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Old 12-28-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Magnitude XG32 4x4,
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THOR #19682
I want to add a solar panel and one more battery

My 2021 Magnitude XG32 has a 100W solar panel and two house batteries. Can the solar panels be put in tandem or do I have to run separate wires for the new panel? Costco has Coleman 100W panels for $159 and they have good ratings.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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Will your solar charge controller be up to the task?
(You'll probably need a 20 amp unit...)
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:02 PM   #3
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Amazon has Renogy, HQST, Newpowa and other 100 watt panels for $101 or less.

If your solar controller is a PWM type you need to wire the new panel in parallel with the existing one. This will add the current of the two panels together which is usually about 7 amps each. You need at least a 15 amp rated controller and as Bob says, 20 would be better.

If your solar controller is MPPT (doubtful) you can wire the new one in series with the old one and not increase the amperage. You will increase the voltage, but most MPPT controllers can handle the increased voltage which can be as much as 42 volts. Do not do this with a PWM controller.

David
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:21 PM   #4
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THOR #19682
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Amazon has Renogy, HQST, Newpowa and other 100 watt panels for $101 or less.

If your solar controller is a PWM type you need to wire the new panel in parallel with the existing one. This will add the current of the two panels together which is usually about 7 amps each. You need at least a 15 amp rated controller and as Bob says, 20 would be better.

If your solar controller is MPPT (doubtful) you can wire the new one in series with the old one and not increase the amperage. You will increase the voltage, but most MPPT controllers can handle the increased voltage which can be as much as 42 volts. Do not do this with a PWM controller.

David
The local Costco had a Coleman 100w with mounting kit and 8.5 amp controller for $99.00. I want to add at least one more battery and maybe two. The battery tray in the XG32 will take 4 batteries. I can buy a new controller for about $25 so can I just replace the one in the doorway? This is all new to me. I don't know what a MPPT or PWM controller are and what that means.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:14 PM   #5
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OK, a quick tutorial:

This is a new Magnitude MH as you said. I think Thor installs a 100 watt panel and a Zamp PWM solar controller on all new MHs. I think it is good for 30 amps but check.

A PWM solar controller takes output from the solar panel can pulses it (the P in pulse width modulated) to make the voltage compatible with what the battery needs. But the pulsing wastes a bit of the power. MPPT controllers (maximum power point tracking) convert the incoming voltage to what the battery needs without wasting any. They can even convert higher voltages like are produced when two panels are connected in series to match what the battery needs with little waste.

So check the specs on your controller which is almost certainly a PWM. If it is good for 15+ amps then wire your panels in parallel- pluses to pluses, negatives to negatives.

David
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:22 PM   #6
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David,
That was a GREAT explanation of the two different types of controllers.
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Old 12-29-2020, 01:55 AM   #7
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PWM controllers also cost less but are more likely to cause electrical interference with nearby electronics, I went with the higher end 20A controller even though I only have an 80W panel because I donít want any unnecessary power loss and in case I later decide to add more panels.
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Old 12-29-2020, 02:09 AM   #8
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I'm lobbying for a Renogy kit that includes a pair of flexible 175 watt panels, and a 40 amp mppt controller..I figure that I could add a 3rd panel...
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Old 12-29-2020, 04:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTRvs666 View Post
The local Costco had a Coleman 100w with mounting kit and 8.5 amp controller for $99.00. I want to add at least one more battery and maybe two. The battery tray in the XG32 will take 4 batteries. I can buy a new controller for about $25 so can I just replace the one in the doorway? This is all new to me. I don't know what a MPPT or PWM controller are and what that means.

Watch this. Up to 8:22 covers the "meat" of the system. The rest you will need, but don't need to know the details at this point.

After watching it, watch it again. And again. And then watch other videos talking about the same stuff.

Electricity is weird, and dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you're going to 'solo' it, I strongly recommend having a knowledgeable eye check your work before and after.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
OK, a quick tutorial:

This is a new Magnitude MH as you said. I think Thor installs a 100 watt panel and a Zamp PWM solar controller on all new MHs. I think it is good for 30 amps but check.

A PWM solar controller takes output from the solar panel can pulses it (the P in pulse width modulated) to make the voltage compatible with what the battery needs. But the pulsing wastes a bit of the power. MPPT controllers (maximum power point tracking) convert the incoming voltage to what the battery needs without wasting any. They can even convert higher voltages like are produced when two panels are connected in series to match what the battery needs with little waste.

So check the specs on your controller which is almost certainly a PWM. If it is good for 15+ amps then wire your panels in parallel- pluses to pluses, negatives to negatives.

David
My goal is to install two additional batteries. Everything works well as-is, except in the winter when the heater is working overtime. The fan runs out of power for the fan motor by 4 AM, then the generator has to kick on. I can't seem to get the AGS working like it should. I think I don't know how to set it up. But extra power would be helpful. It looks like the existing controller should handle the extra panel.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:19 AM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Magnitude XG32 4x4,
State: Utah
Posts: 109
THOR #19682
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
OK, a quick tutorial:

This is a new Magnitude MH as you said. I think Thor installs a 100 watt panel and a Zamp PWM solar controller on all new MHs. I think it is good for 30 amps but check.

A PWM solar controller takes output from the solar panel can pulses it (the P in pulse width modulated) to make the voltage compatible with what the battery needs. But the pulsing wastes a bit of the power. MPPT controllers (maximum power point tracking) convert the incoming voltage to what the battery needs without wasting any. They can even convert higher voltages like are produced when two panels are connected in series to match what the battery needs with little waste.

So check the specs on your controller which is almost certainly a PWM. If it is good for 15+ amps then wire your panels in parallel- pluses to pluses, negatives to negatives.

David
My goal is to install two additional batteries. Everything works well as-is, except in the winter when the heater is working overtime. The fan runs out of power for the fan motor by 4 AM, then the generator has to kick on. I can't seem to get the AGS working like it should. I think I don't know how to set it up. But extra power would be helpful. It looks like the existing controller should handle the extra solar panel and batteries. thanks
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:57 PM   #12
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THOR #20289
Two additional batteries will solve your overnight problem, but you need a way to recharge them the next day.

200 watts of solar panels will probably not recharge them the next day, even with full sun (maybe 60 amp hours). You will need to run the generator for a few hours or drive to another campground and let the chassis alternator recharge them.

David
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:49 PM   #13
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: XG-32
State: Texas
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THOR #19089
The solar control is not rated for more than 10 amps. I changed out the controller to a Morningstar Prostar MPPT 25 amp control and 1 single 340 watt Q cell 340 panel. The controller will not mount where the factory control is mounted. I mounted the new control in the lower back of the coat cabinet and the wires reach from the old control.
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XG32owner View Post
The solar control is not rated for more than 10 amps. I changed out the controller to a Morningstar Prostar MPPT 25 amp control and 1 single 340 watt Q cell 340 panel. The controller will not mount where the factory control is mounted. I mounted the new control in the lower back of the coat cabinet and the wires reach from the old control.
How big and what type is your battery bank?
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:30 PM   #15
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Model: XG-32
State: Texas
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THOR #19089
I just have 2 batteries now. When they go out i will decide if I need more. On my old trailer I had a 20,00 BTU heater that I ran every night for 2 weeks in Colorado using 200 watt solar and 2-size 29 batteries.
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