Jump to content

Solar panel cables - run inside or out


Featured Posts

I'm having solar panels installed on the roof near the front of my 47 ft narrowboat. It's the only space they'll fit as I have a large skylight at the rear. 

 

Does it make sense to run the cable that need to come back to the stern where the batteries and MPPT controller will be: outside along the top of the roof, or try to bring it inside and hide it under the gunnels if possible. 

 

I'm worried about weather damage outside and yet another thing on the roof to get tangled in etc.

 

Any thoughts on what would be best here?

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gone for thru' the roof (using a waterproof 'deck-gland') & then between head lining and roof to the MPPT controller and then down to the batteries.

 

Edit to add link

Index Marine DG20 Cable Gland Plastic Drill Suit (marinescene.co.uk)

 

CAM00023.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you prefer to avoid drilling more holes in your roof, feed cables through a nearby mushroom vent and then between lining and roof.

Doing it this way, it's wise to add an abrasion-resistant covering (heatshrink sleeving or self-amalgamating tape) to protect the cables as they bend over the edge of the vent outside.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

For my front set of panels, there is a thick PVC type hose around the solar cables, and that runs along the roof to a gland near the stern, which allows the cable to go down to the MPPT.  

Because the whole cable is heavy, it cable lays flat and I've never had any issues from it moving about or fouling ropes or other gear. 

But that said, it doesn't look very nice having this great thick cable snaking its way along most of the roof.  

 

If I had any decent woodworking skills I would have put that cable through the roof via a gland (or a roof vent), and run it along to the stern above the ceiling panels- but I'm pretty sure I would make a mess of it, and I don't want the hassle of removing large sections of ceiling panels.  

I could run it along the ceiling (i.e. where its visible), but that might make the interior look more cluttered, and its bad enough trying to avoid clutter already.

So on balance, I've decided to leave it where it is. For now......

 

Edited by Tony1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine goes in through the hole +w(ith a waterproof gland) where the old radio aerial was just under the panels at the front. Then down the cable tray in the roof lining to the controller. So it's tidy and pretty much invisible. I hate crap lying on the roof 😱

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I borrowed a set of electrician's telescopic rods that they use to pull cable through between floors etc. Panels at front of boat, cables fed through a roof gland and then pulled them to the rear of boat using the rods inside the roof void. I had to drill a hole through the rear steel bulkhead to get the rods in and the cable out into the back cabin. But quite a tidy result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always aim to keep as much off the roof as possible to stop it weathering, so i will put mine inside for as much as possible when i get round to it (going in through mushroom etc). I even keep my pole and hook in the cabin to stop the weather getting at them - plank is metal so not fussed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look for cables that meet European standard H1Z2Z2-K for solar interconnect cabling. These will have insulation with good resistance to damage from UV light and Ozone when left outside long term. Lots of suppliers, for example.

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.