Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Solar install completed part 6

Good weather this last weekend made it possible to finish with the panels and combiner box. These 160 watt panels are almost 5 feet long so it's tough to plan exactly where they should go while keeping in mind issues like shading, maintenance, cleaning and more panels in the future. 

The roof combiner box location was not negotiable. It had to be placed directly over our utility closet inside wall where most of the coaches electrical culminates before heading into the basement compartments.

The big red and black 4/2 wire is the one coming from the roof combiner box. It will be hidden behind the closet wall panel perfectly.

Here, the closet floor panel removed, an already existing wire run into the compartment where the charge controller is installed.
Here you can see the final wiring is done and labeled with a marine grade shutoff on the panel side.

Back on the roof, all panels were connected to the combiner box using the AM Solar provided, UV protected 10/2 cable through 4 weathertight strain reliefs.

Final rooftop view. Cables are secured with stays using 3M VHB wire tie bases. 

Battery bay completed  for now. These batteries are not true deep cycle but they were new when we acquired the coach so we'll squeeze some life out of them before upgrading to four large 6V batteries wired in series.

After all was done and double checked, I threw the breaker and PV switch under a mostly cloud covered sky and was greeted by a 7.3 amp charge! With the coach parked North South, none of the panels are tilted for maximum so this is awesome! Later, when the sun did come out, I was able to turn on every 12V appliance including two TVs, all interior lights, stereo with 800 watt amp and the furnace while still maintaining +1.0 amps. Spectacular!

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