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Unicorn 3 Constantly Reading 12.5

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Hi All. My first post & found this relevant thread. I too am not 100% sure my solar panel is working correctly either. Just obtained a new Seville 3 & had it just over a week or so. I have not yet seen my voltmeter reading on the vans cluster go above 12. 8 V

yet I keep reading people say it should be 13. 6 when fully charged? I have a steady green flashing light all the time,

but as yet have never seen a steady green light to indicate charging, even during sunny afternoons.

Have checked in-line fuse & battery terminals & all seem ok there & the correct battery setting to 3 (wet). Have contacted dealer, but loathe to take it back if there isn't a fault.

The battery was fully charged when we went out on a hook up pitch last week, but after using the mover to hitch back up, when we returned home the voltmeter was reading 12. 8v & it hasn't changed. Battery is a banner 110A a year old.

I know 12. 8V is a fully charged battery . .. but should it be reading this 13. 6 V figure if working correctly ?

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Hi All. My first post & found this relevant thread. I too am not 100% sure my solar panel is working correctly either. Just obtained a new Seville 3 & had it just over a week or so. I have not yet seen my voltmeter reading on the vans cluster go above 12. 8 V

yet I keep reading people say it should be 13. 6 when fully charged? I have a steady green flashing light all the time,

but as yet have never seen a steady green light to indicate charging, even during sunny afternoons.

Have checked in-line fuse & battery terminals & all seem ok there & the correct battery setting to 3 (wet). Have contacted dealer, but loathe to take it back if there isn't a fault.

The battery was fully charged when we went out on a hook up pitch last week, but after using the mover to hitch back up, when we returned home the voltmeter was reading 12. 8v & it hasn't changed. Battery is a banner 110A a year old.

I know 12. 8V is a fully charged battery . .. but should it be reading this 13. 6 V figure if working correctly ?

Try using the van off hook up, or with the charger turned off so that the solar charging system is under pressure. You should see a fluctuation over the day.

 

John

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Just had a shufti at mine - there are a couple of waterproof connectors under the panel between the panel and the roof gland. I also suspect that there's a joint or something between the incoming wiring and the controller because the wiring above the roof is a lot thicker than that which goes into the controller.

 

As an aside - my "voltmeter" shows a dim random digit when neither button is pressed and the master switch is on. The left hand button makes it indicate the battery voltage and the right hand button shows P nc which I assume means "panel not connected".

 

Further investigation shows that the "random" digit isn't actually random, it's the third digit from the left and seems to show the last reading that it represented (ie n if the R'H button was pressed, 8 after the self test and 3 if the voltage was 13. something).

 

I'm guessing that it's just a low level leakage but as it all seems to be working I'm not all that bothered but just interested in what is going on. Has anyone noticed anything similar and have you done anything about it.

 

Yes we had the "random digit" on our Cadiz 3 control panel.

 

Dealer said they had never seen it before and the manufacturer hadn't either.

 

Had the offending insert replaced under warranty.

 

Ian

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We had the same problem a few weeks ago and I found the cable going into the controller was loose and came away in my hand.

I put it back in and re tightened it and it is working perfect.

 

 

Peter.

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Thanks for your reply John. Earlier in this thread Mateldave says his battery shows 12. 7 in the mornings & when

the sun comes up, it goes into "boost" which sends the voltmeter reading up to 14. 4V, before settling back

down to 13. 6V. Like I say mine never seems to change from 12. 8, which is what it was when after our first trip away.

I switched the lights & radio on, it did drop to 12. 5V, but still not sure it is actually being charged when the sun is up.

I'm guessing with everything switched off, the battery will hold a 12. 8 charge for a while before starting to drop off anyway ?

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Have you tried taking the fuse out & then replacing it (that's the one on the floor next to the fridge) mine appeared to be OK but I took it out & replaced it and hey presto it worked.

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Yes I had tried that & all was fine. Think I found the problem this afternoon. I took the Truma controller off the wall to

check all the wiring going into it was tight . .. & hey presto the red wire from the solar panel to the controller fell out !

It obviously wasn't tight in the first place. Re-connected & tightened & straight away the solid green light came on &

the reading on the vans voltmeter started to rise . . up to 14. 0V at one point. Late in the day now & reading down to 13. 6V

but strangely the solid green light is still on? Would of thought the charging would of stopped by now & the LED change to a steady flashing to denote battery charged ?

Edited by Tourer 2

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It takes a long long time to charge a battery with a solar panel (days not hours). There's not as much power as you might imagine especially if there's any cloud or shadows across the panel.

 

Even dirt or crud on the panel will reduce it's output - I cleaned mine off the other week and was astonished at how much green alge was sitting on top of it. Bird droppings as well. Don't forget that as they are horizontal they don't get washed off like angled panels on houses and don't actually point at the sun either so a bit of maintenance will pay dividends.

 

Also have you checked that the controller is properly set for the type of battery - usually setting 3 (wet battery) other settings are for either Gel or AGM batteries and won't fully charge a wet cell battery.

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It takes a long long time to charge a battery with a solar panel (days not hours). There's not as much power as you might imagine especially if there's any cloud or shadows across the panel.

 

Even dirt or crud on the panel will reduce it's output - I cleaned mine off the other week and was astonished at how much green alge was sitting on top of it. Bird droppings as well. Don't forget that as they are horizontal they don't get washed off like angled panels on houses and don't actually point at the sun either so a bit of maintenance will pay dividends.

 

Also have you checked that the controller is properly set for the type of battery - usually setting 3 (wet battery) other settings are for either Gel or AGM batteries and won't fully charge a wet cell battery.

Yes I have thanks. All seems fine now, as per my previous post earlier.

Its just I would of thought the solid green charging light would of gone to flashing mode at this time of evening?

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