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Old 20-04-2015, 20:09   #1
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Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Just got my Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 in the mail and an unanticipated issue came to mind and I can't find the answer.

Morningstar seems to want the positive and negative battery and PV cables connected by just screwing them in place. Back in my un-enlightened days I would be OK with this; however, after reading all of Maine Sail's articles I really want to crimp the cables, but there is simply no room for ring terminals.

Are people really find with tighten the screws down on the cables for these controllers? For up to 60 amps? There has to be a better way.

Here is the manual. Will also post a pic in the next.

http://www.morningstarcorp.com/wp-co...ors-Manual.pdf

Am thinking of trying a spade connector, but I would have to trim it to be narrower and I'm not sure the screws tighten down enough.
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Old 20-04-2015, 20:12   #2
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

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For reference, that is a 6 awg ring terminal size #10.

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Old 20-04-2015, 20:36   #3
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

I installed the same controller about 4 years ago - wired up as per instructions provided in the manual. Never had an issue with the wiring or suitability of the product. Extremely happy, in fact.

Went thru Force 12 winds/seas coming out of New Zealand (ref prior posts elsewhere), got nailed, lots of boat damage, seawater flying about the motor room where the controller is mounted - but NEVER had problems or troubles with the solar controller nor with the wiring/connections.

Just my practical experience. YMMV......


'Course, during that big blow it sure helped that the solar panels were double-secured with extra lines!
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Old 20-04-2015, 21:57   #4
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

This type of terminal is known as a compression terminal. It has most of the same features as a crimp terminal. It can be hard to measure torque on slotted screw terminals like these but they specify 50 in-lbs which should be adequate. I don't recommend trying to jury rig a ring lug terminal into these compression terminals. The bare stranded wire will work ok if the terminal is torqued correctly.

Make sure the cable is stress relieved so that it does not pull on the compression joint. They provide knockouts for strain relief and these should be used to secure the wire. That will help a lot in preventing the connection from loosening. Also, check the screw terminal for tightness after the system has been running for a while and thereafter every few months check for signs of heating.
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Old 21-04-2015, 13:48   #5
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Thanks. Will give it a try then, but will keep my eye open for something involving a crimp.


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Old 21-04-2015, 15:11   #6
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Maybe you can crimp on a butt connector and cut it in half.

With 4 gauge wire it may be a tight fit.

I just used the screws and check them every 2 year's. Been fine for 4 years so far.

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Old 21-04-2015, 16:28   #7
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Maybe you can crimp on a butt connector and cut it in half.

With 4 gauge wire it may be a tight fit.

I just used the screws and check them every 2 year's. Been fine for 4 years so far.

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I strongly recommend against doing this. Compression terminals are designed for stranded wire and only stranded wire.
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Old 21-04-2015, 19:24   #8
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Screw terminals are used in commercial electrical installations for considerably higher voltages and amperages even when there is considerable vibration. Many marine components use screw terminals. Morningstar Mppts aren't the only ones.

Torque should be checked from time to time as part of routine maintenance but otherwise screw terminals are a perfectly acceptable way to terminate wires.
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Old 21-04-2015, 19:39   #9
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
Screw terminals are used in commercial electrical installations for considerably higher voltages and amperages even when there is considerable vibration. Many marine components use screw terminals. Morningstar Mppts aren't the only ones.

Torque should be checked from time to time as part of routine maintenance but otherwise screw terminals are a perfectly acceptable way to terminate wires.
+1

Also since your controller has 60 amp capability the 10 Ga. wire is a bit on the small size. Should be a 6 Ga. I think without referring to my wire code chart. Either 6 or 4 Ga. My memory is failing, happens at my age.
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Old 21-04-2015, 19:54   #10
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

I solder tinned the ends of my wires and they have been fine for more than four years now. Be sure to add strain relief.

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Old 22-04-2015, 14:09   #11
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

I would not put on the butt connection then cut it in half. The force-displacement of screw to the connector, designed to hold the wire will be wrong. I just mounted an MPPT controller from Blue Sky. I used #6 wire from the panels to the controller and tinned the ends. There is plenty of room for them. By the way, I replaced a cheap controller with the MPPT and the #10 wire that was used by the original installer and went from 13 - 14 amps to 20 amps with 3 130 watt panels. Now I am going to get more panels. I love looking at the amp values on the controller.
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Old 22-04-2015, 16:06   #12
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

To connect my Morningstar MPPT regulator, I crimped the end of the cables with fork terminals (as in the link below). The terminals are screwed in the regulator's connectors. Has worked fine for years and makes for a nice finish and easy maintenance if necessary as it is easy to connect and disconnect.

http://www.autoconsumables.com/ekmps...low-3412-p.jpg
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Old 22-04-2015, 19:57   #13
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

FWIW I crimped on and then diligently flattened out the male side of a barrel connector in the switch panel I made. Works great with a nice snug fit.
Happy solaring....
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Old 24-04-2015, 03:20   #14
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

I don't see how you guys are getting 6 or 4 gauge wires in them yellow connectors.

I am using 12 gauge on the panel side because I run 36 volt panels in series but the battery side needs to carry 60 amps.

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Old 30-04-2015, 05:36   #15
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Re: Question On Connection To Morningstar MPPT

For what it is worth, the ABYC Electrical Standard does not permit compression connections unless there is a follower plate that actually makes contact with the wire strands. This is to prevent driving the screw through the fine strand wire that is used in Type 3 Boat Cable.

The correct way to make these connections is by using a properly sized ferrule crimped on the cable end. See this link: Insulated Ferrules - Wire Ferrule - UL Approved at Ferrules Direct - Largest Selection in the U.S.
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