Solar Charge Controller Woes ….. Disconnect Needed

November 29, 2016 Trailer Mods / Repairs

Funny thing happened the other day.  I was doing some electrical work and popped a GFCI plug.  Didn’t think too much about it, went on about my businness and finished the work.  A couple days later I went into the trailer and …. no lights.  Since I don’t plug in, ever …. this only meant one thing, dead battery.  As I looked into the reasons for a dead battery, I discovered that the Solar Charge controller was no longer functioning.  I have ordered a new one, and it is on its way.  I really need to design in a fail safe that disconnects the solar controller when we are plugged in to 110 at a campground.  It sort of makes sense that there could be a spike on the trailer chassis ground for a split second, if and when a GFCI pops, and if there were a spike …. it could detrimentally effect sensitive electronics.  A possible fix is a surge suppressor on the 12V Charge controller line, or a contactor that disconnects the solar whenever we are using 110V ….. I will be doing more testing and evaluating in the next few days to determine the best course of action.

We are heading out on the road in just a couple weeks, I’ll do something with this problem before we do leave.  This post will be updated in the next few days as I decide what to do and get it done.

2016/12/6 – Received a shipment of new Solar Charge Controller. Everything is working as it should be. Still considering exactly how to create, install the disconnect. I use a fairly inexpensive Charge controller from Eco-Worthy, and it is far less than other similar charge controllers, still …. if I can prevent loss and having to spend 100 dollars every time the GFCI is triggered, why not do that. Still thinking through everything. Answer, soon.