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Did anybody tried Victron MPPT warranty?

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
After a few months of inactivity - disconnected from battery, loads and solar - it doesn't pass any current through. 20A model with Bluetooth.

It's home now, on regulated DC supply. When connected to battery, it downloaded firmware upgrade, reads V input/output but zero current. Bulk LED - blue - is blinking every few seconds, the app reads 13.1V battery - about 50% discharged Li, zero current, 16V input, I increased input to 18V - nothing.

I might have mistreated it, momentarily connecting Pos of power supply to Neg of MPPT or vice versa, don't remember. Getting old I guess. It was only one lead, not both. Fuse is fine.

Did anybody try manufacturers warranty?
17 REPLIES 17

StirCrazy
Explorer III
Explorer III
Almot wrote:
Thanks, Don.


that tristar is pretty but arnt they made more for house setups? I thought they were big for some reason.

I went with the renogy and havent any complaints, it will pump out the power at low light.

I have that and one 325 watt panel on the truck camper and I have three 180watt panels and a pwm in the 5th wheel and I get a higher amprage in the camper .... also tyhe camper starts charging at 7 am where the 5th wheel will wait till 8:30. guess whats getting changed out :B
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
Thanks, Don.

pianotuna
Traveler
Traveler
Hi Almot,

Any of the modern MPPT's with a high voltage input.
The devil is in the details.

My controller is advertised as 30 amp. But.....if you double the voltage that drops to about 24 amps.

So I'm in the situation if I want to add more or replace the panels--I have to replace the charge controller. If I went that route I'd pick an 60 amp unit.

I like Tristar because they "piggy back" three modules. That keeps the over head low when doing low light conditions:

https://www.morningstarcorp.com/products/tristar-mppt/

As soon amps increase over 20, the 2nd module starts up, if we can trust what the maker says.



Since I'm no longer full time it is unlikely that I'll do that. The system was designed with a large battery bank and UniSolar panels which react to three frequencies of light--but also have diodes between EVERY cell.

I did get as far as finding a modern German panel that had diodes between all cells--but they did not respond to my attempts to contact them.
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
Don, what small controller - 20-30A range - would you think is the best for low-light conditions?

pianotuna
Traveler
Traveler
Almot,

Order would be

1. disconnect panels
2. disconnect batteries
3. short input terminals
4. short output
5. wait
6. connect battery bank
7. connect panels
8. This is a "Hail Mary" It might help--but it won't hurt.

Your difficulties make me think I'll go Morningstar if I ever upgrade or have to replace the charge controller.
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
pianotuna wrote:
Almot,

This behaviour reminds me of Mac laptops--where static electricity would sometimes build up on the mother board.

Try shorting out the input then wait a few moments and return power.

I think I see a shipping box in your future if the device is still under warranty.

Don, do I need to disconnect it from the battery while shorting the input?

Yes, warranty for a few months more, plus 1 year topped up by credit card though this could be more pain, have never tried this route.

pianotuna
Traveler
Traveler
Almot,

This behaviour reminds me of Mac laptops--where static electricity would sometimes build up on the mother board.

Try shorting out the input then wait a few moments and return power.

I think I see a shipping box in your future if the device is still under warranty.
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Bobbo
Explorer II
Explorer II
Almot wrote:
Victron has 5V "threshold"? Mid-tier Chinese boxes (meaning not a complete ju.nk) - Epever and Renogy, both open at the panel voltage 2-3 V above the battery voltage, frommy experience.

The fact that it no longer can switch to User Defined mode is still unexplained and inconvenient.

Yes, according to the Victron specs. That is one of the reasons why I wired my pair of PV panels in series. (The other is series gives better charging in low light/partial shade conditions.)
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
Victron has 5V "threshold"? Mid-tier Chinese boxes (meaning not a complete ju.nk) - Epever and Renogy, both open at the panel voltage 2-3 V above the battery voltage, frommy experience.

