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Old 12-17-2014, 05:11 AM   #1
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Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
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Help on Solar panel and red light

I have a 2007 National RV Tropical ... the 40 watt solar panel was destroyed in a hail storm... I replaced it with a 100watt panel. I use the same wire that was up there on the roof from the damaged solar panel...

I need to know if the inverter controls the charging ....

There is a red light on the control panel that says " Solar Charging"

When does it come on?

Does it come on when you are plugged in to electric?

Only when there is sun?

Only when the batteries need charging?

The red light hasn't come on yet ... but I am plugged into electric and the batteries are fully charged. 13.9 volts

Does anyone have solar panels and this red light on the control

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Old 12-17-2014, 06:03 AM   #2
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I believe it only comes on when the sun is out and it is actively charging. My new bounder doesn't have a light which I miss. Our last coach had one and I could always tell when it was charging.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
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The light is on when the panel is charging. However, you probably fried the red light with the 100w panel. If you look at the wire to the bulb you will see a resistor in line. I did the same thing a few years ago. I tried to figure out the new resistance so I could put a new resistor in line but I was not smart enough. So I used small xmas bulbs and kept adding to the string until the bulbs quit burning out. - no laughing - I ended up with 4 bulbs.

So if there is some one reading this who knows the simple way to limit the power to the bulb then they could chime in with the correct resistance.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2 and congratulations on your first post.
A 100 watt panel is really too large for direct connection to your battery and should be connected thru a solar controller to manage the charge applied to the battery. The inverter has really nothing to do with the panel. I have three 100w panels on my coach and I often get in excess of 6+ amps from each panel. The panels are described as "12 volt" but typically they put out up to 17+ volts which is well in excess of the recommended charging voltage for 12 volt batteries. You should purchase an inexpensive solar controller (which will eliminate the need for the LED) rated for at least 100w panels and a 12v switchable circuit breaker or a removable fuse (10a) to put in the charge line.
Good luck, you will find the 100 watt panel to be great for keeping your batteries charged and you might very well find yourself wanting to add more in the future.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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I have two 120 watt panels to hook up on my NEWMAR KS, does anyone have a schematic for motorhomes? i am solar friendly and have experience with panels, controller etc.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tweetybird75 View Post
I have two 120 watt panels to hook up on my NEWMAR KS, does anyone have a schematic for motorhomes? i am solar friendly and have experience with panels, controller etc.
I hooked my solar to the house battery connection on the house terminals of the charge solenoid. The Trik-L-Start unit is connected there so the solar can charge both the house and the chassis batteries. It is also independent of both disconnect solenoids so will charge all the time. You could also connect directly to the House batteries but that just adds more wiring in an already busy area and is further to reach than the charge solenoid.
I brought the connection from the roof through a pocket door cavity and mounted my MPPT controller on the bedroom wall so I could easily monitor the system. I also installed a marine 30 amp switchable breaker in the chassis electrical compartment breaker panel so I could disconnect the feed if required.
Good luck - it is really simpler than it appears in my description,
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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If the red led looks like the one like at the end of this link the solar panel will probably be to high and burn out the diodes that were in the circuitry for small led.
Like some already said you need a controller for solar panel to control the charge to your battery most likely the chassis battery.

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panel, solar

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