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Old 05-23-2018, 03:05 AM   #1
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Solar wire size issues.

I have contacted FR to see what size wire I have installed for the solar ready box on my Vibes roof. FR says it's 12 gauge wire from the roof to the controller and the same from controller to battery.

I have two 100 watt panels that I would like to use. However, after reading some of the posts on here, I'm not so sure I should. I called Renogy and they said it would be fine. Also, almost every chart I have found, including some on this forum, says I should be fine.

I don't want to worry about fire/excessive heat, but I would like to use both panels. So, I'm a bit confused about what I should do.

Am I over-thinking this? Should I go by what Renogy says?

Thanks for any input.

Eric
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:42 AM   #2
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Before the copper fanatics get here...there is no danger of fire whatsoever. 12 gauge is good for 30 amps and 2 100 watt panels will put out maybe 12 to 13 in parallel and 6 to 7 in series, both well within the capability of 12 Ga.

If the controller is PWM you will need to wire them in parallel and the losses will have very little bearing on what you get from your panels.

Go get some sun!
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottBrownstein View Post
Before the copper fanatics get here...there is no danger of fire whatsoever. 12 gauge is good for 30 amps and 2 100 watt panels will put out maybe 12 to 13 in parallel and 6 to 7 in series, both well within the capability of 12 Ga.

If the controller is PWM you will need to wire them in parallel and the losses will have very little bearing on what you get from your panels.

Go get some sun!
Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:30 AM   #4
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Hi,

While I agree about fire risk potential, I don't think it falls into the fanatic category to suggest you research voltage drop through wire that size over the distance involved.

In a helpful spirit...

Rich Phillips
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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I just purchased Zamps 200 Watt solar suitcase and they use 12 gauge stranded wire. You s/b fine.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
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ScottBrownstein, I have to gently disagree with what may be a typo. 12 gauge wire is good for 20 amps, not 30 amps. It takes 10 gauge wire to go to 30 amps.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:20 PM   #7
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You can trust Renogy. I have used their products and tech service for many years now. They know what they are talking about. #12 should do you just fine but I would go to #10 in case you want to add another panel or so later.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:05 PM   #8
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Hi

I won't press my views too hard, but notwithstanding what was said on the phone, did the Renogy cable calculator https://www.renogy.com/calculators/ yield 12 gauge wire as your solution?

There must be very short wire runs involved. Or, I am missing something else pretty important -- which also could be the case.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:24 PM   #9
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richp is right! I went out and checked and I ran #8 in my entire run for (2) 100w panels hooked to a Renogy 40w MPPT controller. I stand corrected and thank you sir.
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaTraveler View Post
I have contacted FR to see what size wire I have installed for the solar ready box on my Vibes roof. FR says it's 12 gauge wire from the roof to the controller and the same from controller to battery.

I have two 100 watt panels that I would like to use. However, after reading some of the posts on here, I'm not so sure I should. I called Renogy and they said it would be fine. Also, almost every chart I have found, including some on this forum, says I should be fine.

I don't want to worry about fire/excessive heat, but I would like to use both panels. So, I'm a bit confused about what I should do.

Am I over-thinking this? Should I go by what Renogy says?

Thanks for any input.

Eric
If you are putting 2 -100 Watt panels, whether in series or parallel they will be fine on 12 ga.

They will usually be parallel if you are using PWM controller and that will be fine or if you decide to double up to 400 watts, you can go series if you are running a MPPT controller, and still be fine over the same wire
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