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Old 01-08-2013, 04:58   #1
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basic solar connection question

I am sure there is a simple answer to this, but I can't seem to find it. When installing solar panels do you do anything to the box under the panels or the connectors to enhance their water tightness? Ours will be on davits where an occasional splash will get to them.
Thx
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:04   #2
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Re: basic solar connection question

I didn't do anything to mine as I figured those connectors were designed to be out in the elements.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:27   #3
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Re: basic solar connection question

My Kyocera panels came with a grommet that makes the box waterproof. The actual wire bare wire connections inside the box are not intended to be exposed to the elements. At least on my panels. Your panel/box design may be different.

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:39   #4
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Re: basic solar connection question

It sounds like you have the junction box version.

The junction boxes are designed to be waterproof, but make sure you use wire that is within the specified diameter.

Coating with silicon grease enhances the waterproof integrity and is worth doing on the rubber gasket, the wires where they enter, and on the screws.

Finally consider the potential for water to run along the wires a drip loop, or low point in the wire helps considerably.

Many people also coat the connections inside the junction box.

Finally get a clamp on multimeter so you can check the output of each panel separately without opening anything up. This will quickly show is there is a bad connection especially in a parallel configuration.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:08   #5
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Re: basic solar connection question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
I am sure there is a simple answer to this, but I can't seem to find it. When installing solar panels do you do anything to the box under the panels or the connectors to enhance their water tightness? Ours will be on davits where an occasional splash will get to them.
Thx
If it is a standard j-box then it should have come with watertight glands for the knock outs and a gasket for the lid that 100% seals it. If it is an MC-4 box then it should be water tight. Lately I have seen a bunch of eBay style panels where the j-box would be very tough to seal as they lacked any sort of gasketing and no decent way to seal them short of filling with epoxy potting...
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:33   #6
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Re: basic solar connection question

Thanks for the replies, guys. I should have been more detailed, but I posted the Q while lying in bed unable to sleep. The panels are Sanyo 240W HIT Power S modules. They have a small plastic box on the back which they call a junction box but it may be the MC-4 box Maine Sail is talking about. It has the cables coming out with the connectors on them and the manual says there are no user-serviceable items in it and not to open it. I am basically asking if I should seal it up (may be wrap with self-amalgamating tape) or heat shrink or wrap the MC-4 connectors.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:11   #7
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Re: basic solar connection question

I have similar boxes on my Kyocera 135s.

The boxes are water tight and like they say "Don't open them" ... Make sure when you make the connections to the wire leads you use watertight butt connectors.
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