Connecting two solar panels through 1 regulator

Submitted: Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 15:20
ThreadID: 134999 Views:3033 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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Good afternoon from Sydney,

Long time lurker first time poster.

I have been searching through a lot of old threads regarding hooking up to solar panels but seem to be confusing myself.

My truck has 2 Aux batteries fitted (105A & 120A) professionally installed prior to me purchasing the vehicle. I am running a waeco 90l fridge freezer and was running a power tech 120w panel
120amp
I had issues with the regulator and by passed it and ran it through a steca PR3030 controller mounted in the rear of cab close to batteries
steca 3030

I like this controller as it allows me to keep an eye on everything whilst camping.

I recently purchased a KORR lighting 150w solar blanket
solar blanket

I am also using the steca regulator for this and works fine but my question is, if I wanted to could I run both in series through the steca?

Being a 30amp controller it will handle the increase in amps but have been reading things about reverse diodes in the system which is confusing me.

I have read that connecting panels of different size or type is not recommended.

is it just a matter of connecting both panel leads together at the controller and let the controller do its thing?

Many thanks in advance,

Cheers
Knuckle
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Reply By: Gronk - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 16:08

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 16:08
The Steca is a PWM controller ( and a good one at that ), so probably isn't suitable for series connection, but in parellel will work fine.

Just connect the two panel positives together at the controller input and the same for negative.
AnswerID: 611618

Follow Up By: knuckle - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 16:38

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 16:38
Gronk,

Thanks for quick reply mate, so sorry meant to write in parallel not series as series will give me 24v is that correct? (see what happens when reading all the archived posts I confused myself)

This is not something that I will necessarily be doing all the time but would be handy if needed on longer trips where the car will not be getting used and charging via alternator.

I have fitted Anderson plugs to both leads of each individual panel so I reckon this should work if running both panels



Many thanks again
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FollowupID: 881662

Follow Up By: Gronk - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 19:30

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 19:30
Series will give you whatever each panel voltage is added together, so over 30V.
What you have shown is OK, although I don't run anything off the load terminals of my Steca 20A, but straight off the battery, but makes no difference in the whole scheme of things.
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FollowupID: 881664

Follow Up By: knuckle - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 19:55

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 19:55
Thanks Gronk,

don't usually run anything of the load terminals, just got carried away when I purchased the steca.

Thanks again for your advice,

Greatly appreciated, enjoy your weekend.

Knuckle
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FollowupID: 881665

Follow Up By: Gronk - Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 20:16

Friday, Jun 02, 2017 at 20:16
No probs...
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FollowupID: 881668

Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 08:42

Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 08:42
I've got 2 vehicles with solar panels and controller/ regulators on them , and Anderson plugs to plug in other panels. I have panels on the roof of my shed and a fold up for when I'm out and about. All work good.
Cheers
Shane
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FollowupID: 881675

Follow Up By: knuckle - Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 18:33

Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 18:33
Thanks Shane,

will hook them up and see how I go.

Cheers
Knuckle
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FollowupID: 881692

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 21:57

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 21:57
Hi Knuckle. I you want to save some room run the solar cables into suitable copper lugs with the correct wire diameter, i used 6mm squared, use 8b&s to go to the reg, join them with a stainless nut and bolt and heat shrink the join. Cut off any excess of the bolt i used a 6mm nut and bolt with nylock and a spring washer, small and compact. My panels are 120 and 160 through the same reg, never had any issues running two trailblazers with two agms.
Cheers Graeme
AnswerID: 611693

Follow Up By: knuckle - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:10

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:10
Graeme,

Thanks for advice mate, sounds like a good idea.

Nice Jewie in profile pic too, that's a cracker.

Thanks again,

Knuckle
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FollowupID: 881750

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 00:22

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 00:22
Cheers mate. Will get around to updating that photo with another one day but hardly use the site anymore , find it becoming less user friendly as time goes by. Tried the search button last night and its a pain each time have to go back and resubmit your search and count how many ones I have read so you don't lose your place.

Cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 611735

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 09:18

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 09:18
Hi Graeme

I used to hat it too! Until I worked out how it worked (Michelle will probably have an easier way but this is how I do it LOL)

Do your search.
Click on "Show all 40 Results"

When they come up (they usually show as being archived) use the list as you do the normal forum list.
Click on the thread you want to read.
Click on back when you want to read the next one.

When your finished and want to go back to the current threads...
Click on menu > forum

I find if I get impatient and click too many times it SPAZ's out. I also use an iPad (which is not the most user friendly interface) and it works if I do the above.

Hope it helps

Cheers

Anthony
VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 09:22

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 09:22
What I do still hate is the way the new edit function works...

...why does it take all the extra lines out of your text?

So hat in my reply above will stay - just read it as hate.

Cheers

Anthony
VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

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