The fact that it no longer can switch to User Defined mode is still unexplained and inconvenient.

pianotuna
Traveler
Traveler
Can you rewire to get series/parallel from the solar panels?
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Bobbo
Explorer II
Explorer II
Almot wrote:
But I think Victron gone crazy. Today it refuses to start at all, even at 18.5V. Battery is 13.5V, this corresponds to ~80% SOC.

The Victron will not initiate charging unless it detects that the PV voltage is at least 5v higher than the battery voltage. You state that the PV was 18.5v and the battery was 13.5v. If the Victron read that as only a 4.99v difference, it would not initiate charging. Those voltage readings you posted may not be precise.
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

StirCrazy
Explorer III
Explorer III
Almot wrote:
I thought about battery BMS, will check it later with another controller.

But I think Victron gone crazy. Today it refuses to start at all, even at 18.5V. Battery is 13.5V, this corresponds to ~80% SOC.

It also refuses to switch to User Defined mode in the app (yesterday in attempts to revive it I switched the mode to one of factory presets, namely AGM. So I can now switch between AGM , Victron Smart Li (low 14.4 Absorb in this one), and a few Gel variations - but not User Defined. And it doesn't start charging. Uninstalled and reinstalled the app - didn't help.

Will call Canadian dealers after Christmas, don't have time for this now.


I had an issue with Victron years ago, which is why I won't buy them anymore. everything can fail doesnt matter how much more they charge for the same thing as others.
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
I thought about battery BMS, will check it later with another controller.

But I think Victron gone crazy. Today it refuses to start at all, even at 18.5V. Battery is 13.5V, this corresponds to ~80% SOC.

It also refuses to switch to User Defined mode in the app (yesterday in attempts to revive it I switched the mode to one of factory presets, namely AGM. So I can now switch between AGM , Victron Smart Li (low 14.4 Absorb in this one), and a few Gel variations - but not User Defined. And it doesn't start charging. Uninstalled and reinstalled the app - didn't help.

Will call Canadian dealers after Christmas, don't have time for this now.

pianotuna
Traveler
Traveler
Hi Almot,

Odd for sure. I don't have a Victron. My Blue Sky behaves nothing like that. The input voltage is 33 from a series parallel. Charging starts in the winter time about 30 minutes after first light. Only 0.1 amps.

Dec 21 I get about 17 amp-hours from the day's charging total.

I do get 7 amps in leafy shade in June, and about 3 amps in rain.

I wonder if the battery management system on the LI is playing ducks and drakes?
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Almot
Explorer II
Explorer II
Well, Don, it does behave weird.

Just to remind, this is a bench test with regulated 15A DC supply. I didn't pay attention to it in field, in summer.

It opens at 18.4V. I don't know why yesterday it opened at 15V - maybe it was after I cranked it up to 18, got scared that nominal 15V DC supply will blow up and lowered it to 15V. Once it opens, input can drop to 14.6V and it still pumps undetectable current, batter reads "On". Shuts down at 14.3V, says "goodnight", battery reads "Off" and won't wake up again until V input rises to 18.4.

When simulated "sun" goes down, controller is clinging to MPP curve very well. At 15V "evening" it outputs 6A, at 14.5V - 0.1 A (heavy rain?), and if "rain" stops and V input rises to 15 again, it outputs mere 0.2A - not 6A. Then it wakes "for real" at ~16V, at which point current jumps to 10A and V drops to 15-something - MPP tracking at work, but not as smooth as in the "evening".

Reached Absorb at 14.6V - as per my setting. Current tapered to zero. I pulled the plug, then decided to let Li batt fry a little more, plugged DC supply in - nothing. With charger disconnected and zero load my Li reads 14.3V fully charged, this isn't new, it drops by 0.3V from 14.6 observed at the end Absorb. Cranked input up to 18.5V - nothing. Isn't it supposed to re-start Bulk again, quickly rise to 14.6 and go to Float? My "Re-bulk" is set at 0.1V, this means it should start Bulk again if V drops to 14.5.

Somebody with Victron MPPT, please enlighten me. Maybe it's normal not to open until sun gets high and V input =18.5, and not to at least "try" to resume charging at 14.3 after 14.6 Absorb has been reached.