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Solar panels

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Post by marconi on Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:16 pm

glyne lock wrote:Chris
the 80w fitted by auto sleepers
I removed the pwm controller and put the epever in its place as my van is not a year old yet

Now look here glyne lock.
My van is not a year old yet either and I have just changed the AS fitted Controller for an MPPT one. Yours cannot have been inefficient like mine, because AS assured me that "I am the only person to have ever complained out of hundreds of vans over many years".

I found that just a bit odd because just along the coast from me in Spain was another 2019 AS Owner, Forum Member, who was complaining on the forum of the same problems.  The more sun there was, the more the Controller shut down, the less charge you had at the end of the day.
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Post by glyne lock on Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:43 pm

Chris
epever now do a dual controller called a duo racer and will be what I will now be fitting on the next solar panel job I do .with all the campers parked up are going to get lots of flat batteries so see a lot of campers wanting to go solar. I have not seen any problems on customer feedback
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Post by gassygassy on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:13 pm

That's interesting glyn. Obviously the Cheap Chinese regulator is Chinese, but the 'instructions' are terrible. They don't mention the light bulb output, except that it does say 'load'. I have figured them out but they do need some translating into proper English. Anyway thanks to this forum and no thanks to the dealer who sold me the Nuevo I now know that in order to charge the vehicle battery from the mains I have to have both the 328 and the control panel on. I've just tried it and lo and behold the vehicle battery on charge is 13.7v.
The dealer I got it from is primarily a caravan dealer who in the last three years has discovered there is more business in motorhomes than caravans and is gradually changing over, or at least expanding motorhomes and reducing caravans. He wouldn't be expected to know everything about every make and model. I have bought a couple of motorhomes from them, and regret ever selling a lovely Mobilvetta I had from them.
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Post by glyne lock on Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:11 pm

Gassygassy
I found the y tube clips on the epever very good the person takes the controller apart and shows the inside and all the part and functions. he then tested on his test bed and that was the best result on any mppt controller I had seen .that was 5 years ago and have been fitting them to all customers vans with any solar panels I fit. when an item works well people talk and this brings you more work .I am going to start a post with the mods I have done to my van soon and explain why as I have done here with the controller to show the improvements
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Post by inspiredron on Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:25 pm

gassygassy wrote:That's interesting glyn. Obviously the Cheap Chinese regulator is Chinese, but the 'instructions' are terrible. They don't mention the light bulb output, except that it does say 'load'. I have figured them out but they do need some translating into proper English. Anyway thanks to this forum and no thanks to the dealer who sold me the Nuevo I now know that in order to charge the vehicle battery from the mains I have to have both the 328 and the control panel on. I've just tried it and lo and behold the vehicle battery on charge is 13.7v.
The dealer I got it from is primarily a caravan dealer who in the last three years has discovered there is more business in motorhomes than caravans and is gradually changing over, or at least expanding motorhomes and reducing caravans. He wouldn't be expected to know everything about every make and model. I have bought a couple of motorhomes from them, and regret ever selling a lovely Mobilvetta I had from them.
I too have the EC328 and I cannot remember if the dealer told me specifically about the need for two LEDs for charging the vehicle battery - he gave me a lot of information and frankly there was too much to take in. BUT I READ THE MANUAL WHERE IT IS FULLY EXPLAINED. And I downloaded the info from the Sargent web site. It was all helpful. By your own admission you didn't expect much from your new dealer so I would have expected that to encourage you to read the manual rather than to make assumptions.

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Post by marconi on Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Good news the Peugeot 2019 Euro6 Chassis used by Autosleepers does not have a Smart Alternator. The Voltage above was stable for 15 minutes. A good thing because solutions would be more expensive invasive and involved than disconnecting the Sargent Satan666 Solar Controller and bypassing the EC700.
Bypassing with a MPPT Controller produces a Motorhome which is as it should have been when it left the factory, useable.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:45 pm

Hooray and it's lovely to see our old friend the Avo. I found a mint one with its leather case in a car boot sale and paid £40 for it not so long ago.
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Post by modelman on Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:31 pm

I've had a Model 8 for many years as well, where do you get the unusual 'special' battery for it please.
On mine, it fits between a pair of prongs.

