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Old 10-15-2015, 12:31 PM   #43
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Yes, this is America. People are free to over-engineer their system. They're free to pay for unnecessary services. They're free to chase the last 2% to improve their efficiency!

For all the DIYers out there who like to save a few bucks and are interested in installing a 400 W system for less than $1500 I hope I've shed some light and offered another viewpoint. And yes, I have a BSEE.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:43 PM   #44
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Just looking over this discussion again tonight. Alano your details are helpful. I believe the only thing I find over calculated with your one mathematical example is the distance of 40' for the 10awg wire. That is a LONG wire run. In my puny system (compared to others) my total run prewire and added Renogy connection wire is 16.5'. Across the roof, down and over to the controller AND the cable to the batteries. That is what I was trying to say about resistance and other factors still being adequate with the prewire. The run is not long and the amperage is relatively low. A lot of it depends on what the goal is- to create a basic supplemental charging system or to create a mega solar array. Everyone is different. The prewire system should be able to handle up to about 200 watts. I have a hard time justifying a bunch of batteries and several panels for a 5.x something good charge time which is the case in most of the US states. Right now I can only view solar as a supplement to shore power and a generator. Perhaps it is my wallet but that's just me.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #45
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perfect. Thanks Gamma Dog. From your pic I can say that I ended up with the exact tank connector. I do not need the lever end though with my application.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:48 PM   #46
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My example using a 35' length for the pre-wires was a very conservative estimate for my 30' classic since the pre-wiring starts near the battery box and terminates near the rear skylight. Of course you need to double this since there are two conductors when calculating the resistance. Every other AS model probably results in a shorter length.

Also In my example I was able to install a 400 W system using the pre-wiring where the voltage loss due to the pre-wiring was less than 2%. This example requires the use of an MPPT controller and a series/parallel arrangement for the four panels. No reason to limit such a system to 200 W.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:56 PM   #47
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well there ya go. Two percent is nothing. Yes, I see what you mean about the length.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:20 PM   #48
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Quote:
The missing link in your system is the use of spade connectors for larger cable sizes. We use 6AWG for the Blue Sky 2512iX-HV controllers and the appropriate spade connectors that allow the larger cabled to be inserted into the small screw-clamp connectors.
Lewster,
Thank you for this advice. I had not considered using spade connectors to maintain wire size to/from the controller. I have been using terminal blocks before and after the controller to accommodate change in wire diameter.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:00 PM   #49
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OK, I'm looking for recommendations on this topic for my 23D 2015 model.
I have a "GO Power" 200 watt system that I would like to add. The monitor is designed to be wired directly to the main power cables and doesn't appear to use the Cat 5 control wires. My factory solar wires run from the BUS to the rear fantastic fan.

1. Do I drill through the fantastic fan trim to access the roof?
2. Does the factory wire routing go by the false wall in the bathroom sink area to mount the panel? If not, where do I mount the monitor. Not much room next to the BUS.
3. I'm planning on using VHB tape and Sikaflex 221 to attach the flex panels to the roof.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #50
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:37 AM   #51
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I'm not familiar with the FC 23D configuration but maybe I can steer you in the right direction.

1. Do you have an interior LED light next to the fantastic fan? In my installation I was able to remove the light (3 screws) and grab the pre-wiring in the ceiling. I was also able to simply drill a hole in the roof from below using the opening from the interior light. If your setup is different, perhaps you could remove the fan trim and see if you can locate the wires. If you can, I would drill a hole from above the roof, several inches away from the fantastic fan, to feed the solar pre-wires through. You'll add a combiner box above the hole where you can tie together the solar panels to the pre-wiring.

2. Not sure where the factory wiring goes inside the trailer, but if the wires terminate near the BUS, you'll want to try and place your solar charger close to the BUS, since you'll be trying to keep the losses to a minimum. In my installation the Blue Sky charger was mounted next to the BUS and an optional remote was located at the other end of the CAT5 cable. In your case you don't have an optional remote so you'll need to try and find a suitable location near the BUS for your controller.

3. VHB tape and Sikaflex 221 should work fine.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:29 AM   #52
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I know that there is controversy here on wire size; however, I want to refer to this chart. The prewire should be able to handle up to around 200 watts. I contacted Renogy about the wire they sell when I did my meager system they told me for my need it was fine. Since then they have created a page for determining wire gauge for distance and system size. The page is a calculator so it will match any job. My system on roof is 150 watts (10 amps or so) with a run from panel to battery of about 19 feet (16.5 feet to controller) at most with 10 AWG.

https://www.renogy-store.com/Wiring-...ors-s/1822.htm

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Old 10-27-2015, 10:24 AM   #53
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Thank you for your responses. The bus is under the dinette seat at the front of the trailer. I could mount it there but your feet may be hitting the panels buttons. I was hoping to intercept the factory wires at the bathroom sink and mount the panel in the false wall there.

Having a hard time tracing the wires route. May have to just start disassembling.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:55 PM   #54
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Yellow and Green in the Roof on a 2001?

Has anyone located the green and yellow pre-wire at the roof in a 2000-era Safari? My manual says it is "under the front dome light". There is only a small hole where the light wires come out and sticking a finger up in there as far as I can I cannot feel any other wires. I'm considering getting a nibbler and opening up the area inside the mounting screws, but if the wire is near the fan, that won't do me any good.

I want to connect the red and black to the yellow and green behind the control panel and use that for fan power. The fan is currently spliced into the light which makes the light switch at the door dual function. I'd rather have it just control the light.

I sorta shot myself in the foot when fixing leaks at the fantastic fan and TV antenna base by injecting foam. I stiffened up the roof nicely, but sure makes access more difficult.

Thanks,

Al
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:08 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
I know that there is controversy here on wire size; however, I want to refer to this chart. The prewire should be able to handle up to around 200 watts. I contacted Renogy about the wire they sell when I did my meager system they told me for my need it was fine. Since then they have created a page for determining wire gauge for distance and system size. The page is a calculator so it will match any job. My system on roof is 150 watts (10 amps or so) with a run from panel to battery of about 19 feet (16.5 feet to controller) at most with 10 AWG.

https://www.renogy-store.com/Wiring-...ors-s/1822.htm

Attachment 251100
Strictly speaking, the prewire can handle 10 A, but don't confuse this with the panel wattage. You can stack panels in a series/parallel arrangement. In my series/parallel configuration you can have 400 W (4 x 100 W panels) and still keep the current to approximately 10 A (10.6 A in my case).
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:56 PM   #56
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Manual is wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Has anyone located the green and yellow pre-wire at the roof in a 2000-era Safari? My manual says it is "under the front dome light". There is only a small hole where the light wires come out and sticking a finger up in there as far as I can I cannot feel any other wires. I'm considering getting a nibbler and opening up the area inside the mounting screws, but if the wire is near the fan, that won't do me any good.

....
Al
I bought an air nibbler. Cool tool!!! But it didnt help. I opened up the ceiling under the light and felt all the way to the fan but no luck. I should have looked at the wiring diagram. It shows the yellow and green coming out at the same location as the fridge wires, so they must be in the refrigerator compartment, not at the ceiling light, which is a different harness.

Al
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