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Old 06-24-2020, 04:13 PM   #1
Sharko
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Possibilities for adding solar panel

I have a legacy version 2020 3930FB. It has factory 265W solar panel and 30 amp controller (not sure, monitor says 30amp).
I wanted to ask if I can ADD panels, do I need to change the wiring to panel wires?. I was hoping to had 3 panels for a total of 4. Do I need to change controller also?
I have 2 6 volt but planning on adding 2 more.
 
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:55 PM   #2
Tom N OH
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265w/12volts=22amps. Your controller will need to be upgraded to handle any additional panels. 4 panels x 265w=1060w total. 1060w/12volts=88amps. Iíd go with a 100amp controller at a minimum. Youíll never get a true 88 amps out of your panels because they arenít 100% efficient, but you want some margin of safety. More batteries is good as long as the extra weight isnít an issue.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:02 PM   #3
Sharko
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Thanks. How or who can I find out the max capacity the wiring can handle from the panel.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:11 PM   #4
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You can add more panels and here are the things you need to be mindful of:
the factory wiring connecting the PV array and the charge controller are likley #10 AWG. It's currrent limit is 30 amps. You should add like panels as the existing. The panels need to be wired in series to keep the current within the 30 amp limitation above. Verfiy the voltage limit of your charge controller and confirm the cumulitve Vmp of all your panels do not surpass the charger's rated voltage.
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Old 08-04-2020, 02:36 PM   #5
Lakelife
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I have the factory 265W Solar Package as well on my 2020 Legacy. Here is what Jaboni, the company that makes the solar components, told me. "Adam you can add one additional 265W panel before you exceed the limits of the factory components. If you wire them in series." I plan on adding the exact same panel and 3 battle born G2 batteries for a 300ahs. I feel this is more than adequate for my boondocking needs.

On a side note I also plan on switching out the hot water heater for a Truma on demand that runs strictly off of propane.

If I want AC i'll simply run the generator. I felt like the super flex option wasn't as nimble as I wanted based on the fact that it eliminated the chance to have a on board generator.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-04-2020, 02:46 PM   #6
brooks340
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Just check the spec sheet for the panel you have installed and on the controller. I'm guessing it's putting out about 10A at approx. 23V. So if you wire all 4 panels in series you'd have a 92V 10A total output. Depending on the maximum voltage for your controller you will likely be fine, but you really need to check the specs on the panels and on the controller to be sure. The 10 gauge wire should be fine for that current rating, assuming you wire them in series.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:24 PM   #7
Sharko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakelife View Post
I have the factory 265W Solar Package as well on my 2020 Legacy. Here is what Jaboni, the company that makes the solar components, told me. "Adam you can add one additional 265W panel before you exceed the limits of the factory components. If you wire them in series." I plan on adding the exact same panel and 3 battle born G2 batteries for a 300ahs. I feel this is more than adequate for my boondocking needs.

On a side note I also plan on switching out the hot water heater for a Truma on demand that runs strictly off of propane.

If I want AC i'll simply run the generator. I felt like the super flex option wasn't as nimble as I wanted based on the fact that it eliminated the chance to have a on board generator.

Just my thoughts.
Thank you. All.
Lakelife, I like the idea of water heater. Of course my unit is in for repairs so I cannot verify but I thought you could change through panel to only use propane.
Also, are you buying panels through manufacturer? If so do you have contact info For? For installing i was concerned if placement was a concern. For instance, screwing into anywhere or the need for support by screwing into joists. Wiring should be cake just spicing it in. (series)
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:37 PM   #8
Sharko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakelife View Post
I have the factory 265W Solar Package as well on my 2020 Legacy. Here is what Jaboni, the company that makes the solar components, told me. "Adam you can add one additional 265W panel before you exceed the limits of the factory components. If you wire them in series." I plan on adding the exact same panel and 3 battle born G2 batteries for a 300ahs. I feel this is more than adequate for my boondocking needs.

On a side note I also plan on switching out the hot water heater for a Truma on demand that runs strictly off of propane.

If I want AC i'll simply run the generator. I felt like the super flex option wasn't as nimble as I wanted based on the fact that it eliminated the chance to have a on board generator.

Just my thoughts.
Just following up with you. Did you end out installing your 2nd solar panel and Litium batteries? Any issues for me to think about.? Does it help and work fine? No additional wiring? I want to be able to charge my batteries while storing unit in Winter as well
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:11 PM   #9
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Remember when you install lithium batteries you will more than likely have to install a warming blanket also to keep the batteries warm when and if it ever gets cold ( 40 and below) where you are camping and using the solar and lithium batteries as your source of power. Lithium batteries do not like cold temps.
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:34 PM   #10
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Remember when you install lithium batteries you will more than likely have to install a warming blanket also to keep the batteries warm when and if it ever gets cold ( 40 and below) where you are camping and using the solar and lithium batteries as your source of power. Lithium batteries do not like cold temps.
Thanks Rondo. Are those Mats powered from the batteries themselves? I saw a version. That glues to the battery
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:46 PM   #11
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The battery heaters are self consuming. All of these quality drop in LiFePO4 batteries have low temperature cutouts. So the BMS will not allow your charging system to charge the battery below this temperature setting. There is no problem with discharging at low temperatures but generally low temperature cutouts are set at or below freezing depending on the brand and it's BMS.
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Old 03-25-2023, 04:02 PM   #12
imolared
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Howdy,
It's has been a couple of years.
Did either of you install another panel?
If so can you offer details and or advice.

Thanks
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:46 AM   #13
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YouTube is a great place to learn about solar. Check out any of the many videos by Will Prowse. He is super knowledgable and a superb teacher. There is much to be learned before you construct a system. Doing your homework first will save dollars and keep your equipment safe.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:56 AM   #14
imolared
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Gayle & John,
Thanks for the info.
I have done research on
LiFePO4
controllers
inverters
power panels
wiring

What is left are the solar panels.
I have Montana installed 265 watt single panel. Looking to install another panel would like the hear the experience from others who have done what I am planning
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Old 07-17-2023, 11:13 PM   #15
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I am also curious about this as well. I just want to add one additional panel to charge batteries faster. Factory 2021 Montana has the second roof wired access point. I figured I would just add another solar panel and Victron MPPT 100/30. Seems straight forward, however if people add a lot more panels from what I understand you need more than just the MPPT.
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Old 08-04-2023, 01:34 AM   #16
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on average a 100 watts of solar power equals 4 to 5 amps under optimal conditions meaning 8 hours of direct sunlight . you could do 600 watts with your 30 amp controller just make sure your plug in panels have built in charging controllers. you should have solar panel plug in port somewhere on your rig.
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Old 08-04-2023, 06:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ep4me View Post
you could do 600 watts with your 30 amp controller just make sure your plug in panels have built in charging controllers.
I have a 12V battery bank. At 531W in the screenshot below, the controller is dumping 38.7A to the batteries. You'll likely blow the charge controller if you are running 600W to it. 400-420W would be the safe limit. If you had a 24V, you could double that.
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