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Old 04-11-2016, 11:59 PM   #1
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29HFS Solar

Hey guys just brought the new trailer home today and was trying to figure out what I could do with the factory solar prep, well nothing. So I'm looking for some help on how you guys have run your cables down to the front, pics would be great!

I'm planning renogy panel with 200w to start with 400w growth if needed and using a bogart 2030 with monitor.

What have you guys done that works, any thought or help is greatly appreciated!

Craig
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cmill29HFS View Post
Hey guys just brought the new trailer home today and was trying to figure out what I could do with the factory solar prep, well nothing. So I'm looking for some help on how you guys have run your cables down to the front, pics would be great!

I'm planning renogy panel with 200w to start with 400w growth if needed and using a bogart 2030 with monitor.

What have you guys done that works, any thought or help is greatly appreciated!

Craig
Not sure what the solar prep package is. If they ran wiring to the roof, it has to be of such wire gauge and length to produce less than 3% total voltage drop.

I figured these 150w Renogy panels could produce 8.5 amp at 20.something volts. They come with a 22" 10ga pair terminating in MC4 connectors. I bought MC4s from Amazon and spliced short pieces to get through the roof and still have connectors above the roof. I ran through the rafters to a combiner in the pantry; above the utilities compartment. To lessen the loss, I spliced #6 to the combiner (made it using 4" square plastic box and two grounding blocks for breaker panels); then #4 to the front. I have the gen prep, so I used the box for all the solar gear and the Magnum Inverter.

The best thing you can do to plan the installation is to first get the TM-2030 as well as the SC-2030, whose manual is virtually a tutorial on the installation of solar. The monitor is a must have.

The SC2030 can handle a little more than 500watts of panels, so you are good to go. If I added another 150, I would have to add a second controller, but probably will not need to.

Photos attached.
If I can be of any help, don't hesitate to ask.
WW
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
Not sure what the solar prep package is. If they ran wiring to the roof, it has to be of such wire gauge and length to produce less than 3% total voltage drop.

I figured these 150w Renogy panels could produce 8.5 amp at 20.something volts. They come with a 22" 10ga pair terminating in MC4 connectors. I bought MC4s from Amazon and spliced short pieces to get through the roof and still have connectors above the roof. I ran through the rafters to a combiner in the pantry; above the utilities compartment. To lessen the loss, I spliced #6 to the combiner (made it using 4" square plastic box and two grounding blocks for breaker panels); then #4 to the front. I have the gen prep, so I used the box for all the solar gear and the Magnum Inverter.

The best thing you can do to plan the installation is to first get the TM-2030 as well as the SC-2030, whose manual is virtually a tutorial on the installation of solar. The monitor is a must have.

The SC2030 can handle a little more than 500watts of panels, so you are good to go. If I added another 150, I would have to add a second controller, but probably will not need to.

Photos attached.
If I can be of any help, don't hesitate to ask.
WW
Thanks for the response, your system is almost the same as what I'm looking to do.The Solar prep is a simple SAE connector on the front of the frame that I assume goes into the factory inverter. I was hoping it had some type of wiring to the roof but it doesn't, it looks to be a simply plug so a small panel can be used to charge with small 12AWG wire.

Anyway what I was hoping I could see is how and where you ran the cables down from your fixed roof mount panels and then to the gen prep box. I have the Gen prep box too and was thinking the same thing as you for mount location.

Thanks again for your help.

Craig
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
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I can detail that, but most wouldn't go to the trouble I did. I'll get some photos so it isn't so boring

I'm not sure what an SAE connector is. Ive heard of Zamp... But any so called, solar prep, would entail wiring to the roof... whether its large enough??... You might find a mark or label on the roof with the wire just below. It might handle 2 100w panels. That would save you tons if work.
WW
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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All the Zamp is would be a pigtail that attach to the battery and a plug in that you would use to plug their portable solar panel into when camping or charging batteries. So basically it's nothing. I have it on my 425.


