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Old 07-08-2024, 05:33 PM   #1
KBG
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Go Power Solar Controller

I have a 2019 21. The Go Power controller does not show the panels charging the battery. It has the moon symbol. When I look at the Vectron app on my phone, it shows voltage coming into the panels. I camped for the weekend and the batteries stayed charged so I feel the panels are working. I did a soft reset and a hard reset and itís still not showing a charge. Is it time for a new controller?
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Old 07-08-2024, 07:00 PM   #2
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The Victron app can show many different Victron devices, which do you have? For instance, I have a Victron Smart Solar 100/30 solar controller, and a Victron Smart Shunt battery monitor
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Old 07-08-2024, 07:16 PM   #3
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I have a smart shunt, smart Solar and a VE direct smart
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Old 07-08-2024, 07:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBG View Post
I have a smart shunt, smart Solar and a VE direct smart
If you have a Victron Smart Solar, then your GoPower solar controller is likely disconnected. I know mine is, I left it in place as otherwise I'd have to plug the hole its mounted in.
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Old 07-08-2024, 07:25 PM   #5
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It worked last year though, which is why I’m confused. My husband took care of the Solar and I unfortunately lost him early this year, so I’m trying to sort all this out. Basically you are saying I don’t need the Go Power controller?
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Old 07-08-2024, 08:04 PM   #6
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It worked last year though, which is why Iím confused. My husband took care of the Solar and I unfortunately lost him early this year, so Iím trying to sort all this out. Basically you are saying I donít need the Go Power controller?
well, I guess that depends on how its wired. my GoPower is completely disconnected, as both the solar panel and the battery connections go to the Victron SmartSolar.
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Old 07-09-2024, 07:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBG View Post
I have a smart shunt, smart Solar and a VE direct smart
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
If you have a Victron Smart Solar, then your GoPower solar controller is likely disconnected. I know mine is, I left it in place as otherwise I'd have to plug the hole its mounted in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
well, I guess that depends on how its wired. my GoPower is completely disconnected, as both the solar panel and the battery connections go to the Victron SmartSolar.
I agree with John.

Our GoPower controller showed the moon all the time because it was no longer used. Like probably yours, the controller merely fills the hole. I disconnected the power from the GoPower controller and it's just a blank screen. We do get the occasional question, "Why is your solar controller not working?" Answer: "Because it's no longer hooked up and has been replaced with Victron equipment."

I only read our two solar controllers (Victron 100/20 for a portable, and a 100/50 for the rooftop panels), and the Victron BMV-712 shunt. The 100/20, 100/50, and 712 are all hooked together in a VE.Smart Network, so they all work together.

Food for thought,

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Old 07-09-2024, 09:11 AM   #8
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Thanks for the thoughts and I guess I will just let it stay as is and just monitor it. I’m wondering why my husband would have left the Go Power hooked up though. Could it be to use the power boost when we plug a charger (or whatever) into the outlet?
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Old 07-09-2024, 11:09 AM   #9
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KBG, I also have installed a Victron controller to replace the Go Power as a solar controller but kept the Go Power controller in place to serve as an inverter enable switch. If you find the wires on the back of the Go Power unit have been disconnected from the solar connections but the wires to the battery are still connected, then the intention was to keep the Go Power unit as an inverter switch but no longer as a solar controller. If this was the intention you will also see the old telephone style wire still connecting the inverter to the Go Power unit.

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Old 07-09-2024, 11:23 AM   #10
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KBG, I also have installed a Victron controller to replace the Go Power as a solar controller but kept the Go Power controller in place to serve as an inverter enable switch. If you find the wires on the back of the Go Power unit have been disconnected from the solar connections but the wires to the battery are still connected, then the intention was to keep the Go Power unit as an inverter switch but no longer as a solar controller. If this was the intention you will also see the old telephone style wire still connecting the inverter to the Go Power unit.

John
John,
When I did the hard reset, all 4 wires were connected (battery +&- and solar panel +&-). I did not notice a phone style wire, but I will check. Also, I don’t think the hard reset did anything as I did not see the display blink as it is supposed to.
Kate
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Old 07-09-2024, 12:23 PM   #11
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Kate, I wonder if maybe the Go Power controller might have been left connected to serve as the portable solar connection controller with the Victron controlling the rooftop. The Victron controller is likely an MPPT controller with the Go Power controller likely being a PWM controller. In any case, you would want to make sure to connect up both the portable and the rooftop connections to the Victron and disconnect solar from the Go Power. What I have learned from the experts, people like John from Santa Cruz and Perry is that multiple controllers in the same system should not be mixed using both MPPT and PWM. MPPT would be the preferable one to use because it is more efficient and provides you with much more information about your battery's condition.

