Answered

how do i hook up my panels up in parallel?

Posted by devnull

Oct 30, 2018 at 9:26am

Point me specifically to what i need to by online/Amazon to make my panels hook up in parallel, with leads long enough etc. Or would I need to make some custom MC4 connections.


Also looking for the most streamlined option.



Posted by bupkis

Oct 30, 2018 at 10:03am

If you have a mppt controller I would do series pairs or all series.

For parallel they make various 'branch' connectors

for 4 panels, may not be long enough
www.renogy.com/solar-mc4-y-parallel-branch-connectors-mffff-fmmmm-pair/

or 3 sets (6) of these, again you might need some additional mc4 wire for length
www.renogy.com/mc4-parallel-branch-connectors-mmf-ffm-pair/

You also need a controller and tray cables!

I'll let you find em on amazon.

From the connected panels to controller you can buy one long MC4 wire, cut it into 2 pieces to use to connect the branch connectors to the controller, it comes in various lengths and wire size
www.renogy.com/solar-panel-extension-cable-with-mc4-male-to-female-connectors/



alternative may be to cut all the mc4 connectors off, butt connect on some wire to each to a combiner where all the + and all the - get tied together and from there run wire to controller.

Posted by devnull

Oct 30, 2018 at 10:33am

I have a Renogy 40A Rover Li, Can I connect them all in series and have the MPPT controller handle the conversion to 12V to the batteries?  Will the Rover handle the 18v + 18v + 18v + 18v?  I guess thats 72volts.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 30, 2018 at 11:33am

rover 40A can handle 100v input and 520w for 12v system.

Posted by Admin

Nov 2, 2018 at 10:19am


Oct 30, 2018 at 10:33am devnull said:

I have a Renogy 40A Rover Li, Can I connect them all in series and have the MPPT controller handle the conversion to 12V to the batteries?  Will the Rover handle the 18v + 18v + 18v + 18v?  I guess thats 72volts.



Hello,

Yes you're able to connect them in series. The above that Bupkis indicated are the maximum capacities for the charge controller.

-Renogy Team

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 5, 2018 at 11:32am

Admin Avatar

Nov 2, 2018 at 10:19am Admin said:


Oct 30, 2018 at 10:33am devnull said:


I have a Renogy 40A Rover Li, Can I connect them all in series and have the MPPT controller handle the conversion to 12V to the batteries?  Will the Rover handle the 18v + 18v + 18v + 18v?  I guess thats 72volts.


Hello,

Yes you're able to connect them in series. The above that Bupkis indicated are the maximum capacities for the charge controller.

-Renogy Team


Yes, that is true that the controller will handle it, BUT that might not be the best configuration for your install.

The MAJOR problem with connecting panels in series is SHADING, even partial shading of a single panel will greatly reduce the output of ALL panels....For a house or cabin, that can easily be prevented by cutting/trimming trees, but with an RV things are very often different.

The only bennie of connecting the panels in series is that you greatly increase the voltage, but NOT the amperage....In an install with long wire runs or undersized wires, series will certainly help overcome voltage losses to the controllers.... But for RV types, you might be way far ahead configuring EVERYTHING for 12V, including batt bank, inverter, solar panels paralleled, and using as large and as short as possible wire runs.

Something else very important I must mention, also. NOT ALL high quality MPPT controllers allow series connected panels. Mine especially demand my panels be nominal 12V and connected only in parallel to the controller....I overcome voltage losses by employing large gauge finely stranded conductors and very short wire runs.

BUT, that is for just MY system, your install might require series.

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 5, 2018 at 8:21pm

I just got an email back today from Blue Sky, the maker of my superb solar charge controllers...

My controllers are MPPT, BUT Blue Sky insists that I only connect all panels in parallel @12v nominal.....

Mr., I TRUST the techs at Blue Sky....These guys designed the controllers and they stand behind them providing you follow their instructions.

Not all MPPT controllers are built the same...There are many that work best only when connected parallel to the panels, and some that tolerate series connections to make up for their low voltage regulating abilities by accepting series high voltages.

