Solar Wiring Diagrams
How to join your
solar panels & batteries together
& the different results (watts, volts, amps) created!
Now that you have reached the solar wiring
diagrams section of this website, you are finally ready to learn how solar panels and
batteries are wired together.
We are going to start with showing you some smaller solar systems (arranged in different ways to
produce different results) and move on to bigger solar systems (arranged in different ways to
produce different results). Each arrangement has it's own solar wiring diagram, so you can see exactly
how it's done.
Remember, you don't need to start off by making all the energy you'll ever need, right away. You
can get your feet wet by setting up your first solar system successfully, save a little bit of
money at first, then do it over and over again as many times as you want!
Ok, let's look at some solar system arrangements YOU CAN COPY:
Solar Wiring Diagram #1:
A One Panel Solar System
The first solar power wiring diagram (arrangement) we'll look at consists of only one solar
panel and a battery bank with one battery in it.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Although the system above wouldn't provide an awful lot of power, (certainly not enough to meets
all your needs), it could be used to supplement some energy, save you a little bit of money and
provide some limited convenience.
An arrangement like this would typically be used in a portable application powering appliances
with low power ratings, like those often used in trailers and RVs.
For instance, if you have a certain appliance you would like to power like a laptop by the pool
or a tv in your back yard shed or gazebo, then this type of solar application would provide a good
affordable (but limited) energy solution.
Solar Panel
Wiring Diagram #1 Usage
and Limitations
Watts  The reason why this arrangement is limited is because with only
one panel you can only produce up to 63 watts per hour maximum (under optimal
sunlight conditions).
Battery 
With only one battery, you can only store one
battery worth of power. Since your battery can store 105 amp hours (105 amps
total in the period of one hour) worth of energy, you'll have to spread those
amp hours out according to the amp ratting of your appliance for as long as
you can. If you stick to small appliances with small power loads you should
be able to get some minimal energy savings with this system in optimal
sunlight.
That might seem great but if you started adding
more appliances and power loads, you would likely run out quick. Also for the
health and life span of your battery, you should try to never discharge your
batteries more than 30% empty. As a result, this limits your available power even
more.
Amps  Furthermore, your system would only have 3.5 amps (of current
speed) so you would be producing power or charging your battery kind of
slow.
Volts  And with only 18 volts (panel) and 12 volts (battery bank), you
would only be able to charge appliances with a lower voltage rating, like 12 volt
but not 24 volt or higher.

But don't get too discouraged, this solar arrangement is still useful and practical, as long as
you don't expect too much out of it.
Solar Wiring Diagram #2:
A Two Panel
Solar System
The second solar power wiring diagram (arrangement) we'll look at consists of two solar panels
and a battery bank with two batteries in it.
With a two panel solar arrangement, we have a few more options in terms of wiring. By this I
mean that we now have the choice of wiring our two panels (and batteries) using series wiring or
parallel wiring.
Series wiring
Series wiring is when you connect your panels (or batteries) positive to
negative, negative to positive, etc and it is used to increase the overall
volts.

Parallel wiring
Parallel wiring is when you connect your panels (or batteries) positive to
positive, negative to negative, etc and it is used to increase the overall
amps.

Here is an example of the same two panels wired in both series and in parallel. If you're going
to be using two solar panels / batteries in your system, you can follow one of the diagrams below,
depending on what's more important to you: Volts (so you can power bigger appliances) or
Amps (so you can charge your batteries faster). With this small amount of solar
panels / batteries we can't do a combonation of both, so it's either one or the other.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Comparison between series and
parallel (2 panel / battery) wiring.
Although the two solar arrangements above don't offer
the most power or storage capacity, (certainly not enough to meets all your needs), they do give
you more to work with.
For instance: With the "series" arrangement above, you could now power a 24
volt appliance and wouldn't have to stick only to low voltage appliances commonly used outdoors in
trailers or RVs. However if you are using appliances with low voltage ratings anyway (like if
you're in a camper) then you might prefer the "parallel" arrangement because you'll be able to
charge your batteries faster and store more energy per available daylight hours.
Solar Wiring Diagram
#2 Usage and Limitations
Series
Wiring  Two Panel Solar
System
Watts
 Since we are now working with two panels, this solar
system will output 144w of power per hour maximum (under optimal sunlight
conditions). Still not the most power, but much better than the one panel system in
our first example. Watts remain the same with both series and parallel
wiring.
Battery  With two
solar panels and two batteries wired in series, your battery's storage capacity
stays the same: 105 amp hours  so your battery can store 105 amps total in the
period of one hour. This is a low storage capacity.
Amps
 With two solar panels and two batteries wired in
series, your amps remain the same at 3.5 amps so you won't increase your charging
speed.
Volts
 With two solar panels and two batteries wired in
series, your panels' volts increase to 36 volts and your battery bank's volts go to
24 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 24 volt
appliances.

