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600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram & Kit List

This is a 600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram with a complete list of DIY parts needed and kits available.

Use this as a guide to fitting your RV, campervan, motorhome or caravan solar setup.

We’ve designed the diagram so it’s simple to understand for newbies to campervan electrics.

Campervan electrics can be dangerous so if you’re not sure what you’re doing or don’t feel confident to complete a solar setup yourself, seek the help of an electrician.

This post is one part in our DIY campervan solar system series which includes 12v solar panel wiring diagrams for other sizes too.

Need help & advice with your electrical setup?

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What Can A 600 Watt Solar Panel Power?

How much 600w solar power systems can support depends on a number of variables including the time of year, the weather, your location and the type of charge controller you install.

But here’s an idea of what you might expect to get on an average day of 4 peak hours of sun with an MPPT controller.

600 watts of solar panels will provide about 180 – 192 amp hours per day. 

That’s about enough to run:

  • a power inverter for a TV, charging laptops and a coffee maker,
  • a good sized, energy efficient fridge, 
  • recharge a plenty of small devices on a USB like phones, tablets and kindles,
  • run your roof vent during day and night to stop condensation
  • keep a composting toilet’s fan running 24/7,
  • run a diesel heater during winter and
  • switch on LED lights inside the campervan.

Bear in mind this is based on an average sun light day. 

A 600w solar system gives a good couple of days in reserve, depending on usage and without other sources of recharging.

If you intend living in a camper in the winter months, 600w is sweet.

You may not be able to replenish the batteries everyday so consider what level of contingency you need to avoid cycling the batteries more than necessary.

Who Will Suit A 600 Watt Solar Panel System?

A 600 watt solar setup is a good size for a couple or small family with a large RV or camper with roof space for the panels.

It can support wild camping or boondocking in your RV for long periods year round with careful use and monitoring of the battery levels.

A 600w system will support an entire campervan electrical system 100% off solar, year round. No need for shore power or driving.

Though you’ll always need to monitor usage and battery levels, with a solar system this size, you’ll comfortably have enough power to meet the needs of 4 people.

If your ideal solar system is even larger than 600w, or more importantly, if you have space on your roof for more panels, build the system with scaleability in mind.

You can add panels and batteries in the future without having to replace the more expensive components of the solar system.

You could consider extra juice from a portable solar panel system but that’s for another post.

600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagrams

There’s a few points worth clarifying about these wiring diagrams before you get into the detail:

  • The wiring diagrams shows only the supply side installation of a 600 watt solar panel system. They goes as far as charging the battery. For the load side detail, check out our post on campervan wiring
  • They exclude charging the battery from shore power or the alternator. 
  • This set up needs a minimum of 220 – 270ah of battery so the diagrams have 2 x 12v batteries wired in parallel.
  • For more information on how to fit the batteries or to wire them in series if using 6v batteries, see our post on campervan batteries.
  • The diagrams also excludes wiring a power inverter – it sits on the load side of the battery.
  • The first 2 diagrams below show a 600 watt solar panel wiring diagram wired in parallel and series with 3 x 200w panel configurations.
  • The 3rd diagram shows a 600 watt set wired in a combination of parallel and series with 6 x 100w panel configurations.
  • For a full breakdown of the detail, comparisons and even an interactive calculator for mixed panels, check out our complete guide to wiring your solar panels in series or parallel.

600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram in Series with 3 x 200w panels

600 watt solar panel wiring diagram series

600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram in Parallel with 3 x 200w panels

600 watt solar panel wiring diagram parallel

600 Watt Solar Panel Wiring Diagram in Series & Parallel with 6 x 100w panels

600 watt solar panel wiring diagram series parallel

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Interactive RV Wiring Diagram

DIY 600 Watt Solar Panel Parts List

This is a list of every component you need for a 600 watt solar panel setup on your RV or campervan.

Solar Panels

Solar panels harvest sunlight, converting it to electricity.

There are different types of solar panels but we recommend using monocrystalline as they’re the most efficient. 

6 x 100w Rigid Monocrystalline

100w Rigid Monocrystalline

Enter coupon code MowgliAdventures for 10% off at Renogy.com

3 x 200w Rigid Monocrystalline

200w Rigid Monocrystalline

Enter coupon code MowgliAdventures for 10% off at Renogy.com

Read more: A complete Guide to the Best Campervan Solar Panels

Solar Charge Controller

Solar charge controllers regulate the current from the panels to a safe level so it can charge the batteries.

A 50A controller is adequate for a 600 watt solar power setup, though a 60A is more readily available.

At this size and investment, we recommend installing the MPPT controller.

A PWM controller is a fraction of the cost of a MPPT but the considerable loss of harvested energy would offset the cost of the larger system.

MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Enter coupon code MowgliAdventures for 10% off at Renogy.com

If you think you may want to scale up your solar capacity in the future, consider a higher rated device and it’ll be more cost effective in the long term. 

