Solar questions

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Solar questions

Postby AKcargo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:11 pm

I have a renogy 200watt rv solar kit with the adventurer controller to install in my cargo conversion to charge the 2 6v golf cart batteries. I had this worked out in my head, but decided to call tech support to double check, and they were no help at all, only able to tell that they never recommend anything in between the controller and battery and to contact a licensed electrician. So my two questions are:

1: They seem adamant about never having the panels connected to the controller without the controller first being connected to the batteries. Will this really damage the controller? It seems like they would engineer a safety into that so it wouldn't be an issue. I had planned to use a dual battery switch wired to give me four positions:
1:Batteries/Load/Solar --Normal operation
2:Batteries/Load --This mode is just a by product
3:Solar/Batteries --While towing, or away for an extended time the house can be completely powered off and the solar panels still charging
4:all three isolated Off

2. I went though this complication because I want to use a remote terminal bulkhead fitting to get the power from batteries outside through the wall. This would allow me to have just the positive cable run from the battery+ terminal to the exterior of the trailer wall, and the solar and fuse block would tie in on the inside of the wall instead of needing multiple wires running though the wall to the battery. The ground would attach to the frame on the interior and the exterior. Without isolating the solar charger with this setup, if I were to disconnect the batteries to service or move them, the power from the solar panel would still be in the cable and could arc, etc.

I guess this is a consideration with even a standard setup, but it just seems odd to me. Like removing your car battery with your engine running. How does this normally work? Do you have to physically disconnect the solar panel from the controller before you disconnect your battery?

Thanks in advance for any help on this, I hope my questions are clear enough to understand. -Aaron
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Re: Solar questions

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:25 pm

It appears to me that the Renology suitcase uses the Adventure controller
https://www.renogy.com/renogy-200-watt- ... b_prd-desc

The SCC is connected to the panels at all times.
Tom

PS, I don't understand what you are doing at all.
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Re: Solar questions

Postby daveesl77 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:40 pm

My panel(s) tie in directly to my MPPT controller. The MPPT then links to the fuse panel through a master fuse. I have a manual switching system that allows either the solar or the 120v charger to power the system, which consists of two double-pole, double-throw switches. There is also a secondary switch that ties to the Van's power if I want to charge while driving. I have a 100 watt and a 50 watt panel. Primary reason for using two switches instead of one is that I have dual power display panels and the switches allow them to work in different modes. I often have the solar panels hooked up without a load or connection from the MPPT to the Fusepanel.

At some point in time I'll get off my butt, build the sensor and put in the electronic relays I have to make the whole thing automatic.

dave
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Re: Solar questions

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:43 pm

AKcargo wrote:They seem adamant about never having the panels connected to the controller without the controller first being connected to the batteries.


I am not too familiar with this charge controller, but the specs state it can be used on a 12 volt or a 24 volt battery system. That may be the key info. It is common for multi-voltage controllers to automatically set the output voltage according to the battery voltage. That could be the reason. Other multivoltage controllers have DIP switch settings for setting system voltage. Either way, the controller electronics will need to boot up and if there is some power from the panel connections before the controller is battery connected, that process may not operate properly. If the CS reps are sounding adamant that the battery to CC connection be made first I would tend to believe them and act accordingly. I install a breaker or switch between the battery and the controller as well as a breaker (or switch) in the panel to controller positive cabling on every installation I have done to make it simple to activate and deactivate the system.

I have used 4 different brands of controllers from fairly cheap to very expensive in various projects and everyone has stated to first connect the batteries, then the panels AND when doing a shutdown to disconnect the panels before the batteries. That is not to say that every single brand or model has that order of steps, but it is common.

One of the mid range CC I have does state that if the connections are broken in the wrong order the unit may not restart properly when the cables are re-connected. With that one they do go on to state in that event all one has to do is disconnect everything and then proceed in the prescribed sequence to reconnect.
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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Re: Solar questions

Postby AKcargo » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:41 am

Thanks for the replies, that answers my question. I'll just add another switch in the panel to controller line.

Ps. Hi mtn Don, you've been helpful with some of my questions over at country plans as well. Thanks again. -Aaron
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