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How to set up solar array

Solar panel bundle
250W Renogy mono-crystalline panel

Buy Bundles;
4 panels 250 watt at Amazon $1275
6 panels 250 watt at Amazon
10 panels 250 watt at Amazon
20 panels 250 watt at Amazon

Solar panel connectors
Buy solar panels at Amazon

Panels are 250 watt renology

Optimum operating voltage 30.1 V Vmp
Optimum operating current 8.32 A Imp each panel

Question:
6 panels in a string will produce 8.32 amps? and 180.6 volts?
Because the panels are like D-batteries end-to-end in series ... the voltage increases, but amperage stays the same.

2 strings with 6 panels each, combined or put together ... is like putting D-batteries in parallel... the amperage increases but voltage remains the same
So putting together 2 strings of 6 panels each will produce 16.64 amps and 180.6 volts?



Answer
Adding panels in series increases voltage, amps unchanged.
Adding strings in parallel increases amps and leaves voltage same.

Resource:
Following link has detailed information about DC
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/DC-circuit-breakers-read.pdf
string of solar panels String is several panels wired in series, with + connect to - on each panel.
Each panel has + wire and - wire
Connect the + on first panel to - on next panel

Caution: Do not connect solar panels with panel facing sun, or there will be electric power on the wires.

Resource:
DC fuses and circuit breakers
solar array Array
Strings can be combined into arrays

The + wires are combined together in distribution block or a combiner. The - wires are also combined together. Both + and - are separate from each other.

Wire size
Standard wire gauge apply to AC or DC.

Single string 6 panels might produce 22 amps.
22 amps, you use #10 wire up to 30 amps.
 
Three strings of 6 panels combined, might produce 66 amps on the + wire, so larger wire size is needed. For example #4 wire up to 70 amps.

Resource:
Wire sizes and amp ratings
Building a combiner box .pdf
solar array
Larger image
Array = all panels combined

Flow of power is + to -
With DC power, electrons flow from Positive to negative.
Negative is grounded.

Switchgear (circuit breaker, fuse, power disconnect etc) is always connected to positive
.
PV solar power resistance PV solar power resistance
During high solar conditions, Low resistance harvests more electric output

During low solar, Higher resistance harvests more electric output

Optimal resistance (pink line on graph) is reverse of sunshine or solar output (in red)

To maximize array, the correct number of strings must be calculated
Graph and calculations courtesy of NetworkNerdvana

View solar power curve charts

Array: Different string configurations result in different resistance

To maximize solar harvest: Low solar and high solar conditions require different resistances

Calculate number of strings in array

During high solar conditions, Low resistances harvests more electric output

During low solar, Higher resistance harvests more electric output

1 string of 12 panels
Best for lowest solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

1) 12 panels in series.  1 string: 
   30.1 Vmp * 12 = 361.2 Vmp
   8.32 Imp * 1 = 8.32 Imp
   Zmp = 361.2 Vmp / 8.32 Imp = 43.4 Ohms

2 strings of 6 panels
Good for low solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

2) 6 panels in series. 2 strings:
    30.1 Vmp * 6 = 180.6 Vmp
    8.32 Imp * 2 = 16.64 Imp
    Zmp = 180.6 Vmp / 16.64 Imp = 10.8 Ohms

3 strings of 4 panels
Good for medium solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

3) 4 panels in series. 3 strings:
    30.1 Vmp * 4 = 120.4 Vmp
    8.32 Imp * 3 = 24.96 Imp
    Zmp = 120.4 Vmp / 24.96 Imp = 4.82 Ohms
4 strings of 3 panels
Good for medium solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

4) 3 panels in series. 4 strings:
    30.1 Vmp * 3 = 90.3 Vmp
    8.32 Imp * 4 = 33.28 Imp
    Zmp = 90.3 Vmp / 33.28 Imp = 2.71 Ohms
6 strings of 2 panels
Good for high solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

5) 2 panels in series. 6 strings:
    30.1 Vmp * 2 = 60.2 Vmp
    8.32 Imp * 6 = 49.92 Imp
    Zmp = 60.2 Vmp / 49.92 Imp = 1.21 Ohms
12 strings of 1 panel
Best
for highest solar

Same wattage, different resistance in Ohms
Array configurations.  Renogy 250 watt 30.1 Vmp, 8.32 Imp.  PV Array Wmp = 12 * 250 = 3000 watts.

6) 1 panel in series. 12 strings:
    30.1 Vmp * 1 = 30.1 Vmp
    8.32 Imp * 12 = 99.84 Imp
    Zmp = 30.1 Vmp / 99.84 Imp = 0.301 Ohms
Commercial solar collection arrays change configuration of strings throughout day, and throughout year, to maximize solar harvest...
For example early morning or late afternoon, or cloudy day, then 6 strings with 2 panels each might be better.
While midday, with clear sky and cold temperatures, 1 string with 12 panels might be better.
Colder temperatures are better because cold lowers resistance.
Read more about Ohms/ resistance in solar

Please read following:
Solar power curve charts

Convert AC water heater to DC
DC arc extinction .pdf

DC arc extinction/ controlling high voltage DC

"the higher the number of contacts opening the circuit, the higher the breaking capacity of the circuit-breaker.
This means that, when the voltage rises, it is necessary to increase the number of current interruptions in series, so that a rise in the arc voltage is obtained and consequently a number of poles for breaking operation suitable to the fault level."
What this quote means: A DC circuit breaker or any DC switchgear must have multiple contacts that disconnect as illustrated in diagrams below
You want to increase the number of contact points, so the arc from DC power can be extinguished

Resource:
DC arc extinction .pdf
Read about difference between AC and DC

Switchgear for DC::

Extinguish arc using contacts in series

AC contactor can have longer life-expectancy when switching DC if wired as shown,.
This puts 4 sets of contacts on the positive wire.
Obviously if all four contacts are disengaged at same moment, it will be more difficult for DC to arc across all four.

