John Drake Services, Inc.
1427 E. 68th Street
Long Beach, CA 90805
electricity from the sun by John Drake II | home
About Us | About this website. | Getting Started | Solar Panels / Photovoltaic Modules - Read Before You Buy | Make A Plan | PV System Layout and Parts | Start with the loads you are going to operate | Battery Types and Sizing | Battery Safety | Battery Charging Voltages and Temperature | Battery Trouble Shooting | Charging Batteries - You can't have everything. | Battery State of Charge and Measurement | Safety Devices Fuses and Circuit Breakers | Series & Parallel Wiring | Wiring and Power Distribution Connections | Photovolatic Module Specifications - Real or a Pipe Dream | Photovoltaic module solar panel location and positioning | Photovoltaic Module and Solar Panel Information | Charge Controller Types | Wire and Cable Types | Wiring - Doing it Right | Connections for Wiring | Voltage Drop - Wire Loss, What are they? | Outdoor Connections | Wire loss - Voltage drop charts | D.C. to A.C. Inverters | Low Voltage D.C. Lighting & Color Temperature of Light | Battery System Monitoring | Dont fool yourself - Spending your money wisely. | Solar Converters GS-1AC | Linear Current Boosters for Water Pumping | Utility Grid Intertie Systems | Solar Insolation Chart | More Information | Alternative Energy Expectations | Power Needs Worksheet | Reference Sources | Contact Us
Wiring - Doing it Right
First off, do not go on the cheap.
If you use too small of a wire size you system will under-perform, and in some cases
won't work at all.
A good example.
One of our customers has been living off-grid for many years in Michigian.
His pv array is some distance from the house and the incoming wires are buried in conduit.
When he was setting up his system he got a "deal" on some wire that turned out to be undersized
for his 1,200 watt system.
In the summer time it usually worked well but in the winter he would have to change back to propane
lighting and sometimes run a generator to bring his batteries back.
A few winters back we were on the telephone and he was saying that the system just would not keep
I asked him to take a note pad, check the voltage at the array and at the charge controller input.
This was a 12 volt system and there was a 1-1/2 volt difference due to voltage drop (wire loss).
He wound up replacing the incoming wire with the proper gauge of wire for his array and his batteries
were much happier.
The propane dealer was not quite as happy.
Please use this link to determine the wire size you need between the solar panels and your charge