12V controllers must be VERY high quality and VERY sensitive and able to react to very minor changes unlike high voltage controllers....When in parallel, you benefit from much higher AMPERAGE, and it is AMPS that all batteries require....In series, AMPS stay the same as a single panel and voltage adds to itself....So with a cheap controller, series will often barely win out, except when partial shading occurs then all panels suffer.

They build the controller to deal with high voltages but neglect the hard work required to make a controller that operates at low voltages and truly delivers as much of it as possible carefully regulated and controlled....And trust me, Blue Sky does exactly that consistently.

So, my money is on Blue Sky in parallel and will remain there.

Posted by tattoo

Nov 6, 2018 at 5:32am

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 5, 2018 at 8:21pm swampmonster said:

I just got an email back today from Blue Sky, the maker of my superb solar charge controllers...

My controllers are MPPT, BUT Blue Sky insists that I only connect all panels in parallel @12v nominal.....

Mr., I TRUST the techs at Blue Sky....These guys designed the controllers and they stand behind them providing you follow their instructions.

Not all MPPT controllers are built the same...There are many that work best only when connected parallel to the panels, and some that tolerate series connections to make up for their low voltage regulating abilities by accepting series high voltages.

12V controllers must be VERY high quality and VERY sensitive and able to react to very minor changes unlike high voltage controllers....When in parallel, you benefit from much higher AMPERAGE, and it is AMPS that all batteries require....In series, AMPS stay the same as a single panel and voltage adds to itself....So with a cheap controller, series will often barely win out, except when partial shading occurs then all panels suffer.

They build the controller to deal with high voltages but neglect the hard work required to make a controller that operates at low voltages and truly delivers as much of it as possible carefully regulated and controlled....And trust me, Blue Sky does exactly that consistently.

So, my money is on Blue Sky in parallel and will remain there.


 LOL I bet your money is on Blue sky... LOL


Everything that I have bought from and are using from Renogy are top notch products.... My entire Solar system is Renogy and I've been using it for 2+ years with no problems.....

 

Posted by bupkis

Nov 6, 2018 at 5:38am

swampmonster, which specific controller do you have?

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 10:34am

I have two of the Blue Sky 3000i controllers connected to 2 three Renogy Eclipse panel arrays in parallel, then the controllers are connected to my main solar battery bank in parallel, not as master/slave....This arrangement offers very high rate of charge, AND very reliable redundancy over master/slave configuration....My main solar bank powers a 2000 watt PSW inverter that contains shore/genset transfer switch and 4 stage programmable smart charger.

I have ordered a 3rd Blue Sky 3000i to control my 4 100 watt Renogy eclipse panels that will maintain my house batteries and small Samlex 600 watt PSW inverter, with back up charging performed by Iota 45 IQ4 converter charger, AND the upgraded Progressive Industries converter inside my OEM house panel....The Iota serves as a corded, portable converter/charger and as a back up for either large inverter charger or the Progressive converter.

So, in actuality, I have 3 separate solar systems, where the main system consists of combined 600 watts, and the house battery system contains 400 watts. I can instantly operate the main system as a single 300 watt system, or as a 600 watt system, with the house system totally separate.....REDUNDANCY! With a back up for the back up.

BTW, small PSW Samlex inveters are VERY high quality for their price.

Posted by bupkis

Nov 6, 2018 at 11:56am

with a Voc limit of 40v I would not have one.

glad you are impressed with it!

Posted by tattoo

Nov 6, 2018 at 12:18pm

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 10:34am swampmonster said:

I have two of the Blue Sky 3000i controllers connected to 2 three Renogy Eclipse panel arrays in parallel, then the controllers are connected to my main solar battery bank in parallel, not as master/slave....This arrangement offers very high rate of charge, AND very reliable redundancy over master/slave configuration....My main solar bank powers a 2000 watt PSW inverter that contains shore/genset transfer switch and 4 stage programmable smart charger.

