Low solar panel yield

Houdini

Forum Member
Hi

I have recently installed 2 x 170 eco worthy solar panels on my camper van. I’m using a victron 100/30 smart controller but I’m not sure if the panels are working properly as they are generating between 50w and 100w of yield per day . Is this normal or should 2 x 170 w panels be producing a lot more ?

Attached is a photo of the readings I am getting

thanks for your help in advance 👍
 

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st3v3

Forum Member
Solar is rubbish in the winter, depending on where you are.

I take it the panels are fitted flat? Tilting makes a decent difference...
 

Nabsim

Forum Member
I am wandering around the highlands and you are harvesting more than me, I am averaging 40 to 60W a day off 300W flat on the roof.
 

Squiffy

Forum Member
I could be wrong but I think you'll find that as the battery gets to full charge the Victron will decrease the wattage going to the battery, so if the battery decreases in voltage the panels will supply extra wattage up to the max available due to the amount of solar available ofcourse. I have noticed that if my battery is at full charge the wattage is quite low but if I then turn on say the TV and radio + other 12volt appliances the panel wattage will immediately jump up. I noticed in your photo that you don't seem to be using your battery as its constantly at full charge and so therfore the panels via the Victron have no reason to supply the maximum wattage available. During the winter with low sun light they will struggle in any case to produce enough wattage to charge your battery if your using it to supply everyday 12 volt appliances. Phil.
 

Houdini

Forum Member
I am wandering around the highlands and you are harvesting more than me, I am averaging 40 to 60W a day off 300W flat on the roof.

I could be wrong but I think you'll find that as the battery gets to full charge the Victron will decrease the wattage going to the battery, so if the battery decreases in voltage the panels will supply extra wattage up to the max available due to the amount of solar available ofcourse. I have noticed that if my battery is at full charge the wattage is quite low but if I then turn on say the TV and radio + other 12volt appliances the panel wattage will immediately jump up. I noticed in your photo that you don't seem to be using your battery as it’s constantly at full charge and so therfore the panels via the Victron have no reason to supply the maximum wattage available. During the winter with low sun light they will struggle in any case to produce enough wattage to charge your battery if your using it to supply everyday 12 volt appliances. Phil.
I did think my batteries were fully charged but one thing that confused me is that the controller doesn’t switch to float and stays on bulk charge . I thought if batteries were fully charged it would switch to float or is that wrong ?
 

Squiffy

Forum Member
I did think my batteries were fully charged but one thing that confused me is that the controller doesn’t switch to float and stays on bulk charge . I thought if batteries were fully charged it would switch to float or is that wrong ?
Yes your not wrong on that one Houdini, I have no idea why it has not gone to float maybe as your batteries are showing full charge you should wait till the sun starts shining in spring to see if that changes. Phil

P.s. I suppose you have set the voltages correctly in the Victrone app ?
 

Houdini

Forum Member
I could be wrong but I think you'll find that as the battery gets to full charge the Victron will decrease the wattage going to the battery, so if the battery decreases in voltage the panels will supply extra wattage up to the max available due to the amount of solar available ofcourse. I have noticed that if my battery is at full charge the wattage is quite low but if I then turn on say the TV and radio + other 12volt appliances the panel wattage will immediately jump up. I noticed in your photo that you don't seem to be using your battery as its constantly at full charge and so therfore the panels via the Victron have no reason to supply the maximum wattage available. During the winter with low sun light they will struggle in any case to produce enough wattage to charge your battery if your using it to supply everyday 12 volt appliances. Phil.

Yes your not wrong on that one Houdini, I have no idea why it has not gone to float maybe as your batteries are showing full charge you should wait till the sun starts shining in spring to see if that changes. Phil

P.s. I suppose you have set the voltages correctly in the Victrone app ?
Well hopefully I have done it right . I have 2 Hancock 110mah batteries . These are the settings i currently have :
 

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Squiffy

Forum Member
Well hopefully I have done it right . I have 2 Hancock 110mah batteries . These are the settings i currently have :
Ahh I notice the float voltage is set at 13.8 volts and on your initial post it shows that the voltage has never reached the float voltage set in your app. Try setting the float voltage down to 13.6 volts over the summer months but initially during winter set it at 13.5 or 13.3 just to make sure that the app does actually go into float and put your mind at rest you can always increase it later. Try playing around with the figures 😁. Phil
 

Houdini

Forum Member
Ahh I notice the float voltage is set at 13.8 volts and on your initial post it shows that the voltage has never reached the float voltage set in your app. Try setting the float voltage down to 13.6 volts over the summer months but initially during winter set it at 13.5 or 13.3 just to make sure that the app does actually go into float and put your mind at rest you can always increase it later. Try playing around with the figures 😁. Phil
Will do, thanks for your help Phil
 

Millie Master

Forum Member
My charge rate is nigh on useless at the moment as the entire panel is covered with green sludge!

But there is no way I am going up onto the roof in -8C wind chill temperatures.
 

trevskoda

Forum Member
Im getting a full and float charge with 2 flat 100w panels into 3 90 ah l acids, it has been very bright the last few days mind you, im north of Belfast.
 

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