question

Tom56 avatar image

No load output

I tried to search but I am unable to find out how to turn the load output of my smartsolar 100/20 mppt back on. Resetting with the victronconnect app does not do it. Smartsolar has the jumper removed.

Twice today the load output switched off. First time when connecting a 12v pc adapter/charger to the load output. It came back on after i disconnected the adapter, set the load output to off, then back to batterylife.

Second time when I connected a Lipo rc charger to the load output. The charger was in idle mode, not connected to anything. I disconnected it, tried the same procedure as above (+"allways on"), and even reset the smartsolar with the app. I still have no load output.

The smartsolar is hardwired to two lifepo4 100ah battries and two solarpanels (in parallell). The installation is in a cabin with quite long cable stretch, previously powered by 3 AGM batteries and a PWM regulator with no such (but other) problems.

Any ideas?

Smartsolar firmware is v1.39



smart solar set-up help
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10 Answers
DubaiSolarRookie avatar image
DubaiSolarRookie answered ·

Team.

I managed to sort these issues out with a simple 12V 10A relay. Just connect the relay coil to the load terminals and the charge controller will turn the relay on and off which turn the load on and off. The relay puts a low load on the controller and it’s doesnt go to off state. I will post a video very soon on this forum so I can break it down


Where to buy a relay ?


Just go to any automobile shop and ask for a 12V relay. Bosch makes some good relays. Don’t buy a large one as it will draw a large current. Buy something that can handle 10Amps.

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Great thank you, I still struggle with my SmartSolar 100/20. Looking forward to the video, dont know how to connect a relay. A 12V 10A relay, what happens if load is above 10A?

Hard to find smaller quality relays, they all seem to be 20-30A or bigger. Prefer one with low self consumption, if that is possible.

How about this one?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-Coil-Power-Relay-DPDT-LY2NJ-HH62P-L-JQX-13F-10A-With-PTF08A-Socket-B-M7T3/133138567030

Mathijs avatar image
Mathijs answered ·

hi there @Tom56, I have the exact same problem. Load is in state on when nothing is connected, but as soon as I connect something, eg an inverter, the load output switches to state Off.

This looks like a real issue with the SmartSolar MPPT controller. It drives me nuts. I have everything ready to use but can't use the load.


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Very similar to an issue I posted about this morning. Obviously the load output is limit to 20a (on my unit at least) but I’ve had trouble connecting a laptop charger that’s 10A max.

Sounds like some parameters need to be aligned.

Even connecting devices with far lower output ratings than 20 A causes the SmartSolar 100/20 MPPT load output to diconnect or not connect at all. To be able to activate the load output of my SmartSolar I have to first walk around the cabin to disconnect all small devices, then turn the load output on, then reconnect the devices one by one.

I do not know a lot about electronics, but it seems even connecting small devices with onboard capacitors causes the SmartSolar to think there is short circuit situation. Capacitors stores charge an instant, and the SmartSolar may falsely interpret them as a short circuit situation.

I wish Victron would comment on our SmartSolar load output issues, or if Victron allready has, someone please link to it here.

Tom56 avatar image
Tom56 answered ·

I tried to connect my new Pioneer car stereo to the load output of my SmartSolar 100/20 MPPT, but it does not accept it. The load output stays in "Off" position as long as the car stereo is connected. Also, the SmartSolar does not accept my 12v->230v PC power inverter.

Did anybody try to connect a Pioneer car stereo to the load output of one of the smaller SmartSolar units? Is it supposed to work?

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I have the same issue when connecting an inverter. See also my other reply. This is not normal.

Tom56 avatar image
Tom56 answered ·

I tried rebooting the smartsolar by removing battery and solar panel cables. I let it sit for four hours and reconnected the cables, batt first. There is still no load output. I also tried removing and reinserting the fuse.

The smartsolar was powering up two of these devices connected in parallell when the load output broke down. They were idle/not connected to anything. I have been using them with my old PWM regulator for 10 years, with no troubles:

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-accucell-6-50w-6a-balancer-charger-lihv-capable.html?___store=en_us


Is my smartsolar shorted and permanently damaged?



