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Old 12-03-2017, 01:38 PM   #1
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Gauge: panel to controller

I have heard the recommendations by some to go heavier gauge than my mc4 #10 wire for the final run from roof to controller. My setup is bought but not installed 4 panel 600 watt parallel. My concern here is how do I connect the #6 wire to my #10 mc4. I heard combiner box but a $100 for purpose of connecting this strand seems overkill and I have inline fuses so no need for breaker.

Do I splice and if so how?

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Old 12-03-2017, 02:40 PM   #2
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A commercial electric supply house will have butt splice connectors to fit your needs but most likely will be un insulated so you will need high voltage EPDM(rubber tape) stretched tight for quite a few layers including an inch or two on either side of the splice and cover with a cheap electrical tape at least on the ends of your high voltage tape down the wire runs and around the splice itself.
Safety first especially electrical.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
A commercial electric supply house will have butt splice connectors to fit your needs but most likely will be un insulated so you will need high voltage EPDM(rubber tape) stretched tight for quite a few layers including an inch or two on either side of the splice and cover with a cheap electrical tape at least on the ends of your high voltage tape down the wire runs and around the splice itself.
Safety first especially electrical.
This is good news. Seems like the most straightforward way I could have hoped for. I don't remember Handy Bob mentioning mentioning how he ran that heavy gauge from roof and was surprised to not see a demo on youtube. Ty

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Old 12-03-2017, 03:47 PM   #4
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Connectors by the tradename of Burndy. basically just a copper lug, insert wires and tighten a bolt. Many sizes available and then use rubber tape and electrical tape on the outside. Some use duxseal, a putty like matter before taping to wrap the whole connector. Does a nice smooth form to tape over.
The joints don't loosen when Burndys are used.

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Old 12-03-2017, 05:26 PM   #5
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The question is - how many amps are going from the panels to the charge controller, and how long a cable run is it? Remember that cable run length is measured for the round trip, i.e. there and back, not just one way. There's plenty of cable gauge calculators online to know what to use.

FYI, each half of my PV produces 34A at 30V, and after the individual panels' 10AWG outputs are 12A-fused and combined they use 4AWG welding cable to connect to the 50A input breakers before the charge controllers. If in doubt, go bigger. Without sounding too sexist, cables should be short and fat! And use proper lugs and a good lug crimper tool for a reliable connection. Definitely no mickeymousing when dealing with potentially fatal currents, even when they're at low voltage.

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Old 12-07-2017, 03:49 PM   #6
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I recommend soldering for 12 gauge and smaller heat shrink tubing to insulate for larger, uninsulated butt connectors use a vise grip to hold and melt solder into the opening insert wire while still hot and allow to cool also heat shrink over good soldering gun kit $10 at harbor freight. Heat shrink also. For larger heat shrink electrical supply house its fairly cheap and reliable. Solder joints eliminates those pesky loose connections that will drive you batty when trying to find them. Solderless if terminals and terminal strips aka barrier strips are also an option.

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