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Old 07-13-2019, 07:42 PM   #1
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Solar Controller "No More" it is dead

We have a 100 watt Renogy system with panel and controller (not in a suitcase). We blew the controller (accidentally kicked out the battery connection). So now I have a 100 watt panel and I want to upgrade the system to a 200 watt system. It seems that it makes more sense to just purchase another Renogy 100 watt system and add my current panel to make a 200 watt system. Am I missing something? Do I need extra parts or can I just connect the 2 panels to the controller?
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:55 AM   #2
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Depends on the amps of your SOLAR charge controller. If you have a 20 or 30 amp charge controller there would be no problem. Your panel probably can produce around 8 amps (16 Amps for 2 panels) under full sun, so a 20 Amp SOLAR charge controller will be fine. Call Renogy and tell them that your controller stopped working, they may send you a replacement.

If you are going to use 1 charge controller, mount it by your batteries with a disconnect switch and fuse. Less voltage drop this way.



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Old 07-14-2019, 08:24 AM   #3
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By “blew the controller” do you mean it doesn’t work at all? “Kicked out the battery connection” as in you accidentally unhooked it from the battery while it was hooked up by tripping over the wires or did you actually tear the wire out of the controller? Seems odd that the controller would be toast if it was just unhooked under load. Did you call Renogy? They might possibly replace it if it’s an internal issue. It shouldn’t damage a controller by unhooking it accidentally or on purpose while it’s charging the batteries. Unless something got shorted out somehow when the wires were yanked?
And yes, that controller will take 200w if it’s the same one you posted in the previous thread. You just going to need two splitters (Renogy has them) so you can hook those two 100w panels to the one set of wires coming from the controller
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwby View Post
By “blew the controller” do you mean it doesn’t work at all? “Kicked out the battery connection” as in you accidentally unhooked it from the battery while it was hooked up by tripping over the wires or did you actually tear the wire out of the controller? Seems odd that the controller would be toast if it was just unhooked under load. Did you call Renogy? They might possibly replace it if it’s an internal issue. It shouldn’t damage a controller by unhooking it accidentally or on purpose while it’s charging the batteries. Unless something got shorted out somehow when the wires were yanked?
And yes, that controller will take 200w if it’s the same one you posted in the previous thread. You just going to need two splitters (Renogy has them) so you can hook those two 100w panels to the one set of wires coming from the controller
I'm guessing that the 12v connection to the controller was disconnected while the panels were still connected and producing. Renogy specifically says to connect the 12v battery side first and disconnect it last. With no 12v supply the controller isn't powered up and the solar power may damage it (and did so it seems).
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #5
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Per your suggestion, when I purchased the first system, I have it mounted with a circuit breaker within 5 feet of the battery, and it worked great for two years, thanks! I just plug it into the Jayco supplied solar plug.

Sorry, what is a 1 charge controller. My Renogy was 30 amps.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #6
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I can leave my solar suitcase with the same charge controller laying out in the sun hooked to nothing and no damage occurs. I don’t disconnect the solar panel connectors prior to disconnecting from the battery every time I pack up and move camp. That would be a PITA and eventually wear out the MC4 connectors. I pull the alligator clamps off the battery and set the panels aside until I’m ready to stow them away. The controller will just have a blank display until you hook it to a 12v source with at least 9v worth of power so it can turn on. Once it has its 9v of power the controller display comes on, it does a self check/startup process, and then begins to charge the 12v battery source it’s hooked to.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:21 AM   #7
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Yes, the solar controller is dead. I also found it odd that it would die so quickly; we tripped over the wire and it pulled out of the plug. After disconnecting panels I tried to reconnect and it would not work. Called Renogy and they didn't have an answer other than to purchase a new controller. Thanks for the information, I will order a new 100 watt system with splitters. (I can't blame Renogy for my mistake, the system worked great until I did this.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:23 AM   #8
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Well crap, sorry for your loss! I didn’t realize she was 2 years old so yeah, probably beyond wanting Renogy to replace it lol. Well good luck with the new setup and at least on the bright side you’ll now have 200w!
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:38 AM   #9
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Screwby, thank you, you may have just explained my multiple errors. I didn't realize that the solar panel needed to be hooked up for the controller to work; my bad, I thought the battery also powered the controller (well, I was a carpenter not an electrician). I will get the system from storage and try it out here at home. Learning something new every day, I hope you are right.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:39 PM   #10
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I hope so too, I don’t think the controller will activate if it doesn’t sense the battery and the solar panel when it does it’s startup sequence. I hope I’m right and your not out a controller. Like I said before, the battery has to be charged to at least 9v before it will activate the controller so be sure it’s a good battery.
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