I have ordered a 3rd Blue Sky 3000i to control my 4 100 watt Renogy eclipse panels that will maintain my house batteries and small Samlex 600 watt PSW inverter, with back up charging performed by Iota 45 IQ4 converter charger, AND the upgraded Progressive Industries converter inside my OEM house panel....The Iota serves as a corded, portable converter/charger and as a back up for either large inverter charger or the Progressive converter.

So, in actuality, I have 3 separate solar systems, where the main system consists of combined 600 watts, and the house battery system contains 400 watts. I can instantly operate the main system as a single 300 watt system, or as a 600 watt system, with the house system totally separate.....REDUNDANCY! With a back up for the back up.

BTW, small PSW Samlex inveters are VERY high quality for their price.



I don't understand why you would even want such a redundant system.... And like what was said above I wouldn't have a limited 40v VOC........

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 1:59pm

20180827_163558-min.jpg

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:05pm

Why the redundancy? Because I am a retired nuc submarine sailor....Rode one the the Very North Pole and back, peed my name in the ice there.

On that particular months long run, if it wasn't the the redundancy of our systems, I would be fish food.

I plan on spending the majority of my time way far off alone in the boonies....For many weeks at a time....My rig will contain several redundant systems-back ups for the back ups....Submarine style

Posted by playersz28

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:18pm

How big is the RV? Trailer or MH? With my experience with RV solar (3yrs at this point) it has been completely reliable, only the sun has failed on occasion. Now that I have replaced the Tracer with a Rover I'll carry the Tracer with me as a spare. With only 3 sections in the system I can handle failures easily. Panel fails... reconfigure the remaining ones. CC fails... swap it out. Battery fails... reconfigure. No matter where you go i the US you're never more than an hr drive from a place that you can get stuff to fix things.


osted by tattoo

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:25pm

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:05pm swampmonster said:

Why the redundancy? Because I am a retired nuc submarine sailor....Rode one the the Very North Pole and back, peed my name in the ice there.


I would have gone with a larger much better system and carried spare parts..... But it's your money...


Enjoy your retirement....

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:33pm

31.5 ft almost new class C. E450 with V-10. Huge for a single old man....Whee!


20180327_151422-min.jpg

Posted by bupkis

Nov 6, 2018 at 5:08pm

If I were the OP i'd do series pairs but due to the layout all in series could avoid combining the pairs.
no wonder devnull has not returned! Luckily the OP is not limited to just one choice.

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 7:44pm

bupkis Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 11:56am bupkis said:

with a Voc limit of 40v I would not have one.

glad you are impressed with it!


Fersure, I understand that have different requirements, so pick whichever controller you desire.

I am NOT here to defend my equipment selections or my system design...MY system is designed to suit just ME...JUST ME.

HOWEVER, for MY particular requirements, the Blue Sky was the absolute best choice....Money was not a factor, the main factors for me were it's features and closest COMPATIBILITY with my panels and batteries....For my system configuration, Blue Sky 3000i won hands down.

Yes, it has a 40Voc max limit, but the controllers will NEVER see 40Voc.....These controllers are DESIGNED to be especially efficient with 36 cell 12V panels in parallel....Max input of 400 watts/30 amps.

The controller can if required control higher voltage 60 cell panels up to 22 amps total, but as designed it is extremely well suited to get very high efficiency from my Eclipse panels in PARALLEL only.....In fact Renogy recommends this controller as a top choice for their panels....But of course they also suggest their controllers.

The OP's question was about series/parallel panel configuration to his controller....My replies were intended to help him make the best choice where I described my particular install......EVERY install is different, and hopefully it is properly designed.

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 7:53pm

tattoo Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:25pm tattoo said:

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:05pm swampmonster said:

Why the redundancy? Because I am a retired nuc submarine sailor....Rode one the the Very North Pole and back, peed my name in the ice there.


I would have gone with a larger much better system and carried spare parts..... But it's your money...


Enjoy your retirement....


LOL, you think 1000 watts total on the roof is too small?...OH, Lawd...It's an RV buddy, not a house.....A much better system?.....Meaning?

