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Paralleling Solar Panels - Can you do this?

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Posted by Jim on June 8, 2010, 12:44 pm

I have a Kyocera 55 watt and a Kyocera 65 watt solar panel now used
for charging two separate batteries, with two separate Morningstar Sun
Guard Controllers.

What I would like to do, just as an experimental item, is to purchase
one of the 250 watt grid tie inverters you see on Ebay for $00, and
to connect the two panels in parallel for a total of say 120 watts,
and hook them directly to the little inverter.

Anyone see any problem with paralleling the two panels to get
increased current?  Both Kyocera panels put out maximum
current at around 17volts or so, within the 14 - 24 volt
input range of the inverter.

I just wanted to do this until I can afford to purchase a larger
panel, but the darn freight rates for large panels are almost as much
as the panel itself.

I wrote to the people I bought the panels from in Arizona, but they
never replied, probably because they only sell expensive inverters....
he  he...

BTW< You Tube has some fairly large grid tie installations using these
250 watt inverters, they seem to be pretty reliable.  One fellow has
an installation with at least 6 of them on line and is hsppy with
them, and plans to add more as finances permit.


Posted by vaughn on June 8, 2010, 3:27 pm

I have three totally different PV panels all connected in parallel on a single
controller with no issues so far.  I can disconnect any one panel and my charge
current decreases, so I know that each is contributing as least something.  I
know that my setup is not optimum, bit it works, and "optimum" would be far more

This is new to me.  Links?

Where I live they are installing they are installing new "smart" meters.  This
will be sort of neat because we will be able to see our power usage patterns on
the Internet, but I suspect that they will also be "smart" enough to detect
stealth grid tie systems.


Posted by Bob F on June 8, 2010, 5:28 pm

Jim wrote:

One problem could be caused by shading of one panel while the other has full

Posted by vaughn on June 8, 2010, 5:45 pm

That would be much more of an issue for series panels than parallel.  Panels
usually have blocking diodes installed internally, so a shaded panel simply
contributes little or no charge current, but causes no problems.


Posted by m II on June 9, 2010, 1:41 am

vaughn wrote:

That's an interesting scenario. I would think the shaded series panel
would still conduct most of the current being generated by the others,
so the total power loss would be about the same as in a parallel setup.

That hypothesis may be completely out to lunch, so if it starts to
really bother me, I'll get the ammeter out.


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