Parallel Wiring  Two Panel Solar
System
Watts
 Since we're now working with two
panels, this solar system will output 144w of power per hour maximum (under optimal sunlight
conditions). Still not the most power, but much better than the one panel system in
our first example. Watts remain the same with both series and parallel
wiring.
Battery
 With two solar panels and two
batteries wired in parallel, your battery capacity increases to
210 amp hours  so your battery can store/spend
210 amps total in the period of one hour. This gives you better storage
capacity, but the trade off is your battery bank's voltage remains small at
12 volts. If you stick to small appliances with small power loads, you should
be ok.
Amps 
With two solar panels and two batteries wired in
parallel, your amps increase to 7 amps which means you'll be able to charge your
battery bank faster and take better advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With two solar panels and two
batteries wired in parallel, your volts remain the same at 18 volts (panels) and 12
volts (battery bank) so you will only be able to charge a 12 volt battery bank and
thus power up to 12 volt appliances.

Although, there are obviously still many limitations with the two panel /battery arrangement
(series & parallel) discussed above, as you can clearly see, there are also some advantages
that you can benefit from. If you are only supplementing some of your home's power or using your
system to power RV type appliances than this arrangement allows you to pick a balance that can be
more practical to your needs.
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Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #3:
A Four Panel
Solar System Wired in Series & Parallel
The next solar power wiring diagram
(arrangement) we'll look at consists of four solar panels and a battery bank with four batteries in
it.
With four panels we clearly have enough of them to arrange them
using a combination of series and parallel wiring. We do this because it provides a better balance
of volts and amps, instead of tipping the scales only to one side (like with just straight series
or straight parallel wiring).
Here is an example of four panels wired in a combination of series
and parallel. If you're going to be using four solar panels / batteries in your system, you can
follow the diagram below for a good balance of volts, amps and watts.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Now this is a little better. Although the solar arrangement above isn't the biggest, it
does provide reasonable amounts of power, load delivery and storage capacity.
With the series / parallel arrangement above, you can now power a 24 volt appliance, while
charging your batteries faster (7 amps) thus storing more energy per available daylight hours, plus
you get 210 amp hours of storage capacity.
Solar Wiring Diagram
#3 Usage and Limitations
Series / Parallel Wiring
 Four Panel Solar
System
Watts
 Since we connected two groups of two panels together
in series and parallel, this solar system will output 252w of power per hour
maximum (under optimal sunlight conditions). This is an ok amount of power and you
should start to notice some better energy savings now, however this set up still
has it's limitations.
Battery  With two
groups of two panels / batteries wired in series and parallel, your battery
capacity increases to 210 amp hours  so your
battery can store/spend 210 amps total in the period of one hour. This is a better
storage capacity.
Amps
 With two groups of two panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your amps increase to 7 amps which means you'll be able to
charge your battery bank faster and take better advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With two groups of two panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your panels' volts increase to 36 volts and your battery
bank's volts go to 24 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 24 volt
appliances.

While this four panel series / parallel arrangement helps to add
some balance to our solar system by bringing the volts and amps up to an acceptable level, it's
still not enough power to give us an awful lot of flexibility or freedom.
For instance we still can't power 48 volt appliances.
But let's see what happens if we wire four panels in
series.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #4:
A Four Panel Solar System
Wired in Series
Now
we'll look at the same four panel solar arrangement as above, expect we will wire the panels and
batteries together only in series.
Although this system is not necessarily one that
many would use (most would likely prefer the previous more balanced system because more balance
extends battery life), the main reason for somebody choosing this arrangement would be to increase
the volts high enough to power 48 volt appliances. Of course, you will be sacrificing some
amps (charging speed), and amp hours (storage
capacity), but if powering up to 48 volt appliances is want you want, you
will accomplish
this.
Here is an example of four panels wired in series. If you're going
to be using four solar panels / batteries in your system, it's better to use the more balanced
previous example, but if you absolutely need to power 48
volt appliances on a tight budget, this is how to do it.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Although the solar arrangement above isn't the best for the long
term life of your battery because there is more stress on
the system, it does provide a way to reach the capability of a bigger system without having to add
more panels / batteries.
With the series arrangement
above, you can now power a 48 volt appliance, but you'll charge your batteries slower (3.5 amps)
thus make less energy per available daylight hours, plus you only get 105 amp hours of storage
capacity.
Solar Wiring Diagram
#4 Usage and Limitations
Series
Wiring 
Four Panel Solar System
Watts
 Since we connected four panels together in series,
this solar system will output 252w of power per hour maximum (under optimal
sunlight conditions). This is the same wattage as the previous 4 panel
system and has an
ok amount of power.
You should start to
notice some better energy savings now, however this set up has it's
limitations.
Battery 
With four panels / batteries wired in series, your battery capacity stays at
105 amp hours  so your battery can store/spend
105 amps total in the period of one hour. This is a low storage
capacity.
Amps  With four panels / batteries
wired in series, your amps remain at 3.5 amps which means slower charging speeds
and you won't be able to take full advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With four panels / batteries wired in series, your
panels' volts increase to 72 volts and your battery bank's volts go to 48 volts
which means you'll be able to power up to 48 volt appliances.

