How to troubleshoot Portable Solar Kits
Controller Not Powering On
The solar controller requires power from the battery in order for it to operate (9-14.9 volts) . The first step in troubleshooting any solar controller is to determine if you have 12 volts to the controller. This is done by measuring the input from the battery on the back of the controller. If the battery voltage is below 9 volts it will not power the controller. Check the inline fuse between the battery and the controller and your battery and terminal block connections on the controller.
If the controller is in an error state first try a soft reset. (Only on 4 button units) This is done by holding down all 4 buttons on the front of the controller for 15 seconds. If this does not work a hard reset is required. Remove all 4 wires from the back of the controller for 15-20 minutes, then reconnect the wires. Battery first then solar panel. Determine if this clears the error state.
If the solar controller is not receiving 12 volts, try to trace the voltage back to the battery with a multi-meter and determine where the issue lies. Test for a dead battery, and any connection points to identify a loose connection.
Moon Symbol on Controller
If the voltage going into the solar controller drops below 12 volts from the panel, the moon symbol should be showing on the solar controller. This means the panels are not putting forward a high enough voltage and current to charge the batteries. This identifies two possible issues: lack of sun, or a connection or short issue within the junction box.
Junction Box Short
Check and tighten the connections of the solar controller. Lift the cover off the junction box and measure across the diode. Make sure there is not a short between the positive and negative wires of the junction box. Use a conductivity measurement to check this.
Cover Not in Place
If power is getting to the controller from the battery and the panels then there may be an issue with the controller. Make sure the cover on the controller is in place. Use thumb and forefinger to push it into place. You can usually tell if it is not if the cover looks crooked from the side.
If all else fails, the solar controller will need a Hard Reset. To do this, remove all wires for 15-20 minute interval, then re-connect them. If this does not resolve your issues, then the controller will need to be replaced. Contact our Tech Support team to obtain an RMA number.