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Solar Wiring - No Factory Controller

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#1 GDinMT

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:30 PM

2018 Hawk Front Dinette

"Pre-wired" for Solar

No Factory Solar Controller/Panel Installed

 

Project - Install the following:

Victron MPPT 75/15

160W roof mounted panel

 

To those that have come before me...

 

I pulled out the wiring from below the sink counter and have located the solar wire bundle.

 

Item 1:

There are two 3-wire push connector wall nuts (+ / - wires).  Only two of the three wires are labeled.  One says "Solar Battery", the other says "Rear Solar".  

-Is the third set the wires coming from the roof solar plug?

-I assume the "Solar Battery" are the same wires that are coiled in the battery box.  Can anyone confirm?

 

Item 2:

Along with this bundle, there is a black/white wire pair that simply terminate in a butt connector.  The wires are labeled "Load".

-What are these wires?

 

I can post pictures later if it would be helpful.

 

I've already successfully installed a Victron BVM-712 in the battery box and plan to mount the MPPT in the battery box as well...just need to make sure I understand how the "pre-wired" solar is configured.

 

Thanks.

 

 


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#2 Stan@FourWheel

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:32 PM

Check our our Video Galley for items like this (YouTube).  It might be of some help.

 


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#3 veryactivelife

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 05:00 PM

I viewed the video and I’m not completely clear on the white and black wires. It does sound like they may be for the mppt display since The Overland Solar branded controller does not have blue tooth and requires the remote display. Is the Victron controller you are installing the Smart model with blue tooth? If it is then you won’t need the display, you just use the app just like your BMV. Hope this helps.

Dean
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#4 GDinMT

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:44 PM

Stan/Dean,

 

Thank you for the replies.  I have my head wrapped around it now.  The white/black wire pair labeled "Load" are for the Load terminal on my Victron MPPT 75/15, and will be wired as such.

 

Dean, yes, I have the SmartSolar version of the Victron MPPT with built-in Bluetooth.

 

I hooked up my panel this weekend to test the polarity...which I've determined needs to be reversed due to the Zamp plug and my MC4 panel connectors.


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#5 veryactivelife

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 08:41 PM

Ok, so this is finally making sense in my head. Two things had me scratching my head. My camper is pre Overland Solar and as far as I know I do not have the white and black wires. The second thing is that my Victron 100/30 does not have the load connections, these are only on the smaller units.

 

My system now incorporates 2 Overland Solar 160W panels plus a 79W portable. Victron 100/30 SmartSolar controller and the BMV 712. Just returned from 5 weeks on the road and everything worked great. Even on cloudy or rainy days I got to 100%, just did not get into float state.

 

Good luck with your install. 


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#6 Vic Harder

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:12 AM

Ok, so this is finally making sense in my head. Two things had me scratching my head. My camper is pre Overland Solar and as far as I know I do not have the white and black wires. The second thing is that my Victron 100/30 does not have the load connections, these are only on the smaller units.

 

My system now incorporates 2 Overland Solar 160W panels plus a 79W portable. Victron 100/30 SmartSolar controller and the BMV 712. Just returned from 5 weeks on the road and everything worked great. Even on cloudy or rainy days I got to 100%, just did not get into float state.

 

Good luck with your install. 

good stuff!  With 320 on the roof, dis you use your portable much?  Are you also charging via the alternator?  How many AH is your battery bank?  


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ, FASS, EGT delete, 5" exhaust, FTE Resonator, MotorOps 50 HP Tow Tune

2005 Hawk Shell built the way I like it - SOLD

2012 ATC Puma (Grandby) shell - build started!


#7 veryactivelife

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:20 PM

Vic,

 

I'm based in Maryland and originally I had a GoPower 160 panel with their controller and 150Ah of battery.. In our hot humid summers here I was drawing down the batteries to 60%  and sometimes 50%, In cloudy weather we went down into the 40% area a couple of times. We also have lots of trees, lol. So I added the 79W portable, which helped, but we were still struggling. When we were traveling out west in the fall and winter, we never had a problem. Better sun and not hot as he//. While I was learning about battery monitors and battery health I saw the Overland Solar panel at the Mid Atlantic Overland Festival and realized that I could double my roof output for less weight than what I was already pushing up. So I sold my old panel and controller and started over. Got it all in just in time for Expo East, lots of rainy cool weather and never went below 70%, no need for the portable even in the trees. In March and April we spent 5 weeks in the Four Corners area and were up to 100% in the early mornings, late morning on overcast or cloudy days. So again no need for the portable. The real test will be this summer here in the Mid-Atlantic. My batteries are close to 4 years old and seem reasonably healthy, but I'm exploring my options for more Ah. If my charging works well this summer i'm probably going 6 volt. As far as alternator charging goes, I have the standard FWC setup and will probably look at improving on that. So that's the long answer to your short question. This whole charging and battery business has been an interesting journey and I've learned a lot from your posts and others here on WTW. Thanks so much for your contributions.

 

Dean


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Dean and Mary
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#8 Vic Harder

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:04 AM

hmmm.  320w solar, 150AH batteries.  Seems you are empirically verifying the rule of thumb that says we should have 2x the PV array of our AH.


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ, FASS, EGT delete, 5" exhaust, FTE Resonator, MotorOps 50 HP Tow Tune

2005 Hawk Shell built the way I like it - SOLD

2012 ATC Puma (Grandby) shell - build started!


#9 GDinMT

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 07:36 PM

Update:

 

I finished up all of the interior wiring to get a solar panel up and running.  I decided to wire in a BlueSea switch for the panel in the factory "hole" where the Zamp controller would have been.  MPPT was mounted down in the battery box.  All that is left is to get the panel mounted on the roof...hopefully this week.

 

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#10 Charlie

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:11 PM

I completed a similar solar install a couple of months ago, in a new Hawk. I added a second house battery, so the final system has 320W of PV, and 160Ah of battery storage.

 

In order to cut down on weight, I made up my own solar panel assemblies, using flexible panels attached to double sided polycarbonate and some bits of aluminum. Each panel weighed in at 14lbs, and it hardly makes a difference in lifting the roof. 

 

We've used the system on 4 trips so far, and it has performed perfectly. Some of the trips saw temperatures in the low 30's, and the furnace was used quite a bit. We have actually had two periods at home where we have been in the fog for 4 straight days, and the batteries have never dropped below 88% capacity. The real test will come in warm weather, when the fridge runs more often, but I'm confident that we have ample capacity.

 

Components are:

2x Renogy 160W flexible panels

Victron MPPT 100/20 charge controller

Victron BMV-712 battery monitor

Victron 500A/50mV shunt

2x 79Ah AGM batteries

Big Red switch

 

The Victron components are awesome. The bluetooth lets us monitor the solar output/history and battery performance while driving. 

 

Here are a few pictures of the install. I'll send the wiring diagram in another post.

 

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