While this four panel series arrangement helps to
tilt the scales in the voltage favor, it also decreases some other very important factors, that you
may not want to give up. The choice is yours.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #5:
An Eight Panel Solar System Wired in Series
& Parallel
The next solar power wiring diagram
(arrangement) we'll look at consists of eight solar panels and a battery bank with eight
batteries in it.
With eight panels we
clearly have enough of them to arrange them using a combination of series and parallel wiring. We
do this because it provides a better balance of volts and amps, instead of tipping the scales only
to one side (like with just straight series or straight parallel wiring).
Here is an example of eight panels wired in a combination of series and parallel. If you're going to be using
eight solar panels / batteries in your system, you can follow
the diagram below for a good balance of volts, amps and watts.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Ok, now were making some better energy production. Our power is up, our load delivery is
good and our storage capacity is good.
With the series / parallel arrangement above, you can now power a 48 volt appliance, while
charging your batteries fast (7 amps) thus storing more energy per available daylight hours, plus
you get 210 amp hours of storage capacity (which is better that 105 amp hours).
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#5 Usage and Limitations
Series /
Parallel Wiring  Eight Panel
Solar System
Watts
 Since we connected two groups of four panels
together in series and parallel, this solar system will output 504w of power per
hour maximum (under optimal sunlight conditions). This is a good amount of
power.
Battery  With two
groups of four panels and batteries wired in series and parallel, your battery
capacity is at 210 amp
hours  so your battery can store/spend
210 amps total in the period of one hour. This is a pretty good
storage capacity.
Amps
 With two groups of four panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your amps are at 7 amps which means you'll be able to
charge your battery bank fast and take better advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With two groups of four panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your panels' volts increase to 72 volts and your battery
bank volts go to 48 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 48 volt
appliances.

The eight panel series / parallel arrangement helps to add some
balance to your solar system by bringing the volts and amps up to a good level, while producing
enough power for some moderate energy flexibility and freedom.
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Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #6:
A
Sixteen Panel Solar System Wired in Series & Parallel
The next solar power wiring diagram
(arrangement) we'll look at consists of sixteen solar panels and a battery bank with sixteen
batteries in it.
With sixteen panels we
clearly have enough of them to arrange them using a combination of series and parallel wiring. We
do this because it provides a better balance of volts and amps, instead of tipping the scales only
to one side (like with just straight series or straight parallel wiring).
Here is an example of sixteen
panels wired in a combination of series and
parallel. If you're going to be using sixteen solar
panels / batteries in your system, you can follow the diagram below for a good balance of
volts, amps and watts.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Sixteen Panel Solar
System

This is more like it. Our power is up, our load delivery is up and our storage capacity is
up.
With the series / parallel arrangement (in the solar panel wiring diagram above), you can
power 48 volt appliances, while charging your batteries faster (14 amps) thus storing more energy
per available daylight hours, plus you get 420 amp hours of storage capacity. The is a great power
reserve.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#6 Usage and Limitations
Series /
Parallel Wiring  Sixteen Panel
Solar System
Watts
 Since we connected four groups of four panels
together in series and parallel, this solar system will output 1008w of power per
hour maximum (under optimal sunlight conditions). This is a great amount of
power.
Battery  With four
groups of four panels and batteries wired in series and parallel, your battery
capacity is at 420 amp hours
 so your battery can store/spend 420 amps total
in the period of one hour. This is a great storage capacity.
Amps
 With four groups of four panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your amps are at 14 amps which means you'll be able to
charge your battery bank faster and take better advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With four groups of four panels / batteries wired in
series and in parallel, your panels' volts are at 72 volts and your battery bank's
volts are at 48 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 48 volt
appliances.

