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1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 02/10/21 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How important is it to test for Amps after wiring the five 100 watt panels in Parallel? My current multimeter only goes to 10 dc amps so, I would have to buy a new multimeter. Its my understanding the panels if working correctly should come in around 27/28 amps.

I did make some of my own MC4 cables and I am confident that I got good crimps.

I tested each panel separately for voltage when I took them out of the box and each panel tested fine. At the time I did not think of testing for amps.


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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 02/10/21 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some multimeters have fuses for the 10 amps so you don't fry the meter. Too easy to fry a meter with that 10 amps limit.

You can see what the amps output of your array is by what it says on the solar controller, so you don't need to use the multimeter. Just remember that amps number is not the same as what the batteries are getting, because loads come first and the battery gets what is left over, if any.

Your amps figure is not a "test" to see if it doing some kind of max, since amps change all day and are less for flat mounting vs aimed panels.

You can check to see what sort of amps to expect at high noon at your location at any date in the year from some on-line tables ISTR. You might find a table of flat vs aimed to go with that, don't know.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 02/10/21 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you become concerned about total power production at some time in the future... disconnect all but one panel at a time in sequence and test them all.


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/10/21 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a buss bar or combiner box on the roof, check each panel there.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 02/15/21 05:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is going to sound confusing because I am LOL!

Been waiting for a few more things to arrive including the Battery Meter with Shunt.

The panels, charge controller and inverter have been mounted but nothing has been connected electrically to the Rig yet.

Interesting wiring issue popped up when I started to wire the battery meter shunt in the battery box today.

You see in the picture my battery bank battery A the closest, battery D being the further-est away.

You can see I have a battery disconnect switch. The switch is a simple two pole switch that interrupts the negative cable that runs from the frame to battery D negative terminal.
[image]

I have had this switch for 3 years.

I mounted the shunt and connected one side of the battery disconnect switch to the Load side of the Shunt (keeping in mind this is just the frame ground cable) I connected the battery side of the Shunt to the negative on Battery D.

The disconnect switch was in the off position. Suddenly I noticed the radio from inside the Rig was on ( I did not turn it on) It should not have been on with the disconnect switch in the off position.

I came to find that the disconnect switch when in off position would become energized to a test light and not energized when in the ON position???? This is a ground cable?? The disconnect switch worked as it should for cutting 12 volt power to the RV.

I disconnected the shunt and put everything back the way it was and sure enough the switch would energize when OFF and not when ON!

I disconnected the frame ground cable from the switch and connected to negative on battery D by-passing the disconnect switch. Everything works as it should no circuit from ground to ground being made..

I have no explanation of why a ground disconnect switch would become energized"


Question 2

It's my understanding on the Battery Meter Shunt the Bat side of the Shunt is Neg Battery (battery D in my case) ONLY? and every other negative load ie frame ground, Inverter, Charge Controller and any other negative accessory goes to the LOAD side of the Shunt, correct?

Thanks for any comments

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 02/15/21 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes to the shunt wiring.

When I tried a neg side batt disconnect switch, it turned out not to disconnect everything. The 120v and 12v share the frame for some of their neg paths.

I had a neg path still going via the inverter when shore power was plugged into the inverter, via some path inside the inverter perhaps with the "chassis ground" and the 120v ground being also to the inverter's chassis.

Not sure. Anyway, fix is to put the disconnect on the positive side as with most set-ups.

1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 02/15/21 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When this was going on I was not connected to 110. I have eliminated the disconnect switch for the time being which seems to have eliminated the problem. I will get on it again tomorrow. Puzzling for sure. Can't figure out how a frame ground connection 3 feet long can energize with a inline disconnect switch?

1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed a Aili battery monitor. (it'similar to the Renogy monitor) It asks for the total ah's in the battery bank (340). It uses this as a base when calculating +/- ah's.

Assuming you never want to completely drain the batteries to 0 ah's should I put in the total amount assuming the monitor takes this into account or half the total ah's?

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use the total AH capacity of the bank. You will be wanting to compare the AH count with the voltage when nothing much is on (almost like 'resting' voltage) to cross- check for SOC.

The monitor will get out of whack fairly often so you will need to "zero " it and that can only be done when the batts are truly full--NOT when the monitor says they are full. Your hydrometer will tell you when they are truly full.

1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 02/22/21 12:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Once I removed the battery disconnect switch from the negative circuit it eliminated what ever problem I was having from a energized ground???

As I am winding down with my wiring and waiting for a sunny day I have a couple question maybe you guys can help with.

I am installing simple DC battery disconnect switche between the power cables going from the Inverter to the battery bank (plus ANL 250 amp fuse ( I may up that to 300 amp)

https://www.amazon.com/Ampper-Battery-Di........+disconnect+switch&qid=1613978307&sr=8-3

The same DC disconnect switch between the Solar Panel + to charge controller so, I can isolate the panels from controller should I ever have a need. The charge controller will be on a separate 50 amp disconnect breaker.

Anything wrong with these disconnect switches because I have seen much more elaborate setups out there.

Like this

https://www.amazon.com/ENZPOWER-System-C........+disconnect+switch&qid=1613978307&sr=8-6

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