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Old 30-09-2013, 08:39   #1
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Solar PV Cables Through Deck

Hi all,

I have 3 24v 175w solar panels on my arch. They will feed a Morningstar 60 controller. I am going to run separate wires for each panel and need to go through the deck. Can I bunch the wires into one large bundle and only use one deck fitting gland? How about two sets of three wires? Even at just two wires, they will not be perfectly round, will normal wire glands work for this?

What do all of you do for solar panel wires?

Thanks, Bill
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Old 30-09-2013, 08:43   #2
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

Can you put them through the arch tube, and then drill a hole through the deck at the arch tube base?
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:09   #3
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

What is the max voltage of the regulator? Our panels are wired in series, only 2 wires come into the boat. On 3 24v Panels you must work on the max voltage, ie 90something. Alternatively wire them in Parl, but choose a pair big enough to bring them all to the reg on 2 wires.
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Old 30-09-2013, 17:42   #4
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

I have run irregular cables / wires through the Blue Sea deck gland, and if you cut the hole to match the wires it seals up pretty tight:

A bit of lanocote or caulking wouldn't hurt though.
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Old 30-09-2013, 17:55   #5
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

You can also use flexible conduit and watertight glands in the deck. Remember, water isn't the only problem. Ultraviolet light is constantly attacking the insulation of the conductors. Having a sacrificial barrier means that the conduit eventually bubbles and "burns", not the more expensive wire cable. The grey color is pretty neutral and industrial, and you can utilize weather-tight boxes for junctions.
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Old 30-09-2013, 18:00   #6
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

Deck fitting, sealed with 3M 4000 (the UV resistant stuff). That's if you absolutely need to have the wires on the outside of the arch.

We ran our leads (4 sets of 2 wires, AWG 12 each) through an arch leg into the lazarette, thence soldered to AWG 6 duplex for the long run to the controller.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:14   #7
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

Instead of using special purpose glands, I use a standard plastic thru hull that has a hose tail. Mount it upside down so the tail is sticking up. Use a short length of hose bent in a gooseneck after you have threaded the cables through and you have waterproof thru deck. If you want to be doubly sure, squeeze a little sealant into the very end of the hose.
Very cheap and effective.

Regards,
Richard.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:22   #8
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Re: Solar PV Cables Through Deck

I went thru the cockpit coaming - this is somewhat above the deck and so no rain water and no green water there. I bundled the negs together (2x) and positive wires went thru another hole. Just in case.

Metal/rubber squeeze glands work fine and if any gap left you can fill it with a sealant.

b.
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