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Old 12-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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Is solar panel wired correct?

Bought a pre-owned 2012 Jayco Eagle 298rls. Has a 85watt solar panel mounted on the roof. Looks like the wire (black and red)were connected to pos and neg d/c lugs in pd4000 converter. Is it safe to leave these wires connected, thus feeding power to converter, when I remove batteries while unit is in storage?
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkhillbilly View Post
Bought a pre-owned 2012 Jayco Eagle 298rls. Has a 85watt solar panel mounted on the roof. Looks like the wire (black and red)were connected to pos and neg d/c lugs in pd4000 converter. Is it safe to leave these wires connected, thus feeding power to converter, when I remove batteries while unit is in storage?
The PD4000 charge controller is for batteries only, and the solar panel should not be wired directly into it. You also need to know more about the solar panel.

- What is the output voltage of the solar panel (12-15VDC?, 31VDC?) You can get that on the mfr website. (or with a volt meter in the bright sun) The problem is that (assuming it is a 12VDC panel) and connected directly to the PD4000 is that the output voltage of the panel is not always at 12VDC or above. This is where a Solar Charge controller comes in. It insures that a minimum of 12Volts is being sent to the batteries. You can pick up an inexpensive charge controller from a REPUTABLE mfr. I am also assuming that the proper wire size was used from the panel to the PD4000 is correct.

- Double check to see if there is a solar charge controller hidden some where between the panel and PD4000 connection.

- If you verify that there is no SOLAR Charge Controller in the circuit (hidden behind something), you can disconnect the wire from the solar panel at the PD4000, connect the Solar panel output wire to the SOLAR Charge Controller you purchase and the output solar panel charge controller can be tied directly to the existing battery connection on the PD4000. Having 2 charge controllers does not cause any problems, they actually work together, if there is no solar power, the PD4000 will kick in. What you are really looking for is to keep the cable between the solar panel and the actual battery as short as possible, as there is a lot of voltage loss at 12VDC.

As for leaving the solar panel connected to the PD4000, I would not leave it connected, as the low voltage can kill your12VDC items in the TT (radio, LP alarm,....)

Don
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention the other side of the low voltage issue, that is the high voltage issue; 12 Volt solar panels can produce 12 to 18vdc+ and with out a solar charge controller you can over-charge your battery(s), or wipe out your sensitive 12v electronics if the panel hits 18vdc+. That is the other reason I would disconnect the panel.
Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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tks for your quick info. Bought unit thru rv dealer, but for some reason, they are unable to provide any info on panel. Guess I will need to loosen from roof, and check mfg on bottom of unit. Did recheck today, and wire (only) runs down refer vent, thru wall, and to d/c lugs. No controller there. Not sure I fully understand pd4000. Can't figure, for the installation of panel and way wire was fastened to wall, and foamed in, looks first class, and someone knew what they were doing. Other options on unit show previous owner did not cut corners. Am now trying to figure how to run wire to batteries on hitch. John
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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John,
What I would do first is disconnect the solar panel from the PD4000. Put a wire nut on the hot end, to protect it from shorting out against anything. Then when the sun is shining brightly, measure the voltage on the POSITIVE cable you just removed from the PD4000. This will tell you what your panel is capable of producing (actually about 80 - 95% of the max). You will know if it is a low voltage panel or a high voltage panel. Odds are it is a low voltage panel. As for purchasing a SOLAR charge controller, get one that will allow you to add another panel, should you decide that solar is the way you want to go. They are rated in amps. Why do you need to run a cable to the front hitch area? The PD4000 should already have a 10 gauge wire run to the battery already.
Don

Here is the Mfr documentation on the PD4000, download it and keep it on your PC for future use.
http://www.progressivedyn.com/all_in_one_pd4000.html
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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Have removed panel wire from pd4000. I now believe solar panel is from nature power model 50082 85 watts and 4.86 amps. Same wire from panel to converter, looks factory supplied. Looking at a nature power 8 amp controller #60008, which they say can be added to. Could I install some type disconnect to panel wire, when batteries are removed? Have three size 27 deep cycle in block. They seem to walk off in my storage site. Am looking for a lockable cage that could be welded to front hitch beams. John
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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Yes, you can and should add a cut off switch between the solar charge controller and the battery. I would also install a 10 amp fuse between the solar panel and the solar charge controller and one between the charge controller and the battery, just to be safe.
Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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To Mustang65 Tks for your help with my solar cell problem. My cell now produces 21.6 volts before controller, and I got a 4.6 volt reading going into the battery. Battery shows 12.6 volts charge at present. This was coming via the pd4000 d/c lugs. Guess pd4000 charger was on low power.
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