Solar panel extension lead

Submitted: Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 13:08
ThreadID: 134660 Views:5256 Replies:6 FollowUps:17
This Thread has been Archived
Can anyone advise me on whether I can use an extension lead with my solar panel? It is a 120W monocrystalline Solarking panel with a fitted regulator charging a 105A/hr AGM battery. I have just read a 2015 article where it is mentioned that an extension lead should not be used on solar panels. Can someone please clarify and explain. Thank you.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:13

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:13
What sort/type of extension lead are we talking about ?
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
VKS 737 mobile 0049 selcall 0049

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 610218

Follow Up By: Deejay - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:19

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:19
A twin core lead that can be used to extend the distance the panel can be placed away from the vehicle/battery.
0
FollowupID: 880135

Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 20:51

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 20:51
I have a folding 140 w. Set up where I follow the sun by using a suitable two core cable connecting the cable via anderson plugs with the regulator placed next to the battery when in use. This works fine for me. I purchased the cable and Anderson plugs from Anderson connect.com.au Australia.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
VKS 737 mobile 0049 selcall 0049

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 880139

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:27

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:27
I'm no electro-tech, but I can't see why not. I have done the very same for my panel. Several things that I recall from my readings...1. make the extension cable as short as you can (minimise resistance). 2. Use decent gauge* (more wires) cable for the lead (again, minimise resistance). 3. The supplied regulator will work better IF it is close to the battery, not at the panel end of the lead. As a result, I removed my regulator from the panel and rewired it to the end of the lead. With a few metres of lead, one can position the panel for best sunlight when camping.
*I don't know the gauges lingo...I just had some 'meaty cable' in the shed :-).
AnswerID: 610219

Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 16:52

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 16:52
That would have to work.....I like your thinking
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 880130

Follow Up By: Deejay - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:15

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:15
Thank you Darian.
0
FollowupID: 880132

Reply By: RobAck - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:53

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 14:53
If you are talking about how long can a lead be from the panel and regulator to the battery then it all depends.

You should use cable specific to solar panels and with anderson plugs for the best high voltage connection and quite thick cable. Good quality cable is around $10 per meter and we run 9m of it. Connections must be tinned and soldered never crimped

Rob
AnswerID: 610221

Follow Up By: Deejay - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:16

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:16
Thanks Rob.
0
FollowupID: 880133

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:24

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:24
There isn't much high voltage to be concerned about, but high current flow as possible from the panel through the run of cable is what you are after.
0
FollowupID: 880136

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Apr 17, 2017 at 08:11

Monday, Apr 17, 2017 at 08:11
"Connections must be tinned and soldered never crimped"

That assumes that you don't know how to crimp properly and do not own the proper tooling.
Have a look under your bonnet at the factory crimps...

Apart from anything else, properly done crimps are a lot better at absorbing vibrations.
Crap workmanship & tools results in crap product. Don't blame the concept.
0
FollowupID: 880181

Follow Up By: Member - rooster350 - Monday, Apr 17, 2017 at 16:10

Monday, Apr 17, 2017 at 16:10
I wonder how many thousands of people are talking over telephone lines at any given time that have been crimp jointed and how many millions of wires involved, and I did but a few of them and they apparently work quite well thank you.
0
FollowupID: 880195

Reply By: greybeard - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 15:34

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 15:34
Utopia:
Humongous solar panel, liquid cooled, stuck onto regulator glued to side of battery (also liquid cooled). All wiring 1m in diameter and no longer than 1mm.
Reality:
Solar panel in the sun (getting hot), wire (variable length), regulator near battery, battery in shade so fridge can be near battery also in the shade.

I use anderson powerpole connectors to connect all of my solar equipment. I have several 'extension cords' with powerpole connectors on them of varying length (up 4-5m) and park my vehicle in the shade and use what ever length of cable I need to keep the panels in the sun. Wire gauge used is whatever I can stuff into the powerpole connector.
Do I lose power in the extension cords and connectors? Of course I do. Do I get enough charge into my system by keeping the panels in the sun and do I save more power by keeping my fridge in the shade? You betcha.
Is someone else's system better than mine? most likely.
I live in the real world and drink cold beer. ymmv
AnswerID: 610222

Follow Up By: terryt - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:10

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:10
Greybeard a wonderful real world comment.
1
FollowupID: 880131

Follow Up By: Deejay - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:18

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 18:18
Thank you Greybeard.
1
FollowupID: 880134

Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 19:31

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 19:31
What's a reasonable gauge for say 5 metres with 18v going down it?
AnswerID: 610225

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 19:52

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 19:52
It isn't the voltage but the amperage which matters. The panel lead will have similar voltage to the battery voltage because the regulator is switching the amperage to the battery. The battery load makes the panel voltage much the same as the battery.

Only when the battery is charged and the regulator switches off, does the panel voltage go high. Then there is not much amperage flow at all, even at float charge mode.
0
FollowupID: 880137

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 20:23

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 20:23
Thanks.

A peak of 11 amps then.
0
FollowupID: 880138

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 22:09

Friday, Apr 14, 2017 at 22:09
5 meters at 10 is amps is not a great deal ...... without doing the maths .... I go 6mm2 minimum ...... but 10mm2 punches off into 50 amp andersons nicely.

cheers


0
FollowupID: 880141

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 04:32

Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 04:32
Thanks.

Here's a wire gauge calculator for anyone who's interested:Click

And a voltage drop calculator: http://www.voltagedropcalculator.com.au. The wattage difference of running 18v down the lead rather than say 14 is also shown.
1
FollowupID: 880145

Follow Up By: swampy - Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 10:44

Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 10:44
hi,
Its simple really when using any panel system u want as little loss in volts/watts from either your solar panel to regulator or your regulator to battery wiring .
For 95% situation for the smaller panels 8square mm /8b&s cable will be fine . Available almost every where .
For 200watt and above change up the size .either 5 B&s or 6b&s
0
FollowupID: 880147

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 11:06

Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 11:06
Depends on the run length too.
See the wire gauge calculator.
0
FollowupID: 880148

Reply By: HKB Electronics - Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 11:05

Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 at 11:05
IF its a portable panel then you'll need an extension lead, if possible it is better to have the regulator at the battery rather than the solar panel end as the voltage drop to the regulator will not have as much impact on charging as the voltage drop being between the regulator and the battery.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 610231

Follow Up By: AJC - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:41

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:41
Hi Deejay
"better to have the regulator at the battery rather than the solar panel end" [HKB]

I'd agree 100% with HKB - the volt-drop along the cable can seriously reduce the power that eventually gets to the battery, especially if you're making it longer. Either relocate the regulator near to the battery or seriously increase cable size. (more detail at http://12voltblog.com.au/portable-folding-solar-panels/)
Cheers
AJC
0
FollowupID: 880224

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)