Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Renogy Wanderer solar charge controllers are among the best in market, featuring impressive features and designs. It is recommended to perform some basic troubleshooting procedures to resolve Issues with these charge controllers, before calling for repairs or ordering a replacement. Some problems only need simple fixes. In this how-to and troubleshooting guide, learn how to fix common Renogy Wanderer solar charge controller issues and perform various operations.

How to Connect a Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller to a Smartphone

To connect a Renogy Wanderer solar charge controller to a smartphone, you will need the BT-1 Bluetooth Module which is sold separately. The BT-1 Bluetooth module is a great addition to Renogy charge controllers with RS232 and RJ12 ports and is used to pair charge controllers with the Renogy BT App. After pairing is done you can then monitor your system and change parameters directly from your smart phone or tablet.

To connect the Wanderer to your smart phone:

  • Download Renogy BT app from Google Play Store or App Store, and install it on your device.
  • Open the Renogy BT App, select “Device Info”, then click ‘Search Device”. Remember to turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone.
  • Select the device you want to connect.
  • After connecting successfully, device status will change to “Device connecting”. You can also see device information on the screen.
Renogy wanderer charge controller wiring diagram

How to Program a Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller (with and without Bluetooth App)

To program a Renogy Wanderer charge controller using Renogy BT App, follow the instructions below:

  • After successfully connecting to the device, switch to “Monitoring” using the bottom bar. You can monitor the real-time performance of solar panel, battery and load.
  • By clicking the “Last Day” on the top left and “Next Day” on the top right, you can read daily history data of the controller. By clicking the “>” below, you can read the data on graphs.
  • Click “Read”, you will be notified after read parameters successfully. Then you can change battery and load configuration.
  • The admin password for configuration is “135790123”. You will get a notification after verifying password and setting parameters.
  • After setting parameters, click “Set”, then “Set successful” will pop up, indicating the parameters have been saved successfully.

To set battery type, simply hold the gray button for approximately 7 seconds until the LED flashes. Once flashing, then press the gray button again to the desired battery type (they are color-coded) and simply leave the controller alone until the flashing stops (this should take about 10 seconds). This indicates the parameter has been set.

Check this too: Victron Energy MPPT Solar Charge Controller How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller PV Light Flashing

When the PV light on your Renogy Wanderer charge controller is fast flashing green, it indicates the PV terminal is over-voltage. To troubleshoot PV is over-voltage, follow these instructions:

  • Use a multi-meter to check the voltage of the panels. Ensure that they meet the specification of the controller to not exceed 25 VDC.

If the PV light is slow flashing green and the battery indicator is solid green, it shows the battery is charging normally.

If the PV light on your controller is slow flashing green and the battery indicator is slow flashing green, it shows the battery is in float charge.

Renogy Wanderer PV Light Not ON

The most likely reason the PV light on your Renogy Wanderer is not turning on is you have reverse polarity.

To troubleshoot, check the voltage at the PV terminal using a multi-meter and see if you get a negative reading. If this is the case, simply disconnect the PV panels and switch them.

Renogy Wanderer Charge Controller Battery Light Red

If the battery indicator on your charge controller is solid red, this means the battery is over-discharged. This can happen when storing a lithium battery pack in a discharge state for any length of time as self-discharge would gradually deplete the remaining charge. The protection circuit of a lithium battery typically turns the battery off and makes it unusable if over-discharged. The Wanderer PWM charge controller has a reactivation feature to awaken a sleeping Lithium battery. It will apply a small charge current to activate the lithium battery protection circuit and if a correct cell voltage can be reached, it starts a normal charge.

 If the battery light is slow flashing red, it means the battery is over-heating. When heat is exceeding the specification of the controller, it will shut down automatically. The controller will resume operation once it interprets a change in temperature.

Renogy Wanderer Not Charging

If your Renogy charge controller does not charge during daytime when the sun is shining on the solar panels, confirm that the connection from the battery bank to the charge controller and the solar panels to the charge controller is tight and correct. Use a multi-meter to check if the polarity of the solar modules has been reversed on the charge controller’s solar terminals.

How to Reset the Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller

  1. Start by covering your solar panels
  2. Disconnect the battery from the charge controller by either removing the fuse or turning off the circuit breaker.
  3. Wait at least two minutes, then reinstall the fuse or turn the circuit breaker back on.
  4. Then, uncover your solar panels.
  5. Verify this operation when your battery bank is partially discharged and no other charging sources are present. You have successfully reset your solar charge controller.

How to Tell If Your Renogy Wanderer Solar Charge Controller is Working

To test the controller if it is working, follow the procedure below:

  1. measure the operating current by following this procedure:
  2. Connect the panel to the regulator and battery.
  3. Make sure your Multi-meter is set at 10A, at least to start with. You can change the setting later if required.
  4. Disconnect the positive cable between the battery and the controller.
  5. Measure the operating current by connecting the positive (+ve) from the multi-meter to the positive cable from the controller, and the negative from the multi-meter to the positive battery terminal.
  6. This measures the current that the panel (and charge controller) is passed to the battery. If you get a negative current, then you have connected the multi-meter the wrong way.
  7. Re-connect the solar pane directly to the battery without the controller.
  8. Disconnect the positive cable between the battery and the solar panel.
  9. Measure the operating current by testing the positive from the multi-meter to the positive cable from the panel, and the negative from the multi-meter to the positive battery terminal.
  10. If you measure current without the controller, but not with the controller, then the controller may be faulty.
  11. Remember, if the battery is full it may not be accepting current, resulting on a low reading.

