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Solar Panel Portable Connection

Solar battery renogy

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#1 gingerpod

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 10:41 AM

We have a renogy solar panel and a wonderer control. When we hook it up, we have to remove the battery and put the connectors on. This is a huge pain. How can we connect the panels so that we just leave something like a pigtail connected to the battery? Can we use MC4 connectors? 



#2 Meadowlark

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 06:12 PM

We use a pigtail with an automotive, standard two plug connector. But after looking up what an MC4 looks like, I have to believe it would work.  Just make sure you label the solar panel plug to differentiate it from the pigtail for the battery itself. I learned that when I hooked up our 90 watt and it wasn't charging...because I'd hooked up the wrong plug!

 

Electrical connector automotive.JPG

 

 


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#3 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 18 July 2020 - 06:21 PM

My suggestion is Power Pole connectors.  These are very adequately current rated, and are polarized which prevents improper connection.  I would not use MC4 connectors. 

 

See the following link for further information.   There are several sources for these connectors. 

 https://powerwerx.co...AiABEgJyGfD_BwE

 

Bob



#4 vermilye

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 06:42 AM

My suggestion is Power Pole connectors.  These are very adequately current rated, and are polarized which prevents improper connection.  I would not use MC4 connectors. 

 

See the following link for further information.   There are several sources for these connectors. 

 https://powerwerx.co...AiABEgJyGfD_BwE

 

Bob

2X.

 

MC 4 connectors are really designed for one shot use.  While they can be plugged & unplugged, you will likely need a tool to unlock them.  Either SAE (ZAMP) connectors or powerwerx connectors make more sense for portable systems.  I found that the SAE connectors became intermittent after a few years of use & switched to the Powerwerx / Anderson connectors. 


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#5 Puffe

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 01:54 PM

I connected the charge controller output to a 7-pin trailer hitch so that the power went in the same pin as when the car's alternator is powering the trailer.  This charges the battery.  So I just unhook the trailer from the car, and then plug my solar panel into the trailer's cable that was attached to the car.  It works fine and charges the battery well.  I did not have to drill any holes, or run any wires.  And I can relocate my portable solar panel (Renogy) where up to almost 20 feet from my trailer's hitch.


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#6 Farmerbreck

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 07:46 AM

First off, electricity is magic to me.
My question is, is there more power going to the battery when directly connected as opposed to connecting via the 7 pin? It would seem that the longer 7 pin route through the trailer might be an issue.

#7 vermilye

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:18 AM

While the more wire between the controller & the batteries, the more loss, and the less accurate the controller will determine when to switch between stages, at the low currents supplied by most portable panels connecting to the 7 pin connector is not going to be a problem.  



#8 Rob and Laura

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 09:01 PM

Hello, we are a bit lost, wondering if this relates. We are trying to find out, if we boondock, how we can get our fridge to keep working with a Goal Yeti Zero battery. We have not yet purchased one but we are interested in how it works with the portable solar panels and the goal is to plug the casita electric plug instead of into a pole in a hook up site....into the Goal Yeti Zero - and can it then run the fridge in the Casita.   If anyone can help, we would appreciate it. We're a bit confused how this all works. The only goal we have is to run the fridge as we boondock. We do not own a generator and prefer not having one. 

Thank you for any help you can provide! 



#9 Hot Toddy

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 07:40 AM

Your Casita is completely self-contained. Your Dometic refrigerator can run off propane but needs 12V batter power to run the electronic control board. A small propane burner heats the coolants needed for the evaporative process. Your onboard 12V battery provides the electricity needed to power the controls. Your challenge is recharging the 12V battery as it is drained. A portable electric generator, solar panel, or the alternator on your tow vehicle will all accomplish this. Using your tow vehicle to recharge your battery is great when traveling to your destination, but not very efficient while camped. The Yeti GoalZero won't help you much by recharging your battery. Think of it as an alternate power source if you wanted to run something at your picnic table rather than at your trailer. You can recharge your electronics at your trailer using an adapter and the 12V plug at your television connection site.

 

Note that plugging your power cord into a GoalZero rather than an electrical post will simply start recharging your onboard battery. You would have to configure wiring to bypass your onboard battery and power directly from the GoalZero. It would be easier and less expensive to just carry a second battery with you in your tow vehicle that you could switch out when your onboard battery is drained. But then you are back to needing a way to recharge two batteries at some point. 

 

You don't need a very big gas powered generator to recharge your 12V battery, but most of us who invest in one get it big enough to power the Air Conditioner if needed. Champion makes a nice 2500/1850V generator for sale through Home Depot for $479. It is lightweight, quiet, and will run for 11 hours on a tank of gas. A solar panel will also charge your battery as long as you have sun shining on it. If you are judicious with your power consumption (LED lights, etc.) I would think you could go three to 5, 6, 7 days before needing to charge your onboard battery. Everyone's results will differ.

 

Here is a quick explanation of how your refrigerator works:

 

An absorption refrigerator is a refrigerator that uses a heat source (e.g., solar energy, a fossil-fueled flame, waste heat from factories, or district heating systems) to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling process. The system uses two coolants (ammonia, and water or lithium bromide) the first of which performs evaporative cooling and is then absorbed into the second coolant; heat is needed to reset the two coolants to their initial states. Absorption refrigerators are commonly used in recreational vehicles (RVs), campers, and caravans because they can be powered with propane fuel, rather than electricity. Unlike more common vapor-compression refrigeration systems, an absorption refrigerator can be produced with no moving parts other than the coolants.

 

 

Toddy

 

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Edited by Hot Toddy, 02 February 2021 - 02:37 PM.


#10 Barb Dwyer

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 12:42 PM

Our refrigerator is very efficient on propane. Our trailer is a 2018. We almost exclusively boondock with our longest outing being 21 days. We don't cook in the trailer as we prefer campfire cooking so we don't use propane for the stove, but we do use the water heater for showering. After our 3 week trip, we took our propane tank to get refilled and found we only used half a tank. We use a renogy solar suitcase to keep the battery charged.





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