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geraintll

New Caravaner Solar panel Woes

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Hi All,

 

I am a new caravaner and have just purchased a 2018 lunar clubman CK which has a solar panel fitted, when checking on the Sargent control panel the charging was showing as 0.0amps constantly even in the nice sun on the weekend,so i thought ill take the plastic cover off inside the cupboard below the solar panel off to see if i can figure out where the wiring goes and have just found 2 bare wires! i am guessing these should go to a controller which is missing could anyone recommend a replacement? i have no idea what solar panel is installed on the van, i assumed it was done from factory. 

solar 3.jpg

solar 4.jpg

solar1.jpg

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Worth knowing that a lot of solar panels are not wired via the Sargent box, so it never displays charge current ( I have this setup on my clubman 😩). All I get is the battery voltage. As long as this goes up in the sunshine, I know the solar is doing something. 

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yeah mine is not going up in the sunshine at all which is how i noticed it was not working as the battery indicator went from good to poor in less than a week.

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They look a bit skinny to be from solar panels.  Can you check if there is a voltage on them?  Can you climb on top and see if there are any markings on the solar panel(s)?

 

What does the cable look like coming from the panel(s) and going down, through the roof?

Edited by kelper

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If you just purchased the van, I would go back about this. If a van is sold with the benefit of a solar panel, its reasonable to expect the required controller to be present as well. Those cables however do not look like the proper solar cables used from the  solar panels to the controller, more like caravan manufacture's wiring..

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If you look at your Sargent panel, does it have terminals marked 'solar' and if so, do they have any wires in them?  Maybe a Sargent owner can post a photo for you.

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The chances are that these wires are nothing to do with the solar panel.  Lunar leave a pair curled up in a box in the corner just in case they can sell you a cooker hood.

 

Who fitted the panel.  I fitted my own but got great advice from Sargent when wiring so my Sargent panel shows charge and voltage.

 

Normally you would easily see the controller, But if yours is a complete Sargent set up the electronics could well be hidden, give then a call.  They are ever so helpful.

 

John

 

 

Edited by JCloughie

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The Sargent EC500 has an input for solar but still needs a separate solar regulator.

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24 minutes ago, kelper said:

The Sargent EC500 has an input for solar but still needs a separate solar regulator.


I think that’s what’s in my 2015 model.  But the OP has a 2018.  I don’t know if Lunar were fitting Sargent solar by then.  I also don’t know if the EC 500 has been updated.  I agree that a conventional regulator should be easily spotted.

 

John

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1 minute ago, JCloughie said:


I think that’s what’s in my 2015 model.  But the OP has a 2018.  I don’t know if Lunar were fitting Sargent solar by then.  I also don’t know if the EC 500 has been updated.  I agree that a conventional regulator should be easily spotted.

 

John

The technical info on their website doesn't go beyond 2016 but I think he still has the EC500.  Can OP confirm?  But I agree with you.

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This shows where the solar would be connected if you are up to looking inside!  See top right.  Don't touch unless you are competent.  And disconnect the battery first.  And don't use EHU!

image.thumb.png.998c174304fb6597cdcf3babfbf54901.png

 

You can see the connector, if fitted, just by pulling the panel out by an inch or so

solar.png

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56 minutes ago, kelper said:
8 minutes ago, kelper said:

This shows where the solar would be connected if you are up to looking inside!  See top right.  Don't touch unless you are competent.  And disconnect the battery first.  And don't use EHU!

image.thumb.png.998c174304fb6597cdcf3babfbf54901.png

 

You can see the connector, if fitted, just by pulling the panel out by an inch or so

solar.png

That’s what I did with mine with help from Sargent.  I think the handbook says max 100 watt, but I put 120 on and Sargent told me it can handle it easily.

 

Just looked at Sargent’s site and looks like the EC500 is current.  With the EC 480 display.  But I see that they do a remote for it, (something I was unaware of), a bit steep at £48 but I am going to have a go at linking a generic tv control just for the hell of it.

 

John

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2 hours ago, JCloughie said:

That’s what I did with mine with help from Sargent.  I think the handbook says max 100 watt, but I put 120 on and Sargent told me it can handle it easily.

 

Just looked at Sargent’s site and looks like the EC500 is current.  With the EC 480 display.  But I see that they do a remote for it, (something I was unaware of), a bit steep at £48 but I am going to have a go at linking a generic tv control just for the hell of it.

 

John

Yeah that panel is exactly what mine looks like but has a cover over the top of it, upon having another look now there is a solar controller hidden behind it as well but cant see where the cable goes its a model STCC10

Edited by geraintll
update

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36 minutes ago, geraintll said:

Yeah that panel is exactly what mine looks like but has a cover over the top of it, upon having another look now there is a solar controller hidden behind it as well but cant see where the cable goes its a model STCC10


It could well be working fine, but to register on the Sargent EC 420 display, the output should be connected to the EC 500 unit as shown by Kelper earlier.

 

John

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That’s the same make as the one I had fail on my 2018 van. Luckily a mobile tech was on site, and he had a suitable replacement on his van. Sorry don’t know what make / model the replacement is

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