Solar controller issue

Jul 3, 2020
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I bought a solar cheap solar controller (10A) from Amazon, however, I done a little research before I bought. The model is not important (I don’t think, but you may say otherwise). So, I connected the battery first and the lights illuminated - all good! After about 10mins and prior to plugging in the solar the lights went out, followed by smoke coming from the box. I opened the box and no fuses were blown. However, it was clear a component on the board was blown or discoloured. The terminals +ve -ve we’re correct and the van was plugged in to the mains at the time which may or may not be a factor. The wiring was 12AWG and therefore fused at 30A. Does anyone have an idea what I’ve done wrong?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello MarkW

Welcome to the forum

I hope you can appreciate that we are at a great disadvantage as we cannot see or touch the systems you have built to see if there is an obvious fault.

The most obvious thing we can see from your report, is there is some discrepancy about positives and negatives but we have no way of confirming it.

Now it could be:-
The solar controller was designed or built incorrectly by the manufacture
The instructions could be wrong
You might have wired it incorrectly
The solar panel may not have been compatible
and so on

We simply cannot tell.

I have heard there are many cheap and ineffective controllers flooding the market, I suspect would be best obtaining a new controller from a trusted source, and perhaps discussing your plan with the supplier and seek their advice about installation. Or have it installed by a professional
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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Thanks for the comments folks! I’ve contacted the retailer and may go down the victron route.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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Victron is overkill (especially price wise) go to a reputable supplier (I use Photonic Universe) who will stand by their kit
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I bought a dirt cheap mppt controller from Hong Kong about 4 years ago. Under £10 delivered! It has worked fine continually since then with 120 watts feeding in. My battery reports 14.3 volts give or take all the time which I thought might be too much but given it’s been 4 years and all is OK I guess it’s doing it’s job.

I think the OP should check the wiring before trying another controller just in case the problem is there.

John
 
Jul 3, 2020
3
0
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I bought a dirt cheap mppt controller from Hong Kong about 4 years ago. Under £10 delivered! It has worked fine continually since then with 120 watts feeding in. My battery reports 14.3 volts give or take all the time which I thought might be too much but given it’s been 4 years and all is OK I guess it’s doing it’s job.

I think the OP should check the wiring before trying another controller just in case the problem is there.

John
Thanks, I did check the wiring with the meter and got a positive reading. I know that side is ok, I had wondered if the van being plugged in was the issue. If the inbuilt charger in the van had caused the problem. i.e. sending too much juice to the battery and blew it. Having checked this, I don’t think it’s that either...showing 14.5v. Which I believe is the norm for charging. Victron unit should be here tomorrow. Wasn’t too expensive, I got it £120 and includes Bluetooth connectivity. Which when u price the others and add the extras, comes to a smiliar price. Albeit, about 6 times the price for the previous unit. I’ll do one last check before I connect the new unit 🤞
 

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