I have had my solar panel
and wiring working fine for over 4 years. I noticed the other day that the batteries were not being charged by my rooftop solar panel
. I thought it was likely the panel and some testing seemed to confirm it. The panel was brittle and cracked, so I removed it and ordered a new panel.
When I received it, I first tested it with multimeter and it tested OK. I connected it to existing wiring, and the charge controller solar panel light
didn't come on (and battery
was not being charged).
I tested voltage (18+ volts) and amps (6+) through the wiring. I was stumped. It should be working.
My system is wired with 2 y connectors, so that I can plug in an additional portable panel. I connected the new solar
panel to the wiring where the portable panel plugs in, and the charge control light
came on and I could see the battery
was getting charged.
I kept switching things around until every piece of cable plus the y connectors were tested.Here's the part that has me completely stumped.
If I use the existing wiring for the rooftop panel and plug into y connector (or even remove y connector and go directly to controller), the light
doesn't come on and no charging.
But if I leave all that wiring in place and add 2 10' jumper cables and loop back on the wiring for the 2nd solar
panel, it works. What I am saying is in both cases I use the same wiring up to the y connector. If I plug into the y connector it fails, but if I add 2 10' jumper cables which then connect to 2 3' cables and then into y connectors, it works.
I thought maybe I had a polarity problem, but if I did, the 2nd scenario shouldn't fix the problem. The way I have it wired right now it is going across every piece of wire there is and it works, but the jumper cables are running out the door so that's not a solution, plus I lose the ability to use a 2nd panel.
ETA: Here's a simple way to look at it.
I have 2 y connectors (positive and negative) that connect to the charge controller.
One leg of each y connector (+-) connects to the panel on the roof and the other leg on each y connector (+-) connects to wiring for a 2nd portable panel.
If I plug my new panel into leg 1, it fails.
If I plug my new panel into leg 2, it works.
If I plug into leg 1, but instead of connecting leg 1 to y connector, I route it through leg 2 and then into y connector it works.
I realize this is hard to picture, but does anyone have an idea on what else I can look at?