MC-less wiring question

Hi everyone,

I just bought some 3-year-old Sanyo 200-watt panels. It looks like they came with MC-3 type connectors, but the wires were simply cut off when removed from their prior location. :grr So each panel has only about an 8-12" wire lead with a cut end.

I'm thinking of just siliconing a PVC junction box to the back of each one, routing the wires into the box via small bushings, then splicing in the box with conventional wire nuts or crimps.

Any code (or other) issues with this plan?

Thanks,

- Ted

Comments

  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    heool Volacno ..

    Some, here have said that for some Panel manufacturers, cutting the MC connectors off the leads will VOID the Mfg warranty. I dunno about the panels you have. The panels in question might even have a Limited Warranty, in which case, the warranty might not be transferrable.

    However, if cutting the MCs off these panels did not void the warranty, gluing a junction box onto the panel just might. The mfg might be concerned about compatibility twix the glue and the back-sheet, or perhaps some extra stress placed on the back of the pane by the boxl, or perhaps for some other reason. Wonder if there is sufficient lead length to mount a J-box on the back of the frame ...of if there is some compliant in-line splice. Sure did like the old real J-boxes which would take 1/2-inch waterproof grommets, or cable exits (whatever one calls them).

    Anyway, Good Luck. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    it might be a good idea to present your dilemma to sanyo and see what they say about the warranty, the box and the warranty, and what the best recourse is to take. let us know of any reply and advice from them if you wouldn't mind.
  • VolcanoSolarVolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Good questions, I hadn't even thought about a warranty (at $2.50 per watt, it wasn't a concern) or even contacting Sanyo. I just emailed them and I'll report back what I find out.

    - Ted
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    I'm not sure, but I think some cities will require that the solar panels be listed (UL or ETL or such) and if the inspector knew anything about it might say that this violates the listing.

    I would crimp on new MC3 connectors.

    On the off chance that you're in Southern California I could do it for you if you don't have a crimper.
  • VolcanoSolarVolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Thanks for the offer, but I'm in Hawaii. Chances are the inspector won't be an issue. I looked at MC crimpers but at $600 no, not an option. Maybe I'll check with local solar installers though.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    If you need longer wires w/MC connectors buy some of the 'extension' wires - they have a (+) connector on one end and a (-) on the other. Cut them in half and splice the wires on to the existing stubs (make sure you get the polarity right). Seal the joint with heat-shrink tubing (has to be slipped over the wire before you solder the connection).
  • VolcanoSolarVolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Right, I've used cut MC "extension" wires this way when wiring my existing system. But are you saying to just splice into the existing wires and seal with heat-shrink?

    My "not to code" alarm bell is ringing on that one, I wouldn't trust the heat-shrink tubing to provide complete mechanical protection over the long haul, I'd rather see a splice like this inside a PVC box.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    My "not to code" alarm bell is ringing on that one, I wouldn't trust the heat-shrink tubing to provide complete mechanical protection over the long haul, I'd rather see a splice like this inside a PVC box.
    Get the glue lined heatshrink it much thicker and more stable than "normal "heatshrink
  • VolcanoSolarVolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: MC-less wiring question
    niel wrote: »
    it might be a good idea to present your dilemma to sanyo and see what they say about the warranty, the box and the warranty, and what the best recourse is to take. let us know of any reply and advice from them if you wouldn't mind.

    From Sanyo:

    Thank you for your interest in Sanyo high efficiency solar
    panels.

    I am sorry to tell you that the warranty does not transfer
    along with your purchase of these
    panels from the original owner.

    I am happy to forward onto you an installation manual, but
    any issues regarding the warranty
    are already compromised. I hope you are successful in
    generating solar power from your system.


    Sincerely,

    Customer Service Solar Department
    SANYO Energy (USA) Corp.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question
    From Sanyo:

    I am sorry to tell you that the warranty does not transfer
    along with your purchase of these
    panels from the original owner.

    Sincerely,

    Customer Service Solar Department
    SANYO Energy (USA) Corp.

    I found that part rather interesting. All warranties have some restrictions, but that statement seems to imply that if you sell your home with Sanyo panels on it, the warranty will not transfer to the new owner.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Sounds like a good reason NOT to buy the Sanyo panels, first I have ever heard of a warranty is for the purchaser, not the product.

    Sanyo has show over and over again they want to wiggle out of warranty's, like the temperature/humidity flap they started about two years ago ...
  • VolcanoSolarVolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: MC-less wiring question
    Windsun wrote: »
    I found that part rather interesting. All warranties have some restrictions, but that statement seems to imply that if you sell your home with Sanyo panels on it, the warranty will not transfer to the new owner.

    Yes, that surprised me too. I just emailed them again for clarification on that point.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,055 admin
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Here is the applicable warranty statement from one of 4 versions of Sanyo's current warranty list:
    1. Scope of Limited Warranty Coverage: This warranty applies to all solar photovoltaic models within the HIT Power series and/or HIP-xxxBA19 series (xxx = rated power) (hereinafter, “Product”) and sold by SANYO Energy (USA) Corporation (hereinafter, “SANYO”) and is extended to the original end-user purchaser, and when Product remains at its original installed location, is transferable to any subsequent owner of the location, or subsequent title holder of the Product upon satisfactory proof of succession or assignment (all such persons hereinafter referred to as, “Customer”).

    Not quite clear---A) product must remain at original installation, B) subsequent owner of said location, OR C) subsequent title holder of the Product upon satisfactory proof of succession or assignment...

    Would seem if "VolcanoSolar" has a copy of the original copy of the receipt and a bill-of-sale from the original customer -- should be covered under the Sanyo Warranty.

    These limitations could void the warranty for other reasons:
    j. Damage caused by inadequate or improper usage, alteration, installation, wiring, handling, removal, maintenance, storage, packaging, transportation, or repair by anyone other than SANYO or it’s authorized technician.

    k. Claims made more than one year from the date the alleged power output degradation, or product workmanship defect, reasonably should have been discovered.

    I always wonder how this statement of 5 year warranty on mfg. defects vs the 80% over 20 year performance guarantee (woops--"failed" panel at 15 years--zero output; but we only guarantee for 5 years--may be the difference between 100% 5 year vs pro-rated payments).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question
    BB. wrote: »
    Would seem if "VolcanoSolar" has a copy of the original copy of the receipt and a bill-of-sale from the original customer -- should be covered under the Sanyo Warranty.

    Don't think so...his panels aren't at the "original installed location".
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,055 admin
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    It is the old question of a list of ... and ... and ... or .,..

    Are the clauses all, either, and, or, nor etc...

    But, I would agree that Sanyo would interpret the warranty to their favor (and not pay out) if at all possible.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: MC-less wiring question

    Since when do solar panels have a "title" as in "title holder"?

    Kyocera for example didn't ask for anything except the serial number of the panel for exchanging a defective panel for my old system, same for Matrix/Photowatt's.

    There is a thread on here where Sanyo changed the humidity/temperature spec and normal installations in the south or south west would "void" the warranty .. I thought Wind-Sun dropped them as a vendor for these shenanigans? Sanyo later backed off, but it seemed clear they were trying to play word smith to limit the warrantys and this doesn't help when Sanyo has the HIT process, no one else uses and no long term data to show they will last 20+ years
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