question

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Adding in occasional use panels

I have a 100w 12v panel on the roof of my camper, connected via a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100V 20amp controller. I want to add an external portable 100w 12v panel that I can move around to face the sun better. I think I can wire both panels in parallel into the charge controller, and disconnect (via power poles or the like) the portable one when not in use.

Is there any danger in this kind of a configuration? Or am I looking at it incorrectly?

Thanks in advance!

mppt smart solarSolar Panel
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2 Answers
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Jesse answered ·

Official guidelines would usually discourage such behaviour, given that the different panels with different illumination would be outputting at different voltages. Maybe the lifespan of the panels will be affected? I'm not sure. Certainly the output for each string will be suboptimal, but much better than not having them there!

But I can say I've done exactly what you've suggested for a long time now with no issues. Even crazier combinations have worked just fine (using a 24V 260W house panel on the roof in parallel with two 175W 12V panels in series for instance).

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eric-linxweiler answered ·

So, I did this - and it works fabulously. Moving a panel around really helps when my RV is parked in the shade.

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