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Old 04-10-2015, 06:45 AM   #1
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Solar Hookup Procedure

The system was bought and I'm ready to do the install after Winter breaks. Our trailer is permanently set up at our camp site 100 miles from home.

As of now I have the all the preliminaries done, but the panel is not yet installed. The battery in the trailer won't be installed until Memorial Day weekend, our first overnight campout. In the meantime I will be there for day trips to cut firewood, etc.

My question is.....can I install the solar panel and run the wires into the trailer to the location where the controller will be, but not hook it up yet? the wires would be coiled up with the ends covered to prevent contact with anything. If I could do that now, the final hookup on Memorial Day would go so much quicker.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:15 AM   #2
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You can, but remember that the ends will be " hot " for when you go to land them on the controller. ( not ideal) When I installed mine, I put a disconnect switch in line with the panels. Some pics and schematics of my install under my profile
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:06 AM   #3
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Just don't hook up the charge controller without the batteries being attached,,
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
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best practices / common to other JOF members who have added Solar, is an Inline fuse as well
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jmooney View Post
best practices / common to other JOF members who have added Solar, is an Inline fuse as well
You could also cover the panel with plywood so that no sun can reach it, if you really wanted to be on the safe side.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:49 AM   #6
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Just don't hook up the charge controller without the batteries being attached,,
That brings up another good point.....what to do in Winter when the batteries are removed?
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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There is no problem with having the solar panels not connected to the controller and in direct sun light. It will not damage them, but you need to put a disconnect switch between your panels and the SOLAR charge controller or there is a GOOD chance that you could kill the SOLAR charge controller.

The proper procedure is:
INSTALLING:
Step 1 - Connect the SOLAR charge controller to the batteries.
Step 2 - Connect the SOLAR panel(s) to the SOLAR charge controller.

REMOVING BATTERIES:
Step 1 - Remove the SOLAR panel(s) connection to the SOLAR charge controller
Step 2 - Remove the Batteries

For winter, you can leave the SOLAR panels uncovered, but do not leave them connected to the SOLAR charge controller that is why the recommended solution (previous posts) is a SOLAR panel disconnect switch.

I would also recommend a MAIN BATTERY disconnect switch between the battery and ALL the TT's electronics & SOLAR.

Don
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:00 PM   #8
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OK, good to go now.

I already have a disconnect between the battery and the trailer. That sure made a difference in voltage loss during the week when we were not there.

Just ordered a second disconnect and I'll put that on the solar panel.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to answer...
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:19 AM   #9
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That brings up another good point.....what to do in Winter when the batteries are removed?
Why remove them? Just stand the panels up vertical make sure they are pointed S and the batteries will stay charged.. I did this before I started going S for the winter..
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:22 AM   #10
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When I installed my Solar System, I bought some Hella Relays with fuse's built in and used toggle switches on a panel to connect/disconnect both battery and panel. Everything off, I would turn on the battery switch, then the solar panel switch. To shut off, turn off the panel switch, then the battery switch. Fused and switched at the same time!

Picture of relay:
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