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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

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Jesse

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

I have three of these panels Q.PEAK DUO L-G5.2 395watt When I test the back of each panel, it only reads 42Volts but the panel specs say it should be 48.74. Why is this so low?

The amps are reading 9.5-9.6 and should be 9.7 according to the spec sheet.

Can it be the diode? The bypass? What does this mean when the voltage is not as it should be?

Charles

Thursday 25th of August 2022

I have a 24v all in one power unit and 4 12v batteries hooked up in a series parallel configuration and 10 20v 5 amp panels what would be the best configuration

Nas

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

Hi, Great posts and I have perfectly understood everything except how the charge controller charges the battery bank with the same amperage whether wired in series or in parallel? Not sure what I'm doing wrong, if you wouldn't mind clarifying l. Thanks

Lyndon H

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

How do I get the correct number of panels and wire them to make the most of my system...

48v is the nominal DC input voltage for battery, it is not the PV input voltage.

For 8kw inverter, it has two 60A inbulit solar controllers. The PV input range of each controller is 60v-145v, and the max input power of each controller is 3500w

Francis Apel

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

I have an 40AMP MPPT controller with the following specs: Maximum PV Input Voltage 150, Maximum Input of PV System 600W/12V. I have 3 solar panels with the following specs: 190 Watt, 9.45 Amps, 20.4 Volts.

My question is can I add an additional 190 Watt panel, because in "real life" my 3 panels will NEVER reach their max 190 watts. The number I have seen is solar panels will reach ONLY up to something like 75% of their rating.

Thank you in advance. I have not yet seen this "True Wattage" addressed.