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Full Moon Bus Club :: Forums :: Tech Talk :: Tech Questions
 
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Connecting solar panel... Do I need to fuse it?
Moderators: TN Jed, Lickity Split, docric, sweetbus, Tom and Phaedra, Collie
Author Post
Kenny
Thu Sep 15 2011, 01:48PM

Registered Member #147
Joined: Thu Aug 12 2010, 06:58AM
Location: Fleetwood, PA
Posts: 279

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I'm hooking up a 15W panel with a 7 Amp charge controller and wondered if I need a fuse either between the panel and controller or between the controller and the aux battery. A little online research makes it look like i don't need any fuses but I wanted to find out how anyone wired theirs. While I'm asking do I need to do anything special since the aux battery is already being charged by the alternator?

Thanks
Kenny
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GreenBus
Thu Sep 15 2011, 02:32PM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 10:13PM
Location: Lost in Oregon
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I would use a fuse, a blown fuse is cheaper then a burned bus!
The voltage regulator I use is not affected by the charging system, once the battery meets 12.8 volts it shuts down the panel.
you can test it by wiring up your voltage regulator to the battery that your running your panel into and test it before you plug the panel in, see if your getting any power on the panel input side while the bus is running. You should not!

"Where you invest your Love, you invest your Life "

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On the road since 2012...
1962 GM PD4106 retired LTR charter bus.
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Fred
Thu Sep 15 2011, 03:04PM

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Greenbus gave me a solar panel a few years ago and Im happy to say it is still in service keeping my main battery topped off and powering a small ventilation fan during the day.

Your 15 watt panel is only outputting 1 amp of current max so your controller may not be needed. What I recommend is you use a blocking diode along with a 2 amp fuse. The diode will prevent damage to the panel from reverse current when the panel is not charging. The fuse will protect from shorts if the wire gets cut etc.

Had too many vans to count
The best Bus tech site : www.ratwell.com

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hansie
Thu Sep 15 2011, 03:55PM

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Joined: Thu Aug 12 2010, 07:25AM
Location: Beach Lake, PA
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I would put a fuse on any after market add on. You have to look at this way ,every thing else in your Bus - Van has a fuse.
Uncle Karl

Uncle Karl
1972 Westy
1975 Westy - Auto
1978 Day Camper
1970 Pass
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Kenny
Thu Sep 15 2011, 06:01PM

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Joined: Thu Aug 12 2010, 06:58AM
Location: Fleetwood, PA
Posts: 279

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Thanks for the tips guys, and yes everything running off the battery has a fuse. I added an aux fuse panel for stuff running off of my aux battery a while ago. I will be adding a 2 amp fuse now. Granted my meager 15W panel is only putting out just over 1 amp the unregulated peak output voltage of the solar panel can get to 16V and that is why I have the charge controller. Not to mention I like the pretty LED's. Now I know I have an inline fuse holder around here somewhere.
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Gratefulbuses
Thu Sep 15 2011, 07:38PM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 07:54AM
Location: West Jefferson, NC.
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A 2 amp in line fuse is cheap, so is a 30 amp in line fuse. Better to be safe then sorry.

Todd and Wendy
Westy Jefferson, NC.
67, 69, 77 Westies
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