Check out our complete guide on how to select the right solar charge controller for your setup.

And if you need to know what size to get, use our interactive solar charge controller calculator.

How Many Batteries Do I Need For A 600w Solar Panel?

How large a battery bank you need depends largely on how much power you use and even when you use it. Use our solar battery bank calculator to work out how much energy you use each day, and what size battery bank you need to meet that level.

That said, a battery bank stores the power generated from your solar panels. If you don’t have a large enough battery bank, you could potentially waste the energy you’ve worked so hard to harvest.

A 600W solar panel setup could generate as much as 50ah of power per peak hour. However, how many peak hours of sun you can reasonably expect to receive differs by location, time of year and the weather.

In the US, you’re unlikely to get much more than 5 or 6 hours of peak sun conditions in mid summer. Therefore, a 600w solar panel system will generate a maximum of 250-300ah per day.

Although you may use some of that energy as you generate it, it’s more simple and prudent to err on the side of caution. So the minimum size battery bank you need for a 600w set up is 300ah – more if you don’t install Lithiums.

You may have more than one charging source or want some contingency so you can of course increase that size as much as you like.

There are 3 types of campervan batteries. We recommend choosing Gel or Lithium-ion, though AGM batteries are also popular.

Lithium Ion Battery

Enter coupon code MowgliAdventures for 10% off at Renogy.com

If space isn’t a major issue, you’ll never be unhappy of a bigger battery so always go up a size rather than down.

Use our battery sizing calculators to get the right size and type for your needs:

Solar Battery Bank Calculator
Battery Life Calculator & Comparison Table

Fittings

Solar Panel Mounting Brackets

Solar Panel Mounting Brackets

Enter coupon code MowgliAdventures for 10% off at Renogy.com

These allow you to mount the solar panel to your van without needing to drill holes in the roof. You need one pack for every panel.

Always resist any urge to breach your roof.

Read more: Solar Panel Mounting Ideas for Campers

MC4 Connectors

MC4 Connectors

Solar panels come with about a metre of cable so not normally long enough to reach your battery bank. 

MC4 connectors are rated to cope with the current and are weather proof so you can extend the cable.

For wiring 3 panels in parallel, you need 1 single pair of MC4 cable connectors and a pair of T branch MC4 connectors.

For wiring 3 panels in series, you need 1 single pair of MC4 cable connectors.

For wiring 6 panels – 2 pairs of 3 in series then both strings in parallel, you need 1 pair of Y branch connectors and 1 single pair of MC4 cable connectors.

Solar Panel Cable

Solar Panel Cable

The point of using different colours is to easily identify the negative and positive wires. 

If you can’t get red, use the black cable and mark it with red electrical tape or heat shrink.

Measure how much extension cable you need before you buy. 

For both the positive and negative sides, you need enough to run from the end of the existing solar panel cables to the battery, via the solar charge controller and kill switch.

Solar Panel Gland Seal

Solar Panel Gland Seal

Sadly, the only way to run the solar cable into the van is by drilling a hole. Plug it up and make it water tight with a gland seal.

Fuse Holder

Fuse Holder

This sits between the solar charge controller and the battery cut off switch.

ANL fuse holders are easier to mount than in-line holders. However, the fuses needed for these are more difficult to find than the standard blade fuses

Bear this in mind if you’re travelling to areas where online shopping may not be an option.

When wiring in series, the fuse between the solar panel and the solar charge controller should be 1.3 times the size of the lowest Optimum Operating Current of the panels in the array (see the back of the panel for their specification).

When wiring in parallel, the fuse between the solar panel and the solar charge controller should be 1.3 times the total of the Optimum Operating Currents of all the panels in the array (see the back of the panel for their specification).

2 x 1250 Amp Battery Cut Off Switches

1250 Amp Battery Cut Off Switches

Cut off switches on the battery supply line and the circuit supply lines allow the battery to be isolated.

The battery cut off switch must be greater than the total capacity of the battery bank.

If you want to upscale in the future, it’s worth fitting a larger one now to save changing it later.

Battery Terminal Eyes / Wire Lugs

Battery Terminal Eyes / Wire Lugs

These allow you to connect the cable to the battery. 

Choose a lug size rated greater than your wire gauge and with an eye large enough to fit on the battery terminal.

1/4” Red & 1/4” Black Heat Shrink

1/4” Red & 1/4” Black Heat Shrink

Heat shrink seal electrical joints to cover the bare wires.

On this solar install, you’ll need it to connect the inline or ANL fuse and the battery terminal connectors.

Sikaflex 221 (Panel Adhesive)

Sikaflex 221 (Panel Adhesive)

Use this adhesive to secure the solar panel mounts to the van roof.

It’s a bit messy, so wear latex gloves when applying it.

You need about 4 or 5mm of sealant between the bracket and the panel for a robust bond. It takes about 24 hours on a dry day to cure.

Fuses and wires must be rated for the system’s load and cable run length. We’ve covered everything you need to know in our campervan wiring post.

