Zamp solar install

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons! This information has been discussed many times here on the forum and in an effort to preserve and reference it in the future I wanted to provide additional information and clarification on Zamp Solar's panel connections and when using a battery tender. This is basically an extract of the information I previously had posted up over on the Little Guy forum back in Zamp wires their solar panels in an effort to make them safe to use and in an effort to avoid accidents since the panels do convert sunlight into energy and it is possible for a user to put themselves in series with a solar panel and receive an electrical shock should they become part of the circuit when hooking up and using a solar panel.

This is true whether it is a Zamp solar panel or any solar panel you may be using since they are able to generate energy when in sunlight or for that matter, any ambient light they come into contact with.

The photo below shows the style of connector that would come off the end of the newer Zamp solar panels. Zamp wires their solar panels in this manner to protect users from accidental shock accidents. The bare end of the connector shown is the negative - terminal black wire and this is where some of the confusion comes into play when people discuss the "Battery Tender" brand of trickle charger, as their terminals are wired directly opposite of the Zamp wiring scheme shown below.

Note : The gist of Zamp's safety intent here is that should you deploy "any" solar panel and have wires connected to it in full sunlight it is producing electrical power. By wiring their panels in this manner it greatly reduces the potential of accidental contact should you have the cable ends in your hand. In the photo below you can see that the Battery Tender units are wired opposite the Zamp solar connections and unless these terminals are wired in reverse you will not be able to charge up your trailer battery if you plug a Battery Tender into the Zamp Solar Port on your trailer.

In other words you would need to do the following with the battery tender trickle charger unit:. Cut the charge wire coming off the back of the Battery Tender unit, reverse the wires and splice them back together.

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Use the clip on style connectors shown just to the right of the tender unit and attach them to your trailer battery when charging the trailer battery. Unless you follow the above steps the Battery Tender unit will not charge your trailer battery if the tender is plugged into a Zamp Solar Port and this issue has confused many trailer owners as a result of the way Zamp wires their solar panel wiring harnesses. The bottom line here is that Zamp Solar does not wire their solar ports for use with the Battery Tender brand trickle charge units, but only wires them for Zamp Solar equipment and apparatus.

Therein lies the difference and hopefully the above information will help people understand the reasoning behind Zamp Solar's wiring set-ups and provide them with enough knowledge to use a Battery Tender in charging a trailer battery when it has a Zamp Solar connector wired into the trailer and hooked to the battery. Thanks for the detailed explanation Mike. The following adapter on Amazon appears like it might be a solution - what do you think? Looks to me like that would do the trick.

But being a loyal pessimist I would check it with a meter or continuity checker just to be sure before running current through it. You can drive along 10, miles, and still stay where you are. I just noticed that there is a review for this item on Amazon by someone who bought it specifically for this purpose. This is in my mine the best way to do it.

Could be done for cheaper with the same type of connector and some soldering, but not by much.Then TCM kills two batteries, and learns an expensive lesson. This article picks up from Installing a Solar Panel System. With the Zamp watt solar panel and junction box installed on the camper roof, we moved inside the camper to install the solar controller and required wiring. Donny Emerick measured the solar controller and penciled the required opening top left for the solar controller on the interior camper wall.

He then used a corded Dremel Multi-Max to cut the panel space out from the wall. This tool requires a steady hand to avoid cutting through the panel board.

With the panel cut, we were ready to connect the wires from the solar panel to the solar controller. Before we cut the 8-gauge wire to length, we verified that it was conducting power from the solar panel with the multi-meter. Once verified, Tom had us cover the roof mounted solar panel with a blanket to avoid a possible shock when cutting and handling the wiring. The 8-gauge wire featured a ridge on one side of the plastic insulation.

Using the multi-meter, we were able to determine that this ridge identified the positive wire and the non-ridge flat side was the negative wire.

Install package files

Using a pair of snips, cutting the 8-gauge wire was relatively easy, but stripping the wire proved quite a challenge. The wire was too thick for a typical wire stripper, like the one we used during the CO and LP detector install. To cut back the insulation and expose the bare wire, we used the same snips we had used to cut the wire, and carefully cut into the plastic insulation as to not cut the metal wire inside.

With the plastic insulation cut back, we crimped the Zamp supplied connectors onto the wire. With the positive and negative wires identified, we connected the 8 gauge wire to the Zamp solar controller accordingly. The positive and negative terminals on the Zamp solar controller were very well marked and, with a Phillips screw driver, simple to connect to our freshly cut, stripped, and crimped 8 gauge wire.

With the solar panel connected to the junction box, and the junction box connected to the solar controller, the next step was to run 8-gauge wire from the solar controller to the battery.

