Solar panels are used for storing electrical energy in the battery as well as reusing it. When you own a solar panel, you also need to verify if it’s charging the battery correctly or not. Solar installation is a very important thing. In this article, we will explore how to check if solar panel is charging battery.
How to Check if Solar Panel is Charging Battery?
Here are a few ways to check if the solar panel is charging batteries properly or not.
1. Check the Battery
Firstly, you need to inspect if your battery is connected or not. If the battery has any corrosion inside or outside, it may stop charging. If the wires connecting the solar panels and the battery terminals are loose then also this issue can occur.
For a better understanding, you must inspect your battery using a digital multimeter, if the battery is charging the voltage will raise. Otherwise, the multimeter will show a solar output voltage of 15 V or above. If the battery backup is reduced due to over-discharging or suffering deposit, then also battery may stop working. In that case, contact your battery’s customer care to resolve this issue. If your battery is in the warranty period, get it replaced.
These are the steps to check the battery-
- First, disconnect the battery from the solar panel connection and remove its screws using the appropriate tools. After this, safely separate that battery from any short circuit.
- Turn on the multimeter and dial to DC voltage sensing mode. Measure the battery voltage and note this value down.
- After this, reconnect the solar panel wires to your battery. Give the battery at least 20 mins or 1 hour to charge.
- After 1 hour, check the battery voltage again and compare it with the earlier voltage.
- If the battery voltage after connecting the solar panel is greater than the disconnected state then the battery is being charged by a solar panel. Otherwise, there are still some issues with the wire or battery or maybe even in the solar panel.
2. Checking Solar Panel
If the solar panel isn’t provided adequate current and voltage to charge the battery, it will lead to charging issues. So, it’s necessary to check if the solar has any cracks or issues on it. Also, make sure to check the voltage of the solar panel.
These are the steps to check the solar panel-
- Through visual examination, identify any damage or cracks on the solar panel. If anything isn’t seen, move towards measuring its voltage.
- On both ends of the solar panel’s output pins, connect the multimeter probes. Point the solar panel face to the sunlight. At that time, the output voltage must be between 10 to 18V DC.
- The solar panel is in good working condition is the solar panel is in between this voltage range. Additionally, check the ampere of the solar panel by connecting a 12V bulb and a multimeter in series.
- If the voltage is in the normal range but no ampere is noted, the solar panel cells may have internal disconnection or the cells may be dead.
3. Checking Solar Charge Controller
A faulty solar charge controller can also stop charging the battery. The latest solar charge controller like PWM and MPPT solar charger has a display that shows an error. In case of a fault is detected, it will start beeping or blinking lights.
These are the steps to check the solar charge controller-
- The main unit for a solar charging section is indeed the solar charge controller. So, any fault inside the charge controller will stop charging the battery.
- Firstly, through the solar charge controller display, visually inspect the amount of ampere and voltage coming from the solar panel.
- After this, find out the amount of voltage and ampere being used for charging the battery.
- If any mismatching is happening on the charge controller screen, there is an error with the controller unit. It needs to be replaced.
4. Checking Connecting Wires
In most cases when the solar DC cable gets damaged, the solar power is not reaching the battery. To resolve this issue, you need to recheck the panel wiring of the solar connection. You can also use a multimeter to check the wire’s continuity. If the wire has good connectivity, the wire is properly carrying the power. Use a minimum of 4 Square mm wire to connect solar panels. This helps avoid energy loss through transmission. With this, you have successfully learned how to check if solar panel is charging battery, after this let’s see- what is wrong with my solar charge controller.
What is Wrong With My Solar Charge Controller?
After learning how to check if solar panel is charging battery, it’s time to further explore what is wrong with my solar charge controller. A solar charge controller manages the amount of power traveling from the solar panels to the battery. It protects the battery life by ensuring that the battery does not overcharge during daylight hours. If your solar charge controller is having issues, there can be many reasons behind it. To identify the problem, you need to go backways and search for its cause. The problem could like with the panels, batteries, wiring, or the charge controller itself. There can be a few reasons
Solar Charge Controller Not Charging Battery
If you discover your solar charge controller not charging battery or that the charge controller shows 0. Amps when charging, could be an issue with the wiring, input voltage, or photovoltaic panels.
- Check if the battery is full, if the battery is totally or nearly full, the amps will drop low.
- Check if your solar panels are clean and in a properly sunny location. Dirty solar panels can lead to poor power output.
- Check for input voltage. It should be around 18V, depending on your solar panel’s rating.
- Check the wiring between the solar charge controller and the solar panel.
- If you are still unable to find the cause, perform a hard rest.
- If it still doesn’t solve the problem, you should just install a new charge controller.
The Controller isn’t receiving voltage from the solar panels
Apart from the solar charge controller not charging battery, the controller might also not be receiving voltage from the solar panels. If your notice a moon symbol on your charge controller during day time, it means your controller isn’t receiving voltage from the solar panels.
- Firstly, from the back of your controller, remove the two solar panel wires.
- To measure the voltage across the two wires, use a multimeter. The voltage should be around 18V, depending on the rating of your solar panels and the amount of light.
- In case of too low voltage, use a multimeter to check the voltage from each panel. These too should be around 18V. If one panel has a much lower voltage than the other, there’s likely a problem with that panel.
- If all the panels have an 18V voltage reading, check the wiring for a connecting issue.
The Controller Isn’t Turning On
Because of wiring issues or incorrect system configuration, the solar charge controller might not be turning on. To solve this, rewire the system and if it still doesn’t work, rest the controller. After this, you might as well see how to know if my Renogy solar charge controller Is working.
Also Read: Solar Charge Controller Settings
How To Know If My Renogy Solar Charge Controller is Working?
One of the easiest ways to check if your Renogy solar controller is working or not is to read the controller’s LED display. You can also use a multimeter to read to power output. If there is no voltage or very low voltage, the controller surely has a problem. If your think your solar controller isn’t working as it should be, you can try to diagnose the problem by trying an of number troubleshooting steps.
How to Reset Your Solar Controller?
After exploring how to know if my Renogy solar charge controller Is working, let’s learn the process of resetting a solar charge controller. By resetting your solar controller, you are returning the controller back to its factory settings. If your troubleshooting methods have not worked then resetting the entire system may help fix the issues of your controller. Make sure to perform the reset at night time. But if you want to reset your controller during the daytime, make sure to cover up your solar panels for safety. Additionally, follow the user manual instructions.
To Perform a Soft Reset-
- First, press all four buttons on the front of the controller.
- Hold these buttons for 15 seconds unit you see the charge controller resetting.
- If this also doesn’t work, do a hard reset.
To Perform a Hard Reset-
- Initially, take the solar controller off the wall.
- Now, disconnect all 4 wires at the back. The wires are- battery-negative, battery-positive, panel-negative, and panel positive.
- Wait for 15 to 12 minutes.
- Now, reconnect the battery positive and negative wires followed by solar positive and negative wires. After this, it’s time to learn about the reason behind the solar charge controller USB not working.
Why is My Solar Charge Controller USB Not Working?
The USB terminal output on your solar charge controller helps to charge fans, phones, mobile, and other electronic devices. The reason behind your solar charge controller USB not working may be that the controller isn’t reading the batteries’ voltage and thus the USB port isn’t active.
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