Wiring Solar Panels – Parallel Vs. Series Stringing

Series or parallel solar panel wiring or stringing is one of the basics of solar panel installation. However, during installation, one needs to know how various stringing setups can affect the generated current or voltage of the solar panels. Then, you can choose the most suitable inverter for specific solar panels to ensure the solar-energy generating system functions optimally.

What to Know About Your Inverter

If the power generated by your solar array is more than the maximum capacity of your inverter, energy production will be constrained to the output of the inverter. Therefore, depending on the voltage gap between what the solar array is generating and the max capacity of the inverter, the lifespan of your inverter may also be shortened. On the other hand, if the voltage generated by your solar array is below the inverter’s capacity, the inverter will not function until the minimum voltage requirement has been attained.

Solar panel wiring or stringing is not a simple topic. Even knowing the right string size and length requires expertise.

What Is Solar Panel Wiring?

Solar panel stringing is a process that involves the use of wires to connect panels. This wire connection forms an electrical circuit, the channel through which electric current flows. It also requires wiring the inverter to the panels to ensure the conversion of direct current to alternating current.

The technical term for this process is called stringing, and a series of panels being wired together is called a string.

How to String Solar Panels

Parallel Vs. Series Stringing

Series or parallel solar panel stringing are the major approaches to stringing solar panels. Some differences set both approaches apart. Both stringing setups have varying effects on the voltage or electrical current produced in the circuit.

Connecting Panels in Parallel

This is slightly more complicated than stringing panels in series. This stringing approach involves connecting each panel’s positive terminals to a wire and then connecting each panel’s negative terminals to a different wire. This stringing setup ensures that each panel you add to the string enhances the current being generated in the circuit. However, the circuit’s voltage remains constant.

Stringing panels in parallel comes with a certain advantage. Even if one of the panels is obstructed from direct exposure to sunlight, it won’t reduce the current generated by the entire string because the other panels will still be functioning normally.

Connecting Panels in Series

This stringing approach involves you connecting the positive terminal of one panel to the negative terminal of the next panel, and it continues like that till you get to the end of the string. This stringing approach ensures that every panel added amplifies the total voltage generated by the entire string. However, the current remains constant.

A disadvantage of this approach is that if one of the panels is shaded from sunlight, it will lessen the current generated throughout the entire string. Because the current is constant throughout the string, the current will be reduced to the panel with the least current.