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Old 01-08-2019, 05:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
The reason I guessed that you had a MPPT controller is that your panels are hooked up in series and putting out up to 36 volts. The PWM controller that the Escape came with can only use up to 15 volts of that to charge the battery and the total panel amp output equals whatever the amps are for the weakest panel.

If you put branch connectors where the two panels connect on the roof, that would put your panels in parallel and you will get the full use of the power you have as the voltage would be up to 18 volts but the amps that the panels put out would be additive.

https://www.amazon.com/Connectors-Co...=renogy+branch
That is good to know! Thanks! I already have the Renogy branch connectors so I would be easy to fix. I will make that correction before I sell the 19'. (I'm waiting for a little nicer weather to spruce up and clean the 19' before putting it on the market. I also need to find somewhere to store all the stuff in it while waiting for the April 23rd completion date!)
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:21 PM   #22
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Great! This series vs parallel stuff gets confusing.

I edited my response while you were posting to see if I could make my rambling more understandable - I glad you could follow my sometimes incoherent prose.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:15 PM   #23
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What happens when connecting solar panels in parallel that do not have the same voltage output, using a PWM controller?

My portable panels have 15 volts output. I would like to add a semi-flexible panel to the roof. Does it need to be 15 volts? And even if it is, the voltage at the controller input will probably be lower due to wire losses, and therefore may not match the portable panels anyway.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:40 PM   #24
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What happens when connecting solar panels in parallel that do not have the same voltage output, using a PWM controller?

My portable panels have 15 volts output. I would like to add a semi-flexible panel to the roof. Does it need to be 15 volts? And even if it is, the voltage at the controller input will probably be lower due to wire losses, and therefore may not match the portable panels anyway.
Basically you add the amps of all the panels in parallel but the voltage output will only be whatever is the lowest voltage put out by any of the panels.

So let's say you have two panels - one puts out 18v @ 5.5 amps and the other puts out 15v @ 4 amps. The power from the panels in parallel will be 15v x (5.5 + 4) amps = 142.5 watts. Because you paralleled dissimilar panels, you cut the 100 watt panel to 82.5 watts.

Bottom line: you can parallel different panels but you will lose power doing it.

Here is some info that explains it better than I:
https://solarpanelsvenue.com/mixing-solar-panels/
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:12 AM   #25
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Thanks for all this info, scratching my head to try and understand it but when I add solar it will be these flat panels and I'm sure I will be asking for some of the great advice you always get from forum members.

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:50 AM   #26
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Thanks for all this info, scratching my head to try and understand it but when I add solar it will be these flat panels and I'm sure I will be asking for some of the great advice you always get from forum members.

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
I remember a couple years struggling to get my head wrapped around the whole solar charging thing, and I had a good basic grasp on electricity. It finally all came to me, and like many things in life, I look back and wonder why I thought it was so difficult.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:36 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post

Anyway, I chose the flexible panels for my trailer for all the above reasons.

Below are pics of Jim Bennett's and my trailer with flexible solar panel installs.

do the flexible panels get hot?
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:46 AM   #28
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wow- solar blew off!


you'd better do something to secure the "factory" install. just saying. I did not get the recall and ET was good enough to replace my panel. I thru bolted it to the roof. It won't come off!


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Old 01-16-2019, 12:35 PM   #29
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Do you have a multi-port roof port on your Escape? I put a Zamp 160-Watt roof mounted solar panel with a Zamp three port roof port and also put a Zamp solar port next to the battery vent for a portable connection. I have a 120-Watt Zamp portable wired to the battery and the roof connections are run to a Zamp Solar 30 Amp Charge Controller. Adding capacity to the roof is simply plugging the panel into the roof port which allows three connections of any Zamp panel and then connecting the panel to the roof. How you connect to the roof is your choice based on risk of it coming off. I would never place a Flexible panel on the roof because of the heat factor.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:44 PM   #30
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I would never place a Flexible panel on the roof because of the heat factor.
That's strange since you are a Zamp representative and Zamp sells roof mount flexible solar kits.

https://www.zampsolar.com/100watt-flexi
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