7 Products You May Need With Your Solar Panels
Author: Solar 4 RVs
Ultimate Checklist for Buying Solar Panels: Essential Components for Installation and Efficient Operation
1. Solar Charge Controller and Optional Battery Temperature Sensor
The Solar Charge Controller is essential for regulating the DC current from the solar panels to the batteries. To understand which solar charge controller suits your needs, explore our comprehensive buyer guide.
For automatic adjustment and correction of the charging voltage, a Battery Temperature Sensor is a useful addition to your system.
2. Information Display via LCD/Bluetooth
Stay informed about your system's performance with an LCD display or a dedicated app. These tools show the solar charging current, battery voltage, power generation, and the Amp-hrs and Watt-hrs.
3. Secure Attachment Method
4. Essential Components: Cable, Connectors, and Conduit
Most solar panels come with pre-attached MC4 connectors. You'll need to add a pair of these connectors to the cable. The PV1-F, a tinned copper, highly stranded, double insulated cable, is perfect for solar installations. For low voltage installations, a standard split tube conduit will suffice.
5. Cable Entry Cover
Choose watertight covers with glands for cables. These ensure watertight entry into caravan roofs and boat decks, preserving your system's integrity.
6. Solar Panel Short Circuit Protection
If you have more than two panels connected in parallel, each panel should have MC4 fuses installed. This prevents exceeding the panel's maximum current rating. A suitable circuit breaker or isolating switch can be used between the panels and the solar charge controller.
7. Solar Charge Controller Short Circuit Protection
A circuit breaker or fuse is mandatory between the solar charge controller and the battery. For optimal safety, it should be installed as close as possible to the battery.