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Getting started
Leisure batteries
Solar Q&A
Ohms law

Special Features:

Sailing with solar panels

Caravaning and motorhome solar energy

Warnings and disclaimer

Always read all of the pages and subjects before starting a solar system installation - If you are unqualified or in any doubt about your own ability then consult a qualified solar system installer.

Circuit Diagrams

Here are two circuits, one is for a very basic small solar installation and showing the connections for adding additional solar panels, the second is the correct way to connect up a bank of batteries.

Basic Circuitry

The 20 Amp main fuse used can vary depending on the load from your whole system and whether or not an inverter and AC circuitry is added. After specification of the wiring I generally try to start with a lower fuse than is really needed, switch everything on for a few minutes then if the fuse is OK stay with that, but keep a spare correct higher value one handy just in case, changing it only after a thorough inspection of the system. It is just the way I am, if I am supposed to use a 2 Amp fuse I will probably be trying a 1 Amp fuse first on the principal stated above.

Always remember - The fuse should always be rated less than the wire/run it is protecting, the fuse must always be the weakest link!

The small fuse without a value is determined by the nominal output from the solar panel(s) and the wire gauge used, for example a 27w panel has a nominal output of around 1.5 Amps so it would be best to fit a 2 to 3 Amp fuse after first using the correct wire run. This is worked out by Ohms law i.e. watts (27 w) ÷ volts (approx panel voltage 17.5 v) = Amps (1.5) hence the 2 to 3 Amp fuse.

The Correct Way to Connect up a Bank of Batteries

Wiring up your battery bank correctly spreads the work load across the whole bank. This also helps with the charging, ensuring a fairly even charge across all the batteries.This keeps the chemistry right in the individual cells and helps with the longevity of your batteries. The two + and - leads connected at each end must also be the same length to mantain the resistance level.

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