Guide To Solar Panel Wiring

Electrical Wiring Plans for Solar PanelsSolar panel wiring means connecting two or more solar panels together. Why would you want to wire several panels together? Wiring is helpful in cases when the existing solar panel gives an insufficient voltage to charge a battery, when it gives an insufficient current to power some appliances, or when it gives insufficient voltage and current. Instead of disposing of the smaller panel that you already have and trying to find a larger one that would perfectly meet your needs, you can simply wire your existing small solar panel with other small panels.

Solar panel wiring will let you achieve any voltage and current that you need to have in your solar-powered system. Connecting the panels together is not too complicated, and it can be learned and implemented by any DIY-inclined person to create the solar-powered systems that they need.

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There are 3 types of easy-to-learn wiring configurations:

1. Series wiring.
2. Parallel wiring.
3. Series/parallel wiring.

To better understand different wiring configurations, let's note that any DC (DC - direct electric current flowing steadily in one direction) generating device (a battery or a solar panel) has a negative and a positive terminal. In such devices, the current will flow from the negative (black) terminal to the positive (red) terminal.

Series Circuit
To wire any solar panels in series, you need to connect the positive (red) terminal of one panel to the negative (black) terminal of the other panel. With series solar panel wiring, the Voltage (Volts) is additive, while the Current (Amps) stays the same.

If we are connecting 2 solar panels (each unit rated 20 Volts at 5 Amps) in series, then this solar array will have the total system voltage of 40 Volts (20+20), and the total current of 5 Amps (unchanged).

Parallel Circuit
To wire any solar panel in parallel, you need to connect the positive (red) terminal of one panel to the positive (red) terminal of the other panel, and negative (black) terminal of one panel to the negative (black) terminal of the other panel. With parallel solar panel wiring, the Voltage (Volts) stays the same, while the Current (Amps) is additive.

If we are connecting 2 solar panels (each unit rated 20 Volts at 5 Amps) in parallel, then this solar array will have the total system voltage of 20 Volts (unchanged), and the total current of 10 Amps (5+5).

Series/Parallel Circuit
To wire any solar panels in series/parallel, first you need to connect the panels in series sets, and then connect each of these sets in parallel. This type of wiring is useful if, for instance, you wish to boost the solar array's charging capacity to 100 Amps, but you also need to keep the array at 80 Volts.

The individual sets of series circuits (4 panels at 20 Volt each) would give the desired voltage (80 Volts), while wiring five such sets in parallel circuits would give the required current (100 Amps).

Solar panel wiring is not as complex as it may first seem. Learning how to connect solar panels together will help you to get any voltage or current that you need to have in your system, in order to power any appliances that you wish to operate, to charge a battery, etc.

Want to know the secrets of wiring up your solar panels?

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