Solar(s) Panel(s), wich choose? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2016, 02:06 PM   #15
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Gilles, you're not done yet. You need 40amp fuses for the 3 positive wires ( that's what I was told by Renogy). I used this fuse holder, along with inexpensive automotive fuses :
http://www.amazon.com/HELLA-H8496007...V124TZK0SQAEHM
And then there's the frightful prospect of drilling holes in your roof, if you choose to go that route. Many people have had success with VHB tape, but I chose to use well nuts, and they've been solid for 2 years now. No leaks. No problems.
Amazon.com: 25 1/4" - 20 Rubber Well Nuts For 1/2" Hole GM #528846: Automotive
A 1" bolt leaves about a quarter inch of thread exposed on the inside, just right for a nylon acorn nut. And if I were to remove a panel, I'd just replace the mounting bracket with a washer and tighten the bolt back down.

Jon makes a very good point about the angle of the sun and shorter days in winter. Ive only used my panels until mid-October, but I noticed the difference from early summer. I found myself having to make hard choices, like: Can I watch a movie tonight, or should I save the energy for the furnace? Hmmm...Life can be SO hard, sometimes.
Anyway, a 3rd panel is going on to my little old Scamp this year, and I'll be watching my amps and taking notes. It's going to resemble a Mars Rover, but that's OK. I may have found a name for my trailer: "Opportunity"

I should mention that my Edgestar fridge uses more juice than everything else put together. But I really like it. At this point in my life, it's all fun.


Gordon
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gordon in Idaho View Post
Gilles, you're not done yet. You need 40amp fuses for the 3 positive wires ( that's what I was told by Renogy). I used this fuse holder, along with inexpensive automotive fuses :
Gordon
Gordon thank you for all the info.
Did a wiring diagram accompanying the electrical panel, to indicate where to install the fuses?
I should get the panel to March 28th.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:08 AM   #17
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Hi Giles,
No diagram was provided. But your controller will probably have 6 connections: 1 positive and 1 negative for each of these: solar, battery, and load. I mounted the fuse block about 6 inches directly below the controller, so that each positive line was interrupted by a 40 amp fuse. The proper first set-up sequence is: battery, solar, then load. When you're ready, just put the fuses in, in that order.
Good luck!

Gordon
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:44 AM   #18
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Gordon, if I understand well, one 40 amp fuse on the positive before the controller and one 40 amp fuse on the positive after the controller...


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Old 03-20-2016, 12:13 PM   #19
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Gordon, if I understand well, one 40 amp fuse on the positive before the controller and one 40 amp fuse on the positive after the controller...


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See http://renogy.com/wp-content/uploads...ral-manual.pdf

esp for fusing.. pages 15-18.

(note that for my 100 watt Renogy PV panel, Renogy said a max 15 amp fuse for the controller to PV panel wiring (from spec sheet that came with the panel). In testing, I never exceeded 6.7 amps from the panel, so even a 10 amp would be fine. It depends in part on what wire you are using - 40 amp could be way too high to offer any protection, and that fuse is optional anyway, at least if using only one panel.)
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:39 PM   #20
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Basically, yes. Solar is input and Battery is output. The load connections on the right side are optional, and you can run a set of wires back from the battery to power your devices instead. In fact, your controller may not have load terminals. If you already have a battery connection to a fuse block for branch circuits of some sort, that may be all you need. You'll still want to have a fuse on the positive wire from the battery.
Hope that helps. Glad to answer any questions that I can.

Gordon
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:28 PM   #21
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Gordon (funny name),
Page 6 of THIS manual :
http://www.windynation.com/cm/P30L%2...0Manual_R1.pdf
says 40 amp fuses for all positive wires on a 30amp controller and that's what I went by. However, what you say makes since to me, although the Renogy manual does state that the fuse on the battery line should match the amp rating of the controller.
Maybe an expert can chime in here and explain this conflicting information?

Gordon
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:35 PM   #22
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, I never exceeded 6.7 amps from the panel, so even a 10 amp would be fine.
That's what I would use. I'd put it between the controller output and the battery, on the positive wire, close to the battery. This protects the wires, etc. from high current from the battery in the event of a short. Raz
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:30 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gordon2 ... I never exceeded 6.7 amps from the panel, so even a 10 amp would be fine.

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That's what I would use. I'd put it between the controller output and the battery, on the positive wire, close to the battery. This protects the wires, etc. from high current from the battery in the event of a short. Raz
Just to be clear, I am talking about 15 amp fuse (or 10) between a single 100 watt panel and the controller. The wiring is 10 gauge so i could use a higher rating except that the panels spec sheet calls for 15 - no doubt to protect the more delicate wiring in the panel. Renogy and other manufactures have more information about fusing for mutliple panels.

Elsewhere in the trailer's circuits different fuses are needed. Since my solar controller is basically wired in parallel with the converter (to the battery), the trailer's original wiring and fusing is intact*. Fusing is added as needed for the additional hardware.

* Not technically correct as I have upgraded from 10 g to 8 g wiring to the battery and put a better main fuse on the battery, but the methodology is unchanged for the original wring.
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:44 PM   #24
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Giles picked out a fine basic system IMHO and Renogy is a trusted brand.

I have just started using a 100 watt Renogy panel and I am pretty happy with the results so far, but a lot depends on your power usage and length of stay, weather, and on and on...

I also have the TriMetric meter and I think its a very good idea to have a battery usage meter. If you don't, how will you know how much power you have used or how much the solar has put back? The meter helps me get the most out of a modest system. For example, it tells me when the solar panel is collecting more energy that the charging and current level of use requires. This is the best time to use this otherwise "wasted" energy to charge cell phones, etc.

Also BTW, in the Amazon listing for the unit Giles bought.. you can see the panel spec sheet that says a MAX 15 amp fuse for the panel itself. Same as mine.

Giles, 20 feet of cable might be a bit much depending on the gauge. If you are mounting the panel on the camper try to keep the runs as short as possible. If making a portable rig, 14-15 feet of 10 gauge is about as far as you can go before the power loss becomes more of an impact than you would want. Plenty of charts on line to help you figure out what size wire to limit the power loss to 3% or so, which is the recommendation.
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:55 PM   #25
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Gordon, I downloaded and read the document Renogy seems very well explained.

If I have doubts for some editing, I have a friend electrician who will certainly be able to direct me there.

I give you details when I have received and installed the system.

Thank you,
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:15 PM   #26
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Gordon, if I understand well, one 40 amp fuse on the positive before the controller and one 40 amp fuse on the positive after the controller...


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I hope you have wire large enough to handle 40 amps. Your 20 amp trailer wiring will protect the 40 amp fuses. Look out for fire.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:55 PM   #27
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I hope you have wire large enough to handle 40 amps. Your 20 amp trailer wiring will protect the 40 amp fuses. Look out for fire.
That is an important consideration. While the panel & controller will never produce 40 amps, remember the fuse is also protecting against a short between the battery & the controller, i.e. 100's of amps available from the battery.
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:06 PM   #28
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That is an important consideration. While the panel & controller will never produce 40 amps, remember the fuse is also protecting against a short between the battery & the controller, i.e. 100's of amps available from the battery.
Study Ohm's law a bit. Then the power law.
The danger is drawing current between the maximum the wire is supposed to handle and the fuse rating. For one thing the 40 amp fuse isn't going to blow at 40 amps. Fuses generally have a time associated with the current rating.
Let's play a little math game. 12 AWG wire rated for 20 amps. Now let's draw another 20 amps through that same wire. Let's sat the battery is connected so that it delivers the 12 volts. 12 X 20 = 240 watts of heat dissipated in that piece of wire. Now think how hot a 100 Incandescent light bulb gets, then that 2x+. That a whole lot of heat. enough to burn your trailer down.
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