TROUBLESHOOTING

  1. TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR SYSTEM

If the pump stops working, and the trough is not full, put a boost on the system from a running vehicle. This is done by finding 12V in your battery bank and connecting jumper cables from this to your truck battery.

  • This is the easiest way to get the system to run if your batteries are low. The pump should start and run until the trough is full.
  • If the system starts rite away, then you know that the system’s batteries are low.
  • A good battery is not necessarily a battery that reads 12 volts. If the batteries were discharged to the point where the pump stopped, then system will not run until the batteries are recharged up to 12.3 volts on a 12-volt battery and 24.6 for a 24V system.  It will take 4 – 6 days of good sunny weather to get the system to be 100% operational.
  • An alternative is to take the batteries and charge them for 12 to 24 hours each

Note!!!       Before troubleshooting your system with a multi-meter, check the systems fuse to make it isn’t blown or making a poor contact.

 

SETTING UP THE MULTI-METER

  1. First unpack the multi-meter and place the Black Probe in the COM (Bottom) hole.
  2. Then place the red probe in the DCV, OHMS(Ω) (Centre) Hole.
  3. To use the multi-meter to measure Voltage turn the dial to the DCV 200 position.

Important!!!  When testing for voltage on any parts of your DC system, your multi-meter dial indicator must be set on the DCV side of the meter.  If your meter reads negative, it means your probes are reversed but does not affect the reading.

  1. MEASURING THE BATTERY VOLTAGE

Before working on the battery bank, for safety, make sure to unplug the solar panels. Allow the batteries to get some air before doing anything that could create a spark around the batteries.

  1. Set the multi-meter on DCV 200 scale and place the probes onto the battery posts to which the control card is connected, the red probe should go to the + (positive) post and the black probe should go the – (negative) post. If the battery voltage is displaying a negative value, then the probes are on the wrong posts
    NOTE: Voltage is nominal only. Operating voltage for a 12 V system is between 10.5- 14 V with. Operating voltage for a 24 V system is between 21 – 28 V.
  2. On a 12V system, fully charged it should read at least 73V.
    On a 24V system, fully charged it should read at least 25.46V
  3. NOTE: Voltage always reads higher immediately after batteries have been charging, either by solar power or shop charger.  Measured an hour after charging is stopped, battery voltage may have dropped by as much as 0.5V on a 12V system or 1.0V on a 24V system
  4. Check Section 20. Troubleshooting Chart (pages 21) to determine the possible cause of low voltage
  5. To check battery condition:
  • Check the water level in the batteries and make sure it is up to the full level (water above the cells).
  • Ensure each battery is fully charged by charging it individually to its full charge which is as stated in step 2 above.
  • Load test (using a load tester) each battery
  • A battery that does not hold a charge is defective and needs to be replaced.

NOTE:  If the batteries are all more than 3-4 years, it is best to replace all the batteries in the system.  Batteries in a system will only operate to the level of the worst battery so it is best if they are all in similar condition.

D. MEASURING OUTPUT FROM SOLAR PANELS

To check open circuit Voltage

The green (PV) light on the controller should light up when the panel(s) are plugged in (assuming it is daylight).

  1. Plug your probes into the multimeter.  The red probe plugs into the V-ohm positive (+) terminal.  The black probe plugs into the COM (common ground) negative (-) terminal.
  2. Turn the meter on by setting it to DCV, 200 scale.
  3. Unplug the solar panel wire from the controller. Ensure that the solar panel is facing the sun. Insert the red probe to the terminal that holds the white (+) wire, and the black probe to the terminal that holds the black (-) wire.  (see photo below).

On a 12V panel, your output voltage        should read 18 – 25 volts.

On a 24V system, your output voltage should read 35 – 45 volts.

  1. If you don’t have the proper readings,
    • make sure your probes are in good contact with the terminals.
    • check panel wire and connector for signs of damage.

To Check Short Circuit Amperage

Should be checked on a sunny, cloudless day, at noon.

