Which end goes where?
QI read with interest the recent article on fitting solar panels and was concerned to see that the wires supplying the charge should be attached to opposite ends of the battery bank.
When we had solar panels fitted to a bank of new 3 X 110Ah batteries, the engineer wired the input from the solar to one end of the bank, and the input from the battery charger to the other end along with the positive output to the 12v system. I plan to move one of the solar input wires to the opposite end of the bank, but neither of them will reach.
To extend a wire on the solar input, will a terminal block or similar do, would soldering an extension be preferable, or will I have to replace the whole length? Also, is it okay to connect the positive from the solar to the same terminal as the positive from the battery charger that is also connected to the positive out to the 12v system?
TREVORW1, via email
ATONY REPLIES… It is not necessary to do anything right now, but put your engineer on your ‘do not use again’ list and try to rectify it before next summer. It is fine to connect things as you suggest, but if you have an ammeter be aware that the negatives both go to the side of the shunt furthest away from the battery. That is on the same terminal as the main charging and domestic supply cables. Adding a new connection introduces a small resistance and is not ideal. Solder is better than a terminal block but needs skill and practice (and I would use adhesive heat shrink over it). The proper thing to do is to run new cables from both the charger and solar controller. There should be fuses in the positive leads close to the battery, so you can probably solve the issue for one circuit by only renewing the cable between fuse and battery positive.
The fuse will not protect the new longer length so run it in some plastic sleeving, tube or hose.
As the wiring was left after the solar panels were fitted
As it should be, to even out charge and discharge