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How to Interpret Readings on Controller for 90 Watt Go Power Portable Solar System

Question:

The User Manual that came with the Go Power 90 watt portable solar panel kit which I bought from Etrailer.com in early October doesnt give any information about using or interpreting the readings of the solar controller. I think their user manual is pretty much useless. The etrailer.com video also does not explain how to interpret or use the solar controller, either. How do I select the type of battery to be charged? What do the four screens mean: one shows Amps, one shows Amp Hours, one shows I assume of how charged the battery is, and one shows Volts. What do these mean to me and how do I use them to know the condition of my battery? I am not an electrician and would like some explanation of what the screens are telling me. Without knowing what these mean, how do I even know if the solar panels are working correctly? Please explain these to me. Thank you.

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

Thank you for your purchase of the Go Power Portable Solar System # 34282729 and all of the details in your question!

To choose what type of battery your solar kit is geared towards charging you need to plug in your solar panel and then press and hold the B button until the current battery type starts to flash (at the bottom of the screen). You can then press B to cycle through the various options and then press and hold the A button for 3 seconds to confirm which profile your battery has.

The different screens you are seeing have to do with how many volts your battery has, how many amps the solar panel kit is able to supply to the battery bank, the state of charge (or how full your battery bank is), and then how many amp hours charged since the last time you reset it (by holding the A button for 6 seconds) so you can keep track of that.

I have attached some clips from the operations manual for the controller that has diagrams as well as a review video (jump to about the 3:30 mark) to help demonstrate this.

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helpful expert reply by:
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Jon G

Product Page this Question was Asked From


Follow up Questions

David

Thanks for the response to my earlier question about how to read the controller. I have a somewhat related question regarding the 'percentage charged' screen. I have 2 12 volt batteries hooked in parallel on my camper. When I hook up the 90-watt portable GoPower panel and the panel is in the full sun, the charge shows up to 100%. But if a cloud comes over the panel or trees block the sun, the charge percentage goes steadily downward. The longer I leave it hooked up to the solar panel, the charge goes lower. I have no active load on the batteries in the camper such as lights or whatever. Are the solar panels depleting the charge in the batteries? Thank you.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Hmm they shouldn't be. Are you sure you don't have something running like a fridge or something you aren't thinking of? The solar panels will charge less if there is something in the way of direct sunlight but they shouldn't be pulling power from your batteries. I'd recheck the installation and keep an eye out for any wiring that is damaged which could also be the culprit.

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