Monday, March 26, 2012

Charger Replaced

I gave Xantrex a call and they walked me through some troubleshooting steps. One interesting thing was to unplug it for 10 minutes and then connect the batter first. "Sometimes if you connect the PV first, the micro-controller locks up." was an interesting factoid. However, they eventually concurred with my theory, which is that the controller is no longer working.

Today, I received the replacement controller and put it in place. Right away, it started charging the batteries back up. With the old controller -or- no load on the PV connections, I get around 40V.  However, once I connect those wires to the charge controller and it starts charging, that voltage drops to 24.2V, which is a good sign. Now, I just need to send the old controller back.

I also brought the generator down and hooked that back up. So I will be able to run the generator and air conditioner over the summer. I still plan on further insulating the van, covering the windows and separating the cab from the the living area. But I'm not going to try to get the A/C working off of batteries and solar.

A major change for me this summer will be me moving to a daylight position. So I will not really be in the van much during daylight hours, just for sleeping at night. This should be an advantage to me during the summer months as I will not have to contend with direct sunlight. Obviously, there will be some disadvantage during the winter, but I think I can deal with that.

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