Under the step-up to our cabover is our main fuse panel and circuit breakers. In this area we found a space to mount the resettable circuit breaker included as part of the Zamp kit. A resettable circuit breaker also known as a polyfuse or polyswitch is designed to protect against power surges and faults. In this case, the resettable circuit breaker will protect the battery bank and solar panel system. If the resettable circuit breaker is triggered, it will reset itself once it cools.

Like many modern truck campers, our camper was pre-wired for solar. On our camper, this pre-wire was found under the cabover step as an 8-gauge wire coming from the battery compartment.

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Locating and identifying this wire made the installation a lot easier. Had this wire not been installed by the manufacturer, we would have needed to run an additional 8 gauge wire from the resettable circuit breaker to the battery box.

Tip: Before installing a solar panel system, determine if your truck camper is pre-wired for solar. If it is, locate the pre-wire in advance. If your camper is older, or is not pre-wired, make plans for an additional run of 8 gauge wire. Additionally, our camper had a space in the main fuse box pre-labeled for solar.Truck Camper Magazine installs a watt Zamp solar panel system on their project camper and takes a big step towards cutting the cord and camping off-the-grid.

Last Spring we attempted an impromptu experiment to see how long we could camp without volt shore power. At the time, we were camping in a Northstar 8. Above: The Northstar 8. To properly challenge the solar and battery system, we operated the camper as normal, charging the laptops daily, using the propane furnace in the morning, and running interior lights and fans as needed.

We even watched a couple movies at night with the installed television and entertainment system. Every few hours, Angela noted the battery voltage readings on the built-in LCD screen. At am every morning, the battery voltage read between These were the lowest readings gathered during our experiment and occurred as we were running the heat to take off the morning chill.

Between am and noon the battery voltage read During this period of time, the solar charge controller was in bulk charge mode sending the highest voltage the installed solar panel and charge controller were rated for.

By early to mid-afternoon, the single battery had reached its float charge of When a battery is on float charge, it is fully charged and maintaining its full charge from the solar panel. These results impressed us, especially considering the fact that the weather had varied during our experiment between full sun and partly cloudy.

Even on cloudy days, the system reached float charge, but did so later in the day. A few months later we found a decade old camper in Oregon that fit our requirements for a camper project. It was a non-slide hard side floor plan — our personal preference. The camper needed routine maintenance, and lacked amenities and features we could add, study, and document for the magazine. For what we were looking for, it was perfect. Given its impressive performance on the Northstar, a Zamp solar panel system was high on the list for our new-to-us camper.

Even before the project camper arrived, we acquired a watt Zamp solar panel system and solar controller. This kit includes a watt Class A mono-crystalline solar panel, a amp 5-stage PWM pulse width modulation solar charge controller with LCD display, feet of 8 gauge wire, a three-port solar panel junction box, and all required nuts, bolts, washers, fuse holders, fuses, splice connectors, and ring connectors.

zamp solar install

This system is nearly identical to the one in the Northstar and, with the three-port solar panel junction box, would allow us to upgrade to two panels watts or even three panels watts in the future. That said, we do not anticipate needing more than one watt panel.

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With a never-ending goal of living as simply as possible, we live in a HOA townhouse community. This allows us to turn off the water, drain the plumbing, adjust the thermostat, lock the doors, pack the camper, and go. Our neighbors keep an eye on the homestead, and the HOA keeps the snow, leaves, and lawn in check. Other than loading up and filling with water, we are not permitted to work on our rig, or park it overnight. Everything in life has compromises.

For the installation of the Zamp solar panel system, we visited Tom and Pat Emerick. He and his son, Michael, have also refurbished an older Adventurer truck camper. Between the Arctic Fox and the Adventurer, Tom is always working or modifying something.

When we told Tom about our solar panel system, he offered to help. With Team Emerick on board, we were ready to go.Quick Links.

Download this manual. Dual Battery Solar Controller. Table of Contents. Take to a qualified person if the unit requires repairing. Ensure no sparks or flames are present when working near batteries.

Zamp Solar Connections - Explained

Using the Terminals supplied, crimp the terminals on your Battery wires. Page 5 Caution 2: The dual battery controller installation must be made by specialized technique person, any wrong size of wires used or loose power connections or corroded wires can melt wire insulation, burn surrounding materials or even cause a fire.

Ensure tight all connections and use cable clamps to secure cables. Page 6: Charging Stages Press Battery type button BT1 and hold for 5 seconds to go into your battery 1 type selection mode, the battery 1 type you select will be shown on the LCD meter, the default setting is AGM Battery; the controller will automatically memorize your battery 1 type setting; Page 7 Soft Charge- When batteries suffer an over-discharge, the controller will softly ramps the battery voltage up to 10V.

