Best Place to interface the Solar controller

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by RobertGreenlee, May 12, 2012.

  1. RobertGreenlee

    RobertGreenlee Member

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    I'm getting close to ordering a small solar setup to help keep the PUP battery charged. I was thinking about putting the charge controller inside the cabinet where the converter is and tie it to the lugs from the battery. Since I'm going to keep the panel portable I was hoping to set it up so when I get onsite I'll feed the line from the panel through the power cord access hold in the side of the camper and plug it in to the charge controller.

    My question is it better to hook the charge controller with its own wires to the battery or would it be ok to interface it at the converter.

    Thanks

    Robert
     
  2. PDieter

    PDieter Member

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    my guess would be to have dedicated wires thinking you might confuse the controller if you tap it into wires that also draw from the battery at the same time.
     
  3. Shuswap

    Shuswap New Member

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    I just finished installing my portable 100W solar system yesterday and will be posting the mod later today. From what I read on various forums and vendor websites the controller should be connected to the battery seperately but it also should be within 5 ft of the battery so you are measuring voltage at the battery more accurately than you would if it was further away.
     
  4. kpthook

    kpthook New Member

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    Let us know how yours works out. I just ordered a 145 watt panel. The wire size is what dictates the distances to minimize the voltage drops. I am waiting on the panel but installed the controller. I placed mine next to the converter BUT I have #8 awg running to the battery and #10 running to the Anderson connector http://www.andersonpower.com/products/multipole-sb.html that I installed so that I can plug the panel in using a #10 custom power cord I constructed.

    What brand of controller are you using?
     
  5. kpthook

    kpthook New Member

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    Here are my basic set up pics
    [​IMG]
    This pic is my voltmeter and other interfaces. I am swapping out the voltmeter for a combo volt/amp meter to really see how current is used and how much the solar panel can really generate.
    [​IMG]
    The controller interfaced with the converter

    [​IMG]
    Anderson connector to plug in the panel.

    I went this route because the contact pressure on these connectors is pretty high and being one handed I need someting I can push against.
     
  6. kpthook

    kpthook New Member

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    Whoops. made a typo on my post. I have #12 running to the connector for the panel. And yes #12 MTW will fit into the blue ring connector with a much better fit and then solder.
     
  7. PDieter

    PDieter Member

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    you have a plan for covering that connection from road grime? ( I do a lot of dirt roads)
     
  8. Shuswap

    Shuswap New Member

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    as you will see in my coming post, I used a 4 pin trailer connector for weather protection and ease of connection.
     
  9. PDieter

    PDieter Member

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    my concern is while driving to and from. Grime kicked up from the road.

    (unless of course I don't understand what you are describing)
     
  10. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I have seen some of those anderson connectors with a tethered dust cap.
     
  11. kpthook

    kpthook New Member

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    Yes, [​IMG]

    Though the reason for Anderson connectors is that they're silver plated, self cleaning, low resistance, high pressure contacts.
     

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