Combining Arrays?

Nevadajim

New Member
I’m upgrading my off grid solar system. I will have 3 separate arrays of 1080 watts each. One on the roof of the cabin angled east for the AM sun and two 60 ft away. (One set for southern exposure and the other for western exposure.) What size wire should be used for the 60’ run? But, more importantly, can I combine these two arrays and then run the 60 ft with just 2 wires instead of four? Once at the cabin I would put them in a combiner box with the roof array. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

MichaelK

Photon Sorcerer
For my 980W array, I have four panels wired in series for 120VDC. I run ~8A through 130 feet of 10 gauge wire with no detectable voltage drop.
 

Alphacarina

Solar Enthusiast
I think you can combine them, but if it was me, I would keep all 3 separate and use 3 separate charge controllers. That way, you can evaluate the performance of the 3 separate arrays and make changes to azimuth and elevation for best performance. When you have a problem and your output dips drastically, you'll know right off which array is causing the problem

Don
 

boondox

Chief Engineer, RedNeckTech Industries
I would use two separate charge controllers. That way shading of one will not effect the other.

EDIT: oop, I wrote two and meant three. One for each array.
 

Nevadajim

New Member
I think you can combine them, but if it was me, I would keep all 3 separate and use 3 separate charge controllers. That way, you can evaluate the performance of the 3 separate arrays and make changes to azimuth and elevation for best performance. When you have a problem and your output dips drastically, you'll know right off which array is causing the problem

Don
Don, Where do I go to learn how to install 3 charge controllers into my system. I guess each array is wired directly to a separate controller thus eliminating the ‘combiner box’???
 

Alphacarina

Solar Enthusiast
Yes, all three are done the same way you would do a single controller - All 3 controllers connect to the battery bank separately

Don
 

schmism

Solar Addict
having 3 SCC also give you some redundancy for the off grid part. in case one goes down you can swap them around depending on what panels are making the most power that time of year. (id make them all the same size)
 
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