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Old 11-21-2016, 09:42 AM   #21
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no marcortez... mikakuja
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #22
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If you are planning to add panels later then wire a combiner box on the roof and run 6 gauge from combiner box to the controller and controller to battery. There are several threads on the forums where members used the kit 10 ga and are dissapointed with the amperage drop once installed. 10 ga will work for 200 watt or less. The amperage drops noticeably on systems over 200 watts.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:57 AM   #23
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The curvature of the roof should not be an issue if you orient the panels longitudinally. Rich M makes a very good point about running heavier gauge wire from the panels to the charge controller. Even if you think you'll never have more than one panel it doesn't hurt to have the appropriate size wire in place to add more panels in the future.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:23 PM   #24
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WolfWhistle, hope this is the info you were looking for.

This will be our setup,
2 Interstate 6V 225AH GC2 Flooded batteries, already installed.
2x 200w Mono 12v panels (currently only have one of them)
GP-PWM-30 controller Solar Panel Charge Controller 30 Amps 500 Watts - Increase Battery Life | Go Power!
10AWG UV cable (came with the system) but I may change that...
1500w MSW inverter, which I plan to upgrade to a 1500 PSW at a later date.
30A Transfer switch.

I will also be picking up a battery monitor, but that won't be until sometime in the new year. Looking for suggestions here......

A couple ideas for the install,

My initial plan and probably the easiest, but not the most effective. Bring the wiring down the fridge vent and install the controller above the fridge, then from the controller tie into the 12v at the power center below the fridge. I have done this in other installs and it works fine, but due to the distance from the batteries there is some line loss.

My second plan was again to bring the wiring down the fridge vent but not tie into the power center. The controller would be either mounted above the fridge or by the entrance door on the lower cabinet. The wiring would then run from the controller through the floor, then along the frame to the batteries. This would be the same distance wire run as the first idea but a dedicated line.

3rd idea was to bring the wiring down above the entertainment center (the wall between the front bedroom and living area) which is a lot closer to the batteries, and has a nice area to mount the controller. This would allow me to again run a dedicated line to the batteries with as short a run as I will probably get.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:03 PM   #25
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Remember that it is MUCH easier to move volts than amps. If you keep your VDC high [series], rather than Amps [parrallel], you don't need near as large of wires. Big amps require big wires. You are going to end up with the same amount of charge coming out of the controller either way. It's getting from the panels to the controller that you are concerned with.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:06 PM   #26
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True on voltage but series wiring means you MUST upgrade to mppt and subject to a small patch of shade taking down multiple panels
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:20 PM   #27
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I've tried it both ways, series, series-parallel and full series worked a lot better for me. I do my best to find full sun if I'm boondocking which isn't hard to do. The only place I have experienced partial shade was in campgrounds or parks where I was plugged into shore power and solar wasn't needed.
We all need to do what is best for our individual needs, but not "overthink" possible situations. Remember the old saying about a bullfrog having shock absorbers......! Being over prepared can cause one to miss out on the normalcies in life.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:21 PM   #28
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Just pointing out to the OP that the decision to go series with higher voltage to save on wire gauge will require him to change his planned controller. A well planned system will save money and time. PWM wired parallel can work very well with planning. I have (4) 100 watt panels flat mounted to avoid shadows from ac and antennas wired 6 ga on PWM. We get pretty darn close to rated 400 watts midday for flat mounted panels.
Just trying to help others do the same.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
I've tried it both ways, series, series-parallel and full series worked a lot better for me. I do my best to find full sun if I'm boondocking which isn't hard to do. The only place I have experienced partial shade was in campgrounds or parks where I was plugged into shore power and solar wasn't needed.
We all need to do what is best for our individual needs, but not "overthink" possible situations. Remember the old saying about a bullfrog having shock absorbers......! Being over prepared can cause one to miss out on the normalcies in life.
Unlike your location the biggest challenge we have in the southwest of BC is finding sites that get partial sun. Many places we frequent receive very little, so what we can get we like to capitalize on. Sure, there are the odd places that you can get full sun but they are few and far between.
For the shading reasons only, wiring in series did not work for us, so the MPPT controller did not provide any benefit over PWM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:19 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich.M View Post
Just pointing out to the OP that the decision to go series with higher voltage to save on wire gauge will require him to change his planned controller. A well planned system will save money and time. PWM wired parallel can work very well with planning. I have (4) 100 watt panels flat mounted to avoid shadows from ac and antennas wired 6 ga on PWM. We get pretty darn close to rated 400 watts midday for flat mounted panels.
Just trying to help others do the same.
Thanks for the info. My previous system was also flat mounted to avoid shadows and it preformed just fine in parallel. This is why I didn't hesitate to buy the PWM controller.