Or use a 3-pole for better arc extinguish using six contact points

Or use 4-pole contactor and 3 poles (six contact points) are used for positive wire, and 4th pole (2 contact points) is used on negative wire.
As we can see from this example, DC electrons flow from positive to negative because we are trying to extinguish the arc on the positive wire.


Resource:
3-pole contactors
Difference between AC and DC
4-pole and 3-pile DC contactor
Convert AC water heater to DC

Solar resources:
Convert AC water heater to DC
All solar resources
photovoltaic fuseholder    DC fuse
Fuseholder                         Fuse

Photovoltaic fuseholder/ DC fuseholder/ 1000 volts DC/

DC fuse/ photovoltaic fuse: use 20-25 amp fast-acting for designs on this page

Not waterproof... mount inside Nema 3R enclosure
Mount on din rail/ change fuse with flick of finger
Install 25-30 amp fuses
Use 10 x 38 DC fuses

Buy:
Photovoltaic fuseholder / DC fuseholder/ ultrasafe/ at Amazon
Ultrasafe fuseholders at Amazon
600 volt DC fuses at Amazon
Mersen 600 volt DC fuse
waterproof DC fuse holder

Waterproof Solar fuseholder/ 1000 VDC/ 2 amp to 30 amp

Buy
Solar fuseholder at Amazon
Fuse holder plus 20 amp DC fuse
Fuse holder plus 30 amp DC fuse
DC circuit breaker
DC circuit breaker

DC circuit breakers for Solar/ use 20-25 amp for designs on this page

Buy from my affiliate links:
DC circuit breakers
High voltage DC circuit breakers at Amazon

Combiner boxes at Amazon

Resource:
How to set up solar array
Din rail

Din rail for mounting Breakers, fuse-holders, timers, relays

Make your own breaker box, combiner box
Buy:
Din rails for mounting
Combiner boxes at Amazon

Resource:
How to set up solar array
Solar power books

Solar power books

Learn the basics with tips and help for professional and beginner alike

Buy from my affiliate links:
Solar power books

solar mounted on pole

Clean solar panels are ≈9% more efficient

Array that is cleaned regularly will harvest more solar power.
Measured experiments between clean and dirty array shows: The clean array's power output increased by 9% over the dusty array. This experiment was done on clear solar day with 'direct overhead' sun and panels were coated with nature-applied environmental dust, smoke etc in Utah. Ordinary city-water hose was used to clean array. Other factors of exact science were assumed to be equal or ignored. 

Solar mounted on pole

My friend Netowrk writes:
I try to extract as much as I can out of each day.   If I don't hurt by evening im doing something wrong.

Top of pole.   3 panels per string.  245W mono.   Mr Long Arm Longest model product placement.   Throw in 1/2 moon for free.

Schedule 40 galvanized pipe 6-5/8 OD.    10 footer.  Factory end on top.   4 feet into the dirt errr cement.  That sucker aint going anywhere.

Top of poles are easily to spin.   Ground mounts are not.    I also countersunk detents in the pipe for the bolts  (E-SE-S-SW-W).  See pic.    Then I made some handles so I can easily change position instead of using a wrench on the bolts.   I turn them to the West in the summer when I need cooling.   South in winter to max the yield.   I could easily manually track the sun during the day if I wanted to.

I can adjust the angle as well but I never do.  Its way more effort than spinning.


Multimeter

Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Buy:
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon 
Resource:
How to test and replace element
How to test thermocouple
Element tests for 120 volts
How to test wire
Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrical repairs

Resource:
Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching connectors
NEVER assume power is OFF
Buy:

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
 
Resource:
How to test electric power is off

Resource:
How to install terminals
Treminals

Terminals

Buy:
Terminal kit
Blue for 16-14 wire
Yellow for 12-10 wire
Read about terminals
wire connector assortment

Twist-on wire connector assortments

Do not reuse old connectors 
Buy

Connector assortment at Amazon
Connector assortment at Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Weatherproof wire connector

Weatherproof wire connector

Connector cavity is full of silicone
Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
Protect from water, dust etc
Buy from my affiliate links
Weatherproof size 14 to 6 Amazon
Weatherproof size 22 to 8 Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Wire connector wrench

Wrench to apply wire connectors

Tighten connector 
Buy

Wire connector blaster
Twist connector wrenches at Amazon

Resources:
How to twist wire
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Push on wire connectors

Push-on wire connectors in place of twist-on connectors

Buy:
Push on wire connectors Amazon
Red 3P connector for 10-14 gauge wire
Lever connectors for stranded wire at Amazon
add solder to stranded wire

Turn stranded wire into solid wire

Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

linesman pliers
Buy tools:
Wire strippers at Amazon
Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon

Fire inside timer caused by stranded wire
Keep enclosure door closed at all times

Fire caused by stranded wire

Do not use stranded wire under screw plate

Applies to timers, switches, outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine
Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

Orange 10 gauge 30 amp


Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
with ground
Buy:
10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp


Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
Buy:
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

Rolls of stranded wire

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp


White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
Buy:
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

Buy
Spools of ground wire
Gas and electric water heatersBuy
Electric


Industrial supplies

Home Improvement

Automotive

Lab and scientific
Buy Tools
DEWALT
Black and Decker
Stanley
SKIL
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box timers Resource:
Compare box timers

Control water heater w/ Z-wave
Intermatic control centers Resource:
Control centers:
+ manuals and parts


All control centers and parts

Including Z-wave
Resource:
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Resource:
Type 1-2-3 surge protection/ wiring and manuals

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