10AGW wire Connection to Renogy Charger

I have a 2015 Outback with no built in solar.  I use two 50W external Renogy panels via a Renogy controller and connect to my two 100A AGM batteries.  I monitor via a Victron Smart battery monitor.  I have questions.   

One: is there a better way to connect the panels to the controller. I have a Renogy 20' 10AGW sized braided wire to extend out to my solar panels.  It seems impossible to fit the size 10 braided wire into the small square connection of the controller.  I've used pliers to try to squeeze the wire into a small enough shape to fit into the connector, but the connection always seems tenuous to me, and sometimes fall out as it is moved around.  Is there some sort of connector that can be more securely attached to the wire that will slide into the connector, which I can then tighten securely.

Second question: Renogy calls for the battery to be connected first, and then the controller connected.  My renogy controller attaches to the battery via alligator clips, and the rest of the wiring is permanently wired to the controller and then to the solar panels. So any time I connect to the battery, the solar panels are already connected first.  The only way I can see to get around this is to unscrew the connectors to the panels each time I want to connect us..  That seems unwieldy.   Thanks for any suggestions.

Third question: I saw this deal for a 200W system, panels, controller, bluetooth module on Amazon for $260.  Any thoughts or feedback about this system?


  • Yoshi_TABYoshi_TAB Member Posts: 348

    Would a pin connector like this work for your application?  You'd have to make sure the pin fits your slot and wire AWG.

    2021 TAB 320 BD
    2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Southern Maryland
  • ParlandoParlando Member Posts: 123
    Thank you. Like you say, that might work if it will fits the slot and wire AWG.  I'll look it up.  Is it called a pin connector?
  • Grumpy_GGrumpy_G Member Posts: 430
    No problem with 10AWG connected to a Renogy Wanderer in a similar configuration here. I just played "follow the sun" for a whole week and it never came apart. 
    The funny thing about the note regarding connecting the battery first is that every portable setup that Renogy sells doesn't adhere to it as the panels are permanently connected to the controller. I think it's a CYA for larger installations with higher voltages/currents. 
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 3,579
    Those pins mentioned by Yoshi are "ferrules".  Some smart person on the FB page educated me about them.  You want the "crimp ferrule" type of connector, like these.
    I bought mine from Ferrules Direct. Amazon searching for these type will get you millions of the wrong type, in multiples of thousands!  At least at this link I got exactly what I needed, and only 50 of them!  You may  need to see what the AWG limits are here: my cables are 8awg and 10 awg, and the ferrules fit both.

    I have my solar controllers "free" and for years either had to deal with floppy cables working themselves out of the ridiculous solar controller "windows".  After crimping on the ferrule to the end of the cable, it snugs into the little window easily, and makes a firm connection to the controller.  (Don't overtighten, however!)
    With these ferrules, I attached short "pigtails" of SAE cables to the controller.  At the ends of the solar panel wiring I connected SAE plugs.  I can attach/detach the controller very easily. Like the photo below.

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • Yoshi_TABYoshi_TAB Member Posts: 348
    edited October 2023
    Hi, Parlando said:
      Is it called a pin connector?

    I believe that is what they are called.  You probably already found them.  

    I use a similar Renogy panel and it seems to work just fine.  The only thing you may need to watch out for is if you want a panel with a stand or one that is mountable.  I mistakenly ordered one for a hard mount when I wanted a stand.  The one in your link is for a hard mount (I believe) if that is what you want.  

    I think the order of connection for systems is to allow the charge controller to detect the battery voltage before sending any cirrent to the battery and also allow the charge controller to properly power up again before sending current.  I've read that you may blow a fuse in the controller if connected first to a panel,but like @Grumpy_G said, that maybe for larger systems.  I believe it's listed as a warning or caution in the manual.  I would try and figure a way to do it if possible.
    2021 TAB 320 BD
    2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Southern Maryland
  • MickerlyMickerly Member Posts: 334
    It would seem you could lay the panel face down. Connect to the trailer. then turn over the panel. No switches or menus required.
    2018 320CS-S
    "Just Enough"
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 600
    Regarding the referenced 200W Renogy kit, you want flexible panels, not rigid panels.  Depending on your power needs, you may want to consider getting panels larger than 100W.  Their larger 200W panels may fit your 320.  
    2019 T@b 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander 3.5L V6
    Bellingham WA
  • ParlandoParlando Member Posts: 123
    Thanks everyone.  By the way, I finally connected to someone at Renogy who explained two things to me. They said that the 10amp controller that I have, made in 2009, was sized for a maximum 12AGW wire, so my 10AGW wire was too large to fit well.  They have a 20amp controller that will accept a larger wire.  Also, Mickerly was correct, that you could first cover up the panels, connect to the battery, and then expose the panels to sunlight. However, that agent also said that if you were disconnecting the controller for a longer period of time, that it was best if you disconnected the controller from the panels.  I'm not sure why... its outside of my experience... just passing that info along.
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