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Forum Index : Solar : 2.5 Kw addition

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brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 01:20am 28 Apr 2019
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I won these 14 panels second hand in good condition .

6 @ 170 watt. And 8 @ 190 watt.

They get the sun from around 6am in summer til. Around 6pm in summer . Winter ,take a couple Hrs. off
Those hours. We are Gold Coast hinterland ,so sun up is first light ,sort of thing.

I installed gal steel extrusion called “top Hat” type channels . I cut 3 inch long copper water pipe for elevation stand off,s. Stainless steel washers and insertion rubber washers between dissimilar metal surfaces will prevent corrosion.
Have had 110 Kmph storm winds since they were fitted and they seem to be rock stedy.
Am using 4 and 6 mm. Sq . Tinned wiring . Series each pair for 48 volt nom. And running 5 strings back to a connect,disconnect box on the house wall , before the main supply to my regulator under the house in my workshop.






Bushboy
 
Ralph2k6

Senior Member

Joined: 24/09/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 122
Posted: 09:41am 28 Apr 2019
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Looks almost as good as that beaut view.
Ever considered overlapping of sorts to keep the rain out as an impromptu roof?

Ralph
 
sPuDd

Senior Member

Joined: 10/07/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 238
Posted: 11:38am 28 Apr 2019
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A man can never have too many panels
It should work ...in theory
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 754
Posted: 12:25pm 28 Apr 2019
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I'm with Ralph stunning
 
Revlac

Senior Member

Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 274
Posted: 01:11pm 28 Apr 2019
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That's looking good Bruce

I also left 50mm gaps between the panels, the idea was to let some of the wind get through...dunno, its still there after the storms.
I did see some solar panels set up as a cattle shelter (no gaps) I think there was a bore pump near it.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid

 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 10:00pm 28 Apr 2019
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Thanks for the replies.

About the gap between the panels or "overlapping " as Ralph asked.

We used to have grapevine growing where the panels are now . Only trouble with that was the possums at night and then the python snakes used to make a home in the vines waiting for a meal !!.

Apart from the droppings mess from the multitude of different bird life ,it's a good area to have a lunch time BBQ with friends.

So, no overlapping ,another reason was the afternoon sun ,being in a low angle ,I had to raise the upside panel to prevent shading =still get a 50 mm or so shading very late in the afternoons I guess that doesn't matter.

the 100mm copper water tube used as a riser prevents the accumulation of water plus the shadow sort of goes under ,not over the adjacent panel.

This pic is early ,when I started to install them .

Bruce




Bushboy
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 03:00am 05 May 2019
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I just noticed something that forum crew might be not aware of ..

If you are installing second hand panels ,, maybe it's a good idea to cut the existing connectors off that were installed in the factory.. Reason , I've found out is ---- Any new connectors maybe will not be EXACTLY the same ,,,so when it comes to pushing the + and - mates together ,it's very tight. Just a couple thou. bigger in the pin will make it difficult to push them in.

So, I cut the old ones off and install new ones of the same manufacturer...

Bruce
Bushboy
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 01:25am 06 Nov 2019
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Yes, finally got to finish off the install work and cabling.

Installed 6mm tinned single runs from the panels to the junction/disconnect weatherproof box at chest height on the outside wall.  Breakers are 25Amp DC polarised (be careful with "in/out" positive and negative).

Earthing will be "stand-alone" connected with special anodise displacement washers onto the Al frames. copper earth stake into earth below the deck.

10mm double insulated feed from disconnect box to breaker on regulator panel.

Two strings will be combined at the disconnect box to feed the 2.5Kw x48v nom. down to the regulator. Either string can be isolated individually for maintenance, leaving one string "on-line'.

 Bruce

Bushboy
 
Davo99
Senior Member

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 257
Posted: 11:25pm 06 Nov 2019
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  brucedownunder2 said  

Any new connectors maybe will not be EXACTLY the same ,,,so when it comes to pushing the + and - mates together ,it's very tight. Just a couple thou. bigger in the pin will make it difficult to push them in.


Some of the connectors on panels are not so bad to join, getting them apart can be stupid and frustratingly difficult though.
They are all pretty tight as MC4's have little O rings in them for water proofing.
Can't say I'm a fan of these connectors though. Had a few now not connect properly  ( factory and my own installations) and get hot joints that melted which is not good.

I did buy a batch of new Mc4's that were too difficult to get apart.  Bought some others and they were fine. I spose most people wouldn't want to take them apart but I like play....errr, experimenting a lot and do a lot of temporary setups. I have got the disconnect tool but they don't help with the stubborn connectors.
 
rogerdw
Regular Member

Joined: 22/10/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 58
Posted: 02:46pm 08 Nov 2019
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  brucedownunder2 said  

I just noticed something that  forum crew might be not aware of ..

If you are installing second hand panels ,, maybe it's a good idea to cut the existing connectors off that were installed in the factory..  Reason , I've found out is ---- Any new connectors maybe will not be EXACTLY the same ,,,so when it comes to pushing the + and - mates together ,it's very tight. Just a couple thou. bigger in the pin will make it difficult to push them in.

So, I cut the old ones off and install new ones of the same manufacturer...

Bruce



I was going through some of the regulations recently (after a comment by renewablemark about staying legal   ) and read where we are supposed to only use the same brand connectors for joining cables  ...  ie for mating connections  ...  must be both from same manufacturer to prevent those issues.
 
