A Brief Description of Wiring Solar Panels in Series, Parallel and Series/Parallel
Part 2 of "Wiring Solar Panels"
Series vs. Parallel vs. Series/Parallel
- Series = voltage goes up, amperage (or current) stays the same
- Increased efficiency
- Opportunity to use smaller wire without increasing voltage drop
- Less wire used, fewer breakers/fuses need, etc.
- Potential for reduced installation costs
- More affected by shading than parallel or series/parallel
- If the space where the panels are mounted is wide open and there is not a major concern of shading, this can be a great option
- Need to consider the voltage limits of the MPPT which you are using
- Need to consider "what is up to code" for the situation in which you are installing the solar panels
- Parallel = amperage (current) goes up, voltage stays the same
- Most method of wiring when using a PWM Solar Charge Controller, instead of an MPPT
- Larger wire will be needed since the voltage is lower and the amperage (or current) is higher
- Refer to our previous blog for an illustration of this principle
- More wire, larger wire and more breakers/fuses will be needed
- Potential for higher installation costs
- Less affected by shading
- May be a better option if there is a high shading potential
- Series/parallel = both amperage and voltage go up
- In many cases, this can be the best of both worlds
- Efficiency benefits of higher voltage
- Shading benefits of parallel
Stay tuned for our next blog! We'll discuss common misconceptions about sizing an MPPT for your solar array.
For the link to Part 1, click here!
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