hi new to the forums. Just getting started to set my panels up. i bought 3 kits total. i have the 1200w/3200w power inverter and i also bought two 12 marine deep cycle batteries. Now i was wondering what is the best way to hook this stuff up. i want to hook up all the panels to charge the batteries. Also do i need to buy another charge controller,And if so what size. I need elp guys and what better place to get it than here. thanks skull


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Skull - here is a great site to start with. http://freesunpower.com/

Also check the forum for the Wire Sizing Chart. Lenght of runs and wire size can be critical in this game.

With 3 kits, Yes,  you will need to buy a better charge controller. The HF unit won't be able to handle what you have as it maxs out at 4 amps. As to how to hook it all up...well it kinda depends on what you want to do with it

You'll need to bank your batteries in parallel. Make sure it's vented where you keep them, something like battery boxes.

Many references to parallel connections will show one battery with the leads. I beleive it is better to balance the bank like in this picture; http://www.class-c-motorhome-info-made-simple.com/images/Batteries_...

my inverter is a 12v (11~15v) so if i run my batteries in parallel wont that make them into a 24v and wont this mess up my inverter. it is the chicago electric  1200w/3200w inverter. any help is thankful?

Nope... parallel keeps the voltage the same but adds to capacity.  Series will up the voltage but keep the capacity the same.



No if you run them in series that would increase the voltage.

Hi Skull,


No, batteries in parallel (plus to plus, minus to minus) have the same voltage, but the amperage adds.


Batteries in series (plus to minus) add the voltages, but current is the same.


The above assumes duplicate batteries.


Hillbilly Gene

Hello... and ... Welcome,


The charge controller size will depend on what your long term goal is... If you are going to add more kits over the next year I would buy a 30 amp or larger controller... if you are stopping at three kits... a 10 amp controller will work just fine.


Lots of little things... lets hear the plans and all of us can give a little advice to help steer you a bit.



im thankful  guys  for all the replies  i am planning on adding at least another  3 sets of panels or at least another 130 watt panel. Trying to figure out what size controller i need to buy .Also has anybody welded up the brackets  to make them stronger  I am planning on either building better brackets or welding up the hf ones. any ideas?

Well, I've had BAD luck with the HF spot welders.  The 110v version was worthless although it came with a plug attached.  The 220v version comes with a cord BUT not plug.  This is actually a good idea since there are various types of 220v outlets, both 3 and 4 prong variations.  I purchased a LONG dryer supply cord with the right plug attached and bonded it to the 220v spot welder cord with a great device about the size of a standard coin tube of dimes.  It has slots to keep the wires at each end separated and screws to keep them in place.  I slid a piece of shrink tube over the thing and the heat gun sealed it all together.  Plugged into the electric dryer outlet, the thing hummed but would NOT tack the HF solar panel stands together, even when I used a drill to remove all of the coating on each side of the two pieces.  It would heat thin pieces of uncoated or galvanized steel red hot in a circle about the size of a paper-punch hole no bonding.  Years ago I had a summer job in a sheet metal shop and the industrial spot welder had no trouble tacking together pieces of steel that were at least 1/8" each, so I guess that's what it takes.  I may just drill holes and use stainless steel screws and/or bolts if I use the racks that come with the panels.


On the other hand, HF has 69" aluminum ramp pairs on sale now for $60 now that might serve has the components of a larger array.  I've got 24 panels I'd like to put in one or two arrays positions to keep the Heat Pump exterior components in the shade, as they get up to 108 degrees (F) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for most of the summer.  

If I recall correctly, Jason has a picture of an 18 panel array which looks really good, but when I last saw it there was no description of what held it together.  At about 10 pounds apiece an array that size will weigh enough to make it a challenge to support but questionable about resisting being lifted by a strong wind.  I'm looking into using the t-bar main supports used to hold up 2x2 and 2x4 ceiling tiles as part of a backing system but it looks like some sort of treated 4x8 foot plywood is going to be needed to be a part of it.  

This may sound crazy, but I was also thinking about using a pair of HF 1 ton shop cranes (on sale via coupon for $99 each) as part of the base for the array as they are pretty heavy themselves and could easily be held to the ground with railroad ties or concrete.    Naturally, the hydraulic cylinders would need to be supplemented by bracing, they would allow adjustments until the bracing is bolted back on. Any thoughts?


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