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Post by Roopert on Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:03 pm

The BLR121 can be bought from Ebay, but pricey for what it is! I think it's only the current ranges that it's needed for, isn't it?

I'm partway through making up a replica BLR121 (which is a wooden dummy block with five lithium cells inside) but it's gone to one end of the workbench and has sat there for several years now! I ought to resurrect it and get the job finished...
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Post by marconi on Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:18 pm

Roopert wrote:I think it's only the current ranges that it's needed for, isn't it?

I'm partway through making up a replica BLR121 (which is a wooden dummy block with five lithium cells inside) 

High Resistance rages only surely.

That's a good idea, a stack of button cells in a frame. I just took the easy way out don't use any of the R ranges, digi meters are far more accurate it is nice and required sometimes to see an analogue display though.
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Post by Roopert on Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:25 pm

marconi wrote:
High Resistance rages only surely.

Thanks - the meter was given to me non-working so I've never seen it working with batteries in!

In fact I doubt I will ever use it much, but it's a lovely-looking piece of equipment.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:39 pm

Talking of button cells, the ones with two wires intended for insertion in pcbs. When I worked in R&D for Racal Milgo we had complaints from modem customers that when power was lost, the modem would lose its memory settings and had to be reconfigured from scratch. I was despatched to the factory where they were made and I saw that the batteries were being inserted the correct way round. Then I went to the stores and saw how they were kept. In drawers, and the store keeper said "I stick them in this nice black foam stuff"
Nuff said.
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Post by marconi on Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:47 pm

Roopert wrote:
marconi wrote:
High Resistance rages only surely.

 but it's a lovely-looking piece of equipment.

Oops my AVO has thrown the thread off on a tangent.

I suspect the attraction is not shared by all. I won't divert the thread any further with a picture of my Vintage AVO Signal Generator, its the same recognisable style and construction, and is on display in my lounge at the moment.
I am not quite sure how I am getting away with it as an ornament. Its the very one that I used at work when I was 16 years old
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:44 pm

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Post by marconi on Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:21 am

2019 Nuevo. Illustration of Improved Solar Efficiency.

I fitted my MPPT Controller on 26th March. The day was sunny, I started the work just before midday. My first step was to cover the Solar Panel and disconnect the batteries, actually as can be seen on the graphs below, it was the Vehicle Battery first. Both batteries were reconnected and the Solar supply reinstated within a short time. Note the instant improvement and sustained increased Charging Voltage.
Later in the day the Leisure Battery reached 75% charge, a level never seen before, even in 8 hours a day of Spanish sun and temperatures of 21 deg. C.
Next day 100% charge was reached.

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The regular feeble daily Solar charge profile prior to 26th March is obvious in the graph below despite sunny days. There had been zero user discharge in that period. After the installation there have been discharge tests.

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Being a Dual Output MPPT Controller that I fitted, the Vehicle Battery is being charged simultaneously at a low current. Again the improvement is instant and obvious in the graph of the Vehicle Battery voltage below. It took a few days but it reached 14.4V, a level never seen before.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ironically the Sargent system is called Smart. The smartest move is to get rid of it.
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Post by gassygassy on Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:49 am

That's brilliant marconi, thank you for sharing it. I have got this Victron:
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I don't know how to get / copy those graphs you have but as my camper is under a cover it wouldn't register much anyway.
I would be interested in your comparison of the one you have got and the Victron, which was sold to me by a confident company that only fits accessories and services / repairs caravans and motorhomes
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Post by bolero boy on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:09 am

Marconi, great pics....what solar regulator did you fit?
thanks.

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Post by glyne lock on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:20 am

Chris
he said a victron  when I asked that page 7
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Post by marconi on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:32 am

gassygassy wrote:That's brilliant marconi, thank you for sharing it. I have got this Victron:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I don't know how to get / copy those graphs you have but as my camper is under a cover it wouldn't register much anyway.
I would be interested in your comparison of the one you have got and the Victron, which was sold to me by a confident company that only fits accessories and services / repairs caravans and motorhomes

I have the Victron Bluesolar MPPT 75 15, I use that with my stand alone 100W panel. The Victron is now installed and can be switched in as required and the 100W panel just plugs into the Nuevo.

