# The Basics of Solar Panel Wiring

Dec 17
10:40

2009

Jakob Jelling

The trick to writing your solar panels is to choose the method that is going to conduct the most energy efficiency. To do this you want to improve the power current, and increase voltage. There are basically three different ways that you can use wiring to achieve your solar panel energy needs. These three different modes of wiring include parallel wiring, series wiring, and combining the two as series/parallel wiring. The circuit connections are made the same if you are using batteries or solar modules.

Parallel wiring is what is going to increase the current of energy in the items you are wiring. For a parallel circuit, you will always connect the positive end of the first battery to the positive end of the next battery, repeat on the negative side by connecting the negative end of the first battery to the negative end of the second. This repeats until you have all the batteries you require connected. For example if you had a solar module that was 16 volts and produced 4.3 amps then connecting two together would give you 16 volts at 8.6 amps. Whenever you are doing your solar panel wiring with parallel circuits you aren’t increasing the voltage, only the current or amp hours.

When you want to increase your voltage in your solar panel system through solar panel wiring you want to use a series circuit to accomplish your design. In this circuit design you would line up your solar modules and connect the positive terminal of the first one to the negative terminal of the next, this would continue until you had the suitable amount of voltage required for your energy needs. An example of the result in this situation would be: if you had two solar modules that produced 6 volts at 3 amps, then connecting the two devices serially would get you 12 volts at 3 amps. Solar panel wiring this way increases voltage, but not the current.

Now we come to series/parallel circuits. These are simple series circuits that are connected together in parallel circuits. You want to use this solar panel wiring method if you want to increase both your voltage and your current in your battery configuration. If you have a need to construct this type of system (you might need higher voltage and more current with a change in appliances) then you are best to start by constructing a series to get the correct amount of voltage you need.  You do this as the above section on series wiring outlines.

You connect the number of batteries you need in sets, so if you have 17 volt solar modules and need 34 then you connect two sets in series. After that is done you connect the two series circuits in parallel until both series circuits are connected.

Remember that you are dealing with power supplies, so if you are not totally confident in your numbers or connections, ensure you consult with a solar panel wiring expert.

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