How To Connect A Solar Panel Bought At Harbor Freight To A Jackery Explorer Power Station
Solar panels can be bought at a lot of different places nowadays, the popular hardware store Harbor Freight is one of those places.
A Harbor Freight solar panel is not compatible with a Jackery power station directly out of the box though since it requires additional adapters.
Related Product: Extend the cable between the solar panel and the power station with an SAE extension cable by iGreely (click to view on Amazon)
In this article I am going to tell you what these connectors are called, and how you go about connecting the two.
What You Need To Know
Before we get into the specifics, there are some things we need to know before we connect anything.
Solar Charge Controller
The job of a solar charge controller is to take the voltage and amperage generated by a solar panel and regulate it. Then it sends the regulated electricity off to the battery.
Portable power stations have built-in solar charge controllers so you can connect solar panels directly to them.
The Jackery Explorer is not going to charge if you use two charge controllers. Therefore, we should not buy a solar panel that has an external solar charge controller.
If you have already bought a panel that included a solar charge controller, you can (hopefully) simply not use it. If it’s hardwired to the solar panel you’re going to have to either bypass it, or buy a different panel.
Not all solar charge controllers are the same. They have different input ratings, meaning that they accept different voltages and amperages.
The input ratings can usually be found in the manual of the power station, or by the port on the power station.
Most Jackery Explorer power stations can handle voltages between 12-30V, and a typical 100W 12V solar panel like the most popular one from Harbor Freight outputs around 18V which makes it compatible.
If you combine two or more panels, you’re going to increase either the voltage or the amperage but we will get to that later on.
While it’s OK to exceed the amperage to a certain point, you should never exceed the max input voltage.
The Harbor Freight Solar Panels – What Connectors Do They Use?
Most solar panels sold by Harbor Freight today use SAE connectors. This is a two-conductor DC connector that is easy and quick to connect/disconnect, which makes it a great connector for a solar panel.
SAE connectors have one male pin and one female pin. One is positive and one is negative, but which is which depends on the wiring and adapters used.
The panels from Harbor Freight that use SAE connectors I have looked at have a positive female pin and a negative male pin. This is important when we search for the right adapter.
A positive wire is often red and a negative wire black. The wires are not different from one another other than the color, which is only made this way to make it easier to connect and follow the wire.
You might find a connector with a small “” or “-” on it, with a cable color that makes it look like it’s the opposite of what the connector says.
This is nothing to worry about, as long as you can follow the wire and make sure that the positive output ends up with a positive input.
The Jackery Explorer Input And The Adapter You Need
The input on Jackery Explorer power stations is called an 8mm connector. This is a round connector which also has a positive and a negative part to it.
Since we know that the SAE connector has a positive female pin and a negative male pin, we need an adapter that has the opposite.
This adapter includes what is called an SAE reverse polarity adapter, which will reverse the positive and negative. You do not need to use that to connect the panel to an Explorer power station.
Note that if you have the newer Explorer 1500 (click to view on Amazon), you are going to have to use the adapter included by Jackery to connect the adapter above to the power station.
That’s because Jackery has created a proprietary 8mm input for the Explorer 1500, and even though it’s called an 8mm input it’s slightly different from the regular 8mm connector used by other manufacturers.
When you have the adapter, you simply connect the solar panel to the adapter, then connect it to the power station.
Combining Two Or Panels To Increase The Charging Speed
It’s possible to combine two or more panels to charge the battery faster, but it’s not always worth doing so.
Since the charge controller in the power station decides how many watts it’s going to use to charge the battery, it’s good to know these limitations before spending money on more panels.
For example, the Explorer 160, 240, 300, and 500 max out at around 50-80 watts depending on model. The larger Explorer 1000 max out at 127W, and the even larger 1500 at 300W.
A 100W 12V solar panel will generate around 70-80W in sunny conditions.
It’s not always perfectly sunny though, and if you’re going to use the panels where it’s often cloudy it might be more worth it to buy an extra panel or two.
To combine two Harbor Freight panels for the Explorer power stations, you need an adapter like this by SolarEnz (click to view on Amazon).
This adapter also includes the SAE reverse polarity adapters, which you might need to ensure that positive goes to positive and negative to negative.
When you combine panels in parallel like this it’s very important that you have made sure that all wiring used can handle the amperage. That includes these adapters and extension cables.
I recommend using SAE extension cables that come with caps to protect the connectors while not in use. These dust caps keep dirt, debris, and moisture out.
The thicker the cable the better, so look for the lowest gauge you can find and make sure it can handle the total amperage of your panel(s).
I like and recommend the iGreely SAE extension cables (click to view on Amazon). They come in different lengths and are compatible with the adapters I have linked to above.
