The SP5 solar power packs used with MB-300 and MB-400 data buoy systems should be evaluated if the voltage drops below 11V while deployed or if the packs have been in storage for an extended period of time.
1. Clean off any debris or buildup from the face of the solar panels.
2. Disconnect two of the three solar panels from the power harness to isolate a single pack.
3. With the SP5 pack out of direct sunlight, use a voltmeter to measure the battery voltage. On the UW plug of the power harness, place the positive lead on Pin 5 and the negative lead on Pin 2. Record the battery voltage for the pack, and repeat for all other packs.
– Replace any battery with an initial measured voltage of <9.5V.
– Replace any battery that is 3 years old or greater.
4. Set the pack in the sun for about 2 hours. Then, remove the pack from the sun and check the voltage again. Confirm that the voltage is higher than the initial recorded value. If it is not, the solar regulator should be replaced.
5. If the battery is charging, leave the pack in direct sunlight to charge for at least 6 hours before applying a load (i.e. connecting the data logger) to ensure that it begins with a full charge.