cables for solar panel when camping





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  1. #1
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    Default cables for solar panel when camping

    Hi All,
    I've got to get 2 panels to feed to my batteries aboard my Comfortvan.
    I have a DC-DC [HCdP] with a BH connector.

    WHAT thickness cables do run from each panel to the BH input plug?

    Thanks,


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    I bought 4mm2 ripcord 10m extension from Bushpower.

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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Thug View Post
    I bought 4mm2 ripcord 10m extension from Bushpower.
    Yes, 4mm2 ripcord is the one but maybe get 20m divided in two 10m strips with BH plug on all sides.

    At some campsite stands you might need the extra length, if not only use a 10m strip.
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2019/07/04 at 01:29 PM.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Here is a nice calculator for solar cable sizing.

    https://www.solar-wind.co.uk/info/dc-cable-sizing-tool
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Chaos View Post
    Hi All,
    I've got to get 2 panels to feed to my batteries aboard my Comfortvan.
    I have a DC-DC [HCdP] with a BH connector.

    WHAT thickness cables do run from each panel to the BH input plug?

    Thanks,


    cc
    Connect the panels together? Only one cable.

    Or is one fixed on the Comfortvan?
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    Yes, 4mm2 ripcord is the one but maybe get 20m divided in two 10m strips with BH plug on all sides.

    At some campsite stands you might need the extra length, if not only use a 10m strip.
    This. Take note that the BH plugs aren't cheap though (it will run you around R200 more to do this). I made a 16m cable with BH plugs on each end.

    4mm2 is fine, it can handle (on 15/16m I think) up to 34A. I run 2x 80W panels on mine.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    I bought 10m of the 4mm2 solar power compatible red and black cable from AC/DC. The wire is silver in colour so might be silver plated to reduce it's resistance. On the one end I fitted the solar plugs to connect to the 2 panels and then joined the two wires together at intervals with shrink wrap before fitting the blue Brad Harrison plug to the other end. I will still make up a second cable with two blue Brad Harrison plugs to give me more flexibility in panel positioning at some campsites. This wire is less flexible than the normal 4mm2 flex/ripcord type wire that is normally used for speaker wiring but it's what is specified for solar installations.
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Thanks -

    I understand the HCdP DC-DC charger MUST have the panels input in Parallel.

    i.e. (as i understand it) the cables must [almost] independently arrive at the BH plug on the Comfortvan.

    I'm [assuming] i must plant the panels next to each other and run each panels cable to the BH connector.

    I'd have to make some kind of 2 input connector [ 1 from each panel] into the single BH connector.

    am i on the right track here??
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  11. #9
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Chaos View Post
    Thanks -

    I understand the HCdP DC-DC charger MUST have the panels input in Parallel.

    i.e. (as i understand it) the cables must [almost] independently arrive at the BH plug on the Comfortvan.

    I'm [assuming] i must plant the panels next to each other and run each panels cable to the BH connector.

    I'd have to make some kind of 2 input connector [ 1 from each panel] into the single BH connector.

    am i on the right track here??
    What plugs are on the output wires of your solar panels?
    My two 100W panels have the MC4 solar connectors that I connect to two MC4 Multibranch connectors. My single cable then connects to the Multibranch connector on the one end and through the blue Brad Harrison plug to the caravan and my National Luna DC/DC charger.
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    First thing to do is to hinge the two panels.

    The panels usually comes with a short length of cable with a plug attached.

    Cut the plugs, join the two + and join the two - cables (parallel)

    Put a BH plug on, it means double + one side and double - on the other side.

    Now connect ONE cable to the controller.

    As above, but I prefer the BH plug to MC4, I find them easier to work with but its all the same, your choice.
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2019/07/04 at 01:58 PM.
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    First thing to do is to hinge the two panels.

    The panels usually comes with a short length of cable with a plug attached.

    Cut the plugs, join the two + and join the two - cables (parallel)

    Put a BH plug on, it means double + one side and double - on the other side.

    Now connect ONE cable to the controller.

    As above, but I prefer the BH plug to MC4, I find them easier to work with but its all the same, your choice.
    The panels came with the MC4 plugs that are the standard for solar installations and they seal properly if they get rained on. The B/H plug is in a box in the side of the caravan so water ingress isn't a concern. I still have to get the eye end done on the this stainless steel cable I'm going to use to lock the panels to the caravan so I can leave them out in camp while I go sight seeing.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul#25 View Post
    What plugs are on the output wires of your solar panels?
    My two 100W panels have the MC4 solar connectors that I connect to two MC4 Multibranch connectors. My single cable then connects to the Multibranch connector on the one end and through the blue Brad Harrison plug to the caravan and my National Luna DC/DC charger.
    That's the way I'll be connecting my panels up.

    I thought about cutting off the MC4's and putting on BH's but I'd lose the guarantee if there was an issue with the panel.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Thug View Post
    That's the way I'll be connecting my panels up.

    I thought about cutting off the MC4's and putting on BH's but I'd lose the guarantee if there was an issue with the panel.
    AC-DC has all the plugs and the spanners as well as the correct wiring for the solar stuff at prices that are better than most other places.
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  20. #14
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    Red face Re: cables for solar panel when camping

    Thanks to everyone for their input especially Paul for the diagrams .
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