So I recently got my AC200 and after charging it fully using AC, (it didn’t need much - it came at 99%)
I set it aside for several days. I decided to test it before we left on a trip and I discharged it to 70%. (using a fan) When I tried to charge it using the 12v car adapter, it did not. My multimeter reads 14.1 coming from the car, the connector to the AC200, and even the DC input screen on the AC200 shows the 14.1 volts but there was no current indication and the input selection is in “car” and not PV. Please tell me I’m doing something incorrectly so I can fix it. Thanks!
Sorry man, I received my AC200 not too long ago as well and testing it now. Have not tried to charge using the 12v car adapter but I’m not getting a charge with my solar panels. I bought the one with two solar package and tested each panel under the Arizona sky with no clouds and mid day with no luck. Not sure what is going on.
Thanks for joining the group…From reading your issue, it sounds like you may not have selected the input sourc for car charging. I know you are saying you are in Car mode, but please triple check that one more time as it is the most likely issue. If you go into the settings screen you will see a menu item titled “DC input settings”. You have to select “CAR” to charge from the car cigarette lighter socket or “PV” if charging from a solar panel. SInce you are seeing the 14.1 incoming volts you definitely have power. What the AC200 is doing is assuming you are charging from a solar panel (PV selected as the source) and since the minimum voltage required for solar charging is 35, no charging is occurring.
Now after triple checking that car mode is indeed selected and absolutely sure that the battery is not at 100%. The final thing I can think of is that the AC200 takes about 30 seconds from the time you see the voltage apear on the main screen for the charging to begin. Has at least 30 seconds elapsed since plugging it?
If none of that helps, try the AC charging brick and veryify that charging will occur with the AC charging brick plugged in. If it does, run the AC200 down to about 50% and try again with the DC
Jay, you have to use a minimum of two solar panels connected together in series (How to covered in another forum post on this site) to begin charging with the AC200. The AC200 requires a minumum of 35 volts to charge with solar. The settings menu also has to have the “PV (phot voltaic)” choice selected in the DC input menu in order to charge. Once connected you should see the incoming voltage on the screen and the charging watts should appear in about 30 seconds. If you see less than 35 volts, you do not have the two solar panel wires connected in series. If you see the 35 or more volts, but no charging is occurring, most likely you have not selected “PV” but instead the incorrect “Car” setting on the DC input selector. Please let me know if this was the issue and if you are now good to go
Once you get the hang of the settings, it goes much smoother. The car charge mode only operates at a certain voltage and the solar charging only operates at a much higher voltage. The AC is looking for a voltage range for a specific DC input setting. When it does not see the voltage range expected from a given power source, no charging will occur.
Awesome, thank you Scott! I will give this a go tomorrow and report back with my finding. Appreciate the quick response friend.
Here are the instructions for connecting panels in series.
You want to connect them in “series” which is a lot easier than it sounds. Here is what you do.
1-Lay two solar panels out any way you like but have the cable pairs end up together at the ending point. You will have one cable of two wires from the first solar panel and one cable of two wires from the second solar panel.
2-Take one wire from either panel cable and connect that wire to the wire in the other solar panel cable that it matches up with. Male to female or female to male. You can’t connect them wront. Don’t even worry about the color of the cables or the polarity.
3-You are now left with one non connected wire from panel #1 and one non connected wire from panel #2. Grab your MC4 solar charging cable (It has a yellow connector on one end and same type of connectors your solar panel cable has on the other end) and connect the two solar panel connectors (MC4) to the AC200 MC4 charge cable. Each of the two wires from your solar panels will only connect one way to the AC200 MC4 charging cable. You cannot connect them wrong.
4-Now grab your Aviation input cable (Has a black round metal fitting on one end and a kind of rectangular yellow fitting on the onther end) and connect its yellow end to the AC200 MC4 charging cable yellow end (kind of fun how you just match colors) that you just connected to your solar panels.
5-Now you should be left with a cable with the round black metal fitting, connected to your AC200 MC4 charging cable which is connected to your two solar panel wires. Look for a small red dot on the outer end collar of the black metal round fitting of the AC200 input cable you just attached. This red dot goes straight up. Push the round metal fitting firmly into the Aviation input fitting on the AC200 until you hear it click. Wiggly it around a little to make sure it is well seated. It should snap and lock in place and not pull back out.
6-That is all there is to it and the above can be accomplished in about 10 to 15 seconds. To remove the aviation fitting on the charging input cable attached to your AC200, there is a collar that goes around the outside of the round fitting. The collar must be slid outward until the fitting can be pulled away from the AC200.
Give it a try and I guarantee that you will be saying "hmmmmm that wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought. If you want to pl ace the AC200 further away from your panels, you can add extension cables to your existing cables to extend your reach up to about 100 feet. You can add additional solar panels up to six by connecting the same way and ending up with an unconnected wire at the end of the far left and the far right panel and connect the rest the same way. You need a minimum of 35 volts for the charging to begin up to a maximum of 150. (2 to 6 panels) . You also have to go to the AC “settings” menu and have “PV” selected and the incoming source. PV stands for Photo Voltaic. If you have anything else selected, charging wil not begin. Lastly after connecting everything you should see an incoming voltage appear in the screen. After this appears, be patient and about 30 seconds later you will see the incoming charging watts appear.
Hobotech did a nice video on hooking up the panels (starts at about 18 mins) and a nice review on the other accessories for the ac200. I’m a visual person also so this might be helpful for you. @Jay @edpez0115
Thank you so much for this. I’m going to be connecting some Harbor Frieght panels when I receive my AC200p. This is great to know and net
Just remember to connect any panels in series up to 150 volts. Higher volts up to the 150 max is good. You need a minimum of 35 volts for charging to begin and that is usually a two panel minimum
I do need to verify the HF panels will gen 35volts, otherwise I’ll b bummed (i.e. 1-2 more panels expense). Baby steps. I don’t do Facebook so is this the only place to connect with other bluetti users to share experiences?
@roxie60 currently yes. I would say that this would be your best bet to get bluetti specific advice if you’re not on Facebook.
With your Harbor Freight panels, did you get that “100w packaged kit” deal or the smaller ones?? The reason I ask, is the VOC or open circuit voltage needs to be at least 35v to work with the bluetti. The 100w panel kits’ VOC is like 23.6v which wouldn’t work by itself… you would need at least 2 of those kits… but MORE IMPORTANTLY, those kits they sell use SAE connectors attached to each individual panel, that then lead to an adapter that then leads to a 10a pwm charge controller… with the Bluetti, you will need to bypass any external charge controller, as it has a MPPT controller built in. (Which is much more efficient anyways)
Needless to say before you spend more money on Harbor Freight panels… I would recommend either getting 2 of the 120w portable panels from bluetti.com or check out BougeRV.com and buy 2 of their 180w rigid panels. Both these options are a lot more efficient and will last you ALOT longer then the HF solar kits. Also both are a lot easier to deal with, since you won’t have to mess with rewiring the configuration.
Remember you will need 2 of either of those options in series to hit the 35-150v VOC range.
Thank you @m.briney, I was thinking the HF panels might not work (100w). And I was concerned about the connectivity but I forgot about the mppt issue. So I will b saving up for 2 of the bluetti flex / portable panels.