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(old) Interactive DIY Solar Wiring Diagrams for Campers, Van’s & RV’s

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(old) Interactive DIY Solar Wiring Diagrams for Campers, Van’s & RV’s

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SOLAR WIRING DIAGRAM SURVEY

The diagrams on this page are user-requested.  Help me to help you and let me know what solar setup you are working on by filling out this survey: https://www.explorist.life/solarsurvey

Quick note before we get started.  This is just one part of an overarching “How to Install a DIY Camper Van Electrical System” series.  If you’ve just stumbled on this article directly without seeing that, there are likely some things we’ve already covered.  If you want to check out that step by step guide, you can do that here: https://www.explorist.life/diy-campervan-solar

Watch the Video Below to Learn How to Best Use These Diagrams:

On the Images below, most of the components are clickable.  Play around with it and click on any of the images you wan to know more information about.  Below the Image, there is a toggle bar you can click and see a shopping list for the ENTIRE project.

MAIN COMPONENT DISCOUNT BUNDLE

OTHER MAIN COMPONENTS (available on amazon)

WIRES

CLICK HERE TO ADD ALL WIRES TO YOUR AMAZON CART

LUGS & WIRE TERMINALS

CLICK HERE TO ADD ALL LUGS & WIRE TERMINALS TO YOUR AMAZON CART

BREAKERS & FUSES

CLICK HERE TO ADD ALL BREAKERS & FUSES TO YOUR AMAZON CART

Misc

CLICK HERE TO ADD ALL MISC ITEMS TO YOUR AMAZON CART

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Phil Stover

Friday 9th of October 2020

Nate - apologies if you're already familiar with this (I'm just learning), and no need to publish my comment. Your reference to NEC 690.17 appears to be out of date. 2020 NEC 690.9 "Overcurrent Protection" and 690.13 "Photovoltaic Disconnecting Means" are the new requirements that appear to apply (see website link below). Of note is that there are different requirements for panel circuits over 30 Amps vs. not over 30 Amps (I think most or all of your designs are below 30 Amps input from the panels). For example dual panel conductor disconnect (a great idea for any size system in my mind) does not appear to be required under 30 Amps. And the need for a true DC-rated non-polarized breaker that functions both as disconnect and overcurrent protection appears to only apply for over 30 Amps, and dual-pole only if the negative side is not permanently grounded (which is true for the RV systems I'm familiar with). Anyway - hope you find this helpful, or at least not annoying! I really like your designs and have recommended them to others.

Jeremiah

Friday 9th of October 2020

I’m trying to follow this wiring diagram exactly. How ever I have a Renogy 2000w inverter with a Renogy charge controller and the orian DC to DC. I don’t believe the DC to DC will fit a 2/0 wire. What size wire should I use instead

Nate Yarbrough

Saturday 10th of October 2020

See the following diagram that is more up to date for code compliancy and accuracy. It also includes an Orion DC-DC charger: https://www.explorist.life/2000w-inverter-200-400ah-lithium-200-to-700w-solar-camper-wiring-diagram/

For that diagram, instead of using 6/3 from your renogy inverter/charger to the breaker box. Use 10/3.

Phil

Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Nate - no need to publish this, but you can delete my comment about serial connections - I think you've been doing a lot of that in your latest drawings. But regarding my comment on circuit breakers - I've done a little more research on the NEC code you listed. It includes a requirement for circuit breakers suitable for backfeed operation. I believe that eliminates any polarized-type DC circuit breakers because if the MPPT controller were to short out and deliver battery voltage "backwards" through the breaker toward the panels, the polarized breaker current flow would be reversed - and it would not work as intended. And as you may know already, the "Low Voltage" uxcell breakers are not DC-rated breakers at all (they are 50hz AC breakers even though many people believe otherwise if you read their comments). I've decided to order the Langir 2P breaker (16A) listed on Amazon for my 300W (5.75A Isc) serial system that I'll also test in parallel mode briefly. Since it's 100% current rated the sizing factor is 1.25 x Isc x Np. So I could go even lower to the 10A size, but that wouldn't let me do my parallel test. Here's a little more info on the Langir breakers that I looked at: https://www.langir.com/dc-circuit-breaker/ And here's a good reference on sizing (that I'm sure you're already familiar with from various sources): http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/dam/public/bussmann/Electrical/Resources/technical-literature/bus-ele-an-10191-pv-app-guide.pdf Finally - I've found that you're doing the best job of NEC compliance as compared to various solar supplier/installers I've contacted - Nice Work!!!

Phil

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

In the "Old Diagram" I see a single breaker/switch for solar panel disconnect on the way to the MPPT controller. In your "series vs parallel" webpage I see a dual breaker/switch for solar panel disconnect on the way to the MPPT controller. I'm wondering which is better for an RV rooftop installation (in my case 3 panels in series, Victron Smart 100/20 MPPT controller).

Nate Yarbrough

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Sure! Diagrams labeled (old) are outdated and have code compliancy issues. NEC 690.17 (B) requires a dual pole disconnect between the solar array and the charge controller. Check this diagram and parts list for the most updated version of this diagram (https://www.explorist.life/2000w-inverter-200-400ah-lithium-200-to-700w-solar-camper-wiring-diagram/)

Darren

Monday 24th of August 2020

We used one of the BB Explorist packages as the base for our electrical build. It's nearly complete, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the wire size for our chassis ground from the negative bus bar. How would you suggest I calculate the amperage for the wire run?

Nate Yarbrough

Friday 28th of August 2020

Chassis ground wire size should match the largest wire size in the system.