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Old 10-08-2018, 06:35 PM   #61
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Those alligator clips are often just painted steel and will fall off in a year or so of use. So clip them off and crimp on an appropriate sized ring terminal to attach to your buss bar.


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Old 10-08-2018, 08:29 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
David :


So I got the little suitcase portable solar panel in. It looks like I just put the clamps on a positive and negative and that’s it? I have a big 12v positive and negative “bus bar” I guess it’s called that has lots of cables hooked to it that lead ms to my battery bank (about 500ah AGMs). Can I just clamp to that?

I did clamp to that and this is what the controller looks like now:

Attachment 81662

Does this look OK? Have not hooked up the panel yet as it’s very cloudy now. If it’s cloudy (or dark) this thing won’t draw down my batteries will it?

I’m obviously a solar idiot. This little controller came with the Acopower portable kit. 120w panels. 10w controller.

Thanks!

http://www.epsolarpv.com/en/uploads/...3833641925.pdf


You will see a much great output if you chuck that controller and replace it with an MTTP. There are many smaller units made by Victron in the $100 range that you could consider.

EDIT: I didn't read about a fuse or maybe I over looked it. First, ABYC strongly recommends that each battery be fused very close the battery...forgot how close but it is in inches.

As was mentioned earlier in the thread, no fuse in necessary between a panel and an MTTP controller, I am not sure about the innards of a PWM controller, probably OK. But if you should some how short the output of any controller while connected to a battery, you will have an unforgettable experience and maybe a fire.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:22 PM   #63
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1.2-1.6 KW solar?

There is a fuse on the positive clamp so maybe Iím Ok.

This is just a training wheels solar project for me. I really like the way these flexible panels lay flat on my PH roof. I didnít want hard panels up there because I need that space to walk around to secure the dinghy. But maybe I can permanently install some flexible panels up there. Canít you walk on those?
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:57 AM   #64
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There is a fuse on the positive clamp so maybe Iím Ok.

This is just a training wheels solar project for me. I really like the way these flexible panels lay flat on my PH roof. I didnít want hard panels up there because I need that space to walk around to secure the dinghy. But maybe I can permanently install some flexible panels up there. Canít you walk on those?
I went the "training route" also. Nothing wrong with that approach at all. It has a huge benefit of providing learning without the risk of spending big bucks on a mistake.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:52 PM   #65
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Forgot .
For the plug/receptacle set i mentioned I expect you realize I did make a bracket , aluminum, to hold the receptacle so it is not flopping about. THey can be bulkhead mounted also by drilling a suitable size hole.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:20 AM   #66
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Good idea. Mine are currently just hanging, but not flopping about yet since I havenít been anywhere in awhile.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:25 AM   #67
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1.2-1.6 KW solar?

This little portable solar suitcase is obviously not made to be left outside forever. Iím thinking the foldable material itís made of will eventually breakdown if left in the sun and rain for months on end. I plan on only leaving it hooked up when Iím not on the boat, but the sad fact is Iím not on the boat the majority of the time at this point in my life.

I think I would like to permanently mount some flexible panels at some point, if I can walk on the panels that is. My only good space to mount them is where I need to be to strap up the dinghy to the PH roof so I would have to be on them at times. Is this possible?
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:11 AM   #68
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1.2-1.6 KW solar?

After messing around with this little portable solar system and seeing how nice and flat the panel lays on the curved rear section of my PH roof, and how easy it was to hook up, Iím now thinking about getting two more 100w 18v flex panels and mounting them on the roof semi-permanently but with a quick release system so I could move them when messing with the dinghy. Velcro maybe? Not sure yet. I still store the dinghy up there and may need to move the panels when I load and unload it. Or maybe I can scamper around themó not sure. I would put the panels all the way on the aft section of the PH roof, on either side of the light, so there may still be room for me to walk in between them and the dinghy. My roof is very curved so and I always struggled trying to envision how to mount a flat glass panel, but when I tried the flex panel a lightbulb went off in my foggy brain when I saw how easy it would be to mount them. Click image for larger version

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I also saw on Amazon a Victron Smart Controller with Bluetooth that I can use to monitor things and geek out on. On that controller (75v/15a), can I hook up the two new panels in series and then also plug the portable panel (120w/18v) into it as well? In series would the two panels be 36v plus 18v for the stand alone portable panel, so 54v total?

Could I use something like this to add the portable panel I already have to the better Victron controller along with the two new panels hooked up in series? Click image for larger version

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These are the panels I was looking at. Do these flexible panels hold up and perform as well as standard panels? These are not too expensive at $175 each but maybe they are junk? Will they get too hot mounted directly to the roof with no air gap?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07DH...AV5T95KM&psc=1

The controller:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B075N...GYID1OAO&psc=1
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:48 AM   #69
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All solar controllers are rated by the maximum amperage that can be delivered to the batteries. That Victron controller is rated at 15A into 12V batteries. So three 100 watt panels means a peak of 300 watts, Divide that by 12 and you get 25 amps, which is way beyond the controller's spec of 15 amps.


Also wiring all three panels in series is a bad idea. If one is shaded, they all go down.


So, if you want to use the Victron controllers and I agree they are nice, buy the 100V, 30A controller and wire all three panels in parallel to it.


I don't know much about the current semi flexible panels. I do believe that mounting them directly to your roof will let them heat them up a bit and lose output.


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Old 10-17-2018, 09:00 AM   #70
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1.2-1.6 KW solar?

Still trying to wrap my head around series vs parallel and volts/amps.

For some reason on these panels they said do not wire them parallel or they could short circuit or something. Too many amps maybe? Crappy construction maybe? But wiring in series causes the shading shutdown problem of all the panels?

I still have the PWM controller that came with the portable panel so I guess I could just keep using that for the portable panel, but was trying to combine them all to one (better) controller. Will look at the higher rated controller you mentioned.

I will also go back and read your solar learning guide post.

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:00 AM   #71
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I saw the warning about connecting in parallel:


1. Not recommended to connect the solar panels in parallel, because it will cause over-current which may damage the product and the battery.


This doesn't make any sense. All panels can be connected in parallel and the right controller can handle the current. I suspect the warning was left over from their packaged products where connecting more than one panel could damage their controller.


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