Solar panel sequence


#1

I was advised when I get solar panels that I should opt for a parallel configuration
positive/positive/positive
negative/negative/negative
instead of a series configuration of positive/negative/positive/negative.

Does anyone understand what the purpose of this is and how would I know or explain to a solar
company what I want? How would I determine they have installed it in a particular configuration?
Do some companies and panel types come in a set configuration?
I have no idea what I’m talking about here, as this is advise I’ve received from those with panels and an engineering/computer background.


#2

Hi @DeeB, you don’t need to worry about that. Any accredited installer will know what they are doing. An array of 20 panels might be configured in 2 x “strings” of 10 panels in a “series”. They can then be “paralleled” together into a single input in the inverter, or into separate inputs. That dictates voltage and amperage into the inverter. You wouldn’t want all panels in parallel for reasons I don’t think are particularly necessary to go into, however if you are interested (maybe concerns about high voltage or the like), I could elaborate.

It’s honeslty something you should not worry about, unless you’re in an country which does no solar, and the electrical worker has no idea what they are doing. It would be like ordering a meal, then going into the kitchen and telling the chef what to do :slight_smile:

What area are you in?


#3

Thanks Marty,
I would be interested in why one is preferential over another but
of course it may not be the reason the advise was given so I
I will ask the engineer who advised me why he insisted on parallel
configuration instead of a series.
Its interesting how you’ve advised that a parallel set up is not ideal.
Now that you have given me some info to take back to him so I can get
a better picture.
I’m south of Brisbane.
Many thanks.


#4

Hi Dee

I can only guess why that advice would be given, I’m assuming to do with old school off-grid setups, but I don’t know so I won’t guess.

The simple reason that panels in the vast majority of modern solar systems are installed in series, is because modern inverters are designed to take high voltage ranges (I would guess for efficiency reasons). If you parallel 10 panels, the output voltage would be the same as a single panel (37V or so), whereas the inverter needs a min 150V input for example. To get that voltage level, you need to string at least 5 panels together in series. That’s the crux of it.

Cheers
Marty