Solar help please

Submitted: Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:08
ThreadID: 107576 Views:1965 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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Yes, I know, this topic is constantly covered, but I'm so easily confused and just need a simple answer so I know I'm buying the correct parts and everything will work.

Here's what I have:
Camper with 2 x 105Ah batteries and the Redarc BMS1215S2 (includes a MPPT solar regulator). I have an Anderson plug at the rear of the camper to input solar and I own a 12v 120w flexible style fold up solar panel with an Anderson plug on it to connect to the camper. All ok.

What I want to do:
Buy a 12v portable folding panel (plan on getting one from ebay) for those times I need more solar. According to the Redarc manual, panels need to be connected in parallel. I like using the Anderson plug system. What do I need to buy to connect these panels in parallel and connect to the Anderson plug on my camper?

Thanks.
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:16

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:16
The Redarc BMS1215 is a fairly sophisticated piece of equipment that will handle this for you without the need to purchase anything further. You should be able to connect the solar panels to the rear of it.

We run two Redarc 120 watt panels directly into it and it in turn supplies a charge to a 150amp battery in our vehicle.

Give the Redarc people a call - they are very helpful...

Cheers
AnswerID: 531639

Follow Up By: Jos - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:36

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:36
Thanks Landy. However, the BMS1215 is installed inside the camper behind a panel and I'd prefer not to pull panels out to access it. I was hoping I'd be able to rig something up on the outside of the camper using Anderson connectors.
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FollowupID: 814672

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:42

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:42
Hi Jos,

If I understand you correctly, what you seek is a means to connect both solar panels simultaneously via Anderson plugs. If so maybe this Anderson double adaptor will serve your need. Just plug it into the camper socket and plug in both panels.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 531642

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:46

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 11:46
PS.
Just be sure that all your Anderson plugs are the same size. This double adaptor uses 50A Andersons.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Jos - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:13

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:13
I was hoping I could use something like that. I just wasn't sure if I plugged the two panels into the double adaptor, whether the panels would be in parallel.
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FollowupID: 814679

Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:17

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:17
Also "Anderson style" plugs do not necessarily plug into genuine Anderson plugs. Got caught with a Narva not fitting a genuine a few years ago. Just go for genuine marked Anderson now. Bob
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:40

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:40
Yes Jos, when plugged into the double adaptor the two solar panels will be connected in parallel.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:43

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 12:43
That's interesting Toyocrusa. I have not experienced a problem but have wondered just how compatible the various iterations of "Anderson" plugs were.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Derek Jones - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 23:01

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 23:01
Thanks Allan - information on double adaptor filed away for future reference.
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FollowupID: 814769

Follow Up By: hubgod - Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 08:10

Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 08:10
Yup the 2 into 1 is the method i used and it worked a treat.
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FollowupID: 814781

Reply By: evaredy - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 13:51

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 13:51
I also have a Redarc BMS system in the camper and I also wanted to be able to plug in a portable panel.

The camper already has 2 x Redarc 65w panels mounted on the roof, but I wanted to add more if needed.
I had a sparkie put and Anderson on the draw bar and wire it into the BMS unit, this works fine.

I have now installed a 150W panel on the canopy of the Dmax and wanted to be able to connect this into the camper along with the other panels, I just had the sparkie install an Anderson plug at the panel, so I can disconnect it from the BCDC 1240 in the tub and plug it into the camper. I just use one of the above double adapters and it works ok.
AnswerID: 531660

Follow Up By: Jos - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 13:59

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 13:59
Thanks Evaredy. I also have an Anderson plug on the draw bar wired into the BMS unit. However, I have no fixed panels installed - just going to use portable ones.
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FollowupID: 814696

Follow Up By: evaredy - Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 09:48

Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 09:48
Is the Anderson on the draw bar, a stand alone one or is it used to plug into the vehicle when driving?

If it's for driving, it will be wired into the BMS differently.
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FollowupID: 814794

Follow Up By: Jos - Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 11:05

Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 11:05
I have one to plug into the car when driving plus a separate one wired into the BMS for solar input.
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FollowupID: 814803

Reply By: Member - Rosss - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 15:45

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 15:45
If the folding panel you are planning on buying already has a regulator on it you will have to bypass it otherwise you will basically have 2 regulators in the system.
AnswerID: 531674

Follow Up By: Jos - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 18:14

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 18:14
Thanks Rosss,
Yes, I was thinking I'd just wire an Anderson plug connector to the solar panel (with no additional regulator).
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FollowupID: 814731

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