Solar Panel not charging or registering on AC200P

Hi, I just received my AC200P and the 200W solar panel. Everything seems to work on the AC200P, except the solar panel doesn’t do anything. It initially charged and then just stopped (135-140W) I got another 250W panel from my neighbor and works just fine with the AC200P. I tried reconnecting all the cables many times and nothing. The Unit doesn’t even recognize the connection now. This is a massive disappointment and now reading other similar topics and horrible customer service, I’m not feeling really good about my purchase. I couldn’t get anyone on the phone, voicemail full, etc. Any ideas? Nothing is connected to the AC200P, only the solar panel and in full sun. I tried switching to the car mode and just flickers every 15 seconds on the nose, a low wattage like 40W. I’m showing about 23V input, but its at the end of the day and sun dropping so troubleshooting is a wrap for the day.

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If the 200W panel you’re referring to is the SP200 or the PV200, one panel doesn’t put out the needed minimum voltage for charging. The AC200P requires at least 35V and those panels only output maximum 26.1 volts.

Two, connected in series is the minimum to meet the 35V open circuit voltage requirement for the AC200P.

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Thank you for your reply. Yes it is the PV200 and just starting to read and find this out. I wish I had know this before purchasing the panel, as I didn’t see this information anywhere before when researching and purchasing all this. I would have gone with the 350W presale panel.

Yes, this stuff is hard to get one’s head around at first. There are so many ways you can go wrong. After almost a year I feel like I’m only just starting to understand what I’m doing.

I think the D050s charging enhancer will allow charging with that single panel into the AC port. If it does work then I’m pretty sure it would come at some cost in watts. It’s time for a maintenance discharge/charge, so out of curiosity, I may try this in the next day or two.

The enhancer is almost half the cost of another PV200, and besides, one panel is pretty impractical for charging a 2000Wh unit. But I’m curious now.

Obtaining one or more additional PV200’s will give you the most satisfaction. The reality is that if you want to achieve a single day recharge you are going to need in the neighborhood of 5 200 watt panels in the real world. If charging speed is not important then the lowest cost work around would be as you stated above with the DO50S charge enhancer.

Thank you again for your input. My primary use case for this device is to charge while driving my truck from TX to CO and camping halfway and camping in CO. I planned to get a solar panel for the top of the vehicle, but that may be an issue now also without this D050S enhancer, as I planned to get a 200W on top of the A.R.E. cap, so I could connect that and the PV200 in serial if camping for a weekend. (I’m assuming this panel plays nicely with others). The plan is to have the ICECO cooler running of the DC plug in the back of the truck. And using the AC200P at night for the ICECO and whatever else. I’m also going to get the Zero Breeze Mach 2 to run off the AC200P as well to cool the shell down before bed (If needed). The AC200P will be charged primarily by A/C for one night travels and then weekend camping. When I dry camp with my Lance 1995, I have a 200W panel I could probably string together with this one. I have 2 6V golf cart batteries in the camper. So I’m trying keep from getting way too much stuff that I don’t need.

What would you estimate the charge would be with the 1 PV200 panel and the DO50S ? Best guess?

125 to 160 watts output in the real world. If you are electrically inclined you can get a 12V to 48 volt step up converter which will charge at around 575 watts through the PV input port. If you search this forum for “step up converter” there are examples and detailed discussion on how to do this. If are not confident with your electrical skills, I would not recommend it. But it does work if done correctly. Alternatively you can attach at least a 1,000 watt 12 VDC to 120 VAC pure sine wave inverter and use your charging brick to charge the same as you would at home. Both solutions require heavy ga. wiring and sufficient alternator capacity.

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My use case sounds like just the one panel with the DO50S would work fine. I’m not an electrical person. This stuff gives me a headache! My friend is all into this and he helps guide my purchases and wiring but I’m slowly getting there. Still gives me a headache even when I understand it.

So, just as a data point. I’m using the DO50S with a simple 100w panel I had lying around.
Peak output in very good light going through the 50S as ready by the screen on the 200P, is about 80w. In weak light, it can drop to 20ish. So, your working range is 20-80% in round numbers.

If you want the most watts/dollar, you’re going to want at least a 2nd panel to run in series so you can run directly on the car/PV input (which is basically an internal MPPT controller if I understand correctly). Note, even then though, you need pretty good light. On the PV input, to be tolerant of low light or ANY shading, you kind of need 3 panels. If the light is a bit weak and you just have one or two panels then D50S will work better.

Sidebar, I have never understood one thing on the AC200P. If that input can accept a charge from a 12V source (battery, alternator etc) why is it configured to need minimum 35v in PV mode? Makes no obvious sense.

