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Old 06-22-2017, 03:54 PM   #1
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Sun Power

Well, I'm about to take the plunge and order a 540 Watt Solar Kit.

The question I have is how to route the power down to the battery box. I'd like to keep the hull penetrations down to a minimum. I'm thinking of using a conduit and clamps.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:05 PM   #2
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Any suggestions?
penetrate!!


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Old 06-22-2017, 04:22 PM   #3
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I ran my eight panels' two 4AWG downfeed positive cables through the insides of a hollow roof rib on the passenger side, and the two negative cables are in a driver side rib. They penetrate through the roof skin under the two combiner boxes that are weatherproof Bell 5348 aluminum junction boxes bolted to the roof rib and well sealed, and these boxes sit under my roof walkway that keeps almost all rain off them anyway. I had to drill 1" holes through the longitudinal box-sections above the windows so that I could access the ends of the roof ribs from underneath, but then it was easy to use 1" ID plastic tube as a flexible conduit for the cables running down to and through the floor to the breakers and charge controllers in a luggage bay underneath. I have blocked off two windows on each side, and the cables' conduits run between the new outer skins and the inner wall panels, then through the side walls under the windows. Doing it this way was a lot of work, but the cables are completely protected from weather or damage and they are also completely hidden from sight, yet if I had to replace them they could be easily fished all the way through from the roof combiner boxes down to the luggage bay.

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Old 06-22-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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I ran down through the roof. Not the best idea, but silicone is awesome. Inside the bus i ran conduit down both sides. With boxes and banana clip set ups. A battery bank separate from the bus power, but can be charged by a 360 amp alternator. Under the right conditions. So much left to learn


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Old 06-22-2017, 07:18 PM   #5
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I used two of THESE. Sturdy, clean, and no leaks.

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Old 06-22-2017, 11:37 PM   #6
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Very nice! Where did you find that set up?
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
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$24 on Amazon. He provided a link.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:41 PM   #8
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I used two of THESE. Sturdy, clean, and no leaks.
How long & what gage cables?
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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If memory serves me, to accommodate that kit, you are going to want to use a #6 wire from your junction box down to your charge controller.
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:34 PM   #10
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Much appreciated.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:23 PM   #11
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The question I have is how to route the power down to the battery box. I'd like to keep the hull penetrations down to a minimum. I'm thinking of using a conduit and clamps.
Howdy Capt! With a kit like that, you are probably going to get cables and be told exactly how to connect everything - that's probably a good way to go. If not, you have some options.

At a glance, those appear to be 18 volt panels. I'm assuming they want them connected in parallel (given the two, two-in-one MC1 connectors in the photo) and are able to achieve something around 80% rated capacity, you will have something around 24 amps at 18 volts coming down the wire.

How long is the run from the panels to the charge controller? Assuming it is 30', you are going to need #6 AWG or larger.

However; if that charge controller will allow you to connect them in series, and you want to do that (there are negatives), then you would have 8 amps at 54 volts. Assuming the same length, you would only need #14 AWG.

Cable size is one of the advantages of the high voltage panels - I'm using #10 for 1700 watts. This doesn't seem like too big of a deal until one starts pricing big thick copper cables. I know... just making things more complicated...
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:31 PM   #12
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Just placed the order for this kit. Anticipated del'y date: 7Jul17. Now, if Home Depot reads the shipping address and delivers it to my bus, I'll be in good shape. If they arrive in the after noon, I'll be plugged into .
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:37 PM   #13
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Just placed the order for this kit.
Congrats! Solar power is a mighty kewl thing!!
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:39 PM   #14
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Howdy Capt! With a kit like that, you are probably going to get cables and be told exactly how to connect everything - that's probably a good way to go. If not, you have some options.

At a glance, those appear to be 18 volt panels. I'm assuming they want them connected in parallel (given the two, two-in-one MC1 connectors in the photo) and are able to achieve something around 80% rated capacity, you will have something around 24 amps at 18 volts coming down the wire.....
It looks to me like that kit comes with a PWM charge controller. If he upgrades to an MPPT then running the panels in series may be practical but not with the PWM controller.

Impp on those panels is 9.24A. Three panels in series could see 27.72A. I believe NEC would allow #10 wire. However, DC voltage drop over your wire runs is your ENEMY. For a run of more than a few feet I would use at least a #8 to minimize DC losses. If it is a long run or you may consider adding panels in the future you may want to go with #6.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:17 PM   #15
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The solar panel kit, in 4 packages, arrives TOMORROW!
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:58 PM   #16
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Just placed the order for this kit. Anticipated del'y date: 7Jul17. Now, if Home Depot reads the shipping address and delivers it to my bus, I'll be in good shape. If they arrive in the after noon, I'll be plugged into .
Looks like a defibrillator....! What is it? Excuse my ignorance.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:36 PM   #17
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It's a hemodialysis machine. My kidneys don't work, so I have to be plugged into this beast for 4.5 hours on M-W-F. Major advantage? I don't have to urinate as much.

When I was first attached to one like this in February, it sucked out over 60 kg of trapped fluid in my body! I lost 8" in my waist in one week! Jenny Craig doesn't have a diet plan like that!
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:58 AM   #18
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When I was first attached to one like this in February, it sucked out over 60 kg of trapped fluid in my body! I lost 8" in my waist in one week!
VERY NICE!!! Where I can I get one?!?!
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:31 PM   #19
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Just let your kidneys go to pot. The hospital will be more than delighted to hook you up to one.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:25 PM   #20
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My solar panel kit arrived yesterday, complete with everything but the mounting screws for the controller and the 1800/3000w inverter. Also arriving yesterday was the kitchen sink and the 30 litre boiler.

I guess I'm gonna be just a bit busy.
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