The Victron is a superb piece of kit, it saved me in Spain, where due to too much sun the Sargent two stage controller couldn't cope and would shut down for the day at 10AM, when the sun got higher in the sky. In contrast the Victron would have the Leisure Battery charged to 100% by 10AM and be Float charging for the rest of the day.
Do use all the best engineering techniques on the install, its high tech equipment and will perform at its best when installed to plan.

I posted on this thread at the time and attracted several incredulous comments, all fully excusable. At one time on the site with me was an ex Army Radar Engineer and a Retired Aerospace Test technician. I gave them results and produced them a whole day of manual readings taken every 15 minutes in Graph form. The subject was discussed and chewed over for days by all, each morning there would be a "I have been thinking about this" from one of us and I would have to prove that this was not the case to all of our satisfactions. We parted with them still incredulous that any Solar Controller could behave like that.

Thing is, I designed and built a two stage controller for my wind generator in the 1980's and that is how two stage controllers work. I have since seen a video of the controller on another Nuevo and it performs the same, of course UK sunshine particularly in East Yorkshire never reaches such power levels as Spain in January.
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Post by marconi on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:35 am

glyne lock wrote:Chris
he said a victron  when I asked that page 7

smile! Ah yes but, I have now installed the Votronic Dual MPPT, bypassing the EC700.

The Victron is in use as above.
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Post by bolero boy on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:44 am

thanks all.

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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:19 am

marconi wrote:2019 Nuevo. Illustration of Improved Solar Efficiency.

I fitted my MPPT Controller on 26th March. The day was sunny, I started the work just before midday. My first step was to cover the Solar Panel and disconnect the batteries, actually as can be seen on the graphs below, it was the Vehicle Battery first. Both batteries were reconnected and the Solar supply reinstated within a short time. Note the instant improvement and sustained increased Charging Voltage.
Later in the day the Leisure Battery reached 75% charge, a level never seen before, even in 8 hours a day of Spanish sun and temperatures of 21 deg. C.
Next day 100% charge was reached.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The regular feeble daily Solar charge profile prior to 26th March is obvious in the graph below despite sunny days. There had been zero user discharge in that period. After the installation there have been discharge tests.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Being a Dual Output MPPT Controller that I fitted, the Vehicle Battery is being charged simultaneously at a low current. Again the improvement is instant and obvious in the graph of the Vehicle Battery voltage below. It took a few days but it reached 14.4V, a level never seen before.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ironically the Sargent system is called Smart. The smartest move is to get rid of it.
As suggested in third post on first page.
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Post by marconi on Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:59 am

Peter Brown wrote:
For your existing solar installation to be effective on your 2019 van you will have to switch off the solar smart charging and then fit a battery master (or similar) to control charge to both leisure and vehicle batteries.

Well not quite Peter. Switching off the solar smart charging does not get rid of the inherent losses in the system.
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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:19 am

As always, I've enjoyed the technical debate and pleased that in your (Marconi) case you have an acceptable outcome. I'm keen to know where the voltage graphs came from, I'm guessing the Sargent monitoring system?

Although I didn't go into detail at the time, my suggestion was to by pass the Sargent circuitry altogether - I mentioned a battery master as that would then work on ECU as well as solar charging but a dual channel solar controller is equally acceptable, the existing single channel solar controller being external and detachable from the Sargent PSU. Switching off the solar smart charging saves wasting harvested solar energy on powering it when the van is being lived in.
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Post by marconi on Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:34 am

Peter Brown wrote:As always, I've enjoyed the technical debate and pleased that in your (Marconi) case you have an acceptable outcome.  I'm keen to know where the voltage graphs came from, I'm guessing the Sargent monitoring system?


Yes debating and airing the problems is enjoyable and necessary otherwise you can be lead to believe that you are the only one.

The Voltage Graphs are from the Sargent monitoring system, although that is faulty, being investigated by the 'IT team' at the moment.
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