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Connecting Solar Panels

Solar panels can be connected in a number of ways. The basic connections are either in series or parallel. The way the solar panels are connect determine the amount of power produced by your system. It is important to buy high quality solar panels that come with international certification.
Solar Panels in Series
The first method we will look at for connecting solar panels together is what’s known as “Series Wiring“. Connecting solar panels together in series is used to increase the total system voltage. Solar panels in series are generally used when you have a grid connected inverter or charge controller that requires 24 volts or more. To series wire the panels together you connect the positive terminal to the negative terminal of each panel until you are left with a single positive and negative connection.
Solar panels in series add up or sum the voltages produced by each individual panel, giving the total output voltage of the array as shown.
Solar Panels in Series 
solar panels series
Many systems fail due to poor connection. Consult a professional who knows the rating of the equipment to be put together. In the above example  connecting the three 12 volt panels with a current of 6 amps panels above we see that the solar panel array produces a total of 36 volts (12 +12+12) at 6 amps which gives us 216 watts of power using the formula volts x amps.  Strictly speaking there are many other variables that affect determine how much usable power your panels will produce.
 
Solar Panels in Parallel
 
We will now look at the second way of  connecting solar panels together which is known as Parallel Connection. When we connect solar panels in parallel we increase the total system current (amps). Solar panels in parallel produce more current while maintaining the same voltage.
Solar Panels in Parallel
When connecting solar panels in parallel all positive terminals from each panel are connected together while all negative terminals are connected together, leaving one positive and one negative terminal at the end. These two terminals are then wired to the charge controller or inverter.
solar panel parallel connection
In this example this solar array produces a current of 18 amps at a voltage of 12 giving out 216watts in power.
 

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