Deployable Solar Install

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Today was a fun little project! I installed an SAE port on a custom Ram Promaster van so the owners could easily hook up a deployable (portable) solar panel. Easy install, and everyone’s happy!

The installation process was simple, starting with the outside portion:

  1. Determine a good location to drill a hole in the van
  2. Use masking tape to make an “X” (two layers, laid out perpendicular to each other) on the spot
  3. Drill a small pilot hole (1/8″) to guide the larger hole saw bit
  4. Use the 7/8″ hole saw to drill the hole
  5. Remove the masking tape
  6. Apply Dicor (non-sag version) on the SAE weatherproof socket
  7. Put the socket in the van
  8. Use some corrosion-resistant self-tapping screws to secure the socket

And the inside portion:

  1. Mount the solar charge controller on the wall
  2. Hook up the cables from the SAE socket to the PV input on the solar charge controller
  3. Add wires from the battery input on the solar charge controller to the battery, utilizing the ring terminals

Parts & Tools used in this install: