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Old 03-11-2014, 10:55   #46
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

with solars, the fuse is purely to protect the battery side wiring, so mount the fuse near the battery and it should be rated for the wires capacity, It should be well above the solar panel power.

Theres no point in fusing a solar panel output , as it cannot deliver above its max output

If that fuse is blowing, theres a fault in the solar regulator.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:13   #47
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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If that fuse is blowing, theres a fault in the solar regulator.
Or the wiring from battery to controller
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:52   #48
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

Definitely something wrong. There's no way 240w of panels can make over 20A of current. Maybe 16A, but not 20A.

All of the owner's manuals for the solar controllers I've installed all specified that the battery must be connected first, then solar panels. Solar panels should be disconnected first and battery last.

I wouldn't recommend inserting a fresh fuse with the solar panels still connected.
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Old 03-11-2014, 15:15   #49
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

Are your panels wired in series or parallel? You originally said the the INPUT on the controller was 13 volts in full sun. I'm reading this as the voltage coming from the panel and into the controller. You should be over 15 volts if in parallel and over 30 if in series. I have 2/100 watt panels in series and the voltage going into the controller is 35. The same panels, through the controller, output a max of roughly 10-12 amps.

If you're blowing 20amp fuses with 240watts of panels something is probably wired wrong. I just don't see how you make that much power. Or maybe mine are wired wrong...


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Old 03-11-2014, 19:12   #50
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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There is a short circuit somewhere before the controller. Or the panels have + and - reversed.
I dropped down at lunch time and had a quick look at the wiring and started tracing the line from the controller back to the panels. That's where Steca support advised the problem would be too.

Where I swapped the cable plugs to accomodate Parallel wiring, I used some heat shrink to cover the solder. But a bit of solder had pricked through the heat shrink and as Murphy would have it I then taped that bump with the small pertuding solder to the Stainless Steel Pushpit.

I havn't fully rectified it yet but I undid the tape and pulled it away from touching anything, disconnected the panel wires to the controller, installed a new 25amp fuse and connected the panels again and so far no blown fuse. Tonight after work I'll go down and put some self amalgam tape on it and see if it's still ok. But I think it was a common wire short out to the frame.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:24   #51
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

Well done RC, always good to find the fault!
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Old 12-11-2014, 16:38   #52
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

Got two of the 135 watt panels wired in, the controller and the remote panel setup. Making juice even on these cloudy days! Wiring in the two 55 watt panels tomorrow to a separate controller then one 135 watt panel left to wire up.


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Old 12-11-2014, 17:01   #53
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post

Where I swapped the cable plugs to accomodate Parallel wiring, I used some heat shrink to cover the solder. But a bit of solder had pricked through the heat shrink and as Murphy would have it I then taped that bump with the small pertuding solder to the Stainless Steel Pushpit.
I'm not sure solder is a safe way to connect solar panel wiring. It will create a stiff section that is prone to failure where the solder ends. It may create other issues as well. Perhaps it is permissible to solder the wire to a fitting that plugs together, and perhaps that is what you did. I believe crimping is the preferred method. Read MaineSail's excellent articles for information and to learn best practices. Can a qualified marine electrician comment here?
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Old 12-11-2014, 17:05   #54
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

A proper crimp with the correct tools and heat shrink is my daily method. ABYC requires that solder not be the only means of connection anyway, so you could crimp and then solder. But solder does not add anything to a proper crimp except the time it takes.
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Old 13-11-2014, 13:43   #55
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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I'm not sure solder is a safe way to connect solar panel wiring. It will create a stiff section that is prone to failure where the solder ends. It may create other issues as well. Perhaps it is permissible to solder the wire to a fitting that plugs together, and perhaps that is what you did. I believe crimping is the preferred method. Read MaineSail's excellent articles for information and to learn best practices. Can a qualified marine electrician comment here?
I think given the area it's ok in this instance. It's strapped to the pushpit. An, no, I did not solder the wire to a fitting. The solar panels were both sold with the plugs positive and negative already permamently attached. In order to put the panels in parallel I had to swap one fitting. I could have purchased a new fitting but I chose to cut one off and swap them around thats all.
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Old 13-11-2014, 13:47   #56
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

A guy with his boat next to mine told me yesterday that even an antenna (in my case it's a Next G antenna) casting a shadow over my solar panels is enough to block the connection and stop all power from the two solar panels I have going to the battery.

Is this correct?
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Old 13-11-2014, 15:36   #57
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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I think given the area it's ok in this instance. It's strapped to the pushpit. An, no, I did not solder the wire to a fitting. The solar panels were both sold with the plugs positive and negative already permamently attached. In order to put the panels in parallel I had to swap one fitting. I could have purchased a new fitting but I chose to cut one off and swap them around thats all.
That makes no sense.


Each panel had a positive and negative terminal on it's respective cable. All you had to do to wire them in parallel was to buy a combiner of each gender so that you could combine the 2 positives together and the 2 negatives together.

It cannot possibly get any simpler than that.

Based on that statement, I'm beginning to wonder if you truly know the difference between series and parallel panel connections. Can you draw me a quick diagram of each to show that we're on the same page?
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Old 13-11-2014, 15:38   #58
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
A guy with his boat next to mine told me yesterday that even an antenna (in my case it's a Next G antenna) casting a shadow over my solar panels is enough to block the connection and stop all power from the two solar panels I have going to the battery.

Is this correct?

No it's not.
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Old 13-11-2014, 15:57   #59
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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A guy with his boat next to mine told me yesterday that even an antenna (in my case it's a Next G antenna) casting a shadow over my solar panels is enough to block the connection and stop all power from the two solar panels I have going to the battery.

Is this correct?
Is this the antenna you're talking about?



If so, and the shadow is falling on both panels, you might be getting less than 50% power, possibly as low as 25%.
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Old 13-11-2014, 16:17   #60
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Re: Solar Panel Wiring Question

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That makes no sense.


Each panel had a positive and negative terminal on it's respective cable. All you had to do to wire them in parallel was to buy a combiner of each gender so that you could combine the 2 positives together and the 2 negatives together.

It cannot possibly get any simpler than that.

Based on that statement, I'm beginning to wonder if you truly know the difference between series and parallel panel connections. Can you draw me a quick diagram of each to show that we're on the same page?
socaldmax, we have done this before. Your just looking for something to be picky about and criticise. The shops were closed on the day I installed them so purchasing a combiner would not have been an immediate and easier option. It was EASY to simply swap the plugs around.

And No i'm not drawing you a diagram for you to then pick on my line thickness or shade or some other pedantic insignificant issue. 'Parallel' are all plus together and all neg's together. The other option is 'in series' which would then however bump my volts. My panels were sold to be added in series, hence I needed to swap a connection to put join them.. Is this clear for you? Can I make simplify for you any more than that?
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