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 > Need advice on 50 ft cable to portable solar panel

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2112

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Posted: 10/12/21 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How about making a 20ft 10AWG extension cable. Place your panel where you want it. Add the extension if the existing 30ft doesn't reach the camper.

Do you have a PWM or MPPT controller?


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Tom_M

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Posted: 10/12/21 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

buy a 12Ga 3 wire extension cord, cut the ends off it and solder the green wire to either the black or white on one end do the same at the other end soldering to the same color you did at the first end.
Another approach is to make adapter plugs to go on each end and jumper the wires at the adapter. This way you have a dual purpose cable. Remove the adapters and use it as a regular 120 VAC extension cord.


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time2roll

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Posted: 10/12/21 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Very interesting points about moving the controller -- I will have to experiment with that to see how much difference it makes.
Panel is probably 18 to 22 volts and is cut to 14.x at the controller.

If the 18 volts drops to 15 through the wire to the controller it may not matter much as the controller will still put 14.x on the battery.

If the controller is at the panel you have 14.x going through the long wire and limiting power to the battery.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 10/12/21 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

profdant139 wrote:

Very interesting points about moving the controller -- I will have to experiment with that to see how much difference it makes.
Panel is probably 18 to 22 volts and is cut to 14.x at the controller.

If the 18 volts drops to 15 through the wire to the controller it may not matter much as the controller will still put 14.x on the battery.

If the controller is at the panel you have 14.x going through the long wire and limiting power to the battery.


for a PWM controller at the battery, as long as voltage drop doesn't get down to below around 15V drop will have almost no effect on charging current. For a MPPT controller output may drop some due to the power loss in the cable that the MPPT controller normally could use. Worst case MPPT controller will end up delivering the same power as a PWM controller when the voltage drop gets big enough.


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jaycocreek

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Posted: 10/12/21 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think you will notice any difference,the way there aimed is far more important for incoming amps/watts...

Two 100 watt portable panels laying flat on my truck camper roof..

[image]

Minutes later,standing on the roof aimed at the sun..

[image]

* This post was edited 10/12/21 01:20pm by jaycocreek *

profdant139

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

I am going to display my ignorance here, so be ready to laugh. How do I tell what kind of controller I have?? It is built in to the portable panel -- but I bet I could un-attach it, with enough brute force. [emoticon]


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jaycocreek

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Posted: 10/12/21 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What portable solar panel do you have?

Bobbo

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Posted: 10/12/21 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

I am going to display my ignorance here, so be ready to laugh. How do I tell what kind of controller I have?? It is built in to the portable panel -- but I bet I could un-attach it, with enough brute force. [emoticon]

I'd be willing to bet it is PWM since it came on the panel. My recommendation, get a good MPPT (I chose Victron SmartSolar) and put it at the batteries. Then disconnect your panels from the OEM controller and run them directly to the MPPT controller.

One caveat. I have not been able to find a good weatherproof MPPT controller. You will need to protect it if it is going to be exposed to the elements.


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