Can I Replace the Cables to One of my Panels?

a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
edited April 2017 in Solar Beginners Corner #1

I have 36 Astronergy 225W panels ( http://www.pbase.com/neukranz/image/119532803 ).

Each panel on the backside has a "TYCO 1740971-1 type junction box" (from the panel instruction manual), and two 12 AWG cables coming out of the box.  It's these two cables that squirrels destroyed.  I've taken down the panel to replace the cables.

In the panel spec sheet it says "Connector Type (UL) = Multi contact type 4."  So, I purchased from NAWS:  MC4-08-MF-1kV ("8 ft. MC4 Solarline 2 (latching) extender cable, 10 AWG, Male to Female, ...")

Doesn't fit (new connectors don't match up to existing connectors).  In the process now of returning to NAWS.  Thoroughly confused.

Returning to the panel instruction manual, it says "If the panel is connected to the control box (don't know what this is), the control box with Female type Connectors TYCO 1394462-2 and Male type Connectors TYCO 1394461-4 must be used."

Does all of this simply mean that I need to exchange my NAWS purchased cable for one with the above TYCO connectors?  Does such a thing exist with NAWS?  With anyone?

Or do I need to make home-made cables?  Find 'TYCO 139446...' connectors some where, (an) appropriate crimping tool(s), etc.?  Are these all parts I can get from NAWS?

Much appreciate any help here!

Best regards,

Bill

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,823 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tyco is another type of connector, Looks like your panels are spec'd with Tyco connectors in the product manual I found;
    http://www.astronergy.com/attch/product/1273623761_TxiNmrQQVQ.pdf

    As I recall they are very similar to MC4 connectors, but have an oval or made a couple flats in the insertion and accepting orifice. It may be that the panels were supplied in either with a different model number. I searched for the model chsm-230 that is on the back of your panels, I do get search results that include model #CHSM6610M  which include a 230 watt version.

    They are available, just do a google search, the above link has the correct connector #'s

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017 #3

    OK!  I've ordered a 10 AWG H4 Amphenol extension cable.  It has a male and a female connector.

    Once received, I'll open up the TYCO junction box cover on the back side of the panel, disconnect the old 12 AWG pigtail cables (pressure lock terminals - no crimp connectors needed), cut the new 10 AWG extension cable in half, insert cut, stripped cable ends into junction box pressure lock terminals, and replace the junction box cover.

    Unlike MC4 extension cables, I couldn't find distinguishment between 12 and 10 AWG H4 cables.  It seems like in today's times you purchase 10 AWG H4 cables even if it's 12 AWG cable you're replacing.  Won't know until I get it if 10 AWG wire will fit into the TYCO junction box pressure lock terminals or if an H4 connector on 10 AWG wire will snap together with an existing H4 connector on 12 AWG H4 wire.

    And looks like I'm supposed to use a special tool to disconnect H4 connectors.  Got some of these too.

    (Meanwhile we're pruning back the trees on the North side to eliminate future squirrel damage.  And I bought a second cable to have on hand as a spare.)

    Live and learn!

  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭

    Here are a couple of images to illustrate the subject.

    The squirrel chewed pigtail cables, 12 AWG wire, H4 Amphenol connector on each end:

    http://www.pbase.com/neukranz/image/165270956

    The Tyco junction box on backside of panel:

    http://www.pbase.com/neukranz/image/165270957

    Interesting to see the diodes I always wondered if there were included with my panels.

    Best regards,

    Bill


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