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I have the exact same issue, also after rebooting this way.

Tom56 avatar image
Tom56 answered ·

The problem was solved by connecting the chargers to a soft start DC motor controller from eBay, that connects to the smart solar mppt.


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Matt_Lesak answered ·

I have the SmartSolar 75/15 and experiencing the same issue. One of my loads has a capacitor and the controller thinks it's a short when powering on. Luckily, I have each load connected to Blue Sea fuse block, so I pull the fuse with that load, power cycle, and it comes on. I can then add the fuse back and all is well. This needs to be address by Victron. I'm not adding a relay and my cheap PWM controller never had this issue.

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Tom56 avatar image
Tom56 answered ·

The load output of the SmartSolar MPPTs is so sensitive to possible shorts, that many devices can not be run directly from it: I am using the SmartSolar 100/20 with the load output port in a simple cabin setup. I can not connect my Pioneer car stereo, 12v car vacuum cleaner, 12v->230v inverter (unloaded), lipo chargers (unloaded), 12v->20v PC boost converter (unloaded) directly to it. The same goes for quite a few refrigerators I have read.

Generally, it seems the SmartSolar is not happy about devices with onboard capasitors, requiring an instant initial charge. They are misinterpreted as a short.

One solution is to stop using the load output by taking all loads directly from the battery, bypassing the logic that to many was the reason for buying the SmartSolar in the first place.

Another soluting is the workaround mentioned by ray_pridham@bigpond.com here:
https://community.victronenergy.com/comments/23445/view.html

I also found out that I am able to connect and use a few of the above mentioned devices by adding a few extra meters of cable in front of the device. An inferior solution, but it works. E.g the vacuum cleaner will run efficiently from the Smartsolar load output with 7 meters (and possibly less) of 0,75mm2 cable in front of it.


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westen avatar image
westen answered ·

I'm by no means an expert but I have had some experience with 100/20 load-output problems. Best is to only use small loads on the output. Led-lights are fine for instance. Any other loads, generating (temporaraly) high currents should be connected directly to the battery.

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Tom56 avatar image
Tom56 answered ·

Thanks for the answer. I will try rebooting. This is surprising to me. I was not aware that some loads are not compatible with the Smartsolar. Is this a permanent situation, or may there be a firmware fix?

Unfortunately, it is not an option to pull another cable all the way through the cabin. So I may have to abandon the Smartsolar and get another kind of device. That is too bad, I like the app and this forum.

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why would you have to pull another cable? you can use the cable now connected to the load output?

How do I do that? Today I have a 16mm2 cable connected to the load output, feeding a hub at the centre of the cabin, from where 10mm2 cables spread out to each room in a "star" fashion. Then smaller cables.

I still have no load output from my smartsolar and wonder if something can be done to activate it. Or if it is bricked.


Essentially, it means taking the LOAD terminal output wires and 'doubling' them into the BATT terminals. Wire of that size likely won't fit 2x, so fabricate something that will, or come straight from the batts or a dc bus.

Your unit may be faulty, so try returning it. But even a new one, at the first sign of trouble, come from the batts. Note that larger Victron mppts have no LOAD terminals at all - the expectation is that something better will be wired in anyway for more than a 'camping' setup.

Does this mean that by removing the 16mm2 cable from the LOAD terminals, joining it with the battery cable connected to the BATT terminal, I can continue using this faulty unit like I would the bigger units (no longer being able to read the current consumption from the app) ?

Yes, if the 'perceived' fault doesn't extend to charging functionality.

Sorry, I wasn't considering your app use. My ancient history includes cheap Chinee pwm's with load terminals that lied about A. Like by a 2x or more factor.

JohnC avatar image
JohnC answered ·

Hi Tom. You could try 'rebooting' it by powering it down from both batt & pv sides. Leave for a good while and reconnect batts first.

That said, the load terminals don't suit some loads, and I suggest you take those straight off the batts, especially with distance involved. Add a relay if you need to retain the protection functionality.



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