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Heliotrope 45D


rangerboat
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Have noticed that the batteries are receiving 17, 18 and once up to 19 volts on the house batteries, when I'm not connected to shore power. I've disconnected the leads from the Heliotrope as I am thinking the solar controller on the Heliotrope has gone bad. The house batteries are alone now without external charge. I have connected to shore power and they are reading 13.6v and holding. I did not disconnect the starting batteries and they are appearing OK when still plugged in and they were holding around 12.6-12.8v when on the Heliotrope. Is it possible that one side (the house side) of the Heliotrope has gone bad. If so, is there a repair possible or, is there are reasonably priced replacement for the Heliotrope? Help!

Malcolm & Barbara, 2004 Monaco Dynasty; currently in Waynesville, NV

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If I remember correctly the output is adjustable. Download the manual and see if it will adjust before giving up on it. I talked with someone who was involved with designing them and by all accounts they are pretty reliable.

The original setup wasn't meant to do anything beyond a trickle charge. Conductors were to small, too long and only a 100 watt panel.

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Just do a Google search using  Helotrope 45d Solar Charge Controller Manual, thats how I found it. If you can't find it, I'm pretty sure the adjustment potentiometers are labeled. If these fail I can't see them failing in a overcharge state, they usually have no output.

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I wanted more solar on my roof…. I had already added 800w and another solar charge controller and wires and wanted more.

So I pulled off the old panel (it was 85w if I remember correctly) and put on two 210w panels wired in series, I pulled the Helitrope and put in a Victron mppt 100/30 smart solar charge controller. I just reused all the same wires(disconnected the one going to the chassis battery). Easy change.  
 

To cover the hole where I removed the old panel, I got a piece of plexiglass- painted the back with black spay paint and put it over the hole. 
 

On my rig, the old wires were very large 8ga, so they will handle the 30amps of charging very well. 
 

Just an idea if you decide to replace the Helitrope and up your solar.

(1220w of solar is very nice for boondocking).

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I left the old Heliotrope controller above fridge in place and have it to charge chassis batteries only. It does good job at that. The old panel was relocated to have more space for 4 or eventually more new house panels. Connected the existing 8Ga house charging wires with a disconnect swich to new panels and use them to get high PV voltage down to a Victron 150/70 controller located next to inverter. Works great. The old controller has dip switches to adjust voltage.

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  • 1 month later...

Rangerboat, just curious if you have made any progress on your controller?

 We’re back out in the coach for a week and yesterday I was showing 21 volts on the Aladdin screen, just wondering if I should disconnect my controller till we get home?

 

 Thanks in advance.

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I disconnected the feed into the heliotrope and it remains that way. Couldn’t find anyone that really understands the system. That disconnect is only for the house batteries. The starting batteries have always appeared okay. That’s the weird part. When we get home I’m going to take the unit out and put it on the bench for a real close look. please keep me posted on your situation. 
 

 

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So you disconnected the feed from the solar panel into the controller, is that correct?

 

 I’m assuming that I’ll, have to cover the feed line because there’s energy coming from the panel?

Edited by Jdw12345
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So I changed the dip switch settings,

number

1 off

2 on

3 on

4 on

i have AGM house batteries which doesn’t see correct according to the manual, but it was the way the previous owner had it set, when I read the manual that was posted above I set the dip switch’s according the the manual, so I switched the switch’s back the the previous owners settings, the batteries are 8 years old so I can only assume that the settings will work. My voltage did drop down to 14.5 so I’m guessing it nut have worked with this coach. 
 Until I have any issues I’ll probably just leave it alone, that’s all I know now. My coach, while not in use, sits in my climate controlled building and plugged into shore power and no solar inputs.

 Thanks for your pictures!

 

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