Frustrated (But found out is was a lack of understanding the correct operation and now all is good) and Disappointed - Charging from Solar AC180

I have two 200w solar panels connected in parallel to my AC180. Here are the panel specs:

JJN Bifacial 200w Solar Panel 12V
Open circuit voltage is 28.1V
Short circuit current 9.12A
Optimum Operating Voltage 23.4V

With both panels in full sun at noon, the max charging input I get is 193w. If I connect just one panel directly to the AC180 I get about the same input from either panel. I understood that the AC180 could accept up to 500 of solar input. Why am I only getting less than 200w with both panels connected? Should I have bought one panel with higher output instead of two lower output panels?
This is my first foray into solar, and right now I am very disappointed. When I see that the most I can get from these two panels is less than 200w, versus the supposed max input of 500w, I feel like I have been a victim of false advertising regarding the AC180. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I don’t have an AC180 but an AC200max. By quickly reading the specifications of the ac180, I understand that there is a limitation of the solar input to 10 amps.

I imagine that you must have connected your solar panels in parallel, and that therefore the voltage is low but the intensity must have exceeded 10 amps and is therefore limited to 10 amperes. maybe you should connect your 2 solar panels in series and not in parallel, you should recover more power (by increasing the voltage and lowering the intensity to comply with solar input specifications and limitations of the ac180. Be careful in this series configuration : a shadow on one panel will cause the power of both panels to drop.

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Thank you very much for your reply. I am running the two solar panels in parallel. What I do not understand is that the specs on the AC180 state that it can take up to 500w of solar input. How is this achieved? Will running two panels in series increase the input that much more, versus running in parallel? Im seriously getting ready to return the AC180 if I cant get anything close to the 500w of solar input which Bluetti claims it can take. Right now, I get no power at all from one of the connected panels. I understand the unit is restricted to 10 amps, and each of my panels is almost 10 amps per panel. So having the two panels is a complete waste of money and time - there seems no method that will allow the AC180 to come even close to accepting the 500w max solar power input which Bluetti advertises. Frankly, Im ready to return both the AC180 and the solar panels if this is the best performance I can ever get out of it.

Volts x Amps = watts. Your AC180 can only input 10 amps so you need to increase the voltage by putting the 2 panels in series which should get you 300-400 watts.

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Thank you very much, and my thanks to the prior response from another forum member. I will change from parallel to series tomorrow. Hopefully this does the trick.

The AC180 does not see the individual panels, it see’s it as a single circuit based on how they are wired.

In parallel, the AC180 is seeing a OCV of 28.1v, OOV 23.4v and OOC of 17.10a, but it can only use at most 10 amps of that 17.10, so as you said, it’s as if one of the panels doesn’t exist.

In series, the AC180 is seeing a OCV of 56.2v, OOV of 46.8v and OOC of 8.55a. All the voltages and amps are with in the specs of the AC180, so it should treat it as 400W of panels.

When wired in series, add volts, lowest amp used for all.
	If shade covers a single panel, will bring amps down for all.
	Lower amps/loss in cable.
	Maybe works better morning/evening.
When wired in parallel, add amps, lowest voltage used for all.
	Best for mixed light/shade.

Hope this helps.

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Great explanation @rgb

Yes very helpful. Thank you so much. Have the two panels now in series. I believe the problem is solved. Thanks again!

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Problem solved, I think. I wont know for sure until a sunny day to see if I get more than 200w from the two panels. Thanks for your help!

After the assistance from everyone, I am happy to say that my AC180 is successfully hooked up to my two 200w solar panels (in series) and is now flying! Im getting 270w on a partly cloudy day. However, I did experience hiccup - the AC180 was down to zero charge. Until it reached a 10% charge, it seemed to charge very slowly. Once it hit 11% it started charging rapidly. Strange but lesson learned!

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So are you saying you are not a “victim of false advertising” or needing to return your correctly functioning AC180 and now understand its proper operation?

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That’ s exactly what Im saying.

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Ill forgive your typo, if you excuse mine.

Of course. I am glad you are more comfortable with your purchase. Bad feeling spending that kind of money and not getting something to work.

I admit I get frustrated easily - I just want things to work. My biggest pet peeve is directions, or the lack of them. Why couldnt Bluetti just say how to hook up solar panels in series or parallel in the manual. The solar panels themselves had no manual at all. But anyway, I am very happy that after hours of trying to figure it out by doing online research, I finally posted to this forum for help.

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The products are produced in China and distributed throughout the world. At times the language translation leaves a little to be desired but with product forums to assist with info, there is actually more information available than ever but finding it when you want it can be a little frustrating at times.

Isnt everything made in China?
Lol. Yes thank god for the forum. Since following everyones advice and switching the solar panels to a parallel setup, it has been great. Today, the two panels actually were putting out 460 watts. Thats amazing considering that each panel is only rated at 200w. So yes, very happy now. I was on the verge of returning everything and giving up. My sincere thanks for all the help.

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460w with 2 panels of 200w : this is the magic of bifacial solar panels. Good choice!

No kidding! It seemed to make sense to get bifacial. Believe me, I spent hours researching what panels to buy. The price was the lowest I could find online for rigid 200w panels. The fact that they were bifacial made it a steal. I only paid $165 per panel on Amazon Business, plus tax. That seemed a steal to me after I did the research. The snow we have here in Maine is an incredible reflector. It blasts the sunlight, and definitely takes advantage of the bifacial feature. In fact, I bet I wont reach these levels of output once the snow is gone. Its funny because I was thinking I wouldnt get much output in the dead of Winter. Boy was I wrong! Now, I love the snow!
Anyway, I spent about $1000 for the Bluetti AC180 and panels, which included an extended warranty and tax. I can see right now, that I can cut my electric bill by 50% using this setup (I live in a small mobile home). Now Im thinking about one more panel. Its addictive! I would love to tie the Bluetti into my electrical grid. Is that even possible with the AC180?

You have a 60v 500w input limit so another panel would put you way over that. Time to upgrade to a bigger sogen already :slight_smile: Yep, solar is addictive.