EPEVER Tracer Shutting Down

ryanclimbs

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Aug 28, 2020
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Hey folks, just started seeing a problem today and I'm curious if anyone else has had something similar happen. I did notice someone just a few days ago having some issues with their Tracer "dropping out" and I'm seeing something similar, but not exactly.

Background: I have a HQST 150 watt panel on the roof of my teardrop camper and a Renogy 100AH Gel battery on the tongue, all tied to a 30A EPEVER Tracer charge controller in the cabin. All all of my load except for a small Dometic fridge (only because its housed up on the tongue right by the battery) is coming from the charge controller, no inverters to deal with. I've had all this running as-is since April and it's been a dream. But today I started having an issue.

I'm still trying to figure out the pattern, but it seems like whenever the load is more than a couple amps, the battery voltage reading on my charge controller suddenly drops into the single digits and anything I have plugged in shuts down. Either the charge controller shows my battery as dead momentarily then the voltage starts a slow climb back up, or the charge controller completely shuts off, reboots, shuts off, reboots, shuts off, reboots, etc. until I press the button on the controller to turn off the load. Similarly, even if I don't have anything plugged in, if I press the button to turn on/off the load, I typically (though not 100% of the time) get the same drop in voltage and slow climb back up.

Here's the kicker: A multimeter at the battery or at the battery input terminals on the charge controller show a steady 12.1-12.5 volts from the battery. No change on the battery side at all.

Maybe relevant/maybe not: As I sit here with two cell phones plugged in, the charge controller display (I have the accessory MT50) is showing 14.1v and net 0 amps in the battery—That voltage is slightly high and that's not actually the net between the the display says is the PV in and the load out. I haven't seen that net change from 0, maybe +/- 0.2 amps in a while. With two cell phones plugged in, my load should probably show more than 14.2v/0.3A as well. The readings just seem weird all over.

So is my charge controller shot? What could be giving me these weird readings? At the moment, I can't turn on the water pump in my camper without everything crashing. What gives?
 

ryanclimbs

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Aug 28, 2020
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One more note now that I'm paying more attention. It looks like the PV in and the load out are staying within 1W of each other, almost like it's the PV that's charging anything I have plugged in and if the load becomes more than the PV, that's when the charge controller shuts down. Again, battery voltage as measured my my multimeter is still OK, but the charge controller doesn't seem to want to work with it.
 

MisterSandals

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All all of my load except for a small Dometic fridge (only because its housed up on the tongue right by the battery) is coming from the charge controller,
I don't think large loads are intended to come from the charge controller. They should come from the battery(s). Check the specs, the load output from the SCC should have its limits listed (i'd consider those as "optimistic").

Besides, why put additional stress on your SCC when your batteries are designed for powering loads?
 

ryanclimbs

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I don't think large loads are intended to come from the charge controller. They should come from the battery(s). Check the specs, the load output from the SCC should have its limits listed (i'd consider those as "optimistic").

Besides, why put additional stress on your SCC when your batteries are designed for powering loads?

That makes sense, maybe it would be better for me to move everything over to the battery. But the loads I’m typically pulling are no more than a couple LEDs, a phone or two, and the water pump, rarely simultaneously and rarely more than a couple amps. The water pump alone—between 2 and 3 amps—shuts the controller down, as of today. And there haven’t been any changes to the load to cause these problems, either, so I’m not sure where this came from.
 

MisterSandals

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The water pump alone—between 2 and 3 amps—shuts the controller down
Do you know the surge amps when your pump starts? If it runs at 2-3 amps, it may surge to 10 amps when it first starts. A clamp meter with a hold function would tell the story.

Maybe putting stress on the load outputs has weakened some of its capability?

Only guessing of course, sorry.
 

Scph9002

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Aug 28, 2020
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I would open the ssc up and check for corrosion on the chipset near the load and battery inputs
 
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