Timbergetter

Regular Member

Joined: 08/10/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 48
Posted: 10:12pm 08 Nov 2019
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  rogerdw said    I was going through some of the regulations recently (after a comment by renewablemark about staying legal   ) and read where we are supposed to only use the same brand connectors for joining cables  ...  ie for mating connections  ...  must be both from same manufacturer to prevent those issues.


I thought that Henry Ford had seen the wisdom of interchangeable parts some time ago.  Is this a case of Australian Standards not working?
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 10:40pm 08 Nov 2019
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Yes, thats fairly well important-If you have one half of one type of connector ,you should be observant as to the markings on the replacement type to see if they are identical in physical construction -Mine were not ,so ,in that case I cut both male and female bodies off and spliced in the new variety .

Getting them apart -a bugger of a job ,I use two small spade screw-drivers to equally lever the two halves of the connector apart . The plastic spanners that I bought were as useless as tits-on-a-bull ,If you get my drift?.

We're covered in thick smoke around here, fire trucks everywhere, living in the bush in our sunburn't country  ,has it's moments.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Davo99
Senior Member

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 257
Posted: 10:58pm 08 Nov 2019
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I thought MC$ was a standard and that they should all be interchangeable.
I have seen some on inverters though that I can't Identify that don't fit the regular MC4's although look the same.

I have been opening the inverter and either doing away with these weirdo connectors all together and using terminal blocks or fitting the regular Mc4's.



Where abouts are you located? My Father is near Taree and looking on the RFS maps, has fires coming at him from 2 Directions.  Phones are out so can't contact him and highway is cut so can't get to him either.  Not so worried about the fires but he has asthma which is what will give him Grief.
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 11:23pm 08 Nov 2019
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Yes, they are probably supposed to be made to a standard interconnection dimension ,but some are moulded on in the factory (to the solar panels, that is) . I've found that these are the ones that are not interchangeable with the e-bay priced copies-mind you ,once again, you only get what you pay for ,, so ,the better across-the-counter more expensive ones will more than likely be compatible.

I'm on Mt.Tamborine , Gold Coast hinterland ,overlooking Beechmount (where the fires are).---and the wind is picking up now, just like yesterday.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1339
Posted: 11:35pm 08 Nov 2019
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Buy the way ,Dave.

Those MC4 connectors are built for a specific purpose -,they have "o" rings for sealing . Now,if you think about it ,most connections to the solar panel "Tails" are exposed to the weather ,so sealing is important (same as tin-coated strands of the conductors in the cables.  Now,if you have done a lot of external cabling ,like me, you see corrosion in every day faults in communication cables0 so, that is a development from the field feedback ,that probably made them got the way of military code connectors and develop a connector that could withstand the weather ..

Just my two-bobs worth ...

Bruce
Bushboy
 
mackoffgrid

Guru

Joined: 13/03/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 436
Posted: 02:34am 09 Nov 2019
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  brucedownunder2 said  I'm on Mt.Tamborine , Gold Coast hinterland ,overlooking Beechmount (where the fires are).---and the wind is picking up now, just like yesterday.
Bruce


This bushfire stuff is no fun.  Our Offgrid property has come to within a km or 2 of a bushfire three times in the last month, including the current one which took a house out last night.

I'm glad I'm not there atm, and sitting in comfy aircond.
 
Davo99
Senior Member

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 257
Posted: 06:28am 09 Nov 2019
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I always make sure I get all connections under the panel and on the top of the ridge of the roof to minimise or eliminate any water exposure. Probably the biggest threat is Vapour if the roof sat got an early shower and then the sun came out heating everything up.

It's the vapour mainly that gets in the roof mounted disconnects and causes them to fail or catch fire.

Every year they say this will be a bad bush fire season and although last year wasn't great, with the lack of rain in so many places, this year can only get worse.

Finally convinced my father to get a water tank but haven't got round to setting it up for a pump. Maybe for the best. Don't want him trying to fight a fire but then again, the way his moron neighbour is forever lighting fires and having them get away, might be a very sensible thing to put in.

The last one that got away got into Dads yard down the back and we had to cut a break with the tractor to stop it. That was about the 4th one he'd let got and burned into dads place. I understand everyone makes mistakes but having 4 Fires get away is irresponsible and contemptible.

I know the guy knew I was serious when I told him if another one got away, I'd break his legs and then I'd teach him a lesson from there. As much as I'd like to think that would make him think twice, I know he's not bright enough to take heed and he's still doing the same thing. How anyone can light a fire amongst the bush and trees on his yard and walk away from it for hours is beyond me but he does it every time.
 
mackoffgrid

Guru

Joined: 13/03/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 436
Posted: 12:32am 10 Nov 2019
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Crazy scary to have a neighbour like that.  The legal ramifications can be huge as well.
 
Davo99
Senior Member

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 257
Posted: 02:59am 10 Nov 2019
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Yeah, the idiot isn't even insured. My father has told him, anything here gets burnt and I'll be the new owner of your property. Not much good if they are both burnt to the ground.

Rang Dad this morning. He went into town to do his shopping which takes him less than an hour and they wouldn't let him back down the road when he returned. Thank god he finally remembered to take his mobile for once. Land lines have been out for days.
I told him to go to the local club which I saw on the RFS web site has been set up as a shelter.

He's not impressed as he's worried about his frozen foods thawing.

I hope to hell that's all he has to worry about when this is over.
 
mackoffgrid

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Joined: 13/03/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 436
Posted: 06:41am 10 Nov 2019
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Dave, I've hijacked this thread enough, I started a new one Bushfire thread
 


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