Posted by tattoo

Nov 6, 2018 at 8:05pm

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 7:53pm swampmonster said:

LOL, you think 1000 watts total on the roof is too small?...OH, Lawd...It's an RV buddy, not a house.....A much better system?.....Meaning?


You don't have 1000w in one system it's in several systems remember, So that really doesn't fly saying you have 1000w total......... If you did , Yes that would be a large system, but you have several small systems...


If that's what you want that's fine with me... It's a clean setup none the less.....

Posted by tattoo

Nov 6, 2018 at 8:11pm

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 7:44pm swampmonster said:

 Yes, it has a 40Voc max limit, but the controllers will NEVER see 40Voc.....These controllers are DESIGNED to be especially efficient with 36 cell 12V panels in parallel....Max input of 400 watts/30 amps.
 


A 30a CC is a small CC no matter how you look at it... Where do you have 1000w of panels going to?

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 6, 2018 at 9:01pm

tattoo Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 8:11pm tattoo said:

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 7:44pm swampmonster said:

 Yes, it has a 40Voc max limit, but the controllers will NEVER see 40Voc.....These controllers are DESIGNED to be especially efficient with 36 cell 12V panels in parallel....Max input of 400 watts/30 amps.
 


A 30a CC is a small CC no matter how you look at it... Where do you have 1000w of panels going to?


FIRST of all, I WANT multiple charge controllers for REDUNDANCY....REDUNDANCY, because I will be way far off from any support for weeks at a time.

Of the 10 100 watts panels, 6 serve my new solar batt bank thru 2 controllers in parallel, so that is a quazy dual 300 watt system configured Port/Starboard and normally cross connected for 600 watts...That system is connected to a 2000 watt PSW inverter with smart charger operating off a large lifeline battery bank....The inverter is connected on A/C side to my main house 120V distribution panel, but NOT my main house panel converter. The main house panel converter is connect to my house batts and programmed smart charge them on shore or gen set power., whereas the large inverter will charge my solar bank when on shore/genset power.....Cool, huh?

My remaining 4 100 watt panels serve my pair of 6V 220 amp house batteries thru 3rd controller. The house batteries are connected to a 600 watt PSW inverter.....This system alone can power all my nightly needs including sat TV, computer, phone charging and interior led lighting.


Yes, it fersure is a complex, but very powerful system...It will prove to be a very RELIABLE system were several equipment failures will not be a show stopper.

Yaknow buddy...I served the first 7 years of my career(before the submarines) as an engineer in Destroyer main propulsion engine and fire rooms...1200PSI superheated steam plants, configured into two separate plants where either or both could turn either or both props...Each of the two plants produced 35,000 shaft horsepower from each main engine set(HP steam turbine engines)...The plants consisted of two fire rooms(boilers), and two engine rooms...Either fireroom could steam either engine room or both when cross connected. When split plant, that little Destroyer got up on it's hind legs and twisted those prop shafts with 70,000 horse power and threw a rooster tail 20 foot high even when at flank speed....That class Destroyer was the last straight stick steam engineering plant commissioned, and it was a truly capable and reliable warship that could suffer tremendous damage and continue to steam ahead.

Redundancy!...Back ups for the back ups...Cross connection capability....split plant capability...keep steaming no matter what....So young man, do you now get the idea?...Huh?...Nuff said, if I gotta explain further, you won't understand.

I am a retired Navy steam and nuclear submarine engineer, so these are the things I lived with inside very tiny spaces for many years...Complex systems and equipment. Wonders of design, with amazing redundancy and flexibility.

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 7, 2018 at 3:49am

bupkis Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 11:56am bupkis said:

with a Voc limit of 40v I would not have one.

glad you are impressed with it!


bupkis, Solar Power 101 sez, "When panels are connected in parallel, Voc remains the same, but amps are multiplied by the number of panels.. However, when panels are connected in series, Voc multiplies and amps remain the same."

