Winter is on the way. As temperatures drop and inclement weather increases, everything outside is left exposed. This includes LVT Units. While our units are built to withstand harsh weather and are even prepared to handle lower amounts of sunlight, it is important to prepare them for the upcoming season. That way you avoid low voltage disconnect (LVD) and can have top functionality and reliability from the unit without gaps in your security. LVD is when the average source voltage for the Live Unit, across a sample period, drops below a preprogrammed limit. If that happens, the unit shuts down and we are notified. The most common causes for LVD events can be insufficient light to keep the batteries charged, damage to the solar panels, weak batteries, and the generator or smart generator are not able to replenish the batteries.
Here are a few tips and procedures we recommend that you take before winter sets in to help avoid LVD and increase the uptime of your units:
- Ensure the solar panels are facing south. This can be done by using a simple compass app on your smartphone.
- Ensure the solar panel is unobstructed. Watch for things like nearby trees, buildings, or other structures that could obstruct the panel from receiving maximum sunlight and either remove those obstacles or move the unit to optimize solar exposure.
- Optimize solar panel exposure by using the Sun Seeker app to check the sun’s path and make sure solar panels get as much clear sky along that path as possible.
- Ensure the solar panel is clean. This includes making sure it is clear of snow whenever possible.
- Inspect solar panels for any damage and either repair or replace if they’re damaged. Call LVT support at 888-588-9408 if your solar panel needs to be repaired or replaced.
- Inspect the electrical connections behind the solar panel to ensure there’s a good connection between the solar array, the charging system, and the batteries.
- Conduct a battery health check procedure. For instructions on how to complete this, please contact LVT support at 888-588-9408.
- Clean any visible corrosion on the batteries, in the battery box, and around the unit itself.
- Ensure battery bars (the bars that connect each battery to one another) are not touching each other or the box in which the batteries are stored.
- Ensure battery bar terminals are sanded off and not painted over.
- If your unit has flooded batteries, which require inspection of water levels and refilling them when necessary, follow the battery refill procedure that can be provided to you by LVT support.
- If you need to move the unit and remove the guy wire which stabilizes the mast, ensure the guy wire is in the battery box and properly stored in a burlap sack. This precaution will prevent the guy wire from making contact with the batteries and degrading their performance.
Charge Controller and Electrical Connections
- Verify that the charge controller is programmed correctly (upper and lower limits) and, if necessary, reprogram the charge controller.
- If it is an 8-battery trailer, make sure to apply the 4-hour absorb change. For instructions on this or for the optimal charge controller settings, please contact LVT support at 888-588-9408.
- Using a multimeter, check/verify voltage going into the head unit at the 5-pin connector.
- Inspect fuses in the charge controller and/or head unit and make sure that they are functional (not blown).
Generator Care (for units equipped with a generator)
- Check that the generator controller switch is ON.
- Check that the generator controller display lights up when you press any button.
- Check that generator wiring connections are good by gently wiggling the wires at each terminal to see if they move.
- Check the generator’s fuel levels.
- Manually start the generator, verify that the battery voltage increases on the controller display, and then manually stop the generator. Note: Don't turn off the generator controller switch.
Our goal is to ensure the optimal performance and uptime of your unit. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact LVT support at 1-888-588-9408 at any time for assistance.