Sunday, November 1—Checking the MPPT Charge Controller

I was just a wee bit discouraged after yesterday’s (Saturday, October 31) attempt to check out the Briefcase Solar Generator (BSG) minus built-in batteries and combination cigarette lighter socket, dual USB ports socket, voltmeter, and on/off switch panel; in addition, there was major concern as to whether or not MPPT Charge Controller had been “fried” in yesterday’s attempt to charge the Rockpal 250 Portable Solar Generator. Consequently, this morning Anderson connectors were installed on a 5-foot section of twin wires (+ and -), and everything was loaded into the old Honda and driven to the RV storage garage. There, I measured the positive and negative terminals for lug size, and installed lugs on the positive and negative wires. An excellent crimp was made on the wires using an inexpensive combination crimping and stripping tool. And yes, I did remember to put heat shrink tubing on before installing the lugs!

Adding battery lugs to cables

And then, the battery terminal nuts were loosened; of course, one of the hex nuts fell between the batteries and one battery had to be removed to retrieve it. The connecting cables with lugs were installed; the negative wire easily connected to the briefcase via Anderson connector, but the positive refused to cooperate. After much cajoling, it finally connected but the Epever MPPT controller did not work. I tried several times with no luck. It must have been fried in yesterday’s folly. 

Readying the battery terminals for connection to the charge controller

So, it was back home and possibly back to square one with the BSG. First, I wanted to try it on the old Honda to see if I had done something wrong in connecting it. However, the Anderson connector contact separated from the housing on the positive cable (poor job of installing). It was reinstalled, correctly this time, and the positive and negative cables were bolted onto the Honda battery terminals, after which the cables were plugged into the briefcase, much easier this time connecting the positive side of the Anderson connectors. THE MPPT CONTROLLER WORKED; it was NOT fried in yesterday’s experiment!

The next text was to determine if a solar panel would connect and operate. The 30-foot cables were connected to the solar panel via MC4 connectors and to the briefcase via Anderson connectors. EVERYTHING WORKED!

Battery in car was connected to MPPT charger controller, and then solar panel was connected to charge controller
It worked, but the components in the briefcase were yet to be permanently mounted
Solar panel delivering 19 volts through charge controller
Battery bank was charging from solar panel via charge controller

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