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Old 10-07-2017, 11:22 PM   #1
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Solar vs Inverter

I’ve encountered a curious problem with our new 19. We have two factory 160W solar panels running through a Blue Sky 3000i charge controller to factory Interstate dual 6V setup, and we have the factory GoPower 1500W Inverter.

I installed the Blue Sky MPPT controller because it’s capable of producing the higher charging voltages that are recommended by Interstate...lots of other threads on this elsewhere.

So here’s the rub, recommended Absorption voltage is 15.3V, *but* the GoPower inverter shuts down at anything over 15. This happened to me three days in a row while trying to run AC stuff off the inverter during daylight hours. The only way I could get the inverter to kick on was throw jackets on *both* panels, as even one kept the voltage above 15.

Anybody have any better ideas than jackets on the panels, or waiting until less sunny daytimes to run the inverter, or reprogramming the controller for non-optimum charging, or using a separate auxiliary inverter?
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:43 AM   #2
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Is the inverter the SW1500 or the HS1500?

The SW should be fine as it's over voltage is 16.5v. The obvious answer if you have the HW is dropping the Absorption and Equalization voltages on the Blue Sky to 15.

You might get lucky and find someone with the same combination who's dealt with the issue before.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:04 AM   #3
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Interesting problem, Scott. I'm also wondering if it's either the HS1500 or the SW1500. Looking at the input voltage specs, the SW1500 is 11V to 16V, while the HS tops out at 15.

Mine is the Samlex 1500, max input of 16.5V. I don't have your upgraded MPPT charge controller, but theoretically it should work with the Samlex.

Without looking I would have thought that either the Samlex or the GoPower Escape has used would work fine with the higher input voltages, but it looks like that's not the case, depending on the model.

Long term solution might require changing out *ugh* the inverter for one that handles the higher input. Obviously not ideal.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:45 AM   #4
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Would a voltage regulator before the inverter work?
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #5
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What kind of batteries do you have that requires over 15 volt absorption charge? Trojan Recommends 14.8 bulk. I can see an equization charge over15 but is it necessary for bulk or absorption? I would just drop the charge voltage down to where my system worked and call it good. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #6
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I just read your post again more thoroughly. I always thought Interstate's charge rates were odd. Look again and try to find them, I think they are gone, I just looked. Like I said I would just stay below 15 volts and call it good.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:20 PM   #7
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Inverter is a GP-HS1500.

Interesting idea about a voltage regulator. That seems like a possible winner, albeit above my current skill level to do it myself. Hmm.

Not really interested in dropping the charge rates below Interstate’s recommendations. They are pretty clear that the chemistry in these batteries performs optimally at the higher voltages. The feeling in my seatpants when we switched from our original GoPower PWM controller to the BlueSky MPPT was that our 6V bank had a lot more juice in it. We have a Trimetric now to measure such things accurately, but not before the MPPT upgrade, unfortunately.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
Inverter is a GP-HS1500.


Not really interested in dropping the charge rates below Interstate’s recommendations. They are pretty clear that the chemistry in these batteries performs optimally at the higher voltages. .
Have you looked at Interstate's website to verify charge rates? I don't see where Interstate says that at all, at least not any more. I personally would follow "Handyman Bob's" recommendations and use Trojan's charge rates and avoid the problem. That's just what I would do, especially since I don't think any of the Escape factory charge rates are even up to 14.8. True, higher charge rate voltages will charge faster and if it is worth spending more money to avoid dropping the voltage, then go for it. We have our EP Solar controller set to 14.8 and it charges our Interstate six volts fine.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:22 PM   #9
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Yes, I have checked and rechecked Interstate’s charging data. There are a number of threads that discuss this at length elsewhere if you’re interested, usually in the context of neither the factory solar GoPower, nor the WFCO converter being able to reach these voltages and optimize charging. I have spoken with Interstate technical personnel directly about all of this.

The BlueSky is one of the few chargers that can charge per Interstate’s specs.

I appreciate your input, but am not really interested in good enough. I want my trailer to work the best that it can, and I want my batteries fully charged, not 90%. Otherwise I would have stuck with the GoPower controller.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
...

Anybody have any better ideas than jackets on the panels, ...
Better is debatable but something to consider:

A 300 amp diode, for $25 on Ebay, will drop the voltage going into the inverter by approximately 0.7 volts. Add a heatsink to keep it cool and a bypass switch for when the solar panels are offline (night).

--
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