This sixteen panel series / parallel arrangement adds some balance
to your solar system by bringing the volts and amps up to an acceptable level while providing
enough power, charge speed and storage capacity to handle most energy needs. You can now begin to
enjoy some real energy independence.
But what if you want to power 120 volt appliances?
Then you'll need to add some stress to your 16 panel /battery
solar system by wiring it only in series (next).
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #7:
A Sixteen Panel Solar System Wired
in Series
Now we'll look at the same sixteen panel solar
arrangement as above, expect we will wire the panels and batteries together only in
series.
Although this system is not necessarily one that
many would use (most would likely prefer the previous more balanced system because more balance
extends battery life), the main reason for somebody choosing this arrangement would be to increase
the volts high enough to power 120 volt appliances. Of course, you will be sacrificing amps (charging speed), and amp
hours (storage capacity), but if powering up to 120 volt appliances is what you want, you
will accomplish
this.
Here is an example of sixteen panels wired in series. If you're
going to be using sixteen solar panels / batteries in your system, it's better to use the more
balanced previous example, but if you absolutely need to
power 120 volt appliances on a tight budget, this is how to do it.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Sixteen Panel Solar
System

Although the solar arrangement in the solar panel wiring diagram
above isn't the best for the long term life of your battery because
there is more stress on the system, it does provide
a way to reach the capability of a bigger system without having to add more panels /
batteries.
With the series arrangement
above, you can now power 120 volt appliances, but you'll charge your batteries slower (3.5 amps)
thus store less energy per available daylight hours, plus you only get 105 amp hours of storage
capacity.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#7 Usage and Limitations
Series
Wiring 
Sixteen Panel Solar System
Watts
 Since we connected 16 panels together in series,
this solar system will output 1008w of power per hour maximum (under optimal
sunlight conditions). This is the same wattage as the previous sixteen panel
system and thus has
a great amount of
power.
Battery 
With sixteen panels / batteries wired in series, your battery capacity stays at
105 amp hours  so your battery can store /
spend 105 amps total in the period of one hour. This is a low storage
capacity.
Amps  With sixteen panels /
batteries wired in series, your amps remain at 3.5 amps which means slower
charging speeds and you won't be able to take full advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With sixteen panels / batteries wired in series,
your panels' volts increase to 288 volts and your battery bank's volts go to 192
volts which means you'll be able to power up to 120 volt
appliances.

While this sixteen panel series arrangement helps to tilt the
scales in the voltage favor, it also decreases some other very important factors, that you may not
want to give up. The choice is yours.
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Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#8:
A Thirty Two Panel Solar System Wired in
Series & Parallel (using four groups of eight).
The next solar power wiring diagram
(arrangement) we'll look at consists of thirty two solar panels and a battery bank with thirty two
batteries in it (using 4 groups of 8 panels / batteries).
Due to the fact that we now have more panels to work with, we can
arrange our solar panels/batteries using a combination of series and parallel wiring. But that's
not all, we can now try grouping them differently, so we'll start by using four groups of
eight. This arrangement will provide a better balance of
volts and amps, instead of tipping the scales only to one side (like with just straight series or
straight parallel wiring).
Here is an example of thirty two
panels wired in both series and in parallel. If
you're going to be using thirty two solar panels /
batteries in your system, you can follow the diagram below for a good balance of volts, amps
and watts.
Solar Wiring Diagram
Thirty Two Panel Solar
System

Using four groups of
eight
Now were making some energy! Our power is good, our load delivery is up and our storage
capacity is up.
With the series / parallel arrangement in the solar panel wiring diagram above, you can
power a 48 volt appliance, while charging your batteries faster (14 amps) thus producing / storing
more energy per available daylight hours, and you get 420 amp hours of storage capacity which is
great.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#8 Usage and Limitations
Series /
Parallel Wiring  Thirty Two
Panel Solar System (4 groups of 8)
Watts
 Since we connected thirty two panels together in
series and parallel, this solar system will output 2016w of power per hour maximum
(under optimal sunlight conditions). This is a pretty good amount of power and
should be able to meet most of your energy needs.
Battery  With four
groups of eight panels and batteries wired in series and parallel, your battery
capacity is at 420 amp hours
 so your battery can store/spend 420 amps total
in the period of one hour. This is a great storage capacity.
Amps
 With four groups of eight panels / batteries wired
in series and in parallel, your amps are at 14 amps which means you'll be able to
charge your battery bank faster and take better advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With four groups of eight panels / batteries wired
in series and in parallel, your panels' volts are at 144 volts and your battery
bank's volts are at 96 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 48 volt
appliances.

