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Old 26-04-2015, 11:34   #1
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Through deck connector for solar panel

I'm preparing to mount two 100 watt solar panels on our bimini and am pondering the best way to bring the wiring inside to the electrical panel. I came across the Seachoice Watertight Deck Connector (image attached). It seems like it'd do the trick but am curious if anyone has used/found anything better.

thanks
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Old 28-04-2015, 02:54   #2
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

We ran our wire through the deck with a watertight connector and over the past 8 years no leaking.
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Old 28-04-2015, 03:49   #3
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

Avoid the sort of connections that Jim Kraus shows... they corrode, the contact area of the connection is small. You want little resistance as possible and a heavy gauge wire is called for. Use a "deck gland" which seals perfectly water proof and is adaptable to various wire diameters.
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Old 28-04-2015, 03:58   #4
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

I think the ones you have shown are a bit rubbishy.
Something similar to this Waterproof Plugs and Sockets - Accessories, Plugs - Hella Marine is what I use on my wind/water gen... but a different brand and you can also find them in panel mount form. Bulgin also make them Bulgin Connectors - Waterproof Kits | Index Marine



On my solar panels I use index deck glands.. Index Marine - Cable Glands - Plastic

Hope this helps
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Old 28-04-2015, 04:20   #5
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

I used the Hella ones as pictured below (each connector has 4 poles), but would have liked a connector with larger gauge for my wiring.


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Old 28-04-2015, 07:16   #6
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

Great - I was hoping there were better solutions than what I'd found. Thank you very much for your input and links.
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:16   #7
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

Most of whats shown are less than ideal for deck mount power connections.

We're in the process of replacing several cable clams with Amphenol cannon plugs. Probably the Amphe Lite composite range. They're more expensive but I can engineer a good connection, size them for the load, choose my corrosion resistance and they are removable.

They are of course fiddly to build but I have the tools and background. You can them built up but they wont be cheap.

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Old 28-04-2015, 09:29   #8
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

I like these cable clams. I have installed many of them. You have to drill the holes in the rubber plug to fit your cables correctly though. But they seal very well and are low profile so less likely to be hit by something. And no corrosion possible. You can also pull cables with connectors through them which is handy if you ever need to redo something.https://www.bluesea.com/products/category/Clam
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:33   #9
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

Another way to achieve a waterproof connection is to avoid the exterior plug altogether. Instead, mount a Blue Seas Cable Clam (preferably in a winch handle compartment or other spot out of the weather), install the power cable so that it screws into a buss bar or heavy terminal strip located below decks. It's not like you plug and unplug your panels on a daily basis. Instead, you undo two screw terminals to disconnect the power wires, then unscrew three collar screws on the cable clam. These things are considerably more dependable than O-ring seal and threaded connectors, and you can use any size cable you could wish for, up to 4-0. The newest ones even have stainless caps to protect against UV decay.
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Old 28-04-2015, 13:35   #10
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Re: Through deck connector for solar panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Another way to achieve a waterproof connection is to avoid the exterior plug altogether. Instead, mount a Blue Seas Cable Clam (preferably in a winch handle compartment or other spot out of the weather), install the power cable so that it screws into a buss bar or heavy terminal strip located below decks. It's not like you plug and unplug your panels on a daily basis. Instead, you undo two screw terminals to disconnect the power wires, then unscrew three collar screws on the cable clam. These things are considerably more dependable than O-ring seal and threaded connectors, and you can use any size cable you could wish for, up to 4-0. The newest ones even have stainless caps to protect against UV decay.
Very similar to the 'Index' range..... The first two Index deck glands I fitted were at the foot of the mast and just the two cope with multiple cabling... lights, instruments, vhf..... 20 years on and never a drip.

As you say.... terminal strips on the deckhead beside the compression post.

Re the threaded ones I mentioned earlier.... they are used on the cable for final connection of my aquaaerogen...original fit.... still ok after 15 years...cable from the wind gen then goes through the deck using an index gland.
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