Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Page 3 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:37 pm

All duly noted John. I suspect you will manage to have your new control panel fitted and tested before me. I will therefore be watching out for your next posting with considerable interest.

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:13 pm

Hi John and others following these posts.

Please find below in blue latest email from Craig Foot of Sargent which strongly indicates that they have cracked it.

However so as to not tempt fate I will suspend final judgement until the replacement control panel with updated software is received, fitted, and tested.

Regards,

Michael


Good Morning Michael,
 
Over the course of yesterday afternoon and this morning I have been able to simulate the issue you were experiencing, The system power shutting down but the pump light remaining on with solar input voltage connected.
 
It seems the solar regulator for a very split second was jumping above the 15V mark and forcing the system shutdown, This is not a fault with the regulator but more the way it operates in terms of regulating the output. As I mentioned yesterday, the new software has been set to extend the delay before the cut-out to allow for these very small spikes in voltage.
 
With the new software version panel fitted, I have not managed to simulate the issue.
 
My conclusion from this is that the new software version for the control panel has resolved this issue and once you receive and install the new control panel I have sent you I would hope you see the same results. Please do update me once everything is installed.
 
I hope we have now resolved this issue, Thank you for your patience on this matter, and for your help in terms of your testing and detailed emails which has helped us reach a resolution on this.
 
Regards,
Craig Foot
Technical Support Specialist
Sargent Electrical Services Ltd
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:19 pm

sounds very promising smile!
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by -mojo- on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:47 pm

Unfortunately it would seem to mean that everyone with an existing EC328 can expect the unit not to work properly if they connect a solar panel to it!

As far as I know there is no way for an owner to upgrade the firmware themselves, which ~seems~ to mean that we would all have to return our units to Sargent to be firmware updated before we could connect a solar panel.

However, if these voltage spikes really are short, transient events then it occurs to me that adding just a single component (for example a capacitor across the regulator output) could eliminate the problem. I'm not aware of the exact nature of the connection between the solar controller and the rest of the EC328 but if, for example, the regulator has screw connector blocks, then adding a capacitor across the output terminals ~could~ be a relatively trivial thing to do.

Is this something that could be raised with Craig?

I appreciate that some people may be a little uncomfortable about adding components to the unit, but when you consider the alternative of having to replace it completely (or wait while your own EC328 is updated), that may be the lesser of two evils to some...
-mojo-
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 4566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 19
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by groundhog on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:48 pm

This is all very interesting, I have just purchased a solarsun 100w panel and adapter from sargent and about to fit it direct to my EC328, should I just do it and give it a go or what do you suggest I do please? Thanks.
David
groundhog
groundhog
Donator
Donator

Posts : 2380
Joined : 2011-08-01
Location : Poldarkland
Auto-Sleeper : Worcester

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:27 pm

I do not think mojo that the problems that John and I are experiencing are widespread otherwise others would have posted to advise that they have had similar malfunctions.

In any case Craig Foot mentions in one of the earlier emails that I posted that the problems only affects certain solar panels.

My own view is that if you are thinking of fitting a solar panel using the EC328 then I would just go ahead in the expectation that problems will not necessarily be encountered.

If that turns out not to be the case then my experience is that Sargent will address any issues and do their very best to find a solution.

I cannot speak for Sargent but my expectation based on my own experience would be that if the control panel needs more up-to-date software then an exchange unit would be offered.

The other approach that you outline may be an alternative way forward but I do not have the technical knowledge to be able to discuss it with Craig.

Can I suggest however that we see if the new control panel with up-to-date software works for me and then explore other options depending upon the outcome.

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:59 pm

Michael 

I received the new control panel this afternoon. Changing over is very straightforward.

I installed the updated control panel at 3 pm today. I let the system run in bright sunshine until about 8 pm without being connected to the mains. I then plugged into 240 volts. So far, no failures. 

It will be interesting to see how it goes tomorrow.

The only observation so far is that the charging current with and without mains seems a bit erratic. I'm not sure if this is significant.
 
I think 2 or 3 days of testing is probably required.

Regards, John
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:21 am

John,

That all sounds very good and what I was hoping to hear.

My updated control panel has also arrived but as I have plans for the weekend I will not fit it until early next week.

In the meanwhile I look forward to further postings from you indicating how the long-term roadtest is going.

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Peter Brown on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:51 am

-mojo- wrote:

However, if these voltage spikes really are short, transient events then it occurs to me that adding just a single component (for example a capacitor across the regulator output) could eliminate the problem. I'm not aware of the exact nature of the connection between the solar controller and the rest of the EC328 but if, for example, the regulator has screw connector blocks, then adding a capacitor across the output terminals ~could~ be a relatively trivial thing to do.


Its still early days in confirming the resolution of this problem.  The battery being charged has massive capacitance and should absorb any voltage spikes that pass through the regulator.

I can understand satellite solar panels being sensitive to solar flares etc but down on the ground I can't perceive conditions (other than lightning) that will generate a voltage variation that could be termed a spike.

I have noted that it is not uncommon to have problems with domestic solar panel systems caused by spikes on the electricity grid system interfering with the control software in inverters and our 328 problem seems similar.

The panel is a grid of wires on the roof - an aerial - and different sizes/type of construction of panel will be 'tuned' to different frequencies which, when received, will be transmitted via the cabling to the controller and may be interpreted as DC voltage spikes.  It may well be that the software tweak to the controller operates as a work round to stop this interference causing a problem but does not remove it.

It would still be really interesting to hear if looping the down lead from the solar panel round a ferrite ring just before the connection to the power supply unit also eliminates the fault.

Peter
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5369
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:34 am

Michael, Peter and all who have been following this discussion,

I installed the updated panel on Friday and so far there have been no failures.

