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How Series Vs Parallel Wired Solar Panels Affects Amps & Volts

How Series Vs Parallel Wired Solar Panels Affects Amps & Volts

The amps and volts of a solar panel array can be affected by how the individual solar panels are wired together. This blog post is going to teach you how the wiring of a solar panel array affects it’s voltage and amperage. The key takeaway to know is that ‘Solar Panels in Series Adds their volts together’ and ‘Solar Panels wired in Parallel adds their amps together.’

Tutorial Video:

Solar Array Volts & Amps Wiring Diagrams:

This diagram shows two, 5 amp, 20 volt panels wired in series. Since series wired solar panels get their voltages added while their amps stay the same, we add 20V + 20V to show the total array voltage and leave the amps alone at 5A. There is 5 Amps at 40 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows three, 4 amp, 24-volt panels wired in series. Since series wired solar panels get their voltages added while their amps stay the same, we add 24V + 24V + 24V to show the total array voltage of 72 Volts while the Amps remain at 4 Amps. This means there are 4 Amps at 72 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows Four, 6 amp, 18-volt panels wired in series. Since series wired solar panels get their voltages added while their amps stay the same, we add 18V + 18V + 18V + 18V to show the total array voltage of 72 Volts while the Amps remain at 6 Amps. This means there are 6 Amps at 72 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows five, 5 amp, 20-volt panels wired in series. Since series wired solar panels get their voltages added while their amps stay the same, we add 20V + 20V + 20V + 20V + 20V to show the total array voltage of 100 Volts while the Amps remain at 5 Amps. This means there are 5 Amps at 100 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows six, 8 amp, 23-volt panels wired in series. Since series wired solar panels get their voltages added while their amps stay the same, we add 23V + 23V + 23V + 23V + 23V + 23V to show the total array voltage of 138 Volts while the Amps remain at 8 Amps. This means there are 8 Amps at 138 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows two, 8 amp, 23-volt panels wired in parallel. Since parallel wired solar panels get their amps added while their volts stay the same, we add 8A + 8A to show the total array amps of 16 Amps while the Volts remain at 23 Volts. This means there are 16 Amps at 23 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

This diagram shows three, 6 amp, 18-volt panels wired in parallel. Since parallel wired solar panels get their amps added while their volts stay the same, we add 6A + 6A + 6A to show the total array amps of 18 Amps while the Volts remain at 18 Volts. This means there are 18 Amps at 18 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

The above diagram shows four, 5 amp, 20-volt panels wired in parallel. Since parallel wired solar panels get their amps added while their volts stay the same, we add 5A + 5A + 5A + 5A to show the total array amps of 20 Amps while the Volts remain at 20 Volts. This means there are 20 Amps at 20 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

The above diagram shows five, 9 amp, 18-volt panels wired in parallel. Since parallel wired solar panels get their amps added while their volts stay the same, we add 9A + 9A + 9A + 9A + 9A to show the total array amps of 45 Amps while the Volts remain at 18 Volts. This means there are 45 Amps at 18 Volts coming into the solar charge controller.

The above diagram shows a four-panel array using 5 Amp, 20 Volt panels wired in a series-parallel configuration of 2-panel series strings wired in parallel (2s2p). First, we need to find the volts and amps of the series wired strings of solar panels. Since solar panels wired in series add their voltages together while the amps stay the same, we add 20V + 20V. This means that each series string in this series-parallel configuration is 5 Amps at 40 Volts. Since the two 5A – 40V series strings are then wired in parallel, we add the amps while not changing the volts because parallel wired solar panels (or series strings) get their amps added while their volts remain the same. Adding 5A + 5A from the series strings and leaving the volts the same as the series wired strings gives us an array of 10 Amps at 40 Volts.

The above diagram shows a six-panel array using 5 Amp, 20 Volt panels wired in a series-parallel configuration of 3-panel series strings wired in parallel (3s2p). First, we need to find the volts and amps of the series wired strings of solar panels. Since solar panels wired in series add their voltages together while the amps stay the same, we add 20V + 20V + 20V. This means that each series string in this series-parallel configuration is 5 Amps at 60 Volts. Since the two 5A – 60V series strings are then wired in parallel, we add the amps while not changing the volts because parallel wired solar panels (or series strings) get their amps added while their volts remain the same. Adding 5A + 5A from the series strings and leaving the volts the same as the series wired strings gives us an array of 10 Amps at 60 Volts.

The above diagram shows a six-panel array using 8 Amp, 23 Volt panels wired in a series-parallel configuration of 2-panel series strings wired in parallel (2s3p). First, we need to find the volts and amps of the series wired strings of solar panels. Since solar panels wired in series add their voltages together while the amps stay the same, we add 23V + 23V. This means that each series string in this series-parallel configuration is 8 Amps at 46 Volts. Since the three 8A – 46V series strings are then wired in parallel, we add the amps while not changing the volts because parallel wired solar panels (or series strings) get their amps added while their volts remain the same. Adding 8A + 8A + 8A from the series strings and leaving the volts the same as the series wired strings gives us an array of 24 Amps at 46 Volts.

The above diagram shows an eight-panel array using 5 Amp, 20 Volt panels wired in a series-parallel configuration of 4-panel series strings wired in parallel (4s2p). First, we need to find the volts and amps of the series wired strings of solar panels. Since solar panels wired in series add their voltages together while the amps stay the same, we add 20V + 20V + 20V + 20V. This means that each series string in this series-parallel configuration is 5 Amps at 80 Volts. Since the two 5A – 80V series strings are then wired in parallel, we add the amps while not changing the volts because parallel wired solar panels (or series strings) get their amps added while their volts remain the same. Adding 5A + 5A from the series strings and leaving the volts the same as the series wired strings gives us an array of 10 Amps at 80 Volts.

Check your Comprehension

Here is a quiz you can take to check yourself and see if you understand this blog post:


Nate

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Hey, Nate. I applaud your photon passion! Love the easy to understand delivery of the complex material!

We have (2) 206ah 12v LiFePO4 batteries, 4x200W 12v Rich Solar Panels, and a 60A Solar Charge Controller.

We took your "series vs parallel page" as gospel and got so excited and wired them all in series.

Now that the wires are secured/panels mounted on roof rails, we've been advised that it may be best to wire them in Series-Parallel.

Want to take your advice "Do it right. Do it once" before doing the interior of the van.

Do you think it would be worth it to re-do the configuration to 2s2p before proceeding or leaving them all in series?

Brady Parker

Saturday 21st of August 2021

Thanks for the quiz and your videos we have 2 190 watt panels and are adding 2 more of the same size I found videos be very helpful

Andrew Kozma

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Very Hopeful thanks for sharing

Nick Mullin

Monday 28th of June 2021

Love the quiz. I didn’t see the answers anywhere but feel like I got them right after watching your videos. So, I have 6 - 100 watt solar panels at 12v optimum operating current at 5.56A and short circuit at 5.81A. I’m going to run two in series and I’ll have three in parallel. This will allow me to make them at 24V and still get 600 watts. My charge controller is a hybrid 1400 watt - with a 600 solar and 800 watt windmill. So I purchased a 800 watt windmill as well. What kind of fuse should I get for this set up?

My inverter is the Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter (2 AC Outlets):3000W Rated,6000W peak. Not sure if this makes any difference for the fuse requirement.

Thanks!!!

Shane wright

Saturday 26th of June 2021

The quiz is great and you should continue