Author Topic: Brand New Topaz - question  (Read 1143 times)

Offline Linda

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Brand New Topaz - question
« on: March 18, 2018, 12:21:17 AM »
Hi all, I recently took delivery of 2018 Topaz Eyre. Having some teething problems as I am a rotal newbie to this world of RV's.
Can anyone tell me where the solar regulator is located?
Do I have to turn it on for the solar panels to charge the battery, as despite sun for a good few hours today the batteries are not being charged?
Also what are two little green lights that are continually flashing in the electrical panel near to radio and Victron Batter Monitor?
Thanks in advance for any information.

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 10:39:36 AM »
On my 2015 Topaz Savannah, the solar controller is the Redarc BCDC 1240 charger that can be found in the battery compartment.  It regulates the solar panel on the roof and any solar plugged into the anderson plug on the drivers side next to where the 240V lead is plugged in.  Alternator power from the car, that goes through the anderson plug on the back of the car/front of the Topaz also goes through the Redarc.  If your solar goes through the Redarc, then you must bipass the controller on any solar panels that you plug into the solar anderson plug as you cannot have a controller plugging in to another controller - it simply won't work.

I have one green light that indicates that the Redarc is charging the batteries, whether that be from the alternator or solar.  It is fairly bright and sits below the Vitron, gas heater controller, Hot Water system controls, next to the 2 merit plugs on the tower next to the wardrobe.  When there is no solar or alternator power going through the Redarc, then the light is out, although I have noticed that in the dark and at the right angle, that light appears to be very dimly flashing.

Cheers

Harry
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 03:58:40 PM »
Oh Harry, thanks for the reply. I had wondered about the Redarc BCDC1240 charger. And yes I have one green light not two.
So I can assume that when the green light is on the solar is working.
If that is so, why does my Vitron Battery Monitor show only negative current when for example the lights are on, but 0 when everything is switched off. Shouldn't there be a positive current reading if the solar is working?
Should the solar Led on the Redarc BCDC be on. Only the charge profile A led is on?
Thanks again in advance

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 09:36:55 PM »
My understanding is if the green light is on, then the batteries are charging, either via the alternator of the car or rooftop/portable solar panels.  If the vitron current is negative, then more current is going out compared to power going in from the solar (if the green light is on). If the batteries are 100% charged, then there will not be a positive solar charge going in.  When the charger gets to steady state and batteries are fully charged, and the solar is working, then when you put a load on the batteries, the charger will just correct it and the current will still be around 0. 

Also check that power is not being used eg fridges are off, and the INVERTER IS TURNED OFF!

If you want to check the solar, let the batteries run down to about 85% by running fridges overnight, then turn them off and then see how the solar charges the batteries  as seen on the vitron and then see how the solar is working to recharge the batteries.  The current should be around 5 - 10 amps at least initially.  That will diminish as the batteries charging level  increases. Naturally you can't have the 240V charger on as you are doing all this!

It's hard to help when I'm not there to see for myself.

H
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2018, 10:05:39 PM »
No Harry you didn't need to be here as you have been super helpful without being here. I will do as you say and report back. Thanks so much for your help.

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 01:51:42 PM »
So I have done as you suggested Harry. The battery monitor showed 81.6% in the morning. I turned everything off. Sun was out most of the day. In the evening the battery monitor still showed 81.6%. The solar led on the bcdc charger is not on. The green led near the battery monitor is flashing constantly. I have now had contact with Track Trailer service department and they have advised that the connection between the solar panel and the bcdc charger may not be connected. This connection is apparently located behind the speaker. When I get back home (currently in Perth at the Caravan and Camping show) I will check the connection and report back.

Offline Auscgu

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 02:38:46 PM »
Linda
Have you read the manual as the 1240 bcdc are normally wired with a solenoid
The solenoid is to stop solar input if your charging with the vehicle or power
I was going to install one in my Topaz and discussed the wiring with the auto electrician
Plan was to wire the solenoid to the Anderson plug so when connected to the vehicle the solar is locked out
As soon as you disconnect the plug then the solenoid would swap to solar input
The question is how has Track Trailer wired your solenoid for the solar input
Do you have a solar switch which needs setting to allow the solar input

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 03:34:03 PM »
Linda, during the test , was the car unplugged from the Topaz ie the anderson plug - car to topaz?

When the car is connected and the engine running, do the batteries charge?

