Solar Generator Connections – Part One, Charging the Batteriez

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I like to take these wiring-stuff-that-can-make-big-boom processes a step at a time.  Here’s the first step, now that I have some cables.  This is making the connections between the solar panels and the charge controller, then to the batteries.  Here’s how that looks:

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You have your red and black coming from the two panels connected in series.  I’m getting about 40V from them.  Here’s what the connection in the box looks like:

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Funny thing.  The pre-made connectors I got off eBay are the reverse colors of their actual polarity.  The red is negative, and the black is positive.  I double checked, had a beer, then checked again.  Then I sucked it up and wired it up as the board is labeled: PV+ and PV-.  I happened to have a spare pair of jumper cables around, so I pulled them into service to make the connections to the battery.  Since the charge current is fairly low, they should work fine, and I’ll eventually replace the big clamps with some lugs and maybe Anderson connectors so I can make a quick disconnect.

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This shows the switch set at “Solar Panel Current”, and the LED is flashing corresponding to the “Acceptance” indicator.

Next step: AC connections!

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