Solar Setup - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Solar Setup

Ok. I have purchased some of the stuff that I need for my solar setup, but I think I may need to add a few pieces.

Starting in the lower left corner I have the battery, red cable to go from pos terminal on battery to fuse. Black cables to go from fuse to controller and neg terminal to controller. Then I have some black cables with the quick connects to go from the controller to the solar panel. I also have an inline fuse that connects in. Anyway looking at my setup I have the following questions.

1. Should I get a switch to put down on the battery on the positive terminal so that I could kill the power?
2. To run power to lights should I run directly from the battery or go from the place on the controller where the light posts are? See 2nd pic.
3. Should I run this to a circuit fuse box so that each circuit is protected?
4. Anything else that I should consider?

Untitled by cspot12, on Flickr

Untitled by cspot12, on Flickr

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 07:44 PM
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I run a master kill switch between the battery and the inverter, I then run my 12 volt fuse block off the inverter side of the master kill switch. Shut the master and you shut down everything. I run acouple 12 volt led light strips, car radio, and usb charger, 12volt water pump and a 12car adapter all fused. You can run lights off the charge controller, I just find it easy to shut it all down. Last thing i want to do half way into a 3 hour ride is wonder if i forgot to turn something off. I run three solar batteries and four panels, but as you add to it the above works good.
The set up you have would be fine running off the charge controller depending how many lights, but if you run from the battery to a fuse panel you protect your stuff better and have more lights. just drain the battery down quicker.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 03:24 PM
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I can't help you on your questions but I would like to know where you picked this set up at?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by deerchaser View Post
I can't help you on your questions but I would like to know where you picked this set up at?














and the battery is a marine battery that I picked up at Advance or Autozone.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I bought this switch from Amazon tonight. I can put going to the battery and I figure I can connect the line from the charge controller and also the line going to the fuse block. I figure I can then turn off the power to the fuse block when I am gone and still have it charging. I can also kill all of it if I want. The switch is 1, 2, both, none for selections.






Also got this fuse block.




I also got this to try to use for phone charging.




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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 07:31 PM
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Great buys!
You look like your getting it all together fast.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Great buys!
You look like your getting it all together fast.
Thanks. Getting all the pieces, now I just have to get it installed. Still have some more hunting to do in Ohio, so it may be a month or 2 before it is installed.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cspot View Post
Ok. I have purchased some of the stuff that I need for my solar setup, but I think I may need to add a few pieces.

Starting in the lower left corner I have the battery, red cable to go from pos terminal on battery to fuse. Black cables to go from fuse to controller and neg terminal to controller. Then I have some black cables with the quick connects to go from the controller to the solar panel. I also have an inline fuse that connects in. Anyway looking at my setup I have the following questions.

1. Should I get a switch to put down on the battery on the positive terminal so that I could kill the power?
2. To run power to lights should I run directly from the battery or go from the place on the controller where the light posts are? See 2nd pic.
3. Should I run this to a circuit fuse box so that each circuit is protected?
4. Anything else that I should consider?

Untitled by cspot12, on Flickr

Untitled by cspot12, on Flickr

1. Should I get a switch to put down on the battery on the positive terminal so that I could kill the power? Yes, absolutely and you've selected a fine switch.

2. To run power to lights should I run directly from the battery or go from the place on the controller where the light posts are? See 2nd pic. Run everything directly from the battery. FROM BATTERY: run + wire to switch then to fuse panel. Run - wire directly to fuse panel. FROM CONTROLLER: run + to + post on battery and - to - post on battery. Ignore the 'lights' terminals on the controller unless you want to run something only while the sun is out. You can wire in a charger or inverter to that knowing it's only any good while the panel is active if you want.

3. Should I run this to a circuit fuse box so that each circuit is protected? Yep, you got this covered. To keep current load low use those circuits and label them. I have the same fuse panel (it's really great and easy to use)....I run kitchen lights off one, bedroom lights on another, bedroom 12V/USB off another, bathroom light off another, etc, etc. DON'T LOAD UP ONE CIRCUIT.

4. Anything else that I should consider? You're on a solid track with the stuff you've selected. Try to leave a couple circuits available for expansion later. I didn't pay attention to which panel you got, but I think mine has 12 or 16 circuits....it was the biggest they made. I have a few empty slots right now, but I know I'll be adding some things in the future.

Just a random 'things' you'll learn....you and your family will learn to turn lights off when you're not using them. Everything is a power drain and if you don't need it you don't want to use it. There is a battery meter built into the controller, but it's not a bad idea to add another one where it's easy to see. I picked up a cheap LED meter and wired it into the + lead between the main switch and the fuse panel so I can see it at a glance. The one on the controller is kind of hard to read as it's black on gray and not backlit. The cheap one I put in is green LED and it even acts as a nightlight gently illuminating my cabin all night....which is nice for tossing a log on the fire or going to the John in the middle of the night.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 09:07 AM
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Oh, don't forget to grab some fuses! Pick up some 3a, 5a, 7a and 10a....you shouldn't need anything bigger than 10a. You're fusing the wire you're running, not the load you're pulling. I ran a mix of 14ga and 16ga wire. I also found that speaker wire was a dream to work with in this type of application....and it's cheap too. BUT, if you ever plan to run 120V you'll have to re-wire everything so plan accordingly.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jason for the info. That is some big time help.

I am going to run 12/2 wire with ground for all of the wiring. This way if I ever hook to the grid I will have plenty of wire. Will cost a bit more, but it will be done. It should also help with voltage loss on the runs with the bigger wire.

For lighting we have 1 big room. I am planning on putting 2 circuits with 3 lights a piece. This way I will have a switch with 3 lights. For the light bases I am using the porcelain bases with the pull cords so we can turn off the one's that we don't need. I am also going to run another circuit into the bathroom for the light and also could run the fan when we eventually put in a composting toilet.

I have a 12v pump for the water so I will run 1 circuit for it. Also plan on running another 2 circuits to the cigarette lighter/usb chargers.

This will use up 6 of the 12 circuits on the fuse block. I honestly don't know what else that I would be likely to use, but I will still have plenty of circuits for expansion.

I think we will do pretty well on limiting use. Frankly during the summer we seldom are in the cabin until it is time to go to bed. Coming up during the winter will be the telling tale. I hope to have it hooked up in Jan sometime so that I can see how well it works with limited daytime sun. If need be, I can always use my inverter generator to charge the battery some if we are there for a week and the battery can't keep up.

Thanks again for the advice. Will be glad when this is in and functioning.

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