PowerPole connectors for Solar Wiring OK? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #1
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This question is for PeterH or anyone else out there with wiring experience. Is there any reason not to use Anderson Power Pole connectors when setting up solar panels? I was looking again at the new setup Gina D. is using with her 50w panels, and I thought if she could use Bargman connectors for the wiring, why couldn't I use Anderson PowerPoles? I'm looking for something that would be quick and easy to connect and disconnect. (I don't want to install permanently because I will transfer them from our little sticky to the new egg when we finally get one.)
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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There is no reason you couldn't, as long as you got the ones spec'd for the current rating you expect to be dealing with on your panels.

You can always go bigger, it won't hurt, but don't go smaller.

If you are going with 100 watts or less, the 15 amp ones should do nicely.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Gina. I'm probably going with an 80w panel, and I'm pretty sure the Power Pole connectors I already have are 15amp size but I'll double check. Say hello to your menagerie for me.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:25 PM   #4
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Powerpole connectors are very good for this type of application. The standard 15 amp sizes will work fine with an 80 watt panel but you could always use a bigger size for greater physical robustness. Make sure you use the special crimping tool, or if you really want to make them strong you could solder the wire inside the barrel of the metal contacts. Also make sure you get the plastic part of the connectors in black and red so you never hook your panels up the wrong way.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Powerpole connectors are very good for this type of application. The standard 15 amp sizes will work fine with an 80 watt panel but you could always use a bigger size for greater physical robustness. Make sure you use the special crimping tool, or if you really want to make them strong you could solder the wire inside the barrel of the metal contacts. Also make sure you get the plastic part of the connectors in black and red so you never hook your panels up the wrong way.
I use Power Pole connectors for my Solar panel and Ham Radio. Using a crimping the connections is the correct way to go. DO NOT solder.... Solder connections will fail. Solder connections on a Power Pole connector will fail even sooner.

Byron
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:08 AM   #6
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Powerpole connectors are very good for this type of application. The standard 15 amp sizes will work fine with an 80 watt panel but you could always use a bigger size for greater physical robustness. Make sure you use the special crimping tool, or if you really want to make them strong you could solder the wire inside the barrel of the metal contacts. Also make sure you get the plastic part of the connectors in black and red so you never hook your panels up the wrong way.
To take this just one step further,If you already know what Powerpoles even are then just configure the ones for your Solar in a different PHYSICAL configuration than the ones you use for anything else.
What I mean is I use PowerPoles for Ham Radio connections for power in the standard side by side with Red on the right as per ARES standard.

For Solar use I stack then Red on top of Black instead.
This way I can not plug something in expecting to see 12vdc to the output of the panels which can be higher for sure.

They also sell the plastic connector bodies in several different colors so you do not have to use Red/Black for this use.

I would and just stack them differently.

The problem with the Powerpoles under 75 amp is they will just fall apart under the weight of the wire if not secured with a wire tie or rod of some kind,not really what you want for a Solar connection.

I use Nuetrix connectors and they have the added benefit of being air and watertight and have no exposed contacts that can short at anytime.
I use the Speakon and Powercon depending on which I have in stock when I need them.
They also have a positive lock mechanism and trust me they will not come apart unless you want them too.
They also provide a cable strain releif which again the Powerpole does not out of the box.

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Old 01-22-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Yes for power poles. Also, lesser known are Amp PowerLock connectors. Source for pictures to illustrate They will mate with Power Poles. They have a more secure connection than Power Poles, but still can be pulled apart with out having to twist or press a clip. I get mine from Mouser.com.

The special crimping tool is worth the price (~$35.00) if you are going to be doing more that 4 connectors. Otherwise you can get a $10.00 crimping tool from Lowe's or Home Depot that will work to make the crimp.

Be sure the wire is large enough to enable a secure connection in the connector when crimped. What you can do if the wire is too small is add some short bare wire pieces to the connector to fill up the extra space to get a secure clamp on the wire.

Good Luck
Curt
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:10 PM   #8
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I use Power Pole connectors for my Solar panel and Ham Radio. Using a crimping the connections is the correct way to go. DO NOT solder.... Solder connections will fail. Solder connections on a Power Pole connector will fail even sooner.

Byron
Do you have experience with failed solder connections to these terminals? I have soldered many and they have lasted years with no problems. Why do you feel that they should not be soldered?
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