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Solar Panels Home Wiring

Hi this is Amy from the altE Store. I’m goingto give you a quick demo of how to wire multiple solar panels in series. A quick refresherof why you would wire in series, if you need to increase the voltage of your solar array,you are going to wire them in series, plus from one to minus of the other. So for instanceif I’m trying to wire a system to charge a 24V battery bank, I would take two solar panels,I would wire the plus from one to the minus of the other, and then across the availablewires, I would then have 24V. The same if I’m trying to charge a 48V battery bank, I would takefour 12V panels, or two 24V panels, and wire them in series, and I’d get 48V. For a gridtie system, you are going to see a whole bunch

of panels, usually you’ll see maybe 9 12solar panels wired in series to get a very high voltage, and that would then go intothe inverter to turn it into 120V or 240V for your house. So, this is how you wire inseries. Now keep in mind when you are wiring in series it increases the volts, but it doesn’tincrease the amps. So if I’ve got two panels that put out 5 amps each, if I wire them inseries, I’m going to have 24V 5 amps out. If I were to wire them in parallel, plussestogether and minuses together, then I would have 12V 10 amps. So we’ve done a couple oftutorials on how to wire in parallel, you can check them out here, and this is how to wirein series. So first thing I’m going to do

is check out if they’ve already got wire comingoff the solar panels that have solar connectors on them. I’ve got some older panels here thathave got the nonlocking MC connectors. So you can see they just plug into each otherwithout needing any kind of a tool to disconnect them. If you’ve got newer panels, probablynewer than 2008, you’ll have some sort of a locking connector, and they have littletabs on them that when you plug them in together lt;clickgt; they are going to lock and you needa key to disconnect them. So find out what kind of connector you’ve got on your panel.Now lots of different manufacturer’s make these locking connectors, so either checkthe connector to see if its got the

brand stamped on it, it might say MC or Tycoor Amphenol. Or check the datasheet for that particular solar panel model, because it mightactually tell you exactly what type of connector it’s got on it. So that’s going to come intoplay in a moment. Now what I’m going to be doing here is I’m going to take my two solarpanels, and I’ve got my MC connectors on them. I’m going to take the plus from my first paneland the minus from my second panel, and I’m going to plug them together. So if I’ve gotmultiple panels, I’m just going to keep going on. I would take my plus from the second panel,plug it into the minus from the third panel, and so on and so on. So I’m going to end upwith the minus from my first panel being free

and the plus being free. So that’s when knowingwhat kind of connector you have comes into play. I’m going to get an extension cablethat is going to be longer than the distance from the solar panels to where ever I’m transitioninginto conduit. National Electric Code says that if you leave the area of the solar panels,you need to be in conduit. So in this example, I’m going to be using a Midnite MNPV3 combinerbox, you may be using a pass thru box, or just some sort of an adapter to get into theconduit. So for this example, we’re going to be using a combiner box. Now I’m goingto take my extension cable that’s got the kind of connectors that I have on here, andI’m going to cut it into 2. Now note I didn’t

say cut it in half, because I’m going frommy first panel in my string and from my last panel in my string. So that’s not going tobe the same distance, so you need to figure out the distances that you are going to becutting these cables. It’s easier to cut than stretch, so make sure you get it right. SoI’m going to go into my combiner box, I’m going to open it up, take off the cover tomake it easier to work on. And you see I’ve got my protective faceplate, I’m going totake that off as well. Now I’ve got a breaker in here, depending on your system, you mayhave a fuse. Keep in mind that a fuse in a fuseholder, you do not want to turn it offif it’s connected and there’s sun on the panel.

A DIY OffGrid Solar Power System Overview and Wiring

Hi this is Amy from the altE Store. We’regoing to go over a brief overview of a typical off grid solar electric system. This is justa small demo, and it can scale up as your needs require. But this will give you a goodoverview of the different pieces involved. Now I’ve got a lot of different electronicsand wiring involved, so, what we did is we drew up a schematic, and you can check itout here. And click on this link and you’ll be able to actually have it up in another windowso you can follow along at home. All right? So, what we have are two 12V solarpanels. They are wired in parallel, so that makes the plusses together and the minusestogether. And that keeps it at 12V. So, I’ve

done that within this combiner box. This isa Midnite PV3 combiner box. And we’re just going to take a quick look inside and removethe protective face plate. So you can see that we have the plus and minus from solarpanel 1 coming in to, the plus goes into its own breaker. And the minus goes into the negativebus bar. Then the plus and minus from solar panel 2, the plus goes into a separate breaker,and the negative goes to the negative bus bar. The output of the breakers are combinedwith this included positive finger bus bar. So it slides into the top of the breakersand that combines the positives. The negative bus bar combines the negatives. And that givesyou your parallel wiring. And so I also have

my lightning arrestor that will protect usfrom any lightning strikes. And we’ve got the ground going to the grounding bus bar,the positive going to the positive bus bar, and the negative going to the negative busbar. And you can see I’ve also got my ground coming from my racking going into the groundingbus bar. Now I’ve got the rails grounded through this, and then I have a grounded midclampfrom IronRidge, which is taking that ground, across the rail, up to the edges, the frameof the solar panels. So that is giving me a nice bonded connection through all of this.I would then go off to a grounding rod, and that would give me my nice earth ground connection.So I’m coming out of here, in conduit. Now

because this is a portable system, I’ve transitionedto quot;invisible conduitquot; here. But know that this is going to be conduit all the way intothe house. So now let’s transition into the house. Great, so now we are inside. So we’vegone in conduit all the way into the house. And so what we have here is it is going toour DC Load Center. Now the DC Load Center is really just a fancy way of saying breaker box. So we are going to take a look inside our DC Load Center, we happen to beusing a Midnite Big Baby Box for this. So again, we’ve got our combined negative, positive,and ground, all coming into our DC Load Center. We have it going into a breaker. It’s comingout of the breaker, into the PV In to the

charge controller. My negative is also comingin, and it’s actually just transitioning right on out. It’s just going in there as a niceplace to land my negative. But it’s going in and then it’s coming right back out andit’s going to the negative PV In of my charge controller. So then I’ve got my battery outfrom the charge controller. I’ve got the plus and minus going into the DC Load Center. Theplus is going to a breaker, and it’s going to be coming out, and going to my positivebus bar. Now my positive bus bar is going to be going to my battery. So I’ve got thenegative coming out of the charge controller, going to my negative bus bar. And that negativeis also going to be going to my battery. So

I’ve got that going from the charge controller,to the battery. So basically, what these bus bars do, is these give me a nice easy wayto connect everything to the battery. So I only have one connection to the battery,because that’s connecting in to my bus bars. So anything I need to connect to the battery,I can just connect to the bus bar, through a breaker. So I have going from the positiveand the negative, I’m actually going to a cigarette outlet. This is very common to usefor a DC connection. So if I have anything that would plug into my cigarette outlet inmy car or an RV, I can just plug in and run it right off the battery. I’ve got a fusein here, so I do have my over current protection,

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