Portable solar panels are suitable for producing clean energy. The portable design allows you to manage your space, easy transportation, shifting from rooftop to the backyard garden would not be challenging. The latest portable solar panel comes with various outputs enabling you to upgrade them quickly.
As you start using the portable solar panel in your home, you may think to upgrade the overall system after using it for several years. Extending the power of the movable solar panel would provide you with access to more clean energy. As your consumption increases, it is quick to add more parallel solar panels to increase the overall system’s capacity.
Before you decide on adding more solar panels, you should consider a few things to avoid trouble. Photovoltaic solar panels are very costly. Buying them in a large quantity would not be possible due to its high price. Therefore, it is suggested to purchase them over time to reduce the upfront cost.
The following guide will help you understand how to connect a new solar panel with the existing one and keeps the whole system running without upgrading.
Connect Solar panels in Series:
The solar panel with similar capacity or voltage can be connected in the Series with the “Series Wiring.” This is an easy solution to upgrade the solar range and output. The system works when you have a grid-connected inverter, which requires 24 volts or more charge.
Once the new panel is connected, it will increase the voltage. Assembling the solar panel using the series wires is eminent.
Connect the negative output to the next solar panel’s positive input and repeat the process until you left with one positive and one negative charge.
Electricity generated by each solar panel is directed to the primary grid and added to the battery storage system.
You will experience an increase in the voltage immediately as soon as it is installed.
The above image demonstrates how the Series of the solar panel is connected with the wires. Each panel is associated with another, allowing the negative electrons to move freely to positive charge output.
Remember, the solar panel works when you are using an identical voltage. You can see all these solar panels are of 6V / 3A output. The total voltage output combines and adds to the final voltage giving you more power to use.
All three panels will generate 18 volts at 3.0 amps or 54 watts of energy.
Connecting solar panels in Series with different voltage
Let’s look at the solar panel with the different voltage output connected using the Series of wires. The connection method is similar to the above, but the output you get from the positive grid will be different based on the panels’ total production.
As demonstrated above, you can see the solar panels are of all different voltages. Each of them is connected with the next solar panel enabling the electricity to pass easily from negative to the positive charge.
Individual solar panel voltage is added together. In this case, the amperage will be limited to the lowest voltage generating panel, as shown above. You get a total of 19 volts at 1.0 amp only.
The solar panel is capable of generating 69 watts, but due to low amperage, you cannot use the solar panel at its high efficiency. This shows the solar panel rated at 9 volts / 5 amps generates only 20% of its capacity.
The reduction in the output would lead to the wastage of money on the solar panel. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the solar panel with the different Series when connected them parallel. The whole system would cause less energy to flow in the grid.
Things to remember when connecting the multiple solar panels
The solar panel design is manufacture in a way that enables the users to upgrade it easily. Each panel will have a connector for the positive and negative charge output.
The Multiple solar panels in a 12 – 48 volt grid system come with various options such as parallel, Series, or a combination of both.
Let’s see how both Parallel Circuits and Series circuits work:
The solar panel with the parallel circuits would have multiple paths to connect wires. It concedes the current to move quickly from negative charge to lively without needing an additional system.
Remember, 100% functionality is entirely depending on the proper management of the circuit or the connector. If any of the courses are broken, the current will flow using the other path and completely ignore the non-working path.
You see this kind of circuit connection in the household electrical wiring. The one electric line is responsible for passing the electricity in one direction. For example, the equipment in the kitchen is separately connected to a single line.
If you turn off the kitchen appliance, it will not impact the other machine in the grid. Your other devices such as the refrigerator, the TV would be fully functional.
The electric current can change in the parallel solar panel system, but the voltage remains the same. For example, you have installed four solar panels with five voltage each and 5 amp. The output of this system would be 5 volts and 20 amps. You can see the total of the amp is used, and the voltage remains the same.
Series circuits use one path to pass the current to the final grid. The generated current moves through one wire system and handles all the loads while transferring the voltage.
Its one direction flow works only when the circuit is fully functioning or adequately connected. Breaking the chain would stop the entire Series from operating.
In the solar panel in a series, the voltage is additive, and amperage remains the same. The solar system with the four solar panels in Series with each panel rated 12 volts and five amps, the final output of the entire grid would be 48 volts and five amps.
if you want to connect your solar panels to an existing solar inverter, then I suggest to read this article.
How many appliances can be powered by portable solar panels?
Portable solar panels used in outdoor camping may not require high voltage for applications. Therefore, the small movable solar panel would be sufficient to charge your gadgets.
Energy consumption determines the solar panels needed to produce an adequate amount of energy for the appliances.
Heating appliances consume more energy; hence you may require bigger batteries and large size solar panels to generate the necessary power.
You can check the voltage specification given on the appliance to understand how much energy it will consume per hour. Based on the calculation, you can predict the requirement of the energy source.
The new generation solar panel comes with an easy installation system. You can upgrade the panel anytime and increase the overall output without needing much equipment or change in the existing system.
You should consult with the manufacturer and understand the upgrading process before buying a solar panel. Check for the parallel and Series wires connection on the board.
Once you know the basics of connecting the solar panel, you can add more solar panels later, making it more efficient.
Connecting solar panels in an immense array would not be complicated once you understand the core system. You can increase the capacity by adding more systems to the design and enjoying clean, free energy.
Know your requirement, note the electricity consumption in your grid, and make the decision based on the data you collect. Keep the total voltage above 20% of your required consumption to avoid an unexpected power cut. So plan your whole system after analyzing the current energy requirement of your home.
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Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.