Page 9: Specifications As an option, the unit also provides a port to connect the external Remote display meter for some special location needed.

zamp solar install

The display content on the Remote meter is same as the display on the controller. Print page 1 Print document 9 pages. Cancel Delete. Sign In OR. Don't have an account? Sign up! Restore password. Upload from disk. Upload from URL.What does the display on my charge controller tell me? All Zamp Solar charge controllers except for our 8-Amp charge controller have a large digital display that shows you the following information:.

zamp solar install

Charging Voltage: The voltage going from the solar panel to the battery. Current Amperage: The amperage going from the solar panel to the battery. Charging Status: At the top of the display is a bar. The solid portion of the bar indicates what percentage of the battery is charged while the flashing portion of the bar shows what percentage remains to be charged.

Solar Panel Symbol: Indicates that a solar panel is connected. Error Codes: Error Codes begin with a b, p or o and help troubleshoot issues with the system. Please refer to your product manual to decode specific error codes. Installation is actually pretty simple. Follow the link below to find step-by-step installation instructions. Link to instructions.

Can I connect two charge controllers to the same battery bank e. Yes, two independent charge controllers can be connected directly to the battery as long as both controllers are set to the same battery type. The charge controllers will not work properly if wired in series, one to the other. No, but they are different from other brands of solar ports because all of our SAE plugs are polarity-protected for safety reasons.

That means the positive pin on all of our SAE plugs is set back and covered to prevent accidental contact that could damage your panel, short your battery, or give you a pretty nasty shock. The most common cause of this is a bad connection between the charge controller and the battery bank. We put together this handy troubleshooting document to help you fix it.

Why are your portable kits more expensive than the other brands on the market? Our products are designed and handcrafted in the United States with the highest quality materials available on the market. Every single panel is signed by the person who assembled it at our headquarters in Bend, Oregon.

Our solar products are built to last.

Installing a Solar Panel System

We have a year output warranty—the best in the industry—because we stand by our product. Every detail of our solar products is designed to make sure your solar investment goes the distance with you. Our products are made with locally sourced materials whenever possible. In an effort to support our local economy and create U. The materials we do source internationally are the best in the world. Our products are innovative. We nerd out on the science of trying to make the most innovative, most efficient, and most durable off-grid solar products everRV owners often overlook proper off-season storage of batteries.

If they are lead-acid batteries including AGMit is also important to give them a frequent full charge at certain intervals.

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Lead-acid batteries will discharge over time and must be maintained, even if they are not being used. Flooded batteries have higher self-discharge rates than AGM batteries. Higher temperatures increase self-discharge, which is why batteries should be stored in a cool place. Lithium batteries have virtually no self-discharge. If power is lost or cut off, your batteries may drain to the point where damage could occur. We have heard too many stories about clients who put their rig in storage, expecting a stable shore power connection, and coming back months later to find a ruined battery bank and an unplugged cord or tripped breaker.

If they are being put into long-term storage with devices powered on and any loads active and draining power, we recommend a full charging cycle at least every 2 weeks. If you store your rig under a cover, you should turn off the breaker, or remove the fuse, between the charge controller and the battery system. If it is not possible to keep the RV plugged into a stable power supply, or use a solar array, you can remove the lead-acid batteries from the vehicle completely.

They should be fully charged, then stored in a cool, dry place where they can be maintained by charger with a more stable source of power. This is particularly important in cold climates where a discharged battery is likely to freeze. They have a very low self-discharge rate, and can hold their voltage for up to a year before needing a charge. All batteries should be given a full charge immediately after they are reinstalled in an RV.

Here are three examples of RV storage and what steps are needed for each:. Log all issues found or fixed before you store your solar equipped RV and write them down.

This includes DC loads coming directly from the battery and AC loads using the inverter or shore power. Loads could cause the batteries to be drawn down below the capability of your solar system. This is a bad idea for anything but lithium batteries - Only lithium batteries can be left for extended periods of time without being charged. All Flooded batteries including AGM must have a charging source for maintenance. Ensure you have turned the solar input switch to OFF as well.

Lithium batteries are expensive, don't take any chances by storing them on and powering equipment. We will happily give you tips specific to your situation.

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You have a train station.If you have one, you can just plug and play! Our best selling portable kit is packed with thoughtful features to make your off-grid venture hassle-free. Ideal for medium RVs or projects, this panel generates watts at 7. The weather resistant, 5-stage, amp charge controller is integrated into the panel to protect your volt battery from overcharging, while its large digital display helps you keep tabs on your power usage.

Get answers to FAQs, see installation guides, and learn the basics of off-grid solar. Use our interactive online map to find a certified Zamp dealer near you.

zamp solar install

Looking for more help or a custom solar solution? Cart 0. Sign In My Account. Innovative, high-quality solar solutions to help you thrive off-grid. Made in the USA. Inspired by our roots in Bend, OR. First Responders. Power to Respond. Power to Go.

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