Solar System Support

Please select the topic or question that relates to your query.Our support system should lead you to answers for most support issues, or will provide a specific contact form related to your problem so we can assist you.

  • How do I wire up my equipment
  • My Solar System has stopped working
    • Solar Panels
      • How do I test my Solar Panel
        • I've just installed them and am getting no power
          • First - Check they pointed directly at the sun on a sunny day

            Solar panels work on direct sun hitting the solar panel, they need direct sun light to generate power, so ensure you are testing on a good sunny day without any shading on the panel.

            Shading of just a small part of the panel has a large affect on its output.

            Winter or cloudy days only allow a small amount of sun light to reach the panel so you will see far less power in these conditions.

            • Check panel with multimeter

              To check your panel with a multimeter please use the guide above under "How do I test my Solar Panel"

            • I am getting less power from my panels than before
              • Batteries might be full

                Often people think they are no longer getting power from their panels when the batteries are full.  Power is only pulled from solar panels when it is required, if the batteries are full the controller will not be pulling power from the panels. 

                Charge controllers have staged charging cycles for a set number of hours, so you might see lots of power from the panels in the morning and then they reach a 2hr float charge and then don't give out more power.  This is totally normal and how it is designed to work.

                • Panels may have some shading, or might be dirty

                  Solar works directly from the amount of sun that reaches the panel.  If you are getting less power check to see if the panel is dirty. 

                  Dirty - Panels that are laid flat don't get cleaned properly by the rain like panels on an angle so if you have flat panels you should clean them every now and again to ensure best performance.  

                  Shaded - If you are on a boat or van make sure you have parked so that the panels are not shaded.  Shading on only a small part of 1 panel will affect the whole solar array so even if you have just 1 cell shaded that will affect all of your panels efficiency.

                • My solar panels are draining my batteries
                  • Have stopped working
                    • Why did they arrive without packaging
                      • I have another problem with my Solar Panel
                    • Batteries
                      • Battery Maintenance Guide

                        It is a good idea to read our Battery Maintenance Guide here

                        • Batteries are low or not holding power
                          • Likely to need an Equalisation Charge
                            • Might not ever reach a full charge
                              • Batteries are old
                                • Large bank - Might be a problem with an individual cell or battery
                                  • Low NiFE Batteries
                                  • Something is draining my power
                                    • I have another problem with my batteries
                                  • Inverter
                                    • Has stopped working
                                      • First - Check both AC and DC Breakers and fuses

                                        Check the breakers and fuses on the DC side from the batteries to the inverter.

                                        Check any breakers and fuses on the AC side, including the fuse inside the AC plug that is connected to the inverter if it has a 3 pin plug plugged into the inverter.

                                        Some smaller inverters have fuses on the inverter as well, double check to see if your's has one and check if it has blown or not.

                                        • Second - Reboot the inverter

                                          Reboot the inverter to see if that corrects the problem you have.

                                          1. Disconnect the Battery from the inverter (If you have breakers turn the inverter breaker off, otherwise physically disconnect the wire)
                                          2. Wait for around 1 minute.
                                          3. Reconnect the battery

                                          Most of the time this will fix your problem.  If it doesn't then please continue with the next questions below to help.

                                          • Third - Check battery voltage

                                            Inverters are set to cut out with low battery voltage in order to protect your batteries from over discharge.  If your batteries are low the inverter will cut out.  If you are trying to draw a large current this will make your battery voltage drop and it may drop below the cut off point so the inverter cuts out. 

                                            With larger Outback and Victron inverters you can program the cut out point to be suitable for your system. 

                                            For smaller inverters this is usually set around 11V-12V or 22V-24V mark, check the specs for your model to see what it is set to.

                                            • None of the above have solved my problem
                                              • Outback
                                              • Victron
                                              • EPever or Other Inverter
                                          • Is Cutting Out
                                            • I have another problem with my inverter
                                          • Solar Charge Controller
                                            • Has stopped working
                                              • First - Check DC Breakers and fuses

                                                Check the breakers or fuses on the DC side between the batteries and the charge controller. 

                                                Also if you have breakers or fuses between the solar panels and the charge controller check these as well.

                                                • Second - Reboot the controller

                                                  The First thing to do is to reboot the controller to see if that corrects the problem you have.

                                                  1. Disconnect the Solar from the controller (If you have breakers turn the solar breaker off, otherwise physically disconnect the wire)
                                                  2. Disconnect the Battery from the controller (If you have breakers turn the charge controller breaker off, otherwise physically disconnect the wire)
                                                  3. Wait for around 1 minute.
                                                  4. Reconnect the battery
                                                  5. Reconnect the solar

                                                  Most of the time this will fix your problem.  If it doesn't then please use the other questions below to help.

                                                  • Third - Check all cables and connectors

                                                    Check all the cables and connectors to ensure that there has not been a problem with them. Cables can have rodent damage or chafe and become warn, and connectors can get corroded or have water damage.

                                                    1. Use a multi-meter to check you are receiving voltage from the panel at the controller.
                                                      • If you are not receiving voltage then there is a problem with the cables or connectors
                                                      • If you are receiving voltage there may still be a problem with a cable or connector being warn or corroded so the controller is unable to pull the power down the cable correctly.
                                                    2. Check through your system to check for any damage to cables and connectors.
                                                    3. Disconnect MC4 connectors and check for any dirt or corrosion inside the connector

                                                     

                                                    • None of the above have solved my problem
                                                      • Outback
                                                        • Try doing a Factory Reset
                                                          • I have tried re-booting and factory reset and it still doesn't work
                                                        • Tracer
                                                          • I have tried re-booting and checked the cables and it still doesn't work
                                                        • PWM
                                                          • I have tried re-booting and checked the cables and it still doesn't work
                                                    • My Power Percentage State of Charge on my Tracer MTTP drops after sunset
                                                      • I have voltage from the Solar Panel but it is not charging
                                                        • Batteries might be full

                                                          Often people think they are no longer getting power from their panels when the batteries are full.  Power is only pulled from solar panels when it is required, if the batteries are full the controller will not be pulling power from the panels as the batteries are full.  Charge controllers have staged charging cycles for a set number of hours, so you might see you get lots of power from the panels in the morning and then they reach a 2hr float charge and then don't give out more power.  This is totally normal and how it is designed to work.

                                                          • Voltage might not be enough

                                                            The charge controller requires a higher voltage on the Solar Panel (PV) side than the voltage it is trying to charge at.  If the voltage is too low from the PV it will not be able to charge.

                                                            EG: on a 24V system you have 24.2V reading from the PV, but this is under the 28.8V which the controller will be wanting to charge at.  Also once current is drawn from this the voltage will drop.  You would want to be seeing at least 32V on the PV side of a 24V system.

                                                            MPPT controllers can take strings of usually 100V - 150V (check the specs of your controller).  This means you can run 2-3 panels in series on most systems which will bring the voltage up for the controller.

                                                            If you have a long cable run from the panels to the controller you may be getting a lot of volt drop across the cable and losing power.

                                                          • I have another problem with my charge controller
                                                        • I have problem with other equipment from you
                                                        • Manufactures Manuals and software downloads