The only thing I have noticed is that the charging current is more erratic. However, Sargent tell me this is to be expected as the updated software now shows real time current changes whereas before it did tend to be 'blurred' out as the display changed so rapidly.

I'm away for a week or so so will have a chance to try out the system longer term.

Michael, I hope your installation goes well.

Regards, John
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:02 am

John,

That all sounds good.

I will now go ahead and fit my replacement control panel and then reconnect my 

solar panel in the confident expectation that everything should now work correctly.

Will post outcome mid week.

Regards

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi John and Peter,

Replacement Sargent EC328 Control Panel fitted this afternoon and solar panel reconnected.
 
As expected previously described faults appear to have been rectified.

I will post a full report after a weekend away in in this glorious weather.

Regards,

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by groundhog on Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:19 pm

That is great news, having my panel fitted next week so hope it works!!
groundhog
groundhog
Donator
Donator

Posts : 2380
Joined : 2011-08-01
Location : Poldarkland
Auto-Sleeper : Worcester

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:42 am

Hi John, Peter, and others,

A weekend in a very hot Lake District allowed for a full testing of the replacement EC328 Control Panel and the new software recently written by Sargent to prevent the solar panel tripping off the 12v van electrics especially in sunny conditions with nearly fully charged batteries.

Not one malfunction was observed and furthermore when on mains electric everything functioned exactly as it should.

Throughout this rather long saga the customer service from Sargent and their Craig Foot has been exemplary. Despite the fact that my EC328 is out of the guarantee period I have been supplied with a full replacement unit and control panel without charge or even carriage costs in either direction.

Emails have been answered almost immediately upon receipt and significant amounts of staff time have self-evidently been spent in getting to the bottom of the problems and rewriting the software.

All in all a company that I can thoroughly recommend to other motor caravanners and an example to others in the industry.

I hope groundhog that all goes well with the fitting of your solar panel this week .

Regards,

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by -mojo- on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:20 am

Thanks to you and Silver for your persistence on this. I suspect that most people would have given up and just accepted that it was "one of those things that happens".  It's been a great help to those EC328 owners like me considering fitting a panel.

And also, as you say, it's a credit to Sargent and their support staff.
-mojo-
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 4566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 19
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by groundhog on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:38 am

Great news second the thanks for your persistence, if I do get problems at least I know they will be sorted by what seems to be an excellent company!
groundhog
groundhog
Donator
Donator

Posts : 2380
Joined : 2011-08-01
Location : Poldarkland
Auto-Sleeper : Worcester

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:02 pm

Michael

I'm very pleased to hear you have seen no failures since fitting your updated control panel.

I have just returned from an eight day trip in Scotland during some wonderful sunny weather and can also report I have had no 12 volt failures since replacing the control panel with the updated item from Sargent.

I would echo your comments re Sargent, they have been very helpful together with Marquis, Preston in resolving this issue.

Regards, John
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Robbie on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:15 am

Great that your fault has been sorted and I must admit with our recent contact with Sargent and also a few months back when they sent us a replacement panel due to a faulty  Aux relay in our 325 they were really helpful.
What version of software are you running with your 328 control panel as we are expecting a 328 unit tomorrow and also a new control panel with upgraded software which will hopefully resolve an issue we have with our batteries not charging with solar power.

_________________
Cheers Robbie    _          _           _        _  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]   .............. The home of wild camping location in Ireland.
Robbie
Robbie
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 777
Joined : 2011-09-20
Member Age : 55
Location : Portadown
Auto-Sleeper : Cotswold

http://www.motorhomewild.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:16 am

Robbie

My updated controller is a 328s v2.22

Regards, john
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:26 am

Robbie,

Before Sargents recent correcting upgrade the software version shown on my EC328S control panel was : v2.20.

This has now changed to : v2.22 on the exchange control panel that has been recently supplied.

I hope this assists.

Regards,

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:14 pm

Hi Guys

Its a month now - is all still ok?

Peter
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5369
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:16 pm

Hi Peter 

No problems here.......coming to the end of an 8 day trip and still no return of the 12 volt issue I'm very pleased to say.

Regards, John allthumbz
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Wearsider on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Hi Peter and John,

Pleased to report that I also have had no further problems and that everything is working as it should.

Michael
avatar
Wearsider
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 91
Joined : 2012-06-19
Member Age : 72
Location : Tyne & Wear
Auto-Sleeper : Lancashire
Vehicle Year : 2010

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Re: Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:40 pm

Excellent news and proves that working with Sargent was worthwhile.

Peter

_________________
Peter #1
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5369
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 67
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

Back to top Go down

Solar Panel/Sargent EC328/12V Electrics Fault - Page 3 Empty Another identical example

Post by Driftwood6 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:03 pm

Oh how I wished I had found this thread before now. I have had an identical problem with my EC328S V2.20 coupled to an 80 watt solar panel on the very few sunny days we have had this year. The problem did not appear in 2014 (I purchased the van new in July). Auto-Sleepers at Willersey had not come across the problem before and went way beyond the call of duty trying to sort it out for me including carrying out a complete change of the main electrical box which contains the regulator. We thought we had the problem fixed but today we saw the sun for an hour and the problem was still there. A phone call between Mark at Auto-Sleepers and Sargent identified the firmware ' Spike' problem and Sargent have now arranged to send me a replacement control panel with the Version 2.22 software. Having read this thread I feel confident that my problem will now be sorted. Thanks for posting the details guys.
Driftwood6
Driftwood6
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 47
Joined : 2014-06-25
Member Age : 71
Location : Newport Shropshire
Auto-Sleeper : 2014 Nuveo EK
Vehicle Year : 2014

Back to top Go down

Page 3 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum