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Plastic Melted on Anderson Plug

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  • Plastic Melted on Anderson Plug

    Plastic melted together on two Anderson Plugs this weekend, and thoughts why?

    Anderson Plug Melted.jpg
    Not the best pic, but you can see the red plug is fine, but the black connector is melted together.

    These are 100 watt panels, putting put around 18 volts and an IOC of around 6 amps. I had four in parallel, each string had a 10 amp circuit breaker, and no breakers tripped. The Anderson plugs are rated at 30 amps, and should not have seen a greater of 6 amps through it. It goes:

    Solar Panels --> 10 amp Circuit breakers Connected with Anderson Plugs
    Then
    Circuit Breaker --> Combiner with 10 gauge wire in screw terminals.
    Then
    Combiner --> SCC with 10 gauge wire with MC4 connectors

    I have four of these portable 100 watt panels, and I thing it melted because the wiring from the back of the panel on the diode box is too skinny:

    Lion Energy Solar Panels Diode Box.jpg
    Hard to tell from the picture, but the cable consists of two pair wire where the entire cable is about as thick as 6 gauge wire, but each of the two pairs is 16 AWG, which to me is way to skinny to be putting 6 amps through, never mind these panels come from the factory with connections to place up to four of them in parallel which means 24 amps at 12 volts would be flowing through that 16 gauge wire.

    What I'm thinking of doing to fix this is to remove the factory wiring and replace this with 12 gauge wires. My roof mounted Renogy 100 watt panels I have use 12 gauge wires coming off the panel to an MC4 connector, so me doing the same to these panels would match Renogy's specs.

    These 400 watts of portable panels produced more KWh than my 600 watts roof mounted. When the roof mounted was flat, they produced 40% more; when the roof mounted were tilted, these portable panels produced 10% more. The portable panel surplus was most noticeable and also got me three or four hours extra of production with me tilting them towards the sun at sunrise and sunset.

  • #2
    Heat melts plastic.
    High resistance causes heat
    Poor contacts cause high resistance
    I suspect, that since Anderson connectors are designed for very tough conditions, it was not the connector that heated up, but the point where the user attached the wire to the connector.

    Did both male & female halfs of the connector melt, or just one wire ??
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      High resistance for sure but these days you also have to worry about inferior copycat products. Deans connectors are often copied and sold as the genuine article. A few second-tier manufacturers have been caught off-guard when they purchased connectors they thought were Deans but were not. Usually it is only the DIY crowd that falls for that trick when they buy on eBay, Amazon or AliExpress.
      Dave W. Gilbert AZ
      6.63kW grid-tie owner

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
        Heat melts plastic.
        High resistance causes heat
        Poor contacts cause high resistance
        I suspect, that since Anderson connectors are designed for very tough conditions, it was not the connector that heated up, but the point where the user attached the wire to the connector.

        Did both male & female halfs of the connector melt, or just one wire ??
        Only the negative wire melted.

        I really need to take a better look, but appears that the panel side melted, but I'm going to take a closer look. I may need to get the dremel out to cut the melted plastic apart to get a good look. From the pic it looks like the crimp on the negative wire, panel side may have been the hotspot.

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