John
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Old 07-09-2024, 12:46 PM   #12
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Kate, I wonder if maybe the Go Power controller might have been left connected to serve as the portable solar connection controller with the Victron controlling the rooftop. The Victron controller is likely an MPPT controller with the Go Power controller likely being a PWM controller. In any case, you would want to make sure to connect up both the portable and the rooftop connections to the Victron and disconnect solar from the Go Power. What I have learned from the experts, people like John from Santa Cruz and Perry is that multiple controllers in the same system should not be mixed using both MPPT and PWM. MPPT would be the preferable one to use because it is more efficient and provides you with much more information about your battery's condition.

John
I think I understand what you’re saying. We do not have a portable solar panel, just roof top. When
I get home this evening, I will check to see what is connected and where. I may have more questions though…
Thanks again!
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Old 07-09-2024, 12:57 PM   #13
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you can only hook the external and rooftop panels to the same controller if both are in the same range of PV (panel voltage). In my case, my portable is a '12V' panel, which outputs around 18V, while my rooftop panel is about 36V at max output power and 44V open circuit. but my portable has its own PWM controller which does not have lithium mode, so I don't even try and use it anymore (its left over from my Casita days)
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Old 07-09-2024, 05:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
you can only hook the external and rooftop panels to the same controller if both are in the same range of PV (panel voltage). In my case, my portable is a '12V' panel, which outputs around 18V, while my rooftop panel is about 36V at max output power and 44V open circuit. but my portable has its own PWM controller which does not have lithium mode, so I don't even try and use it anymore (its left over from my Casita days)
If you want to get some use out of your portable you can replace the PWM controller with a diode - lower voltage drop style is better. Then you can use the portable when your rooftop panel is in the shade.
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Old 07-09-2024, 06:58 PM   #15
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All the wires are connected to the Go Power and there is a telephone style wire connected as well. Should I disconnect the solar panel from the Go Power and if I do is there anything special I need to do before hand? Like covering the solar panel or waiting until dark?
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Old 07-09-2024, 07:33 PM   #16
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If you can confirm that you have a Victron controller connected to both the solar array and the battery bank, you can safely disconnect the solar from the Go Power without taking any other measures. The Go Power unit will then be nothing more than a switch (we can review how to do the switching later on) to enable the inverter to power your toaster or electric coffee maker etc. while your Victron will control all the solar charging. Are your batteries original from the factory?

John
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Old 07-09-2024, 08:42 PM   #17
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My batteries are original. I will confirm what is and is not connected.
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Old 07-09-2024, 10:15 PM   #18
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21's normally have dual golf cart (GC2) 6V batteries in series for 12V, I believe Escape provides Interstate's premium grade which are rated for around 220AH.

fwiw, 2019 lead acid batteries are pretty much nearing their EOL. Sure, they might work for a couple more years, but they might die overnight.

When two batteries are in series, you add the voltages (6V + 6V = 12V total) and the AH remains the same, whereas if two batteries are in parallel, the voltage is the same as either one, but the AH is added, so my two 12V 206AH Lithiums provide 12V 412AH in parallel. Note AH for lead acid batteries is kind of theoretical in that you really should avoid discharging lead acid batteries below 50%, so dual golf cart batts are really only good for like 12V 110AH, which is 1320 watt*hours of power, and typipcal golf cart batteries are good for maybe 300 50% discharge/recharge cycles... Lithiums, on the other hand, can be discharged to nearly 0% 1000s and 1000s of times, so my 412AH 12V is actually 5260 watt*hours usable power. basically, I can dry camp without any sunshine for over a week... and my 360W solar panel (not original) will fully recharge that batt in about 1.5 days of full sunshine. The downside of lithiums, you need chargers with a lithium profile.. some WFCO 8955 power centers (which is what the Escape 21 came with) have a jumper for this, others, you can replace the power converter module in the 8955 with a PD4655L lithium compatible power center. The Victron Smartsolar controller can be reconfigured with the Victron Connect phone app, as can the Victron SmartShunt so it shows the right % for whatever battery combination you install.

if this has been too much tech talk, sorry. i'm a retired engineer, this stuff is all second nature to me.
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