600 Watt Solar Panel Kit

If you’d prefer to avoid shopping around, you can buy pre-configured solar panel kits

They usually include the solar panel, solar charge controller and mounting brackets. Some include extension wires.

If you opt to buy a solar kit, check what’s included and what additional things you’ll need to buy. 

And make sure it makes economical sense.

This 600 watt solar panel includes:

  • 6 x 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • 40A MPPT Charge Controller (for a series & parallel combined configuration)
  • all cables and connectors
  • mounting brackets
  • fuse holders & fuses.

You need to buy the cable entry housing and battery separately.

How To Install 600 Watt Solar Panel System

Our guide details everything you need to install a campervan solar panel system.

It’s written to suit any size of system so it makes reference to how to install multiple panels.

It may come in useful when considering upscaling your setup though.

There’s also a section about the tools you need to install your campervan solar panels. 

Some of these tools can be quite expensive so unless you expect to get a lot of use out of them in the future, try to borrow them where possible.

We do encourage you to invest in a multimeter though and keep it in your campervan toolkit while travelling and living in your van.

Check out our complete guide for how to use a digital multimeter in your camper.

It’s on our van life essentials list for good reason!

RavenOnCa

Saturday 4th of June 2022

What size cables should I use to connect my 2 200AH batteries? I just purchased a 600W kit from Renogy, with 2 200Ah batteries...would of been great if Renogy included a how to booklet, or told you what additional cables etc you still need to buy. The little bit of paperwork, or the three little booklets, don't help much, and seeing I cannot find a direct phone number for Renogy, it's a little hard to contact them for help. Email replys are 2-3 days sometimes.

Elmer Haapala

Monday 21st of June 2021

I have 4 175 watt panels to a 60a mppt rover controller I want to install. What would be best set up on 12 volt 4 flooded cell system parallel, series parallel or series? (may up grade batteries next year). Class a motor home. batt approx 15 ft from panels

Angela and Graham

Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

Hi Elmer The batteries are don't matter - only that the controller can cope with the wiring configuration.

Use the calculator in this post to enter your panel details and it will show you which config will result in least losses. This should help you sort it out, but let us know if you need more help.

Marie

Sunday 25th of April 2021

Hello,

Is there a greater benefit using 3 200W solar panels vs 2 300W solar panels? My first instinct is to have 2 but wanted to check to see why you suggested 3 vs 2.

Thanks in advance

Angela and Graham

Sunday 25th of April 2021

Hi MarieIt makes no difference really. You'll need fewer connectors and cable with 2 panels instead of 3. You can see the wiring diagram for 2 panels in this post. Just size the MPPT controller for 600w instead of 400w.RegardsGraham

Cheryl

Friday 5th of February 2021

can i connect this 600watt system to a 3000 watt pure sine inverter and plug my rv directly into the inverter?

Cheryl

Saturday 6th of February 2021

@Angela and Graham, Last summer we had 4 ` 100w solar panels running to 2 30a controllers. We had 4 older deep cycle batteries running to the 3000w inverter. We plugged our rv power cord into the inverter and ran off solar all day plus were able to make coffee in am and watch a couple of movies at night. Im just wondering if its ok to do it this way or if we wll damage anything.

We are upgrading to a 60a controller and 6 - 100w panels with 2 - 100a lithium batteries this year.We run our fridge on lp and only need power for coffee in am, the odd short microwave spurt, led lights and the furnace fan in spring and fall.

We chg phones also. We are total newbies and dont require alot of power.

Angela and Graham

Friday 5th of February 2021

Hi Cheryl. You can use a 3000w inverter connected to the battery bank. Just remember that if you fully load the inverter, it will draw around 250 amps every hour so make sure you can generate enough electricity to meet the demand. With 4 hours of peak sun. you'd need 750w of solar to generate enough electricity for 1 hour of a fully loaded 3000w inverter. Check the inverter calculator for more info on this https://mowgli-adventures.com/inverter-calculator-solar/. I'm not sure what you mean when you ask if you can plug the RV directly into the inverter. Can you explain what you're trying to achieve so I can try to help? Thanks Graham

Dk

Sunday 27th of December 2020

I’m looking to install a 600 watt solar setup. I will be using the Renogy DCC50S 12V 50A DC-DC controller. Stated above is that this setup is recommended for 220-300ah minimum. However, I am looking to only get two 100ah lithium batteries for a total of 200ah. Is there any reason this solar setup would not work with a 200ah battery combination?

Angela and Graham

Sunday 27th of December 2020

Hi, You can generate as much power as you can and either use it, store it or lose it. Given most of us use at least some of the power during the day when the solar is kicking out charge, you don't need a battery to store everything it can produce. I should probably clarify that point in the post so thanks for pointing it out. Check your load isn't greater than what you can generate, and wire your panels so the total voltage is within the range of the DC-DC charger (I think it's 25v for the model you've mentioned) and you should be good. Graham