Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

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kyjocro
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Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by kyjocro » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:37 pm

Greetings and Salutations fine patrons of eplaya:

I have just set up a solar system to power my swampie and my small camp's common lighting from a combination of used parts and items on amazon. Everything is working great except that my solar charge controller gets HOT. So hot that I can't touch it for more than few seconds. Has anyone else experienced this on there system and found a solution? Would appreciate any advice on this if anyone's got some. Cheerio!

System
Two (2) 100W Panels in Parrallel
20A Rated 12V/24V PWM Charge Controller
105ah Deep Cycle Battery
10AWG PV Cable with MC4 Connectors

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Joeln
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by Joeln » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:46 pm

I would avoid running it if it's that hot - something could be wrong and the release of smoke is not far off.
Get someone who knows electronics to look at your setup and figure out the problem. Hate to see good hardware get torched.
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TT120
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by TT120 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:27 pm

How fast does the charge controller get hot?
How big is the load and are you running it with the charge controller hooked up and running?
Have you checked the voltages in various places?

My thoughts are it's mis-wired or it's overloaded.
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kyjocro
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by kyjocro » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:55 pm

Thanks for the replies :coffee:
How fast does the charge controller get hot?
I'm not sure exactly how long before it started getting hot but noticed it about 30 minutes or so after i plugged it all in to move it somewhere.
How big is the load and are you running it with the charge controller hooked up and running?
The load is only 2A for a figjam swamp cooler.

Have you checked the voltages in various places?
I've checked the voltages for everything coming out of the solar panels and it measured about 17.X to 18.X when putting a multimeter into the MC4 connection ports. I didn't measure the voltages from the battery although I remember the charge controller reading out around 12.6 to 13.1V

I remember the 10 gauge wire being barely small enough to fit into the charge controller ports. Is it possible 10 gauge wire is too big and that could be causing it somehow? I attached some photographs of the solar panel and schematic of the circuit in case it helps. Either way, I will try to inspect everything more closely this weekend when i have some time and sun to lug it back out of the apt.
IMG_9831 reduced.jpg
IMG_9829 reduced.jpg
IMG_9827.jpg
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TT120
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by TT120 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:57 am

The 10g wire isn't the problem. It would only be a problem if it was too thin. I'm curious, I don't know much about these controllers but the schematic shows the load being hooked up to the controller. I would think the load should be hooked up to the battery. It's only 2 amps so I'm not sure whats going on. What is the current rating of the port you have the load hooked up to?
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some seeing eye
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:40 am

It's within the 20 amp spec - the panels should should be putting out about 12 amps at peak. 10ga wire carries 30 amps. I'd ask on Amazon to see if other people have the same problem. Return the controller if it's faulty.

BRC receives the equivalent of 4.5 full sun hours in a day. Therefore a day will generate 200Wx4.5 or 900 Watthours, 75 AmpHours at 12v. So your battery is sized well.
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asr9754
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by asr9754 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:45 pm

Try running it w/ the swampie connected directly to the battery terminals, rather than thru the charge controller. See if that setup doesn't get as hot. I got a similar charge controller pretty cheap online. No problems, but wouldn't be surprised if cheap components are involved. I clip my swampie direct to the battery, no issues.

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Token
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by Token » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:37 pm

BTW, the load being connected to the charge controller --> so that when the battery level drops low, the controller protects the battery and shuts off the load.

You can connect loads that do not exceed the spec. I would scour the documentation for that controller and verify it is 20A. May not be that big.

A more typical use of the "load" port is to drive the power-on signal on an Inverter (DC to AC).

If the temperature problem goes away when you connect the load straight to the battery, you can use the "load" port to drive a low current relay that can disconnect the real load from the battery when the battery discharges to minimum safe level.

kyjocro
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by kyjocro » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:26 pm

Thanks all for your replies. I will try hooking up the load directly to the battery this weekend and see if that fixes the overheating issue and also replace the charge controller in case it is simply a faulty controller and will let everyone know the outcome. :coffee:

kyjocro
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by kyjocro » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:02 pm

It seemed the problem was the charge controller. Replaced the old one with the one posted here and seemed to fix the problem with the charge controller overheating. Thanks again for everyone's help.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:44 pm

Sometimes the ePlaya baintrust solves the problem. In fact, ePlaya is the best place to start-solve problems.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

legionvr6
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Re: Solar Charge Controller gets HOT

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:43 pm

I actually use the original blue charge controller in my little solar geni and it works fine. You may have gotten a bum unit. You can make some DC plug wired to connect your swami to the DC ports on that new one. that would make for easy connect/disconnect. I did that with mine and it works like a charm

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