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Old 04-04-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
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Question Replacing Solar Panel - Hints and Tips

Hello! I just received a 2010 E350 SMB yesterday and unfortunately one of the solar panels was damaged while it was being shipped, and needs to be replaced. The good news is the owner is going to pay for, and ship me a replacement.

So a few questions for those that have replaced a solar panel before:

Do most panels come with same connectors or do I need to ensure we get a new panel with the correct type?

Any other compatibility issues to consider when getting a new panel?

Is it as simple as disconnecting the house battery, removing old panel, connecting new panel and bolting down?

What else should I consider to make sure the replacement goes smoothly?

If it helps this van has the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E and a Tripplite inverter/charger.

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crawpappy View Post
Hello! I just received a 2010 E350 SMB yesterday and unfortunately one of the solar panels was damaged while it was being shipped, and needs to be replaced. The good news is the owner is going to pay for, and ship me a replacement.

So a few questions for those that have replaced a solar panel before:

Do most panels come with same connectors or do I need to ensure we get a new panel with the correct type?

Any other compatibility issues to consider when getting a new panel?

Is it as simple as disconnecting the house battery, removing old panel, connecting new panel and bolting down?

What else should I consider to make sure the replacement goes smoothly?

If it helps this van has the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E and a Tripplite inverter/charger.

Thanks!
If you're going to disconnect the controller from the battery, you'll also want to disconnect the panels from the controller. You don't want them connected to the controller when the controller is not connected to the battery. I would disconnect everything in proper order --> replace panel --> connect controller to battery --> connect panels to controller.

Can you post pics of your setup, and the connectors? Probably standard MC4 connections.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
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MC4 connectors will probably be under it and they are designed where they can be unplugged safely without metal touching metal. It's a pretty safe plug design. If it has them I'd just unplug there and replace the panel. It should be fairly quick and simple.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

The van is at the Ford dealer right now having a little bit of maintenance done. Will post some pictures when it gets back tomorrow or Friday.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
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Electrical connections will probably be the easy part. Solar panels have changed size over the years (not that there ever really was a standard size), so physically mounting them be more of a challenge.


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Old 04-07-2017, 09:43 PM   #6
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Here are the connectors on the current panel. Looks I will just have to open up that little panel and unconnect, then reconnect on new panels?



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Old 04-08-2017, 06:48 AM   #7
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Yes, there will be a simple power and ground in there, but you do NOT have MC4 connectors so I would definitely advise disconnecting them from the battery/controller before you go in. You might have a breaker between them and the controller which is a good idea anyway if you don't.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:07 AM   #8
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Yes, there will be a simple power and ground in there, but you do NOT have MC4 connectors so I would definitely advise disconnecting them from the battery/controller before you go in. You might have a breaker between them and the controller which is a good idea anyway if you don't.
Disconnecting battery = just unplugging the negative terminal? (just double-checking! )

Is there a best way to disconnect the panel from the controller?
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