400 Watt Solar with MPPT Controller for my Forest River Cherokee Arctic Wolf 5th Wheel
I decided to install a 400 watt solar system so we could run the 12 volt fridge without shore power or a generator as we Boon Dock (Dry Camp) sometimes for 3 or 4 days. I determined that a 400 watt solar system using a Series Parallel Array would work best for me in case of partial shade or cloudy days.
The first Thing I did after studying different configurations was to get up on the roof of the 5th wheel and determine where I was going to put the panels keeping in mind I may want to expand the system at a later date. While up there I noticed the factory installed 50 watt solar panel which is hooked to a PWM charger controller. It is worthless for anything other than maintaining or trickle charging the batteries while the 5th wheel is stored.
Factory installed 50 Watt Solar Panel
Next I installed the 4ea 100 Watt Solar Panels In a series parallel array. Which should give me about 37 volts and 16 amps. My total cable run to the controller will be 20 feet.
It was time to Install the MPPT 40 amp controller as close to the batteries that I could. I took a board 16 inches wide and 30 inches long and mounted it to the back wall above the batteries in the front compartment. I mounted a DPST circuit breaker where the cables from the Solar Panels will come into the front compartment. Below it I mounted the 40 amp MPPT Controller and below that I ran the Cables to the batteries Less than 2 feet with a ANL fuse in the Positive Cable.
Board with MPPT Controller
Now I had to run the Cables from the solar panels to the MPPT controller. I decided that I could drill a hole in the roof above the Linen closet in the bathroom which sits above the Wardrobe in the bedroom.
Then I drilled a hole into the wardrobe and then down to the bottom of the wardrobe and drilled a hole in the side watt into the wash basin cabinet in the bathroom.
Once the cables where in the wash basin cabinet I drilled a hole in the floor and ran the cables to the front wall of the front storage compartment and hooked them to the DPST Circuit breaker.
Wash Basin Cabinet
All Done and working.
The install wasn’t to bad and I managed to keep the Cable run from the solar panels to the controller to 20 feet. I covered all of the cables in the cabinets with electrical flex tube. The cables are pretty well hidden and out of sight. Stay tuned for my next project.