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Old 08-08-2023, 11:50 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonBr View Post
I haven't watched it, so I don't know either, but it appears to be residential and not RV. In my trailer, the negative for everything is run to the frame. Both input and output of the controller, and both are bonded inside the controller. I have a heavy switch on the + input of my controller, and no plans to change it.
I'm still learning, so I'm just parroting here, but the 2-pole switch appears to be necessary because it's an RV solar system rather than a residential system: RVs aren't earth grounded and/or the solar array isn't "solidly grounded from all conductors of other electrical systems." Indeed, in an RV, they have a common chassis ground. 5:21 in the video.

I need to learn more.
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Old 08-09-2023, 05:30 AM   #42
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www.explorist.life says both the + and - lines for solar need to be on a breaker. Thus the need for a 2-pole breaker. I'd have to watch the video or read the blog again to see why.

Edit: Here's the video. Ugh. It's going to be a steep learning curve for me to figure out what I can do versus what I must do.

""(E)Type of Disconnect. The PV system disconnecting means shall simultaneously disconnect the PV system conductors that are not solidly grounded from all conductors of other wiring systems. The PV system disconnecting means or its remote operating device or the enclosure providing access to the disconnecting means shall be capable of being locked in accordance with 110.25.""

Hopefully someone with more code experience will correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I read it, a negative breaker is needed only if your negative is not securely grounded, which may be the case with some start from scratch installs.
On my "solar ready" pinnacle, the negative from the roof solar is indeed grounded somewhere, I assume securely. It disappears into the basement wiring abyss while the hot lead can be followed to the front wiring block / distribution buss.

This Renology solar schematic below shows NO disconnects or breakers between the panels and controller, but they could be unplugged.

BTW, In the video, using the proper breaker type is good advice. I originally used a chineesium 20A 12vdc inline breaker with the little flip lever for my panel side disconnect and started getting random trips. My residential panels output 80vdc in series and that 12v breaker didn't like that voltage.
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Old 08-09-2023, 10:47 AM   #43
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The breaker is used as a safety device, not for the wires in this case but for you as the person who is installing and maintaining the system. All solar panels are variable voltage, this is due to the nature of the sun and output the panels produce. Because if this variable nature and depending on how they are connected the voltage can be very high. High enough to well zap your heart. These are NOT simply 12v like a battery. So adding in the + and - type breaker is just a protection to isolate the system for you and honestly makes it easier to work on as well. Getting a set that is for higher voltage/amps is fine and good actually in this case, again its not to protect the wire or the system in this case (i.e. not like a normal fuse/breaker setup/use).

Also taking in to account the variable voltage of panels this is where Victron's calculator gets the 110v. They are using a buffer.

As for grounding, I am not an electrician but did have to learn and ask a TON of questions mostly on the DIY solar forum when building out my system. The RV system is NOT grounded in the formal sense like a house. Even though the MFG sends the existing wires to the shared ground bar, this does not mean they actually did anything right. What exactly is the RVIA? Heck lets be honest here if they actually had and followed standards that were meaningful then most rigs wouldn't exist and those that did would be built better and last longer! They definitely would ALL be using wire harnesses etc like all other moving vehicle MFGs do. Don't even get me started on the structural designs and materials, fasteners, technics etc...

My point in this is that every trailer/RV I have seen (between friends and RV shows its been hundreds) and how they are wired up (solar) has been different. Most have really been messed up and even MFG that do good in one case will totally screw it up on another. No consistency i.e. no standards, just slap it in, if there is a QA does it work, yes good let it go..

At the end of the day the MPPT has a + and - input/output that is supposed to be directly from the panels not the shared ground. I do have the shared ground connected on my main busbar (Victron distributor) where the output of the MPPT connects along with the battery and inverter etc.. Just not directly from the solar panels, those both go directly to the MPPT first (after the safety breaker switch). If anyone can prove this wrong please share as I can easily change my setup to correct it. So far it has not had any issues and has rocked it, easily produces the wattage it should.
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Old 08-09-2023, 11:15 AM   #44
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Tom, since we have the same year/model, I would be interested in hearing how your solar ground is connected. In my stock setup, the GoPower had + and - inputs directly from the panels, but the - output goes to ground and does not proceed back to the batteries. Since I mounted my MPPT close to the batteries, the stock wires are joined where the controller would have been, and the hot wire becomes the input to my controller.

