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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2002
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    1,325

    Default Solar Chargers all quit working with lots of Rain?

    So all my solar charges went down in to the red when we got inundated and my grounds were literally in standing water. I assume all will go back to normal as the water perks? I have never had this happen before, but I have also never had puddles in my fields and the groundwater basically at the surface, even after back to back hurricanes in 2004.

    Thanks! I don't want to order new chargers at almost 250 a piece if it is just that they can't function right now with the elevated ground water
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,196

    Default

    I've never had that happen with my Parmak 6V solar chargers. Their functioning shouldn't have anything to do with what the ground rods are doing - those are for carrying the charge.

    My guess is the chargers got water in them where no water should be going.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Location
    KY, USA
    Posts
    1,911

    Default

    Would not expect the chargers to be damaged unless they shorted and fuses didn't work.

    I'd open the case, dry everything out. Take the battery out and recharge separately, test to make sure they're still good (they have to be replaced periodically). Check fuse, suspect they tripped. When you put everything back together, test with no load or ground.

    If you don't want to do all that, biggest bang for the buck would be check the fuse.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Rain = no sun...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,196

    Default

    My chargers have gone days and days in the Winter (where sun is limited to begin with) without even going into the yellow. Low green, sure, but not yellow, let alone red.

    We've had times of days of no sun AND lots of rain (ie that time back in '04 with the multiple hurricanes like the OP mentioned) and they didn't go into the yellow.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    7,849

    Default

    This is quite normal.

    All solar chargers I know of work by using a battery to power the "shocker" and a solar panel to charge the battery.

    Heavy rain = no/limited Sun. It can also mean higher draw as water can create "shorts" in a fence that's fine in dry weather. The combination of draw with no input will ultimately equal a dead battery and a failed fence.

    We have this happen a number of times over the 25+ years we've been using solar powered chargers. It doesn't happen every year, but it does happen. It's a known issue. The "fix" is replace the battery (or do a "Sun Dance" ). Or if you have an extra charger that's fully topped off swap off with the most critical "dead" charger and recharge the dead one by keeping it under lights in the house. Then repeat with the next most critical charger.

    This is a known limitation in the use of solar power, particularly in the southeastern U.S. Folks in AZ usually don't have this problem.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2002
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    1,325

    Default

    I do have extra batteries, not sure if they are still charged or not. We have sun even on the days that rained, and mine can go 5 to 7 days with cloudy weather, so I know that isn't the problem.

    I can't use plug in electricity for my fencing, the pastures are too dispersed. I wonder for the ones not working well, if I turn them off for a few days if that will help or if I have to order a few replacement batteries. Hmm.

    Thanks!
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post

    Heavy rain = no/limited Sun. It can also mean higher draw as water can create "shorts" in a fence that's fine in dry weather. The combination of draw with no input will ultimately equal a dead battery and a failed fence.
    This. Lots of rain does cause little shorts even on the best fence.

    More ground water would actually make the ground better so the fence would actually be happier so I doubt your issue is standing water past the extra humidity causing more fence shorts which drains the battery.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,199

    Default

    It's possible for chargers to leak in blowing rain, but it shouldn't happen.

    Bring the chargers in the house (or barn), remove the batteries, and shake any water from the chargers, then let sit for a couple of days where it's warm. Put batteries back in charger, place in sun for a couple of days with charger turned off, then re-install on fence.

    Also, heavy rain can cause vegetation to droop against the hot wires and/or cracked insulators to drain away the charge.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    3,742

    Default

    Are connections wire nuts, soldered or direct connect from panel to charger?

    Most small solar panels are producing less than 1/2 amp of charge rate.... a wire nut connection may have been corroded because of the rain; the added resistance will not allow the panel's charge reach the battery

    If direct connect; loosen, clean and re-tighten the connecting cable

    Panel output volt if for a 12 volt battery should be in the range of 17.3VDC; about 33.7VDC for 24 volt system



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2002
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    1,325

    Default

    Thank you!
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



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