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Old 05-06-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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Additional solar Panel

I have 2 solar panels installed by SMB on our 07. I would like to add a third, and wonder if it's possible to "tap" into the existing panels. the mounting I can do but wonder about the tap and if the controller need reconfigured?
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
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Re: Additional solar Panel

Probably depends on the solar panels used. Some (like my Kyocera) have a built-in junction box, others don't.

Look carefully at the existing panels and see how they are joined electrically. Follow that.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Additional solar Panel

Besides checking the wiring, check the specs on your controller to see if it can handle the increased current.

The Solar Boost 2000E supplied by SMB with my van can handle up to 25 amps at 12v. Check the maximum output of your panels, and keep in mind that the panels typcially output at voltages higher than 12v. For example, the Kyocera 130GT supplied by SMB has a maximum output of 7.39 amps, but pushes it out at 17.6v. That's the equivalent of 10.7 amps at 12v, so my controller can only handle two panels. If I had just looked at the rated amperage output, I would have thought it could handle 3 (7.39 x 3 = 22.17).
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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Re: Additional solar Panel

And you should just be able to connect the panel's positive lead to the positive terminal of the next panel, and negative to negative (this is wiring in parallel; increases current, and doesn't affect voltage). Check how your other two panels are wired together for a visual.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Additional solar Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roubo
Besides checking the wiring, check the specs on your controller to see if it can handle the increased current.

The Solar Boost 2000E supplied by SMB with my van can handle up to 25 amps at 12v. Check the maximum output of your panels, and keep in mind that the panels typcially output at voltages higher than 12v. For example, the Kyocera 130GT supplied by SMB has a maximum output of 7.39 amps, but pushes it out at 17.6v. That's the equivalent of 10.7 amps at 12v, so my controller can only handle two panels. If I had just looked at the rated amperage output, I would have thought it could handle 3 (7.39 x 3 = 22.17).
Also, remember the panel specs are Minimum ratings. For example, my Kyocera 130W panel has delivered upto 9 amps at 12.5V. The panel is supposed to meet the specs at the end of its life (25 years?).

Mike
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