How you wire solar panels will impact the performance of your solar system.
You want your solar panel wiring done in a way that prevents damage to the components, saves money, and gives you the best return on your investment.
In this post, we focus on the basics of solar panel wiring to enable you to get a better understanding of how your solar panels should be wired.
Solar panel wires
There's a restriction on using regular cables for solar panel wiring, so you'll have to use solar panel cables, which are required to have UV light and extreme temperature resistance. There are two types of solar panel wires - solid and stranded.
Solid wire is a single wire, while, as the name implies, stranded wires consist of many small wires. Stranded wires have better conductivity as the current flows on the outside. In addition, stranded cables have better flexibility and durability, making them more suitable for solar panel wiring.
Types of solar panel wiring
You can go with a series or parallel connection depending on the current you want to generate and the voltage capacity of the inverter.
In series wiring, the solar panels are connected in a line next to one another, with the positive wire of one connected to the negative terminal of the next panel. This way, the voltage increases with the connection of each panel.
However, the total amperage remains the same. For example, if you connect two solar panels with 20 volts and 5 amps in series, the total voltage will be 40 volts, while the amperage remains 5 amps.
Parallel wiring involves the connection of all the positive terminals to one wire and all negative terminals to another wire. Contrary to the output of the series connection, parallel wiring results in increased amperage while the total voltage remains the same. For example, if you connect the same panels as above in parallel, the total amperage will increase to 10 amps while the voltage remains 20 volts.
Series or parallel - is one better than the other?
Choosing parallel connections seems to be the better option on paper because the connection is continuous, and the malfunctioning of one panel won't affect the operation.
Should you handle it yourself?
Stringing, as solar panel wiring is called, is tricky. It requires extensive knowledge of how configuration can affect performance. You also have to remember that shaded cells, whether due to growing foliage, nearby tall buildings, or other structures, can impact the performance of your solar panels.
Instead of wiring your solar panels yourself and running the risks of damaging your system or underutilizing your panels, reach out to us at Werkheiser Electric, and let's optimize your solar panels for your needs.