Connecting your solar panels in parallel
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 | Admin
Greengoods4u offer a range of small off grid solar panel kits that may include more than one solar panel. We are often asked by customers whether the solar kits we sell that contain two panels are to be wired up in parallel or series. Within these kits we provide a branch connector, that connects both solar panels together in parallel.
The picture below shows two small solar panels connected in parallel (please excuse my photos!):-
When you connect the two panels together in parallel using the branch connectors, you are connecting positive to positive and the negative to negative; you will then run your solar cable to the charge control in the same manner as you would in running a single panel i.e. solar panel positive to charge control positive and solar panel negative to charge control negative. By using the branch connector, it keeps the cabling tidy and more importantly the connectors are IP rated.
Connecting both solar panels in parallel keeps the Voltage the same but increases the Amps. If you wanted to add a third panel (based on the panel having identical electrical characteristics), again the voltage would remain the same but you would increase the amps.
Using the 100W Ulica solar panel, you can see that the Voltage stays the same but you the Amps have increased. You may have noticed but if you multiply the Voltage by the Amps, you get the panels Watts :- 18.6V x 5.38A = 100W. In the above diagram is shows 3 x 100W panels; 18.6V x 16.14A = 300W.
Running your panels in parallel is more suited to an off-grid 12V caravan or motorhome etc. If you are looking for a grid connected solar system, then you would change the configuration to series which will increase the systems overall voltage.