So Friend, I'll state this ONE last time. My panels will be connected in parallel...That means my charge controller will never see over 22.2 Voc from even a hundred of those panels.

BTW, that fancy series parallel math trick also applies to batteries. Confused?...


Wait, it gets better....When concerned with charge controller Voc you must also add the voltage of the battery bank...My fancy math sez, 22.2V + 14.4V = < 37 volts....Ain't that AMAZING?...Taking notes?

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 7, 2018 at 4:18am

bupkis Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 5:08pm bupkis said:

If I were the OP i'd do series pairs but due to the layout all in series could avoid combining the pairs.
no wonder devnull has not returned! Luckily the OP is not limited to just one choice.


Myself, I would rotate the panels in pairs to where all the connecting wires faced center and from there place a combiner box in the gap between panels.....


Yaknow, Missouri Wind And Solar makes a really cool smallish sized combiner box that uses MC4 connectors...Yup I got one for my 6 panel system, and fixin to buy another for the other 4 panels....It's really cool, you simply plug the panels into the outside of the box....They use Amphenol brand panel mount style MC4 connectors in their boxes....It's also a great place to plug in the killer Renogy MC4 inline fuses I use...Each panel fused safely on the roof.

But that's just me, and that's how I'd do it.

Posted by tattoo

Nov 7, 2018 at 4:49am

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 9:01pm swampmonster said:

 
So young man, do you now get the idea?...Huh?
 


LOL Thanks for the kind words but I'd bet your not much older that I am if any older....

Sounds like you got your system figured out, Hope it works out for you...

Posted by bupkis

Nov 7, 2018 at 4:53am

swampmonster Avatar

Nov 7, 2018 at 3:49am swampmonster said:

bupkis Avatar

Nov 6, 2018 at 11:56am bupkis said:

with a Voc limit of 40v I would not have one.

glad you are impressed with it!


bupkis, Solar Power 101 sez, "When panels are connected in parallel, Voc remains the same, but amps are multiplied by the number of panels.. However, when panels are connected in series, Voc multiplies and amps remain the same."

So Friend, I'll state this ONE last time. My panels will be connected in parallel...That means my charge controller will never see over 22.2 Voc from even a hundred of those panels.

BTW, that fancy series parallel math trick also applies to batteries. Confused?...


Wait, it gets better....When concerned with charge controller Voc you must also add the voltage of the battery bank...My fancy math sez, 22.2V + 14.4V = < 37 volts....Ain't that AMAZING?...Taking notes?


sorry no notes here cuz your math is BS
input limit has NOTHING to do with battery voltage, go figure, you are confused.
I suggest if one is to limit themselves to '12v' panels and use MPPT then get one that can use series pairs, heat can reduce Vmp to less than battery charge voltage (look at an panels IV curve and coefficients for temperature), going more than pairs one needs to consider voltage drop, there is much less when the amps stay low with series but bucking eff comes into play.

16v@6A = 32v@3A = 96 watts

I'll suggest you quit digging your hole deeper.

solar5.jpg

Posted by Admin

Nov 7, 2018 at 12:07pm


Oct 30, 2018 at 10:33am devnull said:

I have a Renogy 40A Rover Li, Can I connect them all in series and have the MPPT controller handle the conversion to 12V to the batteries?  Will the Rover handle the 18v + 18v + 18v + 18v?  I guess thats 72volts.



We hope your question has been answered. The verdict is different connections types might benefit different charge controller systems. For the Renogy system, we recommend going series or series parallel if you want to combat some shading and or heat better. Both are viable options.

-Renogy Team

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 8, 2018 at 7:07am



Oct 30, 2018 at 9:26am devnull said:



Point me specifically to what i need to by online/Amazon to make my panels hook up in parallel, with leads long enough etc. Or would I need to make some custom MC4 connections.


Also looking for the most streamlined option.





Good luck with the flex panels...I love the flex concept, but so far many have proven short lived and failure prone due to excessive heat and tendency to quickly become brittle and suffer cracking.

