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Old 11-23-2022, 02:41 PM   #1
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6 solar panels how to wire

Jayco Alante 26x, 2 renogy 100AH batteries in parallel..
Have 6 100W Renogy 12V panels and would like to get your recommendation if I should wire them in series, parallel or both.
Panels will get shaded
Will buy the controller to suite the layout.
What is your real live experience
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:06 PM   #2
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I would wire two groups of 3 in series parallel. You will have around 60v @ 10amps from panels and 14v @ 43amps charge to batteries in perfect conditions (10000ft altitude with sun direct overhead) the rest of the time it will max out at about 75% of those values.

Youll need this controller and I would run 10 gauge wire from panels. Larger wire to handle the current to batteries from solar controller

https://www.amazon.com/SmartSolar-MP...0-5ec63b24bcb5
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:17 PM   #3
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I would wire three groups of 2 in series to minimize the effect of shading.
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:06 PM   #4
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Iíll put my 2 cents in.
A. Analyze your power needs, so you know what size system you need.

B. Clouds happen, so youíll want to oversize that system. This applies to both the battery bank and your total panel wattage. Another option would be to carry gas and a generator. The downside of generators is noise, and that you canít use them everywhere.

C. Assuming your parked in a campground with trees, odds are good that part of the roof will be shaded for a significant part of the day. Since the part thatís shaded will vary, the logical thing to do would be to spread out the panels, with some up front, some in the middle, and some in back.

D. Itís not unusual to expand your system, so when your planning where to put your panels, allow space for future expansion.

My system:
I have a 5er with 6 200 watt panels. My battery bank is 700 ah. I have the panels wired in a series-parallel configuration in pairs. Each pair of panels has itís own controller. I opted to do it this way because it gives me a better idea on how the panels are performing, and in the event that a controller should fail, Iíll still be able to charge the batteries.

2 panels of the 6 panels are up front. What Iíve observed is that when parked near trees, if one panel is shaded, the odds are good that the other will be shaded as well. As a result, thereís not a huge advantage in wiring them separately in parallel. Wiring in series though, keeps the amps the same, and ups the voltage. This keeps the cable size down, and allows for longer wire runs. The same is true for pairs of panels located in the middle or back.

My advice would be to do a parallel-series configuration, with 3 sets of paired panels.
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:57 PM   #5
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It depends on your solar charge controller. This one will take 150v of pv in.
https://a.co/3up9kpD

That means you could connect all6 panels in series to it. It is always a good rule of thumb to keep the voltage high to keep the current low. So you don't have to run heavy gauge wire from your panels to the charge controller.
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Old 11-23-2022, 09:08 PM   #6
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Get a Victron 100/50 mppt and wire in 2S2P. That will allow you to use standard 10gauge wire from panels to mppt. Be sure to include a shutoff for panels and a fuse at battery.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:23 AM   #7
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I did it. Installed 5 panels on roof. No drilling. Only a few wires exposed.
This is a 600W system, but since they are flat will get max 400W.
Which is ok to charge mt 200AH Renogy batteries.
Thank all Members for helping.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbrand View Post
I did it. Installed 5 panels on roof. No drilling. Only a few wires exposed.
This is a 600W system, but since they are flat will get max 400W.
Which is ok to charge mt 200AH Renogy batteries.
Thank all Members for helping.
Your assumption of how much power you will get is incorrect - having them flat does reduce the total capture, but it isn't a blanket 33% loss by any means.

I have three 72-element panels for a theoretical maximum of 1020 watts, wired in series that brings me 140 volts and 7.2 amps. I have seen instantaneous capture of 1000 watts.

Since the sun is always moving and the cloud cover is always moving, the best way to calculate your daily capture is to take the max of your panels and multiply it by 5. Yes there is more than 5 hours of sunlight, BUT you aren't going to get perfect capture for more than about 2 hours, even as the panels ARE producing power long before and long after those 2 perfect midday hours.

Then there is where the power is going. You may find that your system is not sufficient to charge your batteries because of how lead acid batteries charge up. They can take the first 80% of the charge status in 20% of the total time needed.... But that last 20% will take 80% of the time because of how slowly they get to the top! This means that (on my system for example) if I have 5kw of power that I want to store (from 50% SoC to full) it may get my batteries back to 80% by 9am... yet they will be in absorption charging and taking significantly less than the panels COULD provide, all the way to sunset.

Lithium is better b/c they can charge at near full speed all the way to the top, but of course the cost is far more.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbrand View Post
This is a 600W system, but since they are flat will get max 400W.
Just as an FYI: I have 6 100w panels mounted flat, and on the day of the winter solstice I logged a max 445 watts. Once the sun gets higher in the sky, it goes up from there. So you might be pleasantly surprised.


(ETA: Just make sure you take the voltage limitation on your controller as a hard limit. You can wire the panels to supply too many amps, and the controller will just dissipate the overage into heat. But if you wire them in a manner where an instantaneous spike can exceed the voltage limitation of the controller, the controller will die.)
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Old 12-31-2022, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby F View Post
Just as an FYI: I have 6 100w panels mounted flat, and on the day of the winter solstice I logged a max 445 watts. Once the sun gets higher in the sky, it goes up from there. So you might be pleasantly surprised.


(ETA: Just make sure you take the voltage limitation on your controller as a hard limit. You can wire the panels to supply too many amps, and the controller will just dissipate the overage into heat. But if you wire them in a manner where an instantaneous spike can exceed the voltage limitation of the controller, the controller will die.)
I can agree they may work well..
I have 500 right now.. flat on roof, Wired all direct. parallel..
I was out there today,, winter Sun after noon/12 , not over head of RV ,
I loaded inverter . ceramic heater . 750 watt setting,,
Solar was dumping 24.8 amps around 364 watts.. Battery draw was around 80amps.. TV standby, couple lights etc,,

Anyway I happy with that Solar,, If I add the 6th panel, I will series 2x2x2 to not over tax any wires..
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Old 12-31-2022, 03:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Olyteddy View Post
I would wire three groups of 2 in series to minimize the effect of shading.
X2 on this. I wired 6 100w panels this way on my Airstream. Lots of advocates over on the AS forum for all parallel due to shading. I found that with 2 in series you start getting enough voltage to charge at lower sun angles. MPPT controller canít do anything until panel voltage is above battery voltage because it canít boost voltage. This is also a good compromise between shading loss and I^2R line loss. In partial shade conditions I still had pretty good power output and was able to use the factory 8ga pre-wire. Had 3 X 100Ah Li batteries and never needed to use shore power unless we wanted AC.
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Old 12-31-2022, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbrand View Post
I did it. Installed 5 panels on roof. No drilling. Only a few wires exposed.
This is a 600W system, but since they are flat will get max 400W.
Which is ok to charge mt 200AH Renogy batteries.
Thank all Members for helping.
You didn't mention how you decided to wire them up. 2S3P would have been the correct way (2Sx2Sx2S3P). This would give you 3 arrays wired in series and joined in parallel to the MPPT. Over paneling works and clipping is rare (if ever).
https://rvwiki.mousetrap.net/doku.ph...rge_controller
I included my setup as attached. Fewer panels but same concept. You may be able to rewire. Your controller should be safe given the URL above,
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