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Katdaddy

Petal, MS USA

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Posted: 08/04/20 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just bought a solar panel to help extend our batteries when dry camping. The wires provided with the panel are very short. I would appreciate recommendations for where to find extensions of 20 to 30 feet.


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Lwiddis

near Bishop, California

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Posted: 08/04/20 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any properly sized wire will work unless the set you purchased as proprietary connections. Amps produced and wire distance determines wire size.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/04/20 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 08/04/20 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming the panels have MC4 connectors you can get what you need on Amazon. Just search "MC4 extension" or similar. Single panel #12 wire should be fine. The extension will have a connector on each end. Cut it in half and use the connectors on the panel and the cut ends to the controller or add clamps or terminals as needed.


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 08/04/20 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Home Depot even sells them with the MC4 connectors, although you may have to order them.





pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/04/20 06:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How many watts are the panels? Voltage?


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My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 08/04/20 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had a friend who used a household outdoor extension cord to run to the panels. Very small wire gauge, very wrong for the application, but it did bring power from the panel to the camper somehow. He probably lost a lot of charging power because it was too small and too long of a wire.
It works much better with thicker wire and shorter, short as possible, length of wire, but is not rocket science.

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 08/04/20 09:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assumming the panel is something around 100-200 Watts, go get a 12ga or 10ga extension cord of the length you want, cut the ends off, put on MC4 connectors on one end and whatever connector is needed at the trailer end. Since you don't need a ground, parallel the ground conductor with one of the other conductors to reduce overall resistance. Two 12ga wires in parallel = One 10ga wire. two 10's = one 8. I've found extension cords are less expensive than buying same gauge wire to make my own.

I have around 500W of portable solar so in parallel it's near 30A. my solution was to salvage some 30A RV cords to make extension cords.


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RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 08/04/20 10:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The chart above is good info, but going larger will cut the system losses.


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C Schomer

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Posted: 08/04/20 11:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 120 panels are 12 ga and the PO used 12ga extensions for a few feet to the j box on the roof and then 6ga down to the controller. I redid everything on the roof before I recoated it last year and I pulled on one of the the ext. connectors a little bit and out came the wire. I check all of them and another one came apart. The wires weren't pushed into the pins all the way before they were crimped. I cut out all the connectors and extensions and used 10ga thhn in hard pipe all the way to the j box and soldered everything. I won't have to worry about any of that again! Craig

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