Should I fuse my solar panels ?
I should add that I’m using two 200W folding panels in series
Fuses are to protect the wiring, not the product, from excess current flow, which heats up the wiring and possibly causing a fire.
I doubt it’s needed for a small portable array, but there’s no downside other than the cost.
Having said that, with more and more people mounting solar panels on camper vans, there are a lot of possible problems that could come from a car crash, so you’d want all wiring fused. That’s why you see so many fuses in a vehicle where all wiring is fused; radio, headlights, turn signals, horn, etc.
My car has so many fuses that they could not put them all in one place (glove box). When you open the trunk you see even more in the battery compartment. Of course, some are for various options so not every fuse holder has a fuse; heated seats, telephone (obviously before cell phones), gps navigation, etc.
When I was building my own battery backup system several years ago, they said to fuse everything, even every battery lead as some lead acid batteries could short out internally. When checking prices, those high amp fuses and holders were going to run up the costs, plus I would need spares if they blew.
Then I discovered DC circuit breakers. No only were they much cheaper to buy but you won’t need spares. Note that there is a MAJOR difference between DC breakers and house AC breakers like you’ll find at Home Depot.
AC breakers depend on the alternating current dropping to zero to break the circuit. If you try an AC breaker in a DC circuit, it will arc over internally, possibly melting the circuit breaker and keeping the circuit live!
DC breakers are designed to make sure the current does not arc over, for it’s current rating.
I’m still using these breakers as on/off switches to my solar arrays so I can cut power before working on them, and for the occasional thunderstorms (pretty rare in Vegas but we do get them). No doubt a direct lightning strike would fry them, same as your house circuit breakers, but maybe it could ward off an indirect hit from nearby.
St8kout, i use the DC fuses as well as a turn off for maintenance purposes. I am in Vegas as well, and are experiencing T-storms tonight…ha ha, you put whammy on it. Lol
I fused all the panels on the van roof. But noticed neither Bluetti or the foldable panel manufacturer mentioned fusing. I thought I would consider putting a 10a fuse in between the AC200max and the panels (short circuit current 6.84 )