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Nuevo solar panel issues

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Post by Cheshirecheese Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:15 pm

Hi, I have a 2013 Nuevo EKLT with a fixed solar panel which doesn’t seem to be working. The vehicle is fitted with a Sargeant EC328 power supply and a Sargeant PX300 3 stage switching mode battery charger. Is there a separate connection box and fuse for the solar panel? If so, any idea where it might be located (none of the fuses in the EC328 power supply are labelled as “solar panel”)? It’s possible that the PX300 unit may have failed, although it charges OK from ECU (green light illuminated) and the engine, or it may be the solar panel itself (any suggestions where the connections might be to check the output?). The electrical control panel shows a constant discharge of 0.5A when not on EHU (positive when on EHU) even with everything switched off, which may or may not be a coincidence! Thanks.
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Post by Peter Brown Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:20 pm

The EC328 has an integral charger and doesn't use the PX300.  It also has an integral dual channel solar controller, the panel being connected by a four way connector on the base. I guess that the integral charger has failed at some time and the PX300 added with some circuit modifications only to be guessed at!

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Post by Cheshirecheese Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:26 pm

Thanks for the prompt response. That’s interesting; the PX300 is sited immediately above the EC328 and is connected to it. I’ll take off the cover of the EC328 and have a look to see if there’s an obvious loose connection etc; many thanks for the photo of what it should look like inside.
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Post by Cheshirecheese Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:34 pm

Just had a look and the cover of the EC328 is riveted on. Is this normal? Seems a bit odd if the only way of accessing the solar controller is by removing the rivets.
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Post by Peter Brown Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:36 pm

No, it should be screwed on.
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Post by Roopert Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:04 pm

Is it possible that you are looking at Security Torx screw heads and thinking they are rivets?

My 2013 EC328 had those fitted (by Sargent) from the factory.

Another approach would be - if you can get to the underside of the EC328 - to unplug the 4-way connector for the solar panel input (that Peter referred to above) and measure the panel voltage in good sunlight. If the panel is functional you should see a voltage of over 21 Volts. When our panel failed, we were seeing only about half that, which is not enough for there to be any charging at all.
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Post by Molly3 Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:00 am

On my 2014 nuevo the solar cables pass through the roof into the wardrobe into a plastick brown ducting open the ducting  by uncliping , follow the cable  ,their is a joint connection whare the  solar  cables ends and sargent cable starts ,allowing easy  access  to the end of the solar cable with a meter  ,
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Post by Cheshirecheese Thu Apr 18, 2024 2:28 pm

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. I suspect that a previous owner disconnected the solar panel for some reason as, when we bought the motorhome, we also found that the wiring for the external water pump had been removed(!) but have found a workaround for this. I’ll continue to work on the solar panel puzzle but have bought a standalone to use in the meantime.
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