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Old 09-29-2017, 09:05 PM   #1
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Solar panel controller

I cleaned, waxed, winterized the trailer and then removed batteries to my garage for the winter. But I noticed the solar controller under my table blinking violently. It is obviously upset that I removed the batteries. Any advice on this?
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
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I'm curious as to why you removed the batteries. They are maintained by the solar charger all winter, and should be fine, no?

Now that you've removed them, you'll probably need to disconnect the panel from the CC when you're ready to put them back in, since the CC won't operate properly without a battery bank attached to bat terminal 1. It's the same sequence as when originally installed - connect CC to batteries, connect panel to CC.
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:24 PM   #3
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I cleaned, waxed, winterized the trailer and then removed batteries to my garage for the winter. But I noticed the solar controller under my table blinking violently. It is obviously upset that I removed the batteries.
It's probably mad winter is coming
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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Might be a good time to put an fuse on the panel lead into the controller if you don't already have one. Makes a convenient place to break the connection.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:47 PM   #5
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I'm curious as to why you removed the batteries. They are maintained by the solar charger all winter, and should be fine, no?

Now that you've removed them, you'll probably need to disconnect the panel from the CC when you're ready to put them back in, since the CC won't operate properly without a battery bank attached to bat terminal 1. It's the same sequence as when originally installed - connect CC to batteries, connect panel to CC.
2X.

In fact, the manual warns against having panels connected to the controller without a battery - it can damage the controller. Either reconnect the batteries, or disconnect the panel.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:09 AM   #6
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2X.

In fact, the manual warns against having panels connected to the controller without a battery - it can damage the controller. Either reconnect the batteries, or disconnect the panel.
Wow, that's news to me . I've been taking my two batteries out for two years now. I do turn the battery switch to off, hope that helps. How does one disconnect the charge controller? Have not noticed any problems.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:35 AM   #7
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As long as the batteries are charged there is really no reason to remove them. Just make sure the battery switch is turned off. I stored our trailer in Montana at my brothers house last year and just had him plug it in once a month for a day or two. I left a light on in the kitchen because you have to have the battery switch on to charge, but off to store. Having the light on was a reminder. I think solar works without the switch on, but the panels need to be clear or snow and in the sun.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:23 PM   #8
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I think solar works without the switch on, but the panels need to be clear or snow and in the sun.
That's right. The solar charge controller is not wired to the battery isolator. That's to isolate battery power from the components that consume it.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:31 PM   #9
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That's right. The solar charge controller is not wired to the battery isolator. That's to isolate battery power from the components that consume it.
I would like to remove the batteries and use a maintainer in the garage. I don't want to remove the snow all the time. Sooo how do I disconnect the controller? It's probably obvious when I trace the wire down or read the manual? Thanks....
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:31 PM   #10
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Wow, that's news to me . I've been taking my two batteries out for two years now. I do turn the battery switch to off, hope that helps. How does one disconnect the charge controller? Have not noticed any problems.
Turning off the battery switch does not disconnect the solar panels. There is no easy way (unless you add a switch of fuse) to disconnect the solar panels. You will have to get to the back of the controller (or unmount it) and disconnect one of the wires from the panel. It doesn't matter which, and you don't need to disconnect both. Be sure it is the panel input, not the controller output.

It sounds like it has not been a problem for you since you made it through a couple of winters with the panels connected. The manual does say "MAY" so who knows?

In my case I left the batteries in, and even with a cover, the panel provided enough charging to keep the batteries charged throughout the winter. I did scrape the snow off the roof when it got more than 6" deep.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:45 PM   #11
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Turning off the battery switch does not disconnect the solar panels. There is no easy way (unless you add a switch of fuse) to disconnect the solar panels. You will have to get to the back of the controller (or unmount it) and disconnect one of the wires from the panel. It doesn't matter which, and you don't need to disconnect both. Be sure it is the panel input, not the controller output.

It sounds like it has not been a problem for you since you made it through a couple of winters with the panels connected. The manual does say "MAY" so who knows?

In my case I left the batteries in, and even with a cover, the panel provided enough charging to keep the batteries charged throughout the winter. I did scrape the snow off the roof when it got more than 6" deep.
It sounds like I have to find controller( under bench I guess) and unmount it to get at the input wire and just remove one if there are more?
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:55 PM   #12
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Might be simpler to disconnect one of the MP4 connectors on the cables leading from the solar panel before they go into the trailer. Ladder, 5 seconds, done.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:04 PM   #13
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Might be simpler to disconnect one of the MP4 connectors on the cables leading from the solar panel before they go into the trailer. Ladder, 5 seconds, done.
I'll have to check that option out. I wonder if the connection is sealed, if it works I will tape over the open ends to protect. I would think it wound serve the same purpose. Life is simpler in a Kifaru tepe. I wonder how many people who take their batts out do this?
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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They’re not sealed and just simply twist open and come apart. Tape em to keep the elements out would work fine.
Mine were simple to disconnect but here’s a video showing some plastic disconnect tool making it look very easy on the newer connectors
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C...pr=2#kpvalbx=1
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:16 PM   #15
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I totally agree that disconnecting the MC4 connector near the panel is much easier. If you really insist on removing the batteries, I would disconnect the panel via the MC4 connector first. As Greg mentioned, wrap the connector in plastic or something to keep water out.

When you reinstall the batteries, reconnect them to the controller before reconnecting the MC4.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:20 PM   #16
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As a side note ,while replying to this I heard an elk distress call and I thought one was hung up in the fence. To my surprise a big black wolf had a poor elk calf by the hind end. Not a pretty sight. I called fish and game and he made me an agent. FIRE AWAY.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:53 PM   #17
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Robert, you really don't want me to remove my batteries do you. With all the snow and then ice and where the trailer sits it's just to much to keep the roof clear and plug the electric in.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:58 PM   #18
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Robert, you really don't want me to remove my batteries do you. With all the snow and then ice and where the trailer sits it's just to much to keep the roof clear and plug the electric in.
The biggest harm to batteries besides going dead is heat. If you keep your trailer uncovered it wouldn't hurt to go inside once a month or so and turn the battery switch on and plug it in. This would give you a chance to make sure you don't have any moisture issues. I pulled my batteries out this year cause I don't have power where I store it. If power was available it would be a lot easier on my back. Those batteries are heavy even with the lifting straps.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:40 PM   #19
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Couldn't one just cover the panel, no light, no power, controller dead. Of course you need to come up with a way to keep it covered.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:47 PM   #20
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Robert, you really don't want me to remove my batteries do you. With all the snow and then ice and where the trailer sits it's just to much to keep the roof clear and plug the electric in.
Lol, sounds like it right? it's hard for me to relate, since any frozen precipitation is a 'once every twenty years' event around here. I see no reason why you can't remove them, as long as you disconnect the panel as well to prevent any potential damage to the charger electronics. Even if you get heavy snow (like Jon does in upstate NY), there's usually enough light reaching the panel to provide enough power to keep them topped up, and you just knock some off with a broom if it gets really deep. Up to you whether or not it's more trouble to knock snow off the panel, or pull the batteries and disconnect the panel.
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