While you can combine two shorter extension cables I suggest getting a long one instead. The more connections, the higher the voltage drop, which will decrease the total output to the power station.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m not sure whether the polarity is correct or not!
You can use a multimeter to check the polarity of the wires. This is also helpful when troubleshooting a setup that’s not working correctly.
A digital multimeter like this one by Kaiweets (click to view on Amazon) works, just set it to four o’clock (20 by V DC) and stick the red test lead in the supposedly positive SAE connector on the panel/adapter.
Then do the same with the black test lead. If it shows a positive voltage on the little screen, you know it’s wired correctly. You can test it the opposite way to understand what it looks like if the polarity is reversed.
How long will it take to charge my Explorer power station?
It depends on how big the power station is in watt-hours. A 100W panel will generate around 70-80W, but if your power station has a max input of 65W you need to do a calculation based on that.
For example, the latest Explorer 500 (click to view on Amazon) has a battery capacity of 518Wh and maxes out at around 70W.
The way to calculate how long it would take to charge the Explorer 500 with a 100W solar panel is then: 518/70=7.4 hours.
We also need to consider the fact that the charge controller will start out charging the battery fast, then slow down as it is getting closer to a full charge.
Therefore, I would add another hour or two to the estimate to get a more accurate number, resulting in 8-9 hours for a full charge.
How much can I go over on the amps?
While I personally don’t recommend going over 150% of the maximum amps with an Explorer power station, Jackery do not recommend going over on the amps at all.
For warranty reasons you should stick to what the manufacturer says.
Some charge controllers are more sensitive than others, but I haven’t had any problems using 200W of solar with my Explorer 500 for a couple of years.
Are Harbor Freight solar panels waterproof?
The junction box on the back of the panel is water-resistant, and the SAE connectors should withstand rain as long as they’re connected to another SAE connector or has the cap on.
I would ask Harbor Freight to be sure though, since it might void your warranty if it’s damaged due to rain and/or dust.
Can I combine a Harbor Freight solar panel with a panel by different manufacturer?
You can, but I don’t recommend doing so. The reason for that is that the setup is going to limited by the voltage of the lowest-rated panel.
If you have two panels that are rated similarly you won’t lose much, but be aware of the limitations.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or experience with this and have something to add.
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?
6 thoughts on “Connect A Harbor Freight Solar Panel To Jackery Explorer”
I can’t get the harbor freight 100 W solar panels to charge the Jacari 1000. I’ve use both the 8 mm and the two prong adapter but still does not register. Not sure what else to do. Reply
Hi, Do you have a multimeter so you can test the connections? It’s likely a loose connector or a polarity problem. Reply
Can I charge a Jackery Explorer 240 with a 100 watt solar panel from HF? The one I’m looking at is the THUNDERBOLT SOLAR 100 Watt. The Jackery 240 is sold with their 60w solar panel. Is it safe to connect the HF 100 to the J240? Reply
Hi, Yes, it’s compatible and will work great with the Explorer 240. You just need the SAE to 8mm adapter (click to view on Amazon). Looks like the polarity lines up correctly, so I don’t think you need to use the included SAE reverse polarity adapter. Reply
Connecting Solar Panels Together
Connecting solar panels together is a simple and effective way of increasing your solar power capabilities. Going green is a great idea, and as the sun is our ultimate power source, it makes sense to utilize this energy to power our homes. As solar power becomes more accessible, more and more homeowners are buying photovoltaic solar panels.
However, these photovoltaic solar panels can be very costly so buying them over time helps to spread the cost. But the problem then becomes how do we connect these extra solar panels together to increase the voltage and power output of what’s already there.
The trick here when connecting solar panels together is to choose a connection method that is going to give you the most energy efficient configuration for your particular requirements.
Connecting solar panels together can seem like a daunting task when you first start to look at how it should be done, but connecting multiple solar panels together is not that hard with a little thought. Wiring solar panels together in either parallel or series combinations to make larger arrays is an often overlooked, yet completely essential part of any well designed solar power system.
There are three basic but very different ways of connecting solar panels together and each connection method is designed for a specific purpose. For example, to produce more output voltage or to produce more current.
Solar photovoltaic panels can be electrically connected together in series to increase the voltage output, or they can be connected together in parallel to increase the output amperage. Solar pv panels can also be wired together in both series and parallel combinations to increase both the output voltage and current to produce a higher wattage array.
Whether you are connecting two or more solar panels, as long as you understand the basic principles of how connecting multiple solar panels together increases power and how each of these wiring methods works, you can easily decide on how to wire your own panels together. After all connecting solar panels together correctly can greatly improve the efficiency of your solar system.
Connecting Solar Panels Together in Series
The first method we will look at for connecting solar panels together is what’s known as “Series Wiring“. The electrical connection of solar panels in series increases the total system ouