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Old 08-21-2019, 03:05 PM   #21
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Name: Glenn
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I've always connected the solar panels to the controller and the controller to the battery by alligator clips.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:31 PM   #22
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Thanks good idea.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey W View Post
You always have to have the charge controller connected to the batteries first. Sorry to say, but if your panels were connected to your controller with no battery connected it's time to buy a new controller. Make sure to put a disconnect from the panels to the controller for the next time you have to change or disconnect batteries.
I don't understand this rule.

My suitcase system gets opened up in the sun so I can get the cord out. Then I walk over and plug it into the trailer. When done, I unplug, wrap the cord up and put it in the suitcase as I fold it up. All in the sun.

The battery gets connected last and disconnected first. The controller is permanently connected to the panels, in the suitcase.

I saw no warning from Renogy to do all of that in the shade, or disconnect the controller first.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:38 PM   #24
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Mine works the same way.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:24 PM   #25
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When in doubt read the manual for the controller. It will tell you exactly how to connect it and in what order the connections should be done. You can write up a set of instruction steps, laminate it and post it right by the controller.

Keep a printed copy of instructions next to your controller and also keep a copy of the manual on your computer, phone, tablet etc. That way you will never be in doubt of what to do. You too could have a faulty memory day and such things are very expensive when it comes to destroying solar system components.

Do not just rely on what people in forums tell you. First of all they might not have the same products you have. Second they might be having a "senior" moments day and get it backwards without realizing they just told you to do the opposite of what you should be doing. Of course you too might have a poor memory day so you should refresh your memory by looking at that posted list of actual instructions. The components are too expensive to rely on what your memory thinks might be the right way.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
I don't understand this rule.

My suitcase system gets opened up in the sun so I can get the cord out. Then I walk over and plug it into the trailer. When done, I unplug, wrap the cord up and put it in the suitcase as I fold it up. All in the sun.

The battery gets connected last and disconnected first. The controller is permanently connected to the panels, in the suitcase.

I saw no warning from Renogy to do all of that in the shade, or disconnect the controller first.
My Renogy said thats OK with the 100 watt panels on the controller they supplied, but if you add more panels to the same controller (mine came with the 30A "Adventurer" controller), you should disconnect the panels first before disconnecting the battery.

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
When in doubt read the manual for the controller. It will tell you exactly how to connect it and in what order the connections should be done.

Do not just rely on what people in forums tell you.
Jon, Thanks for the info on the larger system.

KC, I'm on a forum and I did read the manual for the Renogy suitcase system. And I have two of them. Since I'm on a forum, and nobody should rely on my word for it, I invite you to read the manual for yourself on the 100 watt suitcase. Please find the section that says the collector must be disconnected from the controller before the battery is disconnected. And notice that the collectors are permanently connected to the controller with no quick disconnects, while the output cord has plugs. When done charging, I've always reversed their procedure, disconnected the battery, and then folded the suitcase. Everything still works fine.

Here is the essential information:
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:49 AM   #28
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Jon, Thanks for the info on the larger system.

KC, I'm on a forum and I did read the manual for the Renogy suitcase system.
this is the 30A controller on my 100W Solar Suitcase from a couple years ago...

https://www.renogy.com/content/files...-LI%20V5.0.pdf

see page 2.



now, somewhere I can't find right now on renogy's support site said that warning can be ignored for a 100W (5-7 amp) solar suitcase using that same 30A controller... the way its wired, there's no alternative anyways...
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:07 AM   #29
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Jon, Thanks for that. Good information and something I didn't know.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:16 AM   #30
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Jon, Thanks for that. Good information and something I didn't know.
as a retired computer engineer, I tend to look for hard documentation and specifications for everything electrical I deal with. sadly much of it is lacking compared with the old days.

I learned the basic Ohms Law and Watts Law circa 1968 when I was about 14, in an after school electronics shop class while in middle school in San Francisco, and Kirschoffs Theorem and all the rest. it has stuck and continues to be useful.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:33 AM   #31
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John and John, I know you guys know way more than me about solar, but I'll point out that most portable panels have their own charge controller attached to the back of the panel. I'm guessing John(Raspy)'s is set up to connect to a controller in his trailer, so that's different.

But obviously the panels which are meant to be a stand-alone unit with built-in charge controller can be connected and disconnected from the battery without worry.

I didn't read the full instruction manual on the Renogy site, just the cheat sheet they sent with the kit, but it definitely said not to connect the panel to the controller unless the controller was already connected to the battery. Since it's such an easy mistake to make...I mean when I'm working on stuff I'm unhooking the battery all the time. I could easily see forgetting to disconnect the panels first...it seems silly that it should fry the controller. Seems like there should be a fuse that blows first as a safety feature. So I guess I agree...if you have a controller than can get fried by such a simple, easy mistake, replace it with one that can't. I'll need to look into that myself. It wasn't something I knew about when I bought my kit.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:36 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
My Renogy said thats OK with the 100 watt panels on the controller they supplied, but if you add more panels to the same controller (mine came with the 30A "Adventurer" controller), you should disconnect the panels first before disconnecting the battery.

2X. This is what Renogy told me when I asked.
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