Unregulated Solar Panels

I'm looking at running solar panels through a Redarc BCDC1240 charger to charge 2x120Ah AGM batteries in my caravan. I want a folding panel set up, but want no regulator. That way I can use the BCDC unit as the regulator. Apparently you can loose up to 15% through the solar panel regulator compared to the BCDC unit. Has anyone got a similar setup? And does it work well?
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Reply By: John and Regina M - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:01

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:01
Depends on the regulator but what you are suggesting will work.
AnswerID: 531831

Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:37

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:37
I set up my folding panels so that I can use them with, or without the regulator.

AnswerID: 531834

Follow Up By: 322 - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:52

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:52
How'd you do that? Have you got a bypass?
FollowupID: 814958

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 18:36

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 18:36
Yes, I just set it up where I can unplug the regulator & plug it in direct to the camper.

FollowupID: 814962

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 21:38

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 21:38
If you look at the back of a folding solar panel setup with a "built-in" regulator, you should see either one junction box on each panel, one of which includes an internal regulator, or more commonly nowadays, a junction box on each panel and a separate regulator or controller on one of them.

It is a simple matter to trace the wires from one box to the other and where they terminate on the second junction box, this is where you connect a "bypass" cable to.

This cable should be clearly identified as an unregulated circuit which requires connection to a dc-dc charger's solar input terminals or a separate solar regulator.


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FollowupID: 814997

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:49

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 17:49
We don't know the size of the wire cable from the panels to the Redarc. Many solar fold systems come with wiring but it isn't as big as you need to allow the current flow without a voltage drop.
Ideally you want no voltage drop between panels and regulator while operating, and a large cable will minimize that VD so that the then higher voltage applied, can fully utilize the regulators abilities. If the wire is small then the best reg in the world won't do much at all.
It is all for efficiency, sun energy to AH of charge energy stored in the bank.
AnswerID: 531837

Reply By: evaredy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:19

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:19
I have a Redarc BCDC1240-LV installed in the tub of the Dmax.

Because I don't drive enough at home to keep the 120ah battery charged, I have mounted a 150W solar panel on the roof of the canopy. This is wired directly into the BCDC.
I also have an Anderson plug installed on the rear bumper, this is also wired into the BCDC. This allows me to connect my 120W folding panel as well when I need extra solar.

I am not very good when it comes to doing electrical work, but if you are it should be easy to do.

I have a regulator on my portable panel and just had a sparkie wire in Anderson plugs to it. When I want to plug it into the BCDC I unplug the regulator and when I want to use it with something that requires a regulator I just plug it back in. Makes things easy and can be used in different situations.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 531908

Reply By: Member - Wozikev - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:03

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:03
I did a similar thing through my Redarc BMS in the van. I started by fitting a six terminal junction plate to the rear of the folding panels. The supply from the panels then goes into this. I then took a supply out through 8 metres of 8 B&S to an anderson plug connection into the van and the BMS. I also took a supply out to the panel regulator and in turn to a 150mm long tail and anderson plug so that my son can use it for various camping applications. Sounds complicated but it's really very simple. I can send you a pic of what I did if you wish.

Cheers .......................... Kev.
AnswerID: 531913

Follow Up By: 322 - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 18:55

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 18:55
I'd love to see some pics mate. How do we go about that?
FollowupID: 815084

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