How To Connect Two Three Four 100 Watt Solar Panels?

By Matthew Joseph Nandirio •  Updated: 07/12/22 •  8 min read

Installing one 100W solar panel is relatively easy; you can just mount them and connect the wires with components. But have you thought about two, there, or four 100W solar panels? How can you install them and connect them together?

Well, that’s what I’m here for. I will show you ways to connect more than one 100W solar panel and squeeze the best out of it. There are several ways you can put up multiple solar panels. Here I’ll tell you all about them.

Solar Inverter
Solar Inverter

You will get to know the advantage and disadvantages of each connection at the end, which will help you make the best decision. So, let’s get into business.

How To Connect Two or Three or Four 100 Watt Solar Panels?

You can connect two, three, four, or even more 100-watt solar panels together. But for that, you have to know how to do it. There are two different ways you can connect multiple 100W solar panels. They are series and parallel.

Connecting two, three, and four 100-watt solar panels can be intimidating. But I will tell you how to install 100 watt solar panel when you have more than one panel. Solar panels can be installed in either series or parallel circuits.

Series Connection

Here’s how you can connect multiple solar panels in series circuits:

  • Firstly, determine how many solar panels you will connect. Since we are talking about two, three, or four solar panels, let’s say you will connect 4 100W solar panels.
  • Now you have to connect the panels. You have to attach the positive terminal of one solar panel to the negative terminal of another panel. Connect all four panels in this way.
  • Now it’s time to wire the charge controller with your solar panels. Remember, for 4 100W solar panels; you will need a 40 amp charge controller.
  • Finally, you must connect the battery and finish the connecting process. Your solar system is ready for use now.

Parallel Connection

To connect 4 100W solar panels in parallel, you will have to use the following process:

  • Firstly, you must figure out how many solar panels you will install in parallel circuits.
  • Then it’s time to connect the solar panels in parallel. For that, you have to attach the positive terminal of one panel with the positive terminal of another. The process will be the same for the negative terminal.
  • Now you can connect other components like the charge controller, battery, and inverter. Make sure you use the correct size battery, charge controller, and inverter with your solar system.

How Much Output You Will Get From Two Three Fou100-Watttt Solar Panels?

When the sun is at its peak, a 100-watt solar panel can produce 6 to 8 amps-hour, meaning you will get 30 to 40 amps daily, which is enough for running and charging small devices. But if you want to run large appliances, you will need more than one 100W solar panel.

Since one 100W solar panel produces 6 amps per hour, 2 panels will provide 12 amps per hour. Similarly, 3 panels will produce 18 amps per hour and 4 panels 24 amps per hour. In total, you will get 60 amps, 90 amps, and 120 amps per day from 2, 3, and 4 100W solar panels.

With this amount of electricity, you can run many devices that were not possible with one 100W solar panel. I’ll show you a table listing four 100W solar panels and their output.

Number of 100W Solar PanelAmpsTotal Output Per Hour
16 Amps6 Amps
26 Amps12 Amps
36 Amps18 Amps
46 Amps24 Amps

What Are Different Ways To Connect Multiple 100W Solar Panels?

As a small and portable device, you can quickly put a 100W solar panel on your roof. But things can become tricky when you install multiple 100W solar panels. In that case, you have to decide on how you are going to install them.

You can install two, three, or four 100W solar panels in different ways. Here I’ll discuss them in detail:

Series

Series connection is one of the ways you can connect multiple solar panels. In this system, you will have to connect the positive terminal of one solar panel to the negative terminal of another. This connection creates a PV source circuit.

It has only one single path to flow current. That’s why damaging one panel will affect the whole series circuit. In a series circuit, the panel voltage increases, but the amperage remains the same.

Parallel

In a parallel circuit connection, you’ll have to connect the positive terminals of one solar panel to the positive terminals of the other and connect the negative terminals of the solar panels.

In the combiner box, positive wires are connected to positive terminals, and negative wires are connected to negative terminals. A parallel circuit has multiple ways to flow current, so when one part is damaged, current can flow from another path.

Your house’s electric connection is an example of a parallel connection. When you connect your solar panels in parallel, the amperage will increase, but the voltage will remain the same.

Series-Parallel

It is a hybrid connection to connect your solar panel. It does not work as a simple series or simple parallel connection; it is a mixture of both. Some components in this system are connected in series and create a group; the groups are connected in parallel.

Your system will still run if one component of a series group fails. Because in this case, another series group will flow electricity.

When Do You Use Series And Parallel Circuits?

Now that we know about series and parallel circuits, it’s time to know when they are used. Your Christmas tree lights are an example of a Series circuit. But it is not very common in household wiring. People generally use it for landscape lighting and some other places.  

On the other hand, parallel circuits are widely common and primarily used in household wiring. All the common household appliances and electronic devices are designed in parallel circuits. It’s widely used because if one part of the circuit is damaged, your system will still run.

What Is The Power Output Of Series And Parallel Solar Panel?

The output of solar panels in series and parallel circuits will differ. When you connect multiple solar panels in series, the voltage of each solar panel will add up, but the amperage of the panels will remain the same.

On the other hand, when a parallel connection connects multiple solar panels, the amperage of the solar panels will increase, but the voltage will remain the same. For example, you will have to use a parallel connection to keep the voltage the same for 4 100W solar panels and a 12V battery storage.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Series Solar Panel Installation?

You will find both advantages and disadvantages for series solar panel installation. Here are some advantages of Series solar panel installation:

  • It works as a regulator.
  • It is less expensive than a parallel connection.
  • You can transfer electricity long distances with this circuit.
  • It can increase the voltage of a solar system.

Here are the disadvantages of Series solar panel installation:

  • Damage in one part will shut down the entire circuit.
  • Resistance will decrease when more components are added.
  • When resistance is decreased, the components will get less flow of current.
  • You cannot use them on household applications.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Parallel Solar Panel Installation?

Here are some advantages of Parallel Circuit solar panel installation:

  • The most important benefit is that it won’t shut down the whole circuit if one part is affected like a series connection.
  • You can quickly switch on and off any components in the circuit without affecting the others.
  • It offers a constant voltage flow across the entire circuit for the entire time.
  • All the components in the parallel circuit can run at the same capacity because of the same voltage flow. Adding or removing components won’t affect the circuit.
  • It is the safest and the most reliable circuit to use.
  • You can use it in your household wiring.

Here are some disadvantages of Parallel circuit solar installation:

  • The high amperage can be challenging to transport current over long distances in a parallel circuit.
  • This circuit is costly and complex to build compared to a series circuit connection.
  • It requires more components, equipment, and wires to create a parallel circuit connection.
  • A parallel circuit cannot increase the voltage without decreasing its resistance.

Final Thoughts

I’ve discussed how you can connect two, three, or four solar panels. But the bottom line is you must be critical in choosing the right way to connect the solar panels.

If everything becomes too complicated for you, you can always call professionals and tell them your requirements. They will design and install your solar panels as you ask them to.

References

Calcabrini, A., Muttillo, M., Weegink, R., Manganiello, P., Zeman, M., Isabella, O. . (2021). A fully reconfigurable series-parallel photovoltaic module for higher energy yields in urban environments. ELSEVIER, 1-11.

Prathap, S., Jose, G., Chako, J. K., Sankar, V. . (2015, April ). MODELLING AND EVALUATION OF SERIES AND PARALLEL CONNECTION OF PV MODULE. Retrieved from Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275518095_MODELLING_AND_EVALUATION_OF_SERIES_AND_PARALLEL_CONNECTION_OF_PV_MODULE

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Matthew Joseph Nandirio

Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar. After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic 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”.

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