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Old 11-21-2015, 12:49 PM   #1
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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How would you connect standalone arrays?

In the planning and research of my PV system, I realized I might want to add a portable or standalone array.
One idea I had was a folding array that would travel on the tow hitch and could be lifted up above roof level and moved to follow the sun, or even removed and put on its own ground stand.
Second Idea was to have some panels that would "Clip" into place above the Motorhome windows, like awnings and offer shade as well as power on the sunny side of wherever we are parked. There would be a bracket above each window, and a stay to hold them in place. The panels would be removed and stored for travel.

I know people have portable arrays, but how do you connect these to the controller simply?
I like the idea of having a "Port" that is permanently connected to the Charge controller, that I just plug into, and maybe some kind of extension cord if needed.


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Old 11-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #2
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Oswego , Illinois
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I have a Zamp 160 watt portable unit. I installed a pigtail in my battery compartment. I used Andersen connectors and just open the door and plug it in. I am now in the middle of gathering parts to install a 100 watt panel on the roof. I will install a positive and negative lug in the electrical center. These lugs will attach the permanent leads, the pigtail and then there will be 6 gauge wiring from the lugs to the controller. This way the panels are paralleled to the controller.


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Old 11-21-2015, 02:50 PM   #3
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Biloxi , Mississippi
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Good ideas here,

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
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Awesome Guys, that's exactly what I was looking for!
I searched but didn't know the right words to get hits!
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:49 PM   #5
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Colorado Springs , Colorado
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I had a Zamp array and a Zamp controller installed by my dealer before initial delivery. A few years later, I decided I needed to add additional Solar arrays but I did not have space on the roof for an additional array. I decided to purchase the Zamp 160 watt portable set up, with the idea to simply use the Zamp battery clips directly to the battery when I need to use it.

I was advised by my dealer that because the original install had a solar controller, and that the Portable Zamp 160 also had it own solar controller, that the two Solar Controllers would "fight" each other. I was advised to order a "special" Zamp 160 without a controller, and wire the portable panel to the original Zamp controller.

The "special" Zamp controller was shipped from the Zamp factory with a special pig-tail and quick disconnect connector. Because the Dealer installed system used the refrigerator roof vent to route the original solar panel wires to the controller, I was able to wire the 'pig-tail' to the controller. For now, when I use the portable Zamp panels, I just plug in the portable cable to the pig-tail inside the refrigerator exterior hatch.

Some day I will need to add the exterior port that is referenced in the link by Michael above.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:20 PM   #6
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Anderson Power Pole connectors located at top right of box for alternate solar input. My version.

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