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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Repositioning the solar batteries and controller
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# Posted: 21 Jul 2021 22:08

OK, I did not save the installation instructions! My Bad.
I have 2 AGM batteries under the kitchen table, controller pretty much right there also. Those batteries are a nuisance when there is family over. Recently, I had an attic ladder installed. Replacing a homemade folding ladder. (Getting old and want it easy)There is space on the frame of the attic ladder for the batteries.
Now? Is it going to be simple to move the batteries up there? Can I shield the outside panel from producing power. Unhook the wiring, moved the batteries up, reconnect and expect everything to be copacetic?
Is there something I am missing. The wife so wants four chairs around the table. Help an ole guy out. TY

# Posted: 21 Jul 2021 23:06

Note: Batteries stay connected to the scc until last then on re-install bats get connected to scc first. This allows the scc to recognize the voltage, etc and know how to act once the array is connected to it.
I discon the array at the combiner-box where the panels all feed in and become the 2 bigger wires to the scc.
Note that the panels will be pumping out power to the combiner-box if not covered or done in the Deep Dark of night so Be Careful of those + and - leads! If not in a combiner-box and isolated put an insulated wire nut on each exposed wire.
So, you have multiple wires from the array panels joining up (maybe) in a c-box to become a +&- out to the scc which has 2 big wires +&- to the batteries. Not complicated; 2 in, 2 out.
Discon as above, relocate the bats and scc close to each other and hook up together then relocate, extend, etc the array wires to the scc.
You need to be aware of the line losses and gauge wire from the array combiner-box to the scc. If you can use the wire length you already have it should all work as well as before. But was it the right gauge for the run and the load to start with?

# Posted: 21 Jul 2021 23:15

Do you have breakers installed between the CC and the batteries? How about breakers or disconnects between the CC input and the wires from the panels? Are the panels wired through a combiner box with breakers in the combiner?

Those breakers would make disconnections and reconfiguring a very simple and safe task. First flip the breaker(s) in the combiner off. If no breakers in the combiner flip the breaker on the input to the CC. Then the breaker from the CC can be flipped off. Reconfigure where the batteries are going to be. Reconnect the wiring to the batteries from the CC. Flip the CC to batteries on. Reset the CC settings as needed. Flip the panel to CC breaker back on. You're done.

If no breakers, especially no breakers between panels and CC then the easiest thing to do it to disconnect the panel to CC wiring at night. Once the panels are disconnected you can safely disconnect and move the batteries. Protect the live panel wires from shorting to avoid sparking. It does not harm panels to be left disconnected in bright sun. The panels will survive short circuiting but sparking might be a fire ignition hazard.

If you have fuses in the panel to CC wiring do NOT pull fuses to disconnect panels in sunshine and producing power. Arcing between the fuse and contacts can cause burns and bad flash arcing, even fires. That is the first good reason to install a system with good breakers between panels and CC. Good breakers are sold by Midnight Solar. There are other good brands but the Midnite are among the best and NEC approved for DC power. They are DIN mount type and you can buy DIN rail sections if needed to make your own enclosures although that will not meet code.

# Posted: 22 Jul 2021 09:19

This might be a good time to ask about your batteries.
Im assuming you have 2x12v hooked in parallel to make '1 big 12'.
Are you using big enough cabling of equal and minimum length to join them?
The cables from the scc should go to the + side on 1 bat and the - on the other bat, Not on just 1 of the 2.
Same with the wires out to stuff, direct 12 or to an inverter. This helps keep the 2 bats equally charged and discharged.

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