# Should i switch off solar panels ?

#### Rufus Chucklebutty

Joined Mar 23, 2019
13
I have 500 w of solar PV which is laid on a flat roof of my houseboat , naturally it produces nothing significant at this time of year in that position so I boost the battery charge with a generator and digital charger, should I install a switch to isolate the solar panels before I charge with the back up generator ?

Can you switch off solar PV without damaging the panels ?

I'm thinking the backup charger will be sensing the battery voltage that is being kept higher by the solar although the solar is not adding any charge.

#### KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
605
Can you switch off solar PV without damaging the panels ?
The solar panels will not be damaged if you disconnect them from your charging system.
You may damage them by externally charging the batteries with them connected. It all depends on the configuration of the solar charger. It would definitely be safest to disconnect the panels and solar charging circuit when you are charging the battery with the generator.

Keith

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,261
What is the charge controller?
Some have solar panel inputs and mains inputs, and if there are different inputs for each, it will be ok to leave them connected. But if you are worried, by all means, switch them off.
But if you do want to switch off the panels, make sure you use a DC rated switch as the AC switches can fail when breaking an energized DC circuit. There has been quite a few problems with home solar power systems when some less than competent installers have saved money by using the AC switches instead.

#### ArakelTheDragon

Joined Nov 18, 2016
1,327
Yes, it all depends on the solar controller. I charge my battery without disconnecting the controller and some cheap one like this works for me.

#### Rufus Chucklebutty

Joined Mar 23, 2019
13
I've got an Epsolar MPPT 30 amp

Older type with no screen.

#### ArakelTheDragon

Joined Nov 18, 2016
1,327

#### Rufus Chucklebutty

Joined Mar 23, 2019
13
My main concern is the digital mains charger basing its charging cycle on not the true battery voltage but the higher voltage when the solar is producing voltage but no significant charging amps.

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,261
As you are connecting the charger to the battery direct, that is all the charger will see. It will not matter what the solar voltage is, the battery is the thing.

#### ArakelTheDragon

Joined Nov 18, 2016
1,327
It will be allright.