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Old 04-17-2016, 03:07 PM   #6
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It's a marketing gimmick, is what it is. LOL

If you want to do solar, basically ignore the factory prep option.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cmill29HFS View Post
Thanks for the response, your system is almost the same as what I'm looking to do.The Solar prep is a simple SAE connector on the front of the frame that I assume goes into the factory inverter. I was hoping it had some type of wiring to the roof but it doesn't, it looks to be a simply plug so a small panel can be used to charge with small 12AWG wire.

Anyway what I was hoping I could see is how and where you ran the cables down from your fixed roof mount panels and then to the gen prep box. I have the Gen prep box too and was thinking the same thing as you for mount location.

Thanks again for your help.

Craig
So, Mr. C. The panels have 22" tails with MC4 connectors. I spliced 4' #10 to MC4 so I can unplug / plug on the roof if ever need be. I drilled through below the panels. The last photo is a .png that shows the location of holes, panels and vents (also AC) for reference. I also will followup with lessons learned and what I would do differently.

Top photo shows my short #10 to MC4. Near the holes in the roof, I attached a clip with a screw and buried all in Dicor. These short cables let me fish them to vents that I removed the trim piece, all but the frontmost, I opened a section of the ceiling in the pantry for that one; as well as that one runs directly to the Combiner... so the #10 for that one was about 8 feet in length.

A tip on MC4s... what looks like a male (the black part) is actually the female. The gender is determined by the metal part, not the plastic.

Just at the vents (rearmost and center) I made soldered and heat shrink splice into #6 to the combiner. The idea was to reduce the voltage drop all I could.

I am fairly decent at fishing, but those skills are fading fast, so I fished between vents with trim removed and the hole in the pantry ceiling.

From the Combiner (homemade with a 4" shallow WP box and cover with termination ground strip for a power panel) I ran #4 to the fuse / controller.

Rearmost panel has 40" #10, 14' #6, and 18' #4; the middle panel 40" #10, 8' #6 and the same #4, the front panel has 9' of #10 plus the same #4.

The photos pick up inside the pantry ceiling where all panel wires can be seen (I still need to make a cover plate); then you see the combiner; then the #4 and other stuff leaving the pantry cabinet down low and penetrating the floor (have to make a cover for this also); next is below the floor showing hose protecting the cabling; next the conduit running the length down the side and up into the genset (prep) box, which you can see the end in a previous photo.

What I would do differently:
I would have drilled closer to the center for the front panel. I drilled straight through the AC duct. I would forgo splicing #6 for the middle panel. I could do a neater job making the #4 run in conduit.

I had some #6 and #4 left over from the shop build and used the THHN I had, I would buy a high grade of audio or highly stranded #6 and #4 instead. Making up the THHN in the Combiner was a pain as was terminating the #4 into the AC disconnect / fuse box and Controller. I had to cut two strands off the #4 at the Controller, which is okay, but it is so incredibly hard to work with for an old phone / call center / network tech.

The placement of these 39x39.5 panels went fairly well. I stayed as far from the existing AC unit as possible to lessen the times when it could shadow the front panel. I also stayed back beyond the rear vent, in case I ever add an AC unit there, but depending on how well the portable works I might not need to.

With the panels on fairly tall mounts, the vents don't present much of an issue for shadows, of course, these Maxair powered vents are lower than a vent with the typical taller cover. These homemade mounts although stationary now, with the addition of simple arm, can be tilted.

WW
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:15 PM   #8
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Thanks WW this really helps, we just got 2 ft of snow so I'll start the project over again next weekend.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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FWIW, Monitor showing absorb charge 14.7 v and 101% full at 10am. Magnum shows 14.7 to 14.8 volts. It reaches over 100% and holds it before going into float. I was getting over 21volts from the panels yesterday at around 3pm. It was in float then as well.
WW
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