2nd sidebar, I’m in the process of adding a pair fo 240w panels (Newpowa) to my work trailer roof. A pair of those in series brings one in about 58v (right below the 60v max) and 10A (right at max) It’s like a pair of those were made to fit the D50S

Thanks for the info Roger. I just ordered the DO50S. Sounds like just a good gadget to have with this setup. I only have the one PV200. I’m definitely open to getting a second one after my CO trip and see if I really NEED it. I have a condo I’m driving to and not taking the camper, and most of the camping spots I stay in on the way have an A/C outlet and water. If I end up camping a lot then that second panel will be needed, maybe. Good info on the roof top panels. I was looking this panel for my roof platform rack that is 60x50in. I need room for a couple of accessories so this panel seems like my only option at 58x26in:

Per my solar person that is retired and has way more time to spend researching this stuff, he said this should work charging the AC200P on the road without the DO50S, but if needed I will have it. The DC plug would be much better driving though as it locks in place and hope this works. Thoughts or input would be really appreciated since you have more experience with these devices and I just got mine a few days ago. :slight_smile: The ICECO will be hogging the DC charger in the back of the truck shell.

That panel would not be a great electrical fit. They’re good for about 5A , just half of your PV200, so you’d only be getting around half of your PV200s output (or putting too much current through the Rich)

The one I mentioned will still fit on your rack (57 x 35ish) but gets you back to more like the 10A your PV200 is capable off, gives 20% more output overall, and is only about 10% more expensive.
I’d go with a second PV200 or get a newpowa 240w.

To get good untilization AND not damage anything, you need to try to closely match both voltage and current. Weakest link in the chain deterimines performance blah blah blah

I can’t mount a PV200 on my rack. I’m looking for a permanent mount. So buying another PV200 isn’t going to work with what I’m doing for now. So now I am completely confused. My understanding was I need a 24V so I can charge the AC200P withOUT the DO50S. Looking at the one you mentioned, that is 12 volt and brings me to the same issue I’m having as with the single PV200, needing the DO50S ?? Am I not understanding that correctly? I get so frustrated with dealing with this stuff. ( I would NOT be wiring the roof top and PV200 together in serial if I went with the panel i pasted above after all I have read the past 2 days. I’m really just wanting a panel directly into the DC charger Input since it locks in and better for riding in the back of the truck when it may get a little bumpy )

I’m testing one SP200 with the D050s into the AC200P. I’ve got close to (but not quite) full sun at around noon. I’m getting 100 - 125w, which is about what I was expecting. That means, at best about 50% charge capability on a good day with a single panel. If you’re going to be consuming less than 1kWh per day it might be enough, but with no wiggle room.

On the other hand, the D050s would give you the ability to charge from your truck’s 12V output while you drive if the sun’s not out.

[edit] I just saw that you’re going for two roof mounted panels. That seems like a good choice to my (non-expert) eyes. If you do get the D050s, I believe you could parallel charge from the truck’s 12V output as well. I would think you could also serial connect the PV200 to your roof panels for even more charging when not driving.

One last loose thought … the AC200P can do pass-thru power while charging. If you get enough sun, you could run that fridge off of the AC200P all the time and not have to do any plug swapping.

You should be able to return it… It might take awhile for them to get back to you I know that they have been super busy…

This isn’t exactly true. I put my ac200p in car mode and use a single SP200 to charge it. I live in California so the sky’s are pretty clear most the time. Not, sure if that matters, just make sure it’s set to Car mode before plugging it in.

Interesting. That’s an undocumented feature if it works. I’ll have to give that one a try … not that I’d be trying to charge it with one panel when I have three, but out of curiosity or for situations where more than one panel is impractical.

Thanks for the tip!

The voltage range output from the panel would have to be in the narrow range of 12v or 24 to enable charging. Will not work with most panels or varying sun and load states

Yeah, but was just throwing it out there in case of emergency or what not. Also, even though a single 200 what panel shows 24.7v (or 27.X) in good sun, the car input setting usually drops in down to 12v to use. So my SP200w bluetti panel that should put out around 140-150w, only puts out around 95w (11.6v x 8.2a) . I’ve included a picture to show my current charge rate with a single SP200 panel (it’s farely used panel, for 3-4 months of AZ or CA sun, usually out 8-12 hours a day.) I don’t use a single panel often, just showing people that it can actually work if needed.
I think pathetically small wires are also pare of the problem when running a single panel. The input plug is 14awg on the mc4 into16awg going into the Sa20 PV/Car cable. A bit ridiculous. I understand it “works” for higher voltage of multiple panels, but it honestly just looks sad. I ordered my own plug and will just solder a 10awg one. Those SA20 aviation plugs even suggest 11 to 14 awg wire. Skimping on a few feet of wire on what was a $2000 product seems lame. I’m wondering if anyone has gonna a single panel to run at 24v Car input. Oh, just so people are aware. These SP200 Panels do not do so great with daily use to hot areas. I’ve had 3 of them fail I less than 4 months. 2 literally burned, 1 just stopped working for no reason. Bluetti did replace them without too much trouble, so kudos to their customer service.