Solar Panel Connections

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Bryan, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    342
    Hi,

    What is the recommended and/or acceptable method for connecting multiple panels together before going to the regulator?

    I have panels with MC4 connectors and wondered if I could/should use proper 2 to 1 adaptors (if available) or should I cut the connectors off and use another method of joining the wires?

    Your advice and guidance please :BigGrin:

    Bryan
     
  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    14,566
    Likes Received:
    25,752
    Location:
    Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
    Not advice Bryan... (need someone cleverer than me for that...) but information for what it is worth.

    I took the wires from each of my panels to a block of what I call "chocolate box" connectors inside the Wagon near to the regulator and then fat wire from the connector to the regulator.

    It requires more wire but it gives me the chance to check the output of each panel if I wish...

    JJ
     
  3. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    9,248
    Likes Received:
    5,199
    Location:
    East Sussex 01-580-881288
    Hi Bryan,

    If no one comes with any tech answers, just give our workshop lads a ring, they will be happy to advise.

    Be patient as our phones can get busy at the moment.

    Peter
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    my single panel had the special plug and i cut it off and connected straight to the controller.

    you could do the same with multiple panels and use an electrical waterproof box for both the entry and connection point.

    usually 3 or 4 entry points so panel wires into as many as needed and outlet to control into one drilled in the back.

    drill roof and sikaflex box over hole, makes a neat and waterproof entry point...route single cables through roof to control unit.

    use a 'chocolate' block connector inside the box and its best to tin the wires or better still...solder them together and dont use a block then insulate well.
     
  5. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    342

    So basically a waterproof junction box on the roof?
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    clicked submit before i'd finished:Doh:....re-read the post.
     
  7. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    342
    Don't s'pose you got a link to the kinda box yer talkin' about? :Wink::thumb:
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    i'll have a look and post.
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,475
    Likes Received:
    25,170
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    I used to make that mistake then I was told by someone a bit clever NEVER tin because solder is soft and over time it moves and the joint becomes lose.

    Aircraft connections are usually crimped, soldered joints if subjected to vibration can shear where the solder ends.
     
  10. Happy Hippy

    Happy Hippy Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In my bus
    It's worth fitting blocking diodes with multiple panels, so if one panel ever fails, the others can't discharge through it.
     
  11. Ash

    Ash Trader - Service & Repairs Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    The Midlands ( Nuneaton )
    Give me a call Bryan and ill go through it with you ....
    Ash:thumb:
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    i used the round version of this box...but the shape is immaterial.

    hole drilled in the base for entry to van.

    cable entry points are self sealing but I'd advise a bit of silicon on the inside to be sure.

    mine is actually under the panel so is also protected from rain by the panel.

    Junction box



    you can get them with up to IP68 waterproof rating but they start to get complicated.
     
  13. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    11,070
    Likes Received:
    13,681
    Location:
    Heavan
    I see myself buying Papa John a drink at Wrenbury Bryan when he wires mine up, Are you bringing your drill Bryan? and also what time you getting there?? If we can get together we can fit them all together, Ive had a good look and contacted a few "experts" and it looks pretty simple for a euro van.
    Will you be able to bring your soldering iron John?
    I recon we can have all fitted by Thursday tea time and be sat down eating some of Nikkis cakes before the days out. I will be the roof monkey if you like as I am the fittest :Wink:
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    no you're not....i'm fatter than you !!!! :Laughing:
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,484
    Likes Received:
    16,967
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    while I'm not disagreeing with you Brian, i was always told a soldered joint will be far superior to a crimped joint and a solder 'tin' or a soldered furrell on a wire end will be better than a bare stranded wire.

    corrosion can manifest in a crimp....it cant get into a solder joint...only tarnish and oxidise it.

    we were obviously told by different people.
     
  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,475
    Likes Received:
    25,170
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    And I wasn't trying to score points, just passing on information that surprised me. Impeccable sources, one was BAE, their gold plated aerospace grade crimps are £3 each I was told.

    Personally I like bootlace ferules. Crimped. Ticks all the boxes, cable protected, sound joint and it looks good.

    I've done thousands of soldered cable joints, they fail regularly where the solder ends if subjected to flexing, the copper work hardens against the end of the solder and once hard fails.
     
  17. JJ

    JJ Funster

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    14,566
    Likes Received:
    25,752
    Location:
    Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
    I agree with Brian. I was also been taught not to solder multi-strand wires when crimping is possible when vibration is likely to occur...

    JJ
     
  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    11,070
    Likes Received:
    13,681
    Location:
    Heavan
    Well I agree with Papajohn because he's ace :BigGrin::BigGrin:
    And Nikki.s vibrator has multi strand wires crimped Ive just checked :thumb:
     
  19. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    14,196
    Likes Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Europe
    Help please

    I intend in the end to have 3 x 80 watt solar panels so what wattage regulator will I need and point maybe point me in the direction of one maybe?
     
  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,475
    Likes Received:
    25,170
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    A bit off topic but nonetheless interesting......

    What a coincidence.

    Just built a new helicopter. First test flight after a minute of so it nearly destroyed itself. I hear one servo buzzing. Wag the wires and buzzing stopped. Looked inside, one wire come off - direct solder to pcb. No support. Well it is cheap Chinese. Easily repaired.

    Today, same heli, after a couple of batteries of hovering, started spinning. Close to ground and saved. Pull different make of servo apart - exactly the same wire unsoldered. This was a different make of Chinese servo. Easily repaired.

    I've had two a while ago now I think about it.

    I should but haven't so far put a tiny blob of glue to provide a strain relief.

    Not quite the same quality of wiring as a solar panel of course but it does illustrate the weakness of soldered joints.
     
Loading...

Share This Page