solar panels

Hi, Need to know if it is best to have the regulator for my solar panels close to the battery or OK to leave it screwed to the back of the panel? Bill
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Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:03

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:03
Bill,

if the solar power's great (>100W) the regulator should be close to the batteries.

If not, I wouldn't bother, unless the distance is more than say 5 metres.

Best regards, Peter
AnswerID: 421406

Follow Up By: snail - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:48

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:48
Thanks for that. Panels are 150w with 10metres of cable so some rewiring will be necessary. Bill
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FollowupID: 691768

Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 13:14

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 13:14
no worries Bill,

on second thought, if the whole thing came in a kit (panels, regulator and cable) there is a small chance that the expected voltage drop has been accounted for by the manufacturer.
This can be done by increasing the regulation voltage level at the panel mount regulator.

Only a test with a voltmeter during operation will reveal this voltage level.

If it's higher than the float voltage of your battery, then you should really leave the regulator where it is at the back of the panel.
You can also try to get inside it and look for some trim pots and if they're there would allow you to play with the levels.
Just a thought....

Best regards, Peter
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FollowupID: 691772

Follow Up By: guzzi - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 17:57

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 17:57
Peter,
Would it not be better from a component longevity point of view if the regulator was not attached to the panels.
I mention this as I have measured the temp of my panels at over 65 deg C on a hot day. Most electronics dislike that sort of temperature.

Pete
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FollowupID: 691796

Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 18:11

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 18:11
Hello Pete,

that's certainly an interesting point.
The one type of component most susceptible to high temperature degradation are electrolytic capacitors.
Cheap ones are rated 85 degrees, better ones 105 degrees.
But that doesn't mean that their life won't get shortened at 65 or 70 degrees.
They all suffer from dry out under high temps.
So unless more durable caps like solid tantalum are being used (unlikely on el cheapo controllers), it's really better to have the regulators operating in a cooler environment.

Best regards, Peter
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FollowupID: 691798

Reply By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 22:33

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 22:33
Snail,

Leave it screwed to the back of the solar panel.

Regards,
Bob
AnswerID: 421481

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Jun 20, 2010 at 12:58

Sunday, Jun 20, 2010 at 12:58
snail,

The regulator/controller is usually attached by a silicon compound to the underside of the panel.

If it was my panel/regulator I would definitely remove the regulator and place it at the battery.
If it's been tweeked to increase voltage or current to the battery then all the better for you.

Have to remember the regulator dislikes moisture ingress into it's electronics.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 421530

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