In this guide I will teach you How to connect solar panels, everything you need to know about it.. As with batteries, there are several ways to connect the different solar panels that we have in a solar installation with each other. This will allow us generate more energy in chain that we can use both for our network photovoltaic solar installation, as well as for our isolated installation.
How to connect solar panels
In this article we are going to explain the correct way to learn how to connect solar panels in parallel and how to connect solar panels in a network. Likewise, we explain how to connect solar panels to the electrical network and how to connect solar panels of different power to each other.
If you are thinking of carrying out a solar installation on your own in order to save each month on your electricity bill, we recommend that you read this article.
How to connect solar panels
There are two ways to connect the solar panels in order to take advantage of them as much energy as possible. These are in parallel or in series. Each one has its specifications and is recommended for different types of power. We explain it to you below.
How to connect solar panels in parallel
To answer how to connect solar panels in parallel, it is recommended that you take into account the following. The first thing you should know is that to connect the solar panels in parallel the powers must be between 200W and 260Wcomposed of 60 cells and only for 24V or 48V solar installations. The series connection implies that the solar panels are connected to each other. To do this, what you have to do is connect the positive pole of one panel with the negative of the other. In this type of connection, the current is maintained and added to the voltage, so it will be necessary to use MPPT maximizing regulators.
These allow maximum power to be obtained from the solar panels by always making them work at the point of maximum power and modulating the high voltage. With these devices the power is amplified by at least 25%. It is an ideal product for homes.
How to connect solar panels in series
How to connect solar panels in series is the other most common way to carry out the installation of solar panels. In this case, what you should know is that this type of installation is intended for boards with power greater than 200W, connecting 5 or more solar panels of 60 cells. This is possible because a voltage that is not too high is obtained, but it does increase the total amperage of the installation. Ultimately, what is achieved with this installation is increase voltage and current which, with MPPT regulators, will be adapted to the characteristics of the batteries.
How to connect solar panels in parallel and in series
The mixed connection of solar panels consists of carrying out series installations, for example, between two groups of 3 solar panels each —with 60 cells per panel— that are connected to each other; and in parallel, to connect these two groups with each other. This connection is made when we have 6 solar panels or more in order to increase the total power.
How to connect solar panels to the electricity grid
Connecting solar panels to the electrical grid is a very simple process. For it, the only thing we need in an investor. The process consists of connecting the + and – plugs of the solar panels to the inverter and then connecting the 230V plug of the inverter to the socket.
The connection of a photovoltaic system to the electrical network is subject to the amount of power that we wish to inject —depending on the solar modules that we have—. For example, if we connect several modules in series —or string— and several string in parallel—known as a PV array. These types of arrangements, as we explained, need an inverter since it generates a direct current (dc) voltage and we want it to have an alternating current (ac) voltage so that the installation of our home, appliances or electronic products do not suffer any damage. .
Likewise, as we mentioned in the previous point, if we want to improve the efficiency of our installation, we must use an MPPT —or an inverter that also works as an MPPT— to be able to regulate the current signal and maximize the power delivered by the solar panels.
How to connect solar panels of different power
We have just seen how to connect solar panels to the electrical network, let us now see how to connect solar panels of different power to each other. Fortunately, for those who wonder if it is possible to carry out this type of solar installation, the answer is yes. You must take into account that inhe moment of combining solar panels of different power with each other we can find several cases, depending on the powers with which we play. We are talking about the following combinations:
- Combination of higher power solar panels in a 12V installation
- Combination of higher power solar panels in a 24V installation
- Combination of 24V solar panels in a 12V installation
- Combination of 12V solar panels in a 24V installation
- Replacing a 12V or 24V installation with a higher 48V one
In the event that we combine higher power solar panels in a 12V and 24V installation, it is not necessary to carry out a modification or redesign of the installation already carried out. For this, the only thing necessary will be a charge regulator taking into account the intensity of the current, as well as the power necessary in each case. In the case of combinations from 24V to 12V, and vice versa, it will be necessary to add an MTTP charge regulator to the installation to combine the different voltages and obtain maximum photovoltaic performance. If, lastly, we plan to replace a 12V or 24V installation with a higher 48V installation, the most recommended thing to do is to also use an MTTP charge regulator that will supply a 48V voltage directly to the batteries. and will provide maximum performance to the new panels.
The most recommended in these cases, however, is consult a specialist technician so you can get the most out of old panels as well as new ones that are going to be installed.