  1. Plug your probes into the multimeter. The red probe plugs into the 10A   The black probe plugs into the COM (common ground) negative (-) terminal.
  1. Turn the meter on by setting it to 10 A
  1. Unplug your panel from the controller. Insert the red probe to the terminal that holds the white (+) wire, and the black probe to the terminal that holds the black (-) wire on the solar panel connector.  The correct amperage from the panel would be determined by the amount of sunlight on the panel. The correct max Short Circuit Amperage for your panel will be posted on the back of the panel. Example. 160W panel the Short Circuit current can read up to 9.14A.
  1. If you don’t have these readings:

-make sure your probes are in good contact with the terminals.

-check panel wire and connector for signs of damage.

MEASURING LOAD VOLTAGE

  1. Unplug the pump. Set meter to DCV, 200 scale and plug the meter probes into the load (pump) connector (see picture) on the controller.  On a 12V system it should read between 5 – 13 volts.  On a 24V system it should read between 22.5 – 28 volts.
  2. If there is no voltage, check the in-line fuse to see if it blown. If it is blown replace it.
  3. If the fuse is not blown, and there is still no voltage, your batteries may be in Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD). If the Red Load light is on solid.  Then battery (or batteries) must be charged back up to 12.3 or 24.6 depending on your system voltage.
  4. If the LVD light is not activated and there is still no voltage, the relay may be defective. (Refer to next section)

    TESTING RELAY OPERATION
  1. Set your meter to DCV, 200 With the probes inserted in the pump connector, (see section above) disconnect the float switch, now take the two blue float switch connectors that are attached to the control card and connect them to each other (see at right). This will close the circuit.  You should hear the relay click and your meter should read the battery voltage.  If you disconnect the blue connectors, the meter should read 0 volts.  If it does, the relay is OK.
  1. If you connect and disconnect the blue connectors and read the battery voltage both connected and disconnected, your relay is defective.
  1. If you connect and disconnect the blue connectors and read 0 volts, your batteries may be low.

    TESTING THE MOTION EYE

  1. If the system is running continuously your motion eye is probably in manual
  1. Reset motion eye to Automatic Mode

-To reset a motion-eye, turn switch off and on once only within 2 seconds. That should eliminate the problem. It may be necessary to do this more than once.

Caution:  turning the switch off-on twice quickly (within two seconds) will put the eye into manual mode where the pump will run continuously.

TESTING THE FLOAT SWITCH

  1. Unplug your float switch from the controller.
  1. Set the Multi-Meter to the Ohm’s setting and turn it to 200. Insert the probes into the two blue connectors.
  1. If you have a pump-up float switch, follow the procedure.

-If the float switch is in the up position, the meter should read 1 (which means OFF.)

When in the down position, it should read 0. (Which means ON.)

If you get these readings, your float switch is OK.

  1. If you have a pump down float switch the readings will be opposite to the pump up.

    TESTING THE PUMP WITH POWER

  1. Unplug the pump from the control card and with jumper wires, connect it directly to the battery bank or a truck battery. On the pump connector (pump side, not control card side), the female = negative and the male = positive. (red wire = positive, black wire = negative).
  1. If the Pump does not operate, the pump has a fault. If it does operate, then the fault is somewhere else in the system.
K.   TROUBLESHOOTING CHART
Issue Possible Reason Suggested Action
PUMP DOES NOT RUN Control Card was damaged at hookup by the connection of wires to the wrong battery terminals If regulator does not light up, replace regulator on card or have it checked and/or repaired by Kelln Solar.
  Pump is not plugged in Connect pump to control card (DC system).

 

  Pump not receiving power Check pump wire connectors to ensure they are not corroded or burned from arcing and that they are clean.  Clean or replace as required.
  Float switch is not connected Ensure that the wires to the float switch are in good condition and that connections are clean and in good condition
  Float Switch stuck in lower position and pump ran continuously until system reached LVD (low voltage disconnect) l Remedy float switch problem and recharge batteries with shop or mobile charger, or solar system
  Float switch is trapped in upper position so will not activate pump Ensure full range of motion for float switch
  Fuse has blown Motor current draw has exceeded fuse capacity, caused by excessive loading on the motor.  Ensure pump impeller movement is not restricted.  Replace fuse and start pump again.  If fuse continues to blow, the pump is likely at fault
  Battery voltage is too low and LVD (low-voltage disconnect) circuit has been activated Observe Control Card.  Battery light will show red or digital voltage reading likely to be 11.5 or lower (23V in a 24V system).