Other checks:

  • Check the condition of any fuses that might be in the power path.
  • Verify the system wiring is correct and intact.
  • Check all the connection and terminals for good electrical contact.

Check this too: How to Select a Solar Charge Controller

Renogy Wanderer LED Status Lights and Their Meaning

The Renogy Wanderer charge controller has LED indicators at the PV and Battery levels which help inform users about the charge controller’s status. The LEDs may light simultaneously or separately depending on the controller status being shown. Below are the LED status lights and what they mean:

  • PV indicator (Fast flashing green), battery indicator (not available)
  • This indicates PV terminal is over-voltage
  • PV indicator (solid green), battery indicator (not available)
  • This indicates PV terminal low output
  • PV indicator (slow flashing green), battery indicator (solid green)
  • This means battery is charging normally
  • PV indicator (slow flashing green), battery indicator (slow flashing green)
  • This means the battery is in float charge
  • PV indicator (not available), battery indicator (fast flashing green)
  • This means the battery is over-voltage
  • PV indicator (not available), battery indicator (solid orange)
  • This means the battery is under-voltage
  • PV indicator (not available), battery indicator (solid red)
  • This means the battery is over-discharged
  • PV indicator (not available), battery indicator (slow flashing red)
  • This means the battery is over-heating

What are Renogy Charge Controller Load Terminals for?

The load terminal comes with some controllers and allows you to attach a DC load to the controller, rather than having to attach it to the battery. It is usually noted with a light bulb symbol. A lot of time this is utilized for the timer function. You can program the load to turn on at sundown and off at sunlight. This is particular useful for lighting.

How to Select Battery Type With Renogy Voyager Charge Controller

Selecting the correct battery type setting is important to prevent damage to your battery. When selecting battery type, check your battery manufacturer’s specifications.

The Traveler Series 20A PWM Renogy Voyager charge controller provides 7 battery types for selection. These are:

  • Lithium-ion
  • LiFePO4
  • LTO
  • AGM
  • Flooded
  • Calcium

To select your battery type, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the “BATTERY TYPE” button for 3 seconds. The charge controller will go into battery selection mode.
  2. Press the “BATTERY TYPE” button until the desired battery is displayed. After a few seconds, the highlighted battery type will automatically be selected.

Please note the Lithium ion batteries shown in the LCD indicate different types shown below:

  • Lithium Manganese Oxide LiMn2O4 (LMQ) battery
  • Lithium Cobalt Oxide LiCoO2 (LCO) battery
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide LiNiCoAlo2 (NCA) battery
  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide LiNiMnCoO2 (NMC) battery

LiFePO4 battery indicates Lithium-iron Phosphate or LFP battery. LTO battery indicates Lithium Titanate Oxidized, Li4Ti5O12 battery.

For some Renogy Voyager controllers, select battery type by following the instructions below:

  • In the screen showing the battery voltage, hold down “BATTERY TYPE” for approximately 3-5 seconds before the screen flashes the current battery type.
  • Once flashing, use the “AMP/VOLT” button to select the proper battery type and then hold down “BATTERY TYPE” again to lock in the selected battery type.

How Do You Install the Temp Sensor on a Renogy Voyager Charge Controller?

The Voyager Temperature Sensor is an optional component that measures the temperature at the battery and uses the data obtained for accurate temperature compensation. It is perfect for solar systems that experience varying temperature changes throughout the year. The sensor comes with a 19.5 ft cable length that connects to the charge controller.

To install the Temp Sensor on your Renogy Voyager charge controller, follow these steps:

  1. Find the Temp Port of the charge controller. It should be at the back of the charge controller.
  2. Plug the green terminal block into the charge controller (with the screws on the terminal block facing up).
  3. Then place the probe close to any part of the battery to active temperature compensation function of the charge controller.

How to Change Renogy Charge Controller from Celsius to Fahrenheit

After connecting the battery to the Renogy Voyager charge controller, the controller will turn on automatically. Assuming normal operation, the charge controller will cycle through different display. They are as follows: PV Array Voltage, Charging Current, Generated Energy, Battery Voltage, and Temperature.

You can adjust some parameters based on the display screen. You can manually cycle through the display screens by using the “AMP/VOLT” and “BATTERY TYPE” buttons. Note that the screen must be at the appropriate interface to change the specific parameter.

To change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, follow these instructions:

  • In the screen showing the temperature of the controller or remote temperature sensor, you can hold down the “BATTERY TYPE” button for approximately 3-5 seconds to switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice-versa.

Oscar

In his spare time, Oscar loves tinkering with electronics. Solar panels, wiring, old TVs and sometimes DIY powerwalls. When he is not busy trying not to electrocute himself, you can find him in the garden tending to his vegetables and chickens.

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