In this blog, we will talk about the differences between parallel and series connections, and how they are can be applied in an off-grid setup.
In a Parallel connection, two or more panels/batteries are connected positive to positive and negative to negative. When connected in this way, the amperage adds up but the voltage remains the same. (Two 12volt 200Ah batteries connected in parallel would be 12 volt 400Ah). In the image below you can see that the two strings of batteries are then wired in parallel, to create a 400Ah battery bank, and strings of panels are connected in parallel.
In a Series connection, the positive terminal of the first panel/battery is connected to the negative terminal of the next one. When connected in this way, the voltage adds up and the amperage will remain the same. (Two 12V 100A batteries connected in series would be 24V 100A). You can see in the image above that the batteries are wired into two strings of four batteries in series to create a 48V battery bank, and pairs of panels are connected in series to create 4 strings.
Series connections operate in a continuous and closed loop, meaning breaking the circuit at any point will stop the entire series from operating. This is important to keep in mind because shading on a single panel could affect the output of your entire PV system. The same concept applies to battery connections.
How to connect our kits?
Due to variations in the number of panels and batteries used for different size off-grid kits, they're all wired slightly differently. We include full instructions with all our kits to make sure they're wired correctly for their intended usage.
For example, we recommend our ‘Weekend Warrior Kit’ user to connect their solar panels in series. This means less amperage is being transferred and thinner cables (4mm2) is sufficient. A copy of the wiring diagrams is available for download on each kit page if you want to learn more about wiring your system.
Please remember that each solar project is unique and different, so please contact us if you have specific requirements and need different accessories to accommodate your system or usage.