Posted by v10

Nov 8, 2018 at 3:56pm

It is a good idea to protect and secure all wires in a moving vehicle.


In the picture above the kinked white wire at the top left corner is dangerously close to the sharp edge of the metal work box. It might be pretty but underneath it's a truck. Trucks vibrate.


Left uncorrected, an exercise in redundancy would be a good pair of boots and a backpack


Several posts back not directly above


osted by swampmonster

Nov 8, 2018 at 8:30pm

v10 Avatar

Nov 8, 2018 at 3:56pm v10 said:

It is a good idea to protect and secure all wires in a moving vehicle.


In the picture above the kinked white wire at the top left corner is dangerously close to the sharp edge of the metal work box. It might be pretty but underneath it's a truck. Trucks vibrate.


Left uncorrected, an exercise in redundancy would be a good pair of boots and a backpack


Several posts back not directly above


If you are describing my solar install pic, that was taken many months ago during the install....In that pic there were many things unfinished/not neatened up.


lol, to heck with walking, I got a sweet little Honda motorcycle hanging off the front hitch....I throw on the back pack and ride it to fetch beer.


Yes v10, redundancy...total redundancy because my very life might depend upon it like it has several times before, where daily my QUALITY of life certainly will enjoy that same redundancy....I am outfitting my rig to be a totally self sustaining rig that will FULLY support me for many weeks at a time totally alone way far out in the wilderness.


In that regard I have selected and installed the worlds best hand made solar batteries LifeLine), and the best equipment to charge, monitor, and maintain them....With back ups.


I purposely designed my systems to be quickly configured into Split independent systems, AND seamlessly combined into just two ...To where I have when required, 3 separate solar systems that will support my needs as stand alone systems.


I have also designed and outfitted my rig with MANY devices I may need to recharge all or any of my batteries including my starter battery and the ability to interconnect any battery bank to my starter if required, and isolate it as required.


For charging, first I have the Sun thru my three separate panel arrays, then my built in Onan, then Two new Yamaha 2000 inverter gensets that can be split or paralleled, then the engine alternator...Thats 5 very reliable methods of charging batteries....


For solar charge control, I have three separate solar charge controllers.


For shore/genset charging I have also three separate methods; my built in Progressive Ind converter for my house bank, my large Aims inverter for my solar bank, and a portable top quality Iota 45 with IQ4 built in that I can quickly apply to any batter bank.


Yes redundancy...Where with redundancy comes safety and reliability...And when things go right comes all the creature comforts.


No matter what....No matter what.


I am in no way a prepper, but in many ways It might look that way....Because I guess I am very prepared compared to most folks. Prepared exactly for what?..Well, I guess I would say prepared for Life...I have lived a long life and served in many wars where I have seen and sometimes caused the devastation and the impact, and the results on folks....And I have also somehow survived the extreme weather both at sea and ashore, so yeah as a survivor of all that, fersure this guy will if possible outfit his vacation rig in a fashion that will allow him to escape trouble quickly, and remain somewhere distant for a long period of time...And that often as a vacation, and when required called an escape....And if prepared properly, then an escape is exactly like a long vacation, yaknow?


So, just me being me, I tote a full ton of food, over 500 lbs of water in my tanks and lotsa bottled water. Well over 150 lbs of propane,..Charcoal...blankets...tents...miles of para cord and rope....knives and firearms and ammo...Yaknow, guy stuff...About 2 tons total.


Usually vacations are carefully scheduled, and escapes simply pop up...Yup, but I am so retired and so single and so very free, that every day anywhere is a vacation, even when at home....And with a simple turn of the key it allows me to propel my alternative house in any direction I choose...And I often do exactly that no matter the time of day or weather, I just simply turn the key and go with no destination in mind and return to my house whenever I want....If I were to pull up to my house after a year on the road and discovered it flattened or burned out, then big deal-file an insurance claim and go back to vacation or escape or what the fark ever you wanna call it....Just roll the wheels to better pastures...Easy stuff, yaknow?



  • Detailed Answer above

Login or Signup to post a comment