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Old 09-05-2014, 07:23 AM   #1
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Solar Charging Controller for two portable panels

I have a Renogy 100w portable suitcase with a 10a ViewStar charge controller. For being a cheap controller, it has a lot of features like an LCD display, programmable and remote temp sensor input. Since the 15' cable is often too short to get the panel into the sun, I plan to mount the controller near my dual 6-volt batteries and use 25-50' cable to connect the panels. That will work for now, but I am thinking of getting a 2nd suitcase without controller next summer, so I have started looking for a 15-20 amp controller to replace the 10a. Renogy is currently out of stock on the ViewStar 20a, so they may be available by the time I need it.
I am thinking of using Anderson power pole connectors at the controller for quick set up and take down, but wonder how best to connect the two suitcase panels so they can be used together or alone. Are the MC4 branch connectors easily connected and disconnected? Should I connect them near the panels or have each with its own set of cables and connect both to the panel input of the charger, assuming that is possible?
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:04 AM   #2
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I have two 100w panels made portable I set out when needed as an adjunct to 600w of panels on the roof. I made a Y connector harness using Anderson connectors near the panels.

The MC4 connectors are not easily undone.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I have two 100w panels made portable I set out when needed as an adjunct to 600w of panels on the roof. I made a Y connector harness using Anderson connectors near the panels.

The MC4 connectors are not easily undone.
Just what I needed, thanks! Do you have pictures of that?
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:29 AM   #4
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Just #10 wire from panel to each leg of the Y connectors so the panels are in parallel, then i think I used #8 for the ~25' run to the connector in the coach near the solar controller. If I recall the Anderson connectors are the gray 75a size, as these will handle the physical wire size and multiple wires.

Crimping the large connector pins can be a bit of a challenge, I have a hammer powered crimper.

Most any other way to assemble such a Y harness can be done as well.
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