I do appreciate everyone sharing their experiences with different systems. I think it comes down to this, what works great in one geographic area doesn't necessarily work in another.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:16 PM   #31
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That is truly amazing that you can get "close to 400 watts" with 4 x 100 panels and a PWM controller and live in Canada.
I live on the GA/FL line where we get way more sun and I'm using an MPPT controller. The most I've ever seen [14 hrs of sun in June] was 755 watts with 6 x 100 panels.
I just noticed you are in Sarasota and not Canada. Makes a lot more sense.
Still, you will always have more lose with high amperage and lower voltage. It's one of those physics laws
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:15 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikakuja View Post
WolfWhistle, hope this is the info you were looking for.

This will be our setup,
2 Interstate 6V 225AH GC2 Flooded batteries, already installed.
2x 200w Mono 12v panels (currently only have one of them)
GP-PWM-30 controller Solar Panel Charge Controller 30 Amps 500 Watts - Increase Battery Life | Go Power!
10AWG UV cable (came with the system) but I may change that...
1500w MSW inverter, which I plan to upgrade to a 1500 PSW at a later date.
30A Transfer switch.

I will also be picking up a battery monitor, but that won't be until sometime in the new year. Looking for suggestions here......

A couple ideas for the install,

My initial plan and probably the easiest, but not the most effective. Bring the wiring down the fridge vent and install the controller above the fridge, then from the controller tie into the 12v at the power center below the fridge. I have done this in other installs and it works fine, but due to the distance from the batteries there is some line loss.

My second plan was again to bring the wiring down the fridge vent but not tie into the power center. The controller would be either mounted above the fridge or by the entrance door on the lower cabinet. The wiring would then run from the controller through the floor, then along the frame to the batteries. This would be the same distance wire run as the first idea but a dedicated line.

3rd idea was to bring the wiring down above the entertainment center (the wall between the front bedroom and living area) which is a lot closer to the batteries, and has a nice area to mount the controller. This would allow me to again run a dedicated line to the batteries with as short a run as I will probably get.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.
M, I love my Trimetric TM-2030 which works seamlessly with the SC-2030 (go figure!). And it will work as a standalone monitor with whatever CC you go with. You will of course, need a 500A/50mV shunt. I got mine off of eBay. I am also impressed with the SC-2030 ... doesn't even need a fan.

The CC near the fridge is typical and will work as will the other location you mentioned. I actually entered the truss space under each panel, then inside the pantry where the combiner is.

With the monitor my solar CC will make up the voltage drop from CC to batteries anyway by increasing voltage to the batteries accordingly.

My 35' Hyperlite the further-est mounting location was over 30' to the batteries so I elected to use #10 from the panels through the roof, then spliced to #6 within the truss space; to the combiner (homemade); then #4 to the CC and to a B+ buss about 5 feet from the batteries. This gave me less than 3% voltage drop at 12v, but even less at the 21 vdc the panels (in parallel) generate. I wouldn't have needed the #6 hassle if I had mounted the combiner on the roof. I did this to make cleaning the roof easier and I suppose for aesthetics. If you go with #4 AWG, get a highly stranded wire like a welding cable or high end audio cable. I used welding cables for the big stuff (#4/0 - #6) but used THNN #4 which was a PITB.

I upgraded the fusing since the compartment photo was taken (can't find a new one) with mini din rail breakers and a Magnum 175A breaker on the Inverter, and #4/0 cabling to batteries, the voltage drop was slightly more than I wanted with #2/0. The voltage reading was at the CC on the panel side, BTW
WW
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:07 PM   #33
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Wolf, Nice system

Watched a few YouTube videos on the Trimetric 2030 today, one of which was installed beside the previous gen controller to mine. Other than the fact that it obviously has more functionality with the SC-2030 it still provides all the info I need without it. I like it!! Definitely on the wish list.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:39 PM   #34
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A quick update on the install, still no progress.......... Would love to get started on the solar install but this lousy rainy weather just keeps getting in the way on my days off.... I am thinking that I am going to put off the panel install and throw the cover on the trailer for the winter. With Christmas nearing and too many functions happening this month I can't see much progress happening anyway...
I can always pull the cover back if the weather changes..
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:08 PM   #35
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Have a good holiday mikakuja. It was beautiful today here and is supposed to be in the low to mid 80s tomorrow.

Keep us posted when do can.
WW
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