Harry
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 05:40:08 PM »
Hi Harry, I don't have a connection to the trailer from the car yet...only the 7 pin for lights etc.

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 05:49:04 PM »
Hi Auscgu,
I have read the manual and as it's been fitted by Track Trailer I assumed it would work as per the manual. My understanding is that if I have the car connected via the Anderson plug (I  don't yet have an Anderson plug connection in my car) the solar will always charge the battery before the car would charge the battery.  That's how I read it.

Offline Auscgu

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 08:27:03 PM »
Linda can you copy the manual where it explains the BCDC operation and post it up. The BCDC system was developed for under bonnet installs. When you turn the ignition key you power the solenoid and the solar is isolated so engine only charge. As soon as you turn off the ignition then the solenoid is deactivated and solar charging starts again. Now converting to the Topaz the solenoid system needs to be powered and control the Topaz solar or vehicle charging. This is the bit that needs to be worked out how Track Trailer has wired the solenoid and any instructions on how to control solar over Anderson plug. You will not see solar input until the solenoid is switched over. Where is your solar panels installed. Do you have them remote or roof mounted. Do you have a Redarc battery management system installed or solar controller. Take some pictures so we can see what your seeing will help a lot.

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 10:24:59 PM »
Auscgu,

I suppose that, if there is no car charging happening, then the BCDC ignition  wire should not be connected to anything. Linda could check that, although it could be difficult getting to the BCDC in the battery compartment.

Also Linda, do you have an anderson plug on the side of the Topaz next to where the 240V power is plugged into the side of the Topaz.  If you have, perhaps you could plug a solar panel into that (make sure that the solar panel has it's own controller bipassed) and see if the characteristics of the green charging light near the vitron changes characteristics and also that the battery/s are being charged which can be seen by the vitron battery charge % going up or a + (positive) watts or amps on the vitron.  This may tell you if the rooftop solar panel and connection is faulty or the BCDC or its connections to the battery are faulty.  I wonder whether the rooftop solar panel may have its own controller connected (which it must not if it is connected to the BCDC) and the flashing green charge light is in fact the solar panel continually trying to connect to the BCDC and failing.

Harry
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline weonatvan

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 08:56:40 AM »
Linda can you copy the manual where it explains the BCDC operation and post it up. The BCDC system was developed for under bonnet installs. When you turn the ignition key you power the solenoid and the solar is isolated so engine only charge. As soon as you turn off the ignition then the solenoid is deactivated and solar charging starts again. Now converting to the Topaz the solenoid system needs to be powered and control the Topaz solar or vehicle charging. This is the bit that needs to be worked out how Track Trailer has wired the solenoid and any instructions on how to control solar over Anderson plug. You will not see solar input until the solenoid is switched over. Where is your solar panels installed. Do you have them remote or roof mounted. Do you have a Redarc battery management system installed or solar controller. Take some pictures so we can see what your seeing will help a lot.


To simplify people’s understanding and terminology I think you may find that you are referring to a ‘change-over relay’ and not a solenoid.





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Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 02:56:54 PM »
Linda,

Have you looked at the Redarc BCDC 1240 manual.  There is a page there that tells you about errors both on the green indicator near the Vitron and on the Redarc unit which in my 2015 Topaz is above the batteries in the battery compartment.  The characteristics of the flashing may help pinpoint for problem.
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Linda

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Re: Brand New Topaz - question
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2018, 12:46:56 AM »
Hello all you helpful people. To summarise: I have a Redarc BCDC1240D Dual Input Multi Stage in-vehicle battery charger (can't attach manual ...too large but available on redarc site) fitted to my brand new 2018 Track Trailer Topaz delivered 12 days ago.
I have fully charged my two Fullriver batteries by connecting to my home power using an Ampfibian 15A to 10A converter and power cable.
Day 1 Battery at 100% charge. Green Led near Vitron flashing constantly every 1.5 secs...on off on off etc. Charge profile light A on Bcdc charger flashing continually. No other LEDs on. Fridge on to partly deplete battery after disconnecting 240v power.
Day 2 Battery on 81.6% charge. Turned fridge off. No other power being drawn. Sunny day. End of day battery is at 81.6% charge. Therefore no solar charge all day. Green led still flashing continually and Charge Profile led A flashing continually.
As advised by Graham Berry of Track Trailer Service dept. I checked the connection behind speaker. All looks good to me.
Any clues?
Harry, my manual is different to yours ... mine doesn't have a 1.7 section....mine is a Bcdc1240D.