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Old 24-04-2018, 06:14   #1
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Quick solar panel question

I'm about to install a new 265w rigid solar panel over the bimini and I won't be able to do the wiring at the same time. I expect I'll do the wiring a week or so later. My question is:


Is it OK to leave the panel in place (in the sun) without hooking it up? Do I need to cover the panel so it doesn't generate any power?

From what I've read on the net, it seems it's OK, but I'd like to be certain. I don't want to damage the panel.
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Old 24-04-2018, 06:19   #2
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Re: Quick solar panel question

My system has breakers for disconnecting so I can service down stream and I can’t imagine you could do any harm by waiting
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Old 24-04-2018, 06:27   #3
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Re: Quick solar panel question

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My system has breakers for disconnecting so I can service down stream and I can’t imagine you could do any harm by waiting
Thanks. That's what I was thinking as well.
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Old 24-04-2018, 06:43   #4
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Re: Quick solar panel question

Just so you realize is that the panel will have all of its voltage available in the full sunlight and a good portion available on cloudy days. No issue in leaving the panel up without wiring, just protect the end wires.
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Old 24-04-2018, 06:45   #5
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Re: Quick solar panel question

The panel can be left disconnected..

HOWEVER, take care with the wires to ensure they won't short out.
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Old 24-04-2018, 06:55   #6
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Re: Quick solar panel question

If your panel has MC4 connectors (or something like that), connect them together (short circuit) so that the internals of the waterproof connectors are protected from the weather. If the short circuit breaks the panel (melts it), it was a bad panel to begin with.
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Old 24-04-2018, 08:44   #7
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Re: Quick solar panel question

PV is fine self-shorting
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Old 24-04-2018, 09:10   #8
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Re: Quick solar panel question

It can depend on the cell technology. If it is a crystalline cell, ok, if it is certain types of thin film solar, it can have an adverse effect when left in open circuit or without a load on it.
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Old 24-04-2018, 09:13   #9
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Re: Quick solar panel question

It's a Canadian Solar poly panel.

Should I join the 2 connectors together from the panel or just protect them from rain?
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Old 24-04-2018, 09:25   #10
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Re: Quick solar panel question

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
It's a Canadian Solar poly panel.

Should I join the 2 connectors together from the panel or just protect them from rain?
Joining them will seal the internals of the waterproof connectors.

There will be current flowing when the sun shines, but it should not be a problem.
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Old 24-04-2018, 09:26   #11
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Re: Quick solar panel question

Join, NP
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Old 24-04-2018, 10:50   #12
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Re: Quick solar panel question

Nah, just paint it black.
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Old 24-04-2018, 18:59   #13
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Re: Quick solar panel question

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenMeredith View Post
It can depend on the cell technology. If it is a crystalline cell, ok, if it is certain types of thin film solar, it can have an adverse effect when left in open circuit or without a load on it.
How is that? I've had two flex panels installed but not connected for many weeks without a problem. The connector (single plug, not MC4) was just dangling behind the panel. No way it can short out.
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Old 24-04-2018, 21:34   #14
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Re: Quick solar panel question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
I'm about to install a new 265w rigid solar panel over the bimini and I won't be able to do the wiring at the same time. I expect I'll do the wiring a week or so later. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
Putting my "project manager" cap on:

Could you have simply scheduled and performed the tasks so the wiring would be done BEFORE the panels got mounted?
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Old 25-04-2018, 03:05   #15
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Re: Quick solar panel question

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Putting my "project manager" cap on:

Could you have simply scheduled and performed the tasks so the wiring would be done BEFORE the panels got mounted?
Stu, that would be the clever to way to approach this. I don't work that way

Seriously, my boat is undergoing about 10 projects right now, including finishing a full paint job. It's in pieces... I have to install the panels (physically) when the stainless guy has an opening. While he is doing that, I'll be installing the new acrylic portlights. The wiring will have to wait a little for me to get to it. I think I'll just isolate the terminals on the panel and cover it with black plastic. That way I can work on the wire run when I have a chance. The wiring may be a one-day job or a one-week job (like everything I've done so far in this general refit!). I don't like visible wires, so I intend to snake the wires from the panel through the SS tubing of the arch, through lockers and into the cabin, cut a whole to mount the controller, run wires to the batteries etc.

Cheers!
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