Wiring a house via solar panels or traditionally can be tricky. Fortunately, when it comes to solar panels, there are only two main options to choose from which will determine how your solar power system is going to work. You can either wire your solar panels in a series, or you can wire them in a parallel fashion.
The specific wiring option that you choose will depend entirely on the intention of your solar panels. To figure that out though, you need to know what is involved in both options. This mini-guide will go over the differences in both series and parallel solar panels, as well as the pros and cons of each option:
Smaller systems usually create the best solar panel series. To wire this option, you link different panels together to create one larger panel with a higher voltage (while the amps stay the same). With this method, just like when putting in a battery, the positive side of the pane connects to the negative side of the next panel and so on, to create a string circuit.
HES PV provides an easy-to-follow diagram.
In a solar panel series, the voltage adds up but the amps remain the same. For instance, if you created a 72-volt solar panel series, you could use three 12-volt solar panels, each with 5 amps. The amps would remain 5 but the voltage would be 72.
Pros of Solar Panels in Series
Most of the benefits for a series solar panel system are found when the system is being used for smaller jobs. If you are camping off-grid and want small appliances to work, or you are traveling in a camper with solar panels on the roof, this would be a good option for you.
Here are the pros of series solar panels:
Cons of Solar Panels in Series
Wiring solar panels in series is good for a lot of different and unique wiring situations. However, there are some drawbacks to this method of wiring.
Here are the cons of wiring with a solar panel series:
Solar Panels in Parallel
For the parallel solar panel wiring method, you are going to have to wire all of the positive terminals and all of the negative terminals of each panel together. This will create a continuous flow for your circuit to follow.
HES PV also provides an easy-to-follow diagram for parallel solar panels.
In a solar panel system with parallel wiring, the amps add up but the voltage remains the same. It is the exact opposite of solar panels in series, which is why this is better for bigger jobs.
Here are the pros and cons of the parallel solar panel wire formation.
Pros of Solar Panels in Parallel
Even though parallel solar panels are not the most used method of wiring, it definitely has its benefits.
Here are the pros of wiring your solar panels via the parallel method:
Cons of Solar Panels in Parallel
If you are powering a large area, there are a good number of benefits to parallel solar panels. However, there are some issues to this method that give a few solar panel enthusiasts pause.
Here are the cons that come from parallel solar panels:
In summation, as with most of the specific decisions you need to make when deciding which system will work for you, the right wiring method depends on your specific purpose. If you are looking for more voltage, the series solar panel wiring is going to work for you. If you are looking for more amps, you are going to want to go with the parallel solar panel wiring.