"Solar Prep" for portable panels

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by David Branley, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. David Branley

    David Branley New Member

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    Has anyone attempted a semi permanent install or "Solar Prep" for a portable solar Panel?

    My Goal is to have a portable panel that i can connection into a permanent charging system. Plug and Charge as it were.

    Current situation
    - Fleetwood Sun Valley with Filon Roof = I dont want to mount panels to the roof.
    - Interstate SRM-31 (Group 31) battery, 210 RC / 98 Amp Hour

    The Plan
    - Permanently mount charge controller (Renology MPPT 40 AMP) inside the trailer close as possible to the Battery Box.
    - Run Tray cables to the battery box through the trailer wall via housing mount like this. Im not certain on cable size yet but thinking 10 AWG. Any advice here would be appreciated.
    - Run cables that will connect to the solar panel from charge controller to a second housing on the front of the trailer. Goal is to have MC4 Connections for the Panel available at this mount point.
    - Use a 100 watt Solar suitcase that can be easily hooked into the exterior MC4 Connections when we arrive at the campsite.

    Thanks for your help,
    David
     
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Your plan is sound and although I currently use a Renogy Aventurer 30 amp PWM controller, which is capable of up to 300 watts of solar, pretty much mirrors my own current fixed mount set up.
    Run the cables through the floor. 10 gauge wire will be sufficient, your controller can use larger wire but 10 is plenty for for 100 watts and will allow for expansion in the future. Fill the holes with caulk or foam from both top and bottom after the wire is run to seal against weather and insects.
    I would recommend a Powerwerx Anderson Connector panel and Powerwerks 45 amp connectors for your external connection. The wire ends that come with the panel are only suitable for 12 gauge but can be replaced with the wire ends from the 45 amp pack, which are made for 10 gauge.

    These connectors do not have an exposed hot side, as you would have if you used SAE or Zamp connectors and are easier to deal with on a daily basis than the mc4 connectors. These are what I use for the added connectors in my truck bed and on my trailer battery box.
     
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  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I made cable with MC4 and 12g landscape wire (10g was not available by the foot).

    Mine is semi permanent, the 60w panel is one end of the garage with the controller in the garage ~30' away to power some landscape lights.

    The solar wire is stiff but will work, the MC4s are sometimes hard to disconnect, get the little tool.

    Alternatively use Anderson power poles as suggested above. 10g landscape wire of the length you want.

    Here's some nice wire http://www.genuinedealz.com/marine-wire/flat-duplex-dc-boat-wire/10-awg-gauge-marine-duplex-dc @ $1+/ft

    or https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/...0oEBrB-oDjXuFjNuEAxkp1cSeekgXyH8aAoI4EALw_wcB
     
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  4. hq308

    hq308 Active Member

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    If you're going to mount a charge controller on the trailer just make sure your portable solar panels don't have an inbuilt controller, my understanding is the 2 controllers won't play nice together. It needs to be one or the other.

    On my old camper I simply had wires coming from the battery coming through the floor which ran up to a compartment in the drawbar near the hitch and it was terminated with what we refer to as an Anderson plug and my portable panels (inbuilt controller) had a matching plug.

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