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 > Tripping solar panel breaker

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EMD360

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Posted: 05/11/22 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last fall I installed two Solarland 180w PERC panels. I had ordered three 100 watt but changed my mind and bought the two 180’s. Unfortunately I didn’t resize my order for the panel breaker which is 15 amps. The 100 watt panels were rated for five amps each but these are at 9.42 each. So now that we are getting really sunny days my panel breaker is tripping. I thought ok I’ll have to replace it with a 20. But I was watching the power when I was trouble shooting and thought I might have briefly seen more than 20 amps. Would a 30 amp fuse of these two panels be too high? The MPPT controlller is Victron. The system side breaker is 40 amps.

* This post was last edited 05/12/22 06:53am by EMD360 *   View edit history


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/11/22 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO a thirty amp fuse would not be excessive.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/11/22 04:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

See this article from WindyNation regarding solar panel fusing…

https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/how-properly-fuse-solar-pv-system

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Posted: 05/11/22 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to check the rating for the controller. I have a Blue Sky rated for 30 amps, hence I have a 30 amp fuse.

Boon Docker

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Posted: 05/11/22 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

IMO a thirty amp fuse would not be excessive.


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EMD360

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Posted: 05/11/22 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks I checked the windy nation chart and I used 8 ga wiring so I’m good for 30 amps. That’s what I ordered. With 25% additional amperage range 20 would not be enough. Wonder why the kit came with 15. It’s a 30 amp Victrom.

TechWriter

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Posted: 05/12/22 12:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EMD360 wrote:

Would a 30 amp fuse of these two panels be too high?

Remember, you fuse for the wire. What size wire connects your panels to your controller?

Also, are your panels connected in Series or in Parallel? If in Series, then panel voltages add together. If Parallel, then panel current adds.


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Posted: 05/12/22 05:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All good answers.

My RV came standard with a single 100w panel and a 10A in-line fuse. I had it upgraded at the factory to 3 100w panels, but someone forgot to change the fuse so I was constantly having to replace it. I contacted the factory and they confirmed the fuse should have been a 30A with the extra panels they had installed. (It is already wired for the optional panels.)

Since the fuse is located in an inconvenient place, I replaced it with a Bussman CB221-30 (from Amazon) which trips on over-current, then after a period of time, resets itself. Haven't have a problem with solar since then.

EMD360

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Posted: 05/12/22 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m using the Midnite solar baby box and breakers. I usually leave the RV plugged in but I decided to leave it unplugged a couple of days to run on solar during our sunny spring days. I guess it’s a good thing because the panel breaker opened at day 2 and I didn’t notice until day 7. That when I finally had no power. I used the lights and awning during that time. We boondocked last fall but we were in partial shade so never tripped the breaker. Should have checked the batteries. I have a Victron Cerbo. It keeps a history of solar production and battery charge because those two are Victron products. If I had bought the more expensive Victron inverter it would monitor that too. (I have mifi in the RV that reports these readings to the app.) They are lithium so I don’t think they will have lasting harm. The BMS just shuts them down at 11.4 volts.
I think the panels have 10 ga lead wires. I know I checked when I bought them that they were heavier wire than cheaper panels. I used 8 ga from the leads to the breaker. And 2/0 for the system side even though the breaker box was not really built for that big wire. I used brass reducers to connect to the breaker. I had to drill a second set of holes for the 8 gauge wire. It was flexible enough to connect to the panel side breaker.
So I’m set for up to a 40 amp fuse on the panel side.
I wired in parallel so I did increase the amps. Maybe they expected serial so the recommended breaker is smaller than I need. An oversight on my part. I liked parallel to maintain best power in less than ideal conditions.

* This post was edited 05/12/22 06:58am by EMD360 *

EMD360

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Posted: 05/12/22 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just for illustration, a photo of the equipment. Black box below is the transfer switch. Notice I had to downsize at the controller because the heavier wire would not fit.
[image]

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