Mixing Different Wattage Solar Panels: Good Practice or Not?

Different Wattage of Solar Panels

People are increasingly turning to alternative energy sources as more information about the state of our natural world becomes available. Solar energy is one of the most widely used renewable energy sources today, and many individuals and organizations are making choice decisions to invest in this technology and reap the long-term benefits. In this post, we’ll look at the specific subject of solar panel compatibility and the numerous factors that will finally aid you in determining the optimal combinations. This will ensure that the investment you make in your solar panel system as a whole yields the best results possible.

Solar panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s vital to know which ones are ideal for your electricity needs. The respective wattages of the panels themselves are one of the measurements used to differentiate between different panels. There has been a lot of misunderstanding and incomplete information on how to wire different solar panels. It’s critical to understand that it’s not as easy as “more panels equals more power.” When making a decision, there are several things to consider.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the considerations you should make while combining different panels.

Basics of Connecting Photovoltaic Panels

It’s important to note right away that combining panels are not encouraged in general. It is achievable, and you can get good results, provided you pay attention to the properties of those panels, such as wattage, voltage, amps, and so on. There are two major approaches to accomplish this. These methods of connecting solar panels are known as series and mixed modes. Three main considerations decide the optimum approach for connecting your solar panels. These are the following:

  • Type of solar panels used
  • Amount of solar power you wish to generate
  • Other parameters such as charge controller, battery, and inverter specifics

Series or Parallel or Mixed

The subject of which approach to utilize to blend different panels is shrouded in mystery and misinformation. This is mostly dependent on your needs, and each has advantages and disadvantages. If you want to acquire a higher voltage, a series connection is a way to go. On the other hand, if you want to gain more current rather than higher voltage, you should use a parallel connection. Of course, if you require both a larger current and a higher wattage, you will require a combination of series and parallel connections.

If your present panels aren’t doing the job, you should consider adding solar panels, whether in series, parallel, or mixed connections. This is because, regardless of the sort of connection you employ, having more panels will result in a greater total wattage count.

When it comes to connecting panels of different wattages, there are three main types of wiring options available to solar panel users, as we’ve already discussed. In the section below, we’ll go through each of these points in further depth.

Solar Panels Connected in Series

As previously stated, a series connection allows you to generate more voltage as well as a higher watt count. Because grid-type tier systems require a higher voltage to operate at maximum capacity, series connections are commonly used. Higher voltage panels are typically installed in these grid systems. Our surveys have revealed that the system voltage for these types of systems is at least 24 volts. Another feature of this system that we’ve seen is that the output voltage of the solar array is connected to an inverter or a charged battery. This charge battery is also typically driven by a higher voltage than we see in most off-grid setups.

A series connection is when the positive terminal of one panel is connected to the negative terminal of the next panel. If you connect this way, you’ll get a total output voltage equal to the sum of the voltage drops on each solar panel, as long as the panels are of the same type and power rating.

If the panels you’ll be using don’t all have the same rating, the situation becomes more problematic. The amount of current generated by a solar panel is determined by several variables, including ambient temperature, solar cell temperature, and sun irradiation. As a result, if you use panels of varying wattage and one of them has a significantly lower current, the overall performance of the solar array would suffer. If you want to get the most out of your solar panels, you should try to prevent this predicament.

Wiring Solar PV Panels in Parallel

Parallel connections, like series connections, are one of the simplest ways to connect solar panels, and they can also be effective if you’re wanting to do things yourself. When and if you want to raise the total output of the array while keeping the voltage rating the same, this is the connection to use. In off-grid setups, the voltage is usually static, depending on whether you’re utilizing 6v or 12v panels.

This type has a connection between all of the positive panels and all of the negative panels. It all comes down to one positive and one negative connector, which are connected to the inverter or charge controller at the end of the day. With a parallel connection, you can get a total output current equal to the sum of all the different current ratings running through the solar panels. This process will be flawless if the panels are of the same type and have the same ratings.

If the panels have different ratings, the storey will be slightly different. In this situation, you would lose a significant amount of solar power that could have been used to increase your existing capacity. The issue arises because the array’s overall voltage is determined by the lowest voltage rating.

Mixed Wiring of Solar Panels That Includes Both Series and Parallel

The term “mixed wiring” refers to the use of two separate panel connection technologies to achieve your final energy output. The total output voltage and maximum total current output of your solar array will determine how effective this is.

To perform this correctly, you must have two things in mind at all times without fail, which will serve as your starting point. These two things happen to be that series connections increase voltage and parallel connections increase current. Both, on the other hand, result in a rise in wattage. If you utilise different rated solar panels, however, the power will decrease.

When employing a mixed wiring system, the easiest method to ensure optimal performance from your solar panels is to make sure that your solar array is made up of an even number of panels. This implies you’ll need panels in multiples of two, such as four, six, eight, and so on. These panels can be used in a variety of wiring configurations. If you have four panels, for example, you can arrange two in series and two in parallel.

All of this is great in theory, but in practice, you could end up with an odd number of panels in your solar array. In this instance, you should examine mixed wiring and consider the benefits of straightforward parallel or series wiring schemes. It is better to break the panels into two sets and connect them in parallel if you prefer differently rated panels rather than needing to buy similar rated ones.

Summarizing points

In this section, we’ll go over some of the key points that emerged from the above-mentioned in-depth discussions.

If you opt with a series connection, it’s more vital to make sure that the ratings of the various panels are consistent. If you choose a parallel connection, however, make sure that the voltage ratings of the various panels are the same.

Mixing different types of panels will result in lower overall wattages. Regardless matter whether you use a series or parallel connecting mechanism, this occurs.

If you add even a single panel with a lower rating than the others, the total power output will be reduced. A lower rating indicates that there is a greater risk of solar power loss. This is true for both series and parallel connections. In the case of a parallel wiring arrangement, however, the loss of solar power is greater. If you want to get the most power out of your panels, it’s better to select panels with the same ratings.

Final Recommendations

In this section, we’ll go over some of the significant topics and emphasizing points from the previous debate. We’ll start by telling you something that we’ve mentioned several times during this talk because it’s critical. Regardless of the type of wiring system you want to set up, we recommend that you try to buy panels with similar ratings.

When attaching solar panels, try to reduce losses by following the rules listed below.

If you want to connect solar panels from different manufacturers, make sure you do so in series. If you want to link panels from the same brand but with different voltages, utilize a parallel wiring scheme.

We also do not advise connecting different solar panels in a single solar array. This is because if you do so, the voltage or current output may be lowered, preventing you from getting the most out of your solar panel system.

How Can We Help?

Hope this information about “Mixing Different Wattage Solar Panels” helps you.

If you are planning to start a solar business or install a solar solution, you can connect with Ornate Solar to get the best assistance with the best prices for solar panels and inverters. We are the official partner of Canadian Solar panels & Renewsys solar panels in India. We are also the official distributor of SolarEdge inverters with DC optimizers, Enphase microinverters, Fronius On-Grid Inverters, and Havells solar inverters in India.

For more information, please give us a call at 011 4353 6666.

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About The Author

Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.

kamini ornate

About The Author

Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.