Photowatt panels- Jbox

f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
Hello.

Anyone know how to rewire or have documentation for the older Photowatt 1,000 Jbox? They are 100watt panels.

The MFR is unresponsive ---and the paramedics are calling this one DOA ;>

These panels where inherited with the off-grid property I bought and are set up for a 24 volt system. I converted my system to a 48 volts........ so..... I'd like to use them if I can rewire them.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,072 admin
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    If you have an even number of panels, you can just take the existing panels and put 2 (or more) in series to get the higher working voltage.

    Photowatt 1000 100 watt panels:
    Max Power Voltage - Vmp 34.4 Vdc
    Open Circuit Voltage - Voc 43.2 Vdc
    Voltage Temp Coeff - Vtoc -0.156 V/°C
    STC Rating - Pmp 100 Wstcdc
    Max Power Current - Imp 2.9 Adc
    PTC Rating 90 Wptc

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    as bb said put 2 of them in series or possibly more with the right controller. in fact, do you have a charge controller and if so what do you have?
  • f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox
    niel wrote: »
    as bb said put 2 of them in series or possibly more with the right controller. in fact, do you have a charge controller and if so what do you have?


    Thanks for the replies all.



    niel:
    I'm not home right now, but from what I recall, my setup has:

    * 6 Solarworld 175 w panels sent to/thru a FLEXmax 60 controller
    * 6 Photowatt 100w panels sent to/thru a Morningstar TriStar TS-45 controller (panels came w/the house... no literature on them)
    * 24 DEKA L-16 batteries about 1.5 years old.
    * Magnum MS4448AE (just installed... needed if we install the turbine)
    * Generac mobile generator (needs to be replaced soon I would guess... It's dirty power, but it has lots of power...17.5kW continuous/26kW surge)


    The photowatts are not hooked up, but the controller is at the moment. Using it to read voltage on the batteries since the Magnum's remote control head was delivered broken. A bit squished from FDX.


    I really would like a picture showing what is what inside the Jboxes before I go and put a screwdriver to it. I will have to take a picture of it all when I get back home soon. May have to wait until Monday with all the other things going on at home.


    FWIW... I e-mailed a dealer of Photowatt outside the US, but no reply. I assume it's too soon and not big enough of a fish for them.... tells ya a lot about the product and the level of customer service to expect if you by from them IMHO.

    Thanks again!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    very well we shall await your return. i do think most pvs have + and - marked inside the j box, but some also contained blocking and bypass diodes. blocking diodes can be done away with as those controllers will stop the reverse current at night. you do want to keep any bypass diodes present. i'm not sure if it may or may not be already on the forum, but you can check with a search.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    As I recall back when photowatt was breaking the $5 a watt norm. I think they could be wired for 12 or 24 volt. It should be an easy matter to open the box and figure out the wiring. If you post the model # likely it could be found on line.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    Here's a PDF of pw1000;

    Tiny bit more here.

    And wiring info here.

    Let google be your friend....
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    THANKS!!!! :D

    I tried googling it before. Apparently I flunked google 101.

    I guess I need to slow down a bit and absorb what I skim over.... ;)


    Thanks again!

    Photowhit wrote: »
  • f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    Check out these two photos. They are of two different Jboxes.

    Looks like the previous owner may have wired panels that had shorted.... glad I disconnected them!

    Notice the bottom panel (Titled "Bottom Panel") is missing an entire terminal. He wired to the one just below it. The cover plate is burnt up as well.

    "Top Panel" also has a short in the same area.... cooked both of them.
  • f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox
    f5f9 wrote: »
    Check out these two photos. They are of two different Jboxes.

    Looks like the previous owner may have wired panels that had shorted.... glad I disconnected them!

    Notice the bottom panel (Titled "Bottom Panel") is missing an entire terminal. He wired to the one just below it. The cover plate is burnt up as well.

    "Top Panel" also has a short in the same area.... cooked both of them.


    Oh.... disregard the date and time stamp. I haven't set those parameters on my GF's camera. The pix were taken today (04-11-2010).
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox

    On the second pic, looks like the insulation wore off the red wire and shorted out across that ground bar running across the box. I assume you removed some fried bits from the first pic?
  • f5f9f5f9 Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Photowatt panels- Jbox
    drees wrote: »
    On the second pic, looks like the insulation wore off the red wire and shorted out across that ground bar running across the box. I assume you removed some fried bits from the first pic?

    1st photo ("Bottom Panel")
    I didn't remove anything in any of the photos. The entire terminal and plastic stuff was gone... burnt off. He ended up attaching the wire one space down. That's exactly how I found it and the other box when I opened them.


    The second photo ("top panel") is a little bit of a eye bender/deceiving.
    The top red wire actually had green corrosion on it. There is no bus bar or any metal to the left of the photo under it. The other red wire under the corroded one is connected to the same terminal and got burnt up as well.

    Being that it was green, I'm wondering if that's from water intrusion on the solid copper wire he had in there....????
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