Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel





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  1. #1
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    Default Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    When connecting two solar panels (12v), do you connect them in series to gain more volts, or in parrallel to gain more amps..

    I overheard an dicussion, stating connect in series, so if it is overcast you will get more volts for charging...

    Kindly advise.

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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptein Jack View Post
    When connecting two solar panels (12v), do you connect them in series to gain more volts, or in parrallel to gain more amps..

    I overheard an dicussion, stating connect in series, so if it is overcast you will get more volts for charging...

    Kindly advise.
    There are things you can do, and should do.
    This is something you shouldn't do.

    I wouldn't, for a 12V setup, put two (17V iirc) solar panels in series if it is overcast.
    The risk you run is if you get a little more sunshine than would give around 17V, (ie potentially around 30V on good sun) you risk providing an overvoltage to the regulator, potentially blowing it.

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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    What is the maximum input for your charge controller - VOC and Amps.

    What is the rated VOC and Watts of your panels?

    Charging is not just a voltage game.

    If in series, and one panel has some shade on it, the entire string will be limited.

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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel


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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Do you want a 12V system (parallel) or a 24V system (series)?
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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    The purpose would be to charge two aux batts connected in parrallel in my vehicle

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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    With some controllers you can go series to a certain limit in volts. With overcast conditions the series connection will helps a bit that controller kick in quicker, other wise nothing to gain. Parallel have certain advantages, if one panel is in shade etc then charging is reduced due to the one and not for all panels.
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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptein Jack View Post
    The purpose would be to charge two aux batts connected in parrallel in my vehicle
    Thus a 12V system.
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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Just do the Parallel thing.....
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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    Just do the Parallel thing.....
    Absolutely ! If you go Series then you loose the whole string of panels, if you get into partial shade situations eg under a nice tree ...
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    Default Re: Connecting solar panels in series or parrallel

    Valid points already raised in this thread.
    Ultimately in small systems like we typically use for camping it is much of a muchness, series over parallel won't give you any real advantages.

    Yes if your controller can handle higher volts you can go series, this will result in higher charge voltages and lower current, which might also be favourable for cable sizes.

    However the problem with series wiring which is a reality in our camping aplication is shading. If you have your panels in series and one of the panels goes in to the shade, your entire solar array will basically be dragged down to that level. Where if your panels are in paralell, only that specific panel in the shade will have reduced output, the panels out in the sun will still perform well.

    For camping stay with parallel wiring in my opinion.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2020/03/08 at 11:51 AM.
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