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Old 12-18-2022, 05:43 AM   #1
Almost There
 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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How to know panel wiring: series/parallel/both

Solar set up:
6x185W panels ~ 1100 W of panels


Is there a way to measure at charge controller to be able to tell:

1. That ALL my panels are working properly and bringing in proper values?

2. How can I figure out the panel wiring configuration? I can't see underneath the panels at all. How can I tell what panels are in series vs parallel?

Bought a converted bus, I didn't do the work myself.

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Old 12-18-2022, 12:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwest364 View Post
Solar set up:
6x185W panels ~ 1100 W of panels


Is there a way to measure at charge controller to be able to tell:

1. That ALL my panels are working properly and bringing in proper values?

2. How can I figure out the panel wiring configuration? I can't see underneath the panels at all. How can I tell what panels are in series vs parallel?

Bought a converted bus, I didn't do the work myself.
Why are the panels' undersides not accessible?

Each panel should be individually fused, and all the panels' outputs are typically connected in a combiner box before their total output is fed to the charge controller(s). Is there a combiner box that will show how they're wired together?

One possible way to find out how they're connected is to measure the total voltage into the CC. If the voltage is higher than each panel produces, they're probably wired in series; if the voltage is the same as each panel's, they're probably wired in parallel. I say probably, because if they're wired in series and parallel it will be difficult to determine exactly how they're interconnected. Panels often produce half a volt per cell: my 60-cell Sharp 255W panels produce about 30V.

John
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Old 12-31-2022, 07:51 PM   #3
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How your solar is setup

Each panel produces around 37 volts and around 5 amps max in full sun. So measure at the charge controller and you will know your configuration. Unlikely to be 6 in series, which would be 222 volts, just as unlikely to be 6 in parallel which would put 30 amps to the feed. Both are possible though, so the measurement will help. Few off grid charge controllers have the brains to measure individual panel performance, unlike grid tied where there may be optimizers at the panel level. A few items which would help would be the make and model of the charge controller, and whether you are running straight 12 volt batteries or 24/36/48 volt.
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