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Adding a second lot of panels
#1
Hi,
I have 10 panels on a roof that faces south going to my pip 48v inverter, I want to add another lot of 10 panels on another roof that faces west to get the last of sun from 14:00 till it goes down, can I connect the second lot of panels to the inverters input (where the other 10 panels are connected) or do I need to put them in series with the other panels?
Thanks very much,
Phil.
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#2
You should put them on a separate MPPT controller since they are facing different directions. Two separate arrays.
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#3
Agreed, panels facing different directions should be on separate charge controllers. Putting them together you could actually end up with less solar input then you have at the moment.
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#4
I probably should have said the first lot are going to my pip5048 charge controller/inverter as I have batteries,
are you saying I can’t join them at the charge controller and I need another charge controller/inverter for the second lot of panels?
Is there not a way round fitting them to the same charge controller/inverter.
Thanks,
Phil.
CURRENTLY:-
X3 285w + X3 250w on PCM60X + X12 250w Panels on PIP5048hs,  watchmon4, 2p14s80p 18650 packs
SOON:-
More panels  Big Grin
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#5
(03-12-2019, 09:25 PM)BaronVonChickenPants Wrote: Agreed, panels facing different directions should be on separate charge controllers. Putting them together you could actually end up with less solar input then you have at the moment.

How are you defining "less input"
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#6
There are a lot of variables to consider such as shade, fuses, back-feed diodes, total array voltages, individual panel specs, etc. but as a simple answer to a simple question with limited information provided, merging two arrays facing separate directions could result in less overall charge being delivered to the batteries.

If the panels are similarly spec'ed and you were to install back feed diodes to each string, you could add additional panels in parallel strings, you would also need to consider the total array size compared to the rated capacity of your charge controller.

It can be done but it would be easier and is recommended to use a separate charge controller.
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#7
(03-12-2019, 11:05 PM)BaronVonChickenPants Wrote:  ...... merging two arrays facing separate directions could result in less overall charge being delivered to the batteries.

"charge" being measured in what units ?

(03-12-2019, 09:13 PM)Bigfillly Wrote: Hi,
I have 10 panels on a roof that faces south going to my pip 48v inverter, I want to add another lot of 10 panels on another roof that faces west to get the last of sun from 14:00 till it goes down, can I connect the second lot of panels to the inverters input (where the other 10 panels are connected) or do I need to put them in series with the other panels?
Thanks very much,
Phil.

Assuming both arrays are reasonably well matched in terms of string power and voltage, and are not overly shaded, and the inverter is able to safely handle the input current, combining 2 arrays into a single MPPT input will likely result in a few percentage points of decrease in maximum power, but due to virtual tracking the daily production will be greatly increased. 

Multiple, dual aspect  matched arrays into a single MPPT inverter was common practice untill multi MPPT inverters became more readily available - you do realise that the west facing array will be very unproductive during November through till late March - so overall you'll see a lower peak daily power, but longer productive hours with split arrays.

(03-12-2019, 11:05 PM)BaronVonChickenPants Wrote: There are a lot of variables to consider such as shade, fuses, back-feed diodes, total array voltages, individual panel specs, etc. but as a simple answer to a simple question with limited information provided, merging two arrays facing separate directions could result in less overall charge being delivered to the batteries.

If the panels are similarly spec'ed and you were to install back feed diodes to each string, you could add additional panels in parallel strings, you would also need to consider the total array size compared to the rated capacity of your charge controller.

It can be done but it would be easier and is recommended to use a separate charge controller
.

Well edited. 

I disagree with the last sentence.
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#8
2 different charge controllers should be used when panels are facing different directions. Each set of panels will have different maximum power points. If they are connected in parallel they will be dragged down to the lower voltage. If they are in series, they will be dragged down the lowest amperage.

2 different charge controllers doesn't mean 2 physical controllers. If a controller has 2 inputs, then it probably has 2 mppt controllers built in. Some have 3, others have 4. Just depends on what you bought. But I don't believe the PIP5048 has more than 1 controller built in.
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#9
String voltages in matched arrays are usually very close, but that's irrelevant as its maximum not minimum power point tracking, so its string current that dictates power.

but dont take my word for it ...

https://mcelectrical.com.au/blog/solar-p...east-west/
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#10
Its not clear to me from your initial comments that you have separate charge controller from the inverter. If you do, you can add a 2nd charge controller (for the new PV array) and combine that output with the other charge controller to the single battery/inverter. This works great - just match charge settings on each controller to be the same for the single battery. If you actually have a charge controller/inverter as a single device, then to add a 2nd (similar) device would leave you with 2 separate inverter outputs. If this is off-grid, then not so easy to see how you would consume the 2 different AC output streams... and you might want to go to a separate controller / inverter system - and then have 2 controllers as discussed above.
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