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Old 03-27-2019, 09:17 AM   #1
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Solar Install

I am planning to install solar panels on my radar arch and have a question about wiring. Currently I have a bundle of 5 conductors running up the arch, one conductor is a ground and three of the others are used for lighting. There is one spare conductor.

Is it ok to use the spare conductor and the common ground wire to run the solar panels to the charge controller? Or do I need to run an isolated ground?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:25 AM   #2
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Solar Panels generally use 10 gauge wire. I highly doubt your existing wire is the appropriate gauge.

You also need to wire the panels to a breaker box so you can isolate the panels and disconnect them in the event of an issue.

I would reach out to one of the many internet based solar companies that will work with you to design a safe system for you to deploy.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Is it ok to use the spare conductor and the common ground wire to run the solar panels to the charge controller? Or do I need to run an isolated ground?
Probably not, but it all depends on the size of your solar panels and wiring distance to the controller. You want keep the voltage drop from the panel to the controller to a volt or less to allow the controller to function properly.

That extra wire is likely 14 or 16 gauge which is typically what would be used for an anchor light or similar. 16 gauge would work for a 100 watt panel within 20 feet of the controller.

Post your panel size, number of panels, the Imp (maximum power current) rating of the panel and the distance to your controller and I can recommend wire size.

Are you using a PWM or MPPT controller?

David
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