This thirty two panel series / parallel arrangement adds some
balance to a bigger sized solar system by bringing the watts and amps up to a great level which
means you get great power and faster charging. The only drawback is that you can't power 120 volt
appliances. If this is important to you, you'll have to use the next arrangement.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram #9:
A Thirty Two Panel Solar System
Wired in Series & Parallel (using two groups of
sixteen).
The next solar power wiring diagram
(arrangement) we'll look at consists of thirty two solar panels and a battery bank with thirty two
batteries in it.
This time we'll be wiring our panels / batteries together in
series and parallel using two groups of sixteen. We do
this to raise the volts, this way we can power 120 volt appliances. Unfortunately, this will reduce
our charging speed (amps) and storage capacity (amp hours).
Although this type of wiring may put a little more stress on your
solar system, the benefit is often worth it. After all, you can't get anything without a little bit
of sacrifice.
Here is an example of thirty two
panels wired in series. If you're going to be using thirty two solar panels / batteries in your
system, it's better to use the more balanced previous example, but if you absolutely
need to power 120 volt appliances without adding more panels /
batteries, this is how to do it.
Solar Wiring
Diagram
Thirty Two Panel Solar
System

Using two groups of
sixteen
Ok, that brought our volts up. However it slowed down charging speed and decreased our
storage capacity a little.
With the series / parallel arrangement in the solar panel wiring diagram above, you can
now power a 120 volt appliance, while charging your batteries at an acceptable speed (7 amps) thus
storing a pretty good amount of energy per available daylight hours, and you get 210 amp hours of
storage capacity which is acceptable.
Solar Panel Wiring Diagram
#9 Usage and Limitations
Series / Parallel Wiring
 Thirty Two Panel Solar System (2 groups of
16)
Watts
 Since we connected thirty two panels together in
series and parallel, this solar system will output 2016w of power per hour maximum
(under optimal sunlight conditions). This is a pretty good amount of power and
should be able to meet most of your energy needs.
Battery  With two
groups of sixteen panels and batteries wired in series and parallel, your battery
capacity is at 210 amp hours
 so your battery can store/spend 210 amps total
in the period of one hour. This is an acceptable storage capacity.
Amps
 With two groups of sixteen panels / batteries wired
in series and in parallel, your amps are at 7 amps which means you'll be able to
charge your battery bank fast and take good advantage of available daylight
hours.
Volts
 With two groups of sixteen panels / batteries wired
in series and in parallel, your panels' volts are at 288 volts and your battery
bank's volts are at 192 volts which means you'll be able to power up to 120 volt
appliances.

While this thirty two panel (2 group
of 16) series / parallel arrangement helps to tilt the scales in the voltage favor, it also
decreases some other factors. However due to the fact that we have a lot of panels to work with,
the sacrifice is not that drastic.
As a result, you get great power, pretty good charge speed and acceptable storage capacity,
along with some true measure of real energy independence. Now that wasn't that hard, what is?
Remember, if you use bigger solar cells to build your solar panels you can effectively
raise most of the above values drastically and thus won't require such a big solar energy
system to meet your specific power needs. This bigger your solar panels' output is, the less of
them you have to join together.
Here is a quick reference chart of all of the above
info:
Solar Panel Wiring Diagrams (Quick Reference Chart)
SYSTEM 
Watts (Power)

Volts (Panels)

Volts (Batteries)

Amps (Charge
Speed)

Ah (Storage
Capacity)

1
Panel 
63

18

12

3.5

105

2 Panel
(Series) 
126

36

24

3.5

105

2 Panel
(Parallel) 
126

18

12

7

210

4 Panel
(Series/Parallel) 
252

36

24

7

210

4 Panel
(Series) 
252

72

48

3.5

105

8 Panel
(Series/Parallel) 
504

72

48

7

210

16 Panel
(Series/Parallel) 
1008

72

48

14

420

16 Panel
(Series)

1008

288

192

3.5

105

32 Panel
(Series/Parallel)
4x8

2016

288

96

7

420

32 Panel
(Series/Parallel)
2x16 
1008

288

192

3.5

105

Now that you have reviewed
every solar arrangement above and have some idea of how to build the size of solar system
you'll need, click here to go back to the Wiring Solar Panels section in the exact spot you left
off (or just click your browser's back button).
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