Both input and output negatives to the controller come from ground.

There is a negative bus bar behind the power center, and I'm pretty sure that's where the negative solar wire terminates. A 10AWG insulated wire, plus a 10AWG bare wire that is attached to the ground bus in the power center, both go down behind the center to the right rear corner of the frame as shown below. I know of a recent case where someone had the screw there sheer off, and the wires became loose and not joined. When on shore power, everything worked, because an RV pedestal is, or should be, bonded unlike a home setup. On battery power everything was wonky with readings that took us a long time (I worked with the guy by phone) to figure out, as they were all over the place.
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Old 08-09-2023, 11:38 AM   #45
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Good question I think we are similar in setup just not 100%.

I took the GoPower wires (input was both + and - direct to the controller from panels and output went to the battery and to a common ground) I extended the input wires (ones direct from the panels) using some MC4 connectors and ran to the passthrough where the new MPPT is. They both go into the breaker then into the MPPT directly. The output of the MPPT goes into the Victron Distributor and it is from that where I make the first common neg connection to the ground. The Victron Distributor connects everything together, so all of my pos and neg from MPPT output, battery, inverter, etc are together. From that I extended to a small ground that I installed, that extends off the main ground at the front of the trailer. I put this smaller one in just so I didnt have to run multiple wires as I have some other grounds here as well.

The smaller ground I put in is circled in yellow, this is where everything in here is grounded to the main chassis ground up front. The Victron distributor is circled in red.
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Old 08-09-2023, 12:54 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by TomC_AZ View Post
The breaker is used as a safety device, not for the wires in this case but for you as the person who is installing and maintaining the system. All solar panels are variable voltage, this is due to the nature of the sun and output the panels produce. Because if this variable nature and depending on how they are connected the voltage can be very high. High enough to well zap your heart. These are NOT simply 12v like a battery. So adding in the + and - type breaker is just a protection to isolate the system for you and honestly makes it easier to work on as well. Getting a set that is for higher voltage/amps is fine and good actually in this case, again its not to protect the wire or the system in this case (i.e. not like a normal fuse/breaker setup/use).

Also taking in to account the variable voltage of panels this is where Victron's calculator gets the 110v. They are using a buffer.

As for grounding, I am not an electrician but did have to learn and ask a TON of questions mostly on the DIY solar forum when building out my system. The RV system is NOT grounded in the formal sense like a house. Even though the MFG sends the existing wires to the shared ground bar, this does not mean they actually did anything right. What exactly is the RVIA? Heck lets be honest here if they actually had and followed standards that were meaningful then most rigs wouldn't exist and those that did would be built better and last longer! They definitely would ALL be using wire harnesses etc like all other moving vehicle MFGs do. Don't even get me started on the structural designs and materials, fasteners, technics etc...

My point in this is that every trailer/RV I have seen (between friends and RV shows its been hundreds) and how they are wired up (solar) has been different. Most have really been messed up and even MFG that do good in one case will totally screw it up on another. No consistency i.e. no standards, just slap it in, if there is a QA does it work, yes good let it go..

At the end of the day the MPPT has a + and - input/output that is supposed to be directly from the panels not the shared ground. I do have the shared ground connected on my main busbar (Victron distributor) where the output of the MPPT connects along with the battery and inverter etc.. Just not directly from the solar panels, those both go directly to the MPPT first (after the safety breaker switch). If anyone can prove this wrong please share as I can easily change my setup to correct it. So far it has not had any issues and has rocked it, easily produces the wattage it should.
www.explorist.life updated his video to use a switch rather than a breaker in order to clarify that the purpose is merely to cut power rather than to protect from an overload. He was using the breaker to perform the switch function because he hadn't sourced an appropriate DC switch at that time. Still learning...
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