Connecting your solar panels in series
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. However if you are looking to increase the Voltage output but keep the Amps low, then you would connect your panels in series.
The picture below shows two small solar panels connected in series (please excuse my photos!):-
When you connect the two panels together in series (daisy chaining the panels together), you are connecting positive 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. This is not limited to two panels but you must make sure that the you are using a suitable charge control or grid-tied inverter.
Connecting both solar panels in series keeps the Amps the same but increases the Voltage. If you wanted to add a third panel (based on the panel having identical electrical characteristics), again the Amps would remain the same but you would increase the overall Voltage.
Using the 100W Ulica solar panel, you can see that the systems Amps stay the same but the Voltage has 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; 55.8V x 5.38A = 300W.
Running your panels in series is more suited to an off-grid 24V+ system or a grid connected system. If you are looking for a 12V off grid solar system for your caravan or motorhome, then you would change the configuration to parallel which will increase the systems overall Amps.