Check battery voltage with multi-meter set in proper voltage range.  If voltage is low, charge batteries fully in shop and do a load test to ensure good battery capacity.

PUMP DOES NOT RUN Float switch has failed Disconnect float switch wires (bullet connectors) from control card and connect those wires on the control card to each other.  If pump operates, the fault is with the float switch.  If the pump does not operate, problem is likely not the float switch.  It is also possible to check the continuity of the float switch using the multi-meter set on Ohms. Insert one probe into each of the two float switch wires and move float switch up and down while observing multi-meter
  Control Card has failed Observe to see if indicator lights are on or not, particularly if battery indicator is in red zone.

Check the battery voltage with Multi-meter

If battery indicator or battery voltage tested, indicates the batteries have a reasonable charge (i.e. at least 12V), wire the pump directly to the battery bank (to proper voltage).  If pump runs, it indicates that control card is likely not working properly.

  Pump has failed Wire pump directly to batteries at the proper voltage, bypassing the control card. If pump runs, the pump is not the issue.  If the pump does not run, the pump has failed and should be sent in for service or replaced.
PUMPS RUNS TOO SLOWLY Pump has reached its maximum lift capacity because water source has gone down Find a lower place to put the trough so lift capacity is not exceeded.  Ensure that the pipe into the trough does not rise unnecessarily high
  Pump intake is plugged. If intake plug is plugged, clean. Ensure that pump is not operating in water that is too shallow.
  Pump is running at wrong voltage Double check the voltage your pump is supposed to be running at. Use a multimeter to make sure your batteries are at the correct voltage.
  Pump is wired backwards Reverse wires and try again.  If pump runs properly it was wired in reverse
  Pump has failed Wire the pump directly to the battery bank (to proper voltage).  If its performance is unchanged, the pump needs repair or replacement
PUMP DOES NOT STOP RUNNING Relay has failed (points are welded together) Turn off control card.  If pump does not stop, unplug pump.  Relay requires replacement.  It has likely become over-worked from the system being operated too much in LVD (low voltage disconnects).  Short-term solution is to replace relay.  Long term solution is more solar power to ensure batteries get re-charged.
BATTERY VOLTAGE IS TEMPORARILY LOW Extended cloudy period has prevented solar from adequately maintaining battery capacity Charge batteries with shop or mobile charger.
  Extended period of extreme heat has resulted in unusually large per-animal water consumption Charge batteries with shop or mobile charger.  Long term solution is to ensure more solar power.
BATTERY VOLTAGE IS ALWAYS LOW Panels are partly shaded at critical times of the day Ensure panels have good solar access from 9 am to 4 pm
  Not all solar panels are contributing to charging Inspect wires and connectors to ensure that they are intact and in good condition.  Replace if necessary.  Check voltage/ amperage of each panel in full sun.
  Solar panels are facing the wrong direction or set at an angle not suitable for season. Panels should face due south.  Ensure for summer, panels are closer to horizontal and for winter, closer to vertical.
  One or more batteries may be performing below the others, and may be defective Charge and load check individual batteries to find defective unit(s).  If batteries are newer, replace only defective battery(ies).  If batteries are 4-6 years old, consider replacing all the batteries.  New batteries will only perform as well as older ones.
  System operation is consistently exceeding capacity of the solar panels to re-charge the batteries Numbers of livestock using system may be exceeding capacity of the system. More solar capacity is required.
  Solar panels are shaded for part of the day. Ensure that the panels have good solar access from at least 9 AM to 4 PM
  Solar panels are dirty or covered with bird droppings Clean panels
  One or more solar panels has damaged or broken surface If glass in panel is broken, replace panel.  If Uni-Solar panel, repair hole or scratch, with clear silicone.

 

NOTES:

  1. Multiple-battery systems will take many hours –perhaps even days – to fully

      charge, depending on the size of the charger and number of batteries

The multi-meter which comes with Kelln Solar systems has a 9V internal battery.  When the battery is getting weak, the multi-meter can give a false high reading. Check the multi-meter against a known unit such as a truck battery which should read about 13.0V if the truck is not running and 13.5 or so if the truck is running.  If the multi-meter reads significantly higher than these amounts, replace the multi-meter’s internal 9V BAT.