Cut off S/Panel MC Connectors?

Submitted: Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 18:27
ThreadID: 67262 Views:2354 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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I'm just fitting new Sharp 80W Solar Panels with MC (Multi Contact) connectors. These connectors cost a fair bit (need double adapters to arrange panels in parallel) and not likely to be easily replaced in the bush. My plan is to cut off the MC connectors at the panel end and replace with simple Anderson plug. Local a/elect supplier reckons that should be ok. Just wondering if anyone disagrees with that - don't want to make a mistake.

thanks in anticipation
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Reply By: Maîneÿ [wa] - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 18:59

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 18:59
jdwynn,
I use two panels and connect the rear panel to the front panel via a low voltage 12v plug, this is so I can remove one and put it out in the sun when I camp (something I have *never* done to date) so I think an Anderson plug will do the same job.

The only difference is my 'female' plug is bolted and water-proofed direct to the back of the front panel, the rear (removable) panel has the 'male' plug which plugs into an extension cable back into the Solar system.

Image Could Not Be Found
Can you attach the Anderson plug securely and 'safely' so it will not come loose, if you want to remove one or both solar panels to use them when your camped in the shade?

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 356630

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 19:45

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 19:45
Howdy Mainey, it's been a long term project as you can see!!

I hadn't thought about fixing the Anderson plug just yet, but I can see no reason why it couldnt be connected to the frame I'm making for the panels. I don't really want to unbolt panels whilst on a trip, but who knows what the future holds - and plug has to be fixed somewhere.

cheers JD
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Reply By: greybeard - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 20:30

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 20:30
try jaycar

jaycar
then connectors -> solar connectors in the browse products frame
AnswerID: 356649

Reply By: Boobook2 - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:57

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:57
Cut 'em off 'n throw them away.

MC are designed to be easy to connect and very difficult to disconnect. They were designed for easy installation of large solar installations where there are lots of connectors. They will drive you crazy in a RV application.

The best connectors are the anderson style power pole connectors. They are similar to one circuit of a normal anderson but only 15 or 30A.

15 A Power pole example

Don't use a standard grey anderson as you may confuse it with the other andersons which are on the battery side of the reg. If you want to use the standard style get red ones which won't plug into the grey ones to indicate that it is unregulated power.
AnswerID: 356701

Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:01

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:01
I forgot to mention, there are about 4 - 5 main types of MC connectors, each look similar but they are slightly differrent and not compatible, depending on the panel manfacturer. You have to make sure you get the right one if you persist with them, which IMHO you shouldn't.

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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:14

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:14
Power Poles are 15,30 and 45A in the small size housing and the 75A power poles use a 6GGE contact the same as can the 50A Anderson Plugs.
I use grey Anderson Plugs for general connections and red Anderson Plugs for Solar for identification.
Ian
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Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 19:30

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 19:30
thanks for your assistance chaps
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Follow Up By: Rod - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:14

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:14
I purchased my last panel from Jaycar with this type of connector. Jaycar said the manufacturer would not honour warranty claims if I cut the connectors off.
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Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:28

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:28
Gee Rod, that's a good point. I'll think about it for sure, but honestly I wonder if manufacturers will honour the warranty in any case when panels are on a 4wd that goes bush regularly. Cheers
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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:52
I would consider that is a salesman's statement from jaycar as its the panel performance that is warranted not the installation technique.

Jaycar is an importer of equipment and as such in the eyes of the law is the supplier and or pseudo manufacturer and that means its specifically relevent to them only.

I have personally seen many a Sharp panel installed with those plugs cut off with no consequence but then there hasnt been a claim of any kind either that I know of so that indicates good quality.

If anyone is worried about it you buy the smallest joiner lead and cut it in halves to give you a felame and male cponnector and then take off from the cut ends with your own leads and then you havnt interfered with the panel as such.
Ian
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 15:45

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 15:45
Warranties are a legal requirement - they can only get out if it, if they can prove that something you have done could have caused the problem.

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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:03

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:03
Mike
Agreed 100% and normally with the original purchaser with no transfer so how many people stay in pwnership of anythong for 20 Plus years.

Ive seen people lose lifetime warrantee claims because they couldnt prove what the lifetime was and it was not specifically stated in writing.

With good solar panels the warrantee is a performance statement that the panel will still produce a percentage of its maximum rating after so many years cable or no cable.
Ian



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