one.

"hi Kev

thanks for your message. Because we've been focusing more on solar inverters so we have shifted away production on these small solar chargers. Besides there are so many already low price ones you can purchase from China. However if you do not mind waiting for about a month or so we will have a bulk production order of PCM3012 ready in November for another customer and I believe we may have some spare ones to sell.

Sorry for any inconvenience..!
Kind regards
Eric Hsiao | Product Manager, MPP Solar Inc.
T: 886.2.8797.8896 | TAIWAN
[email protected] ¶ www.mppsolar.com"


I was considering a bulk purchase to sell on eBay, but I don't know if I can be bothered with the hassle of dealing with possible returns etc.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 23-09-2021, 09:01 Thread Starter
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Thanks Barry, sounds like a good suggestion, we are going to check the voltage today into and out of the controller as Ray suggested first to double check and we'll also do a full re-set on the controller, hopefully this will give us an idea of what is going on and hopefully explain why it blew the fuse in the first place.
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