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question about wiring up solar controller

concretejungle

Adventurer
Simple question...

I'm wiring up my solar system now. Have the plugs and wires leading from the solar panel to the +/- on the charge controller. Now, i'm trying to connect the +/- on the solar controller that leads to the battery.

So my question is: I have a blue sea fuse block mounted on the back of the battery box that leads to the battery. I have two open slots. Should i run the +/- from the controller, through the fuse block? OR, should i just run the +/- from the charge controller directly to the +/- on the battery?

Thanks! :coffee:
 

MINO

Adventurer
I don't have a problem going through the fuse block. As long as your solar amps are similar to the fuse rating.
If you got some crazy solar array exceeding 30 amps, then no.
I'd have an inline fuse anyway in case of a short.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
The connection from solar controller to battery should be fused anyhow, so as long as you have a free slot on the fuse block, why not use it as an input? Otherwise you've got this nice tidy block of fuses for your loads, but a separate inline fuse for the controller? My OCD doesn't like that.

Anyhow, that's how I have mine wired - Morningstar SS-6 is an "input" to the bus on slot 1. Slots 2-6 are outputs to fridge, lights, etc. and the main bus connections (I have the BlueSea block with both a positive and negative bus) go to the house battery.

The long connection to the engine-bay mounted solenoid and starter battery go through BIG (#2) cables and two separate high-amp breakers, and are paralleled directly to the house battery terminals.
 

lysol

Explorer
It's good practice to place a fuse as close to the battery as possible. That way, if there is a short created along any part of the wiring system, the fuse will blow close to the battery separating all wiring past the fuse from the battery. You want to lower the odds of a short ocurring between the fuse and the battery because then the fuse would be pointless and a fire is possible.
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
Great, yes i was going to fuse it regardless. But, now i'll just use the fuse block that has an open slot and use a fuse there.

One last question regarding the fuse. The charge controller says it maxes at 10 amps. So i would assume that a 10 amp fuse is sufficient? I don't want to use a larger fuse then what is needed otherwise it will burn up before the fuse pops, right?

I'm great at turning wrenches but terrible with electrical.

Thanks!
 

lysol

Explorer
Great, yes i was going to fuse it regardless. But, now i'll just use the fuse block that has an open slot and use a fuse there.

One last question regarding the fuse. The charge controller says it maxes at 10 amps. So i would assume that a 10 amp fuse is sufficient? I don't want to use a larger fuse then what is needed otherwise it will burn up before the fuse pops, right?

I'm great at turning wrenches but terrible with electrical.



Thanks!
I would use a 10A fuse on the battery side. On the solar panel input side, you can actually pump a few extra amps into the controller, though the controller will turn this extra excess power into heat. The benefit of this is that you can use more solar panels than what your charge controller can handle if they all pump out full power. During the morning/afternoon, you'll be pumping higher amps (though probably not the full 10 but will be more than if you were running just 1 panel), and then during the peak hours, your charge controller will just simply cap out at 10 amps and create some heat. In this case, you might run a higher fuse on the solar panel side.

In case this might help, you can take a look into my 10 Amp solar generator I'm working on. I've got 10 Amp fuses all around as I'm not trying to stretch the capabilites of any of the components. I've also included a pic of my (90%) accurate wiring diagram from page 5 along with my latest picture of my progress... It's a long project for me lol. I just get around to it when I can...:

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/115085-12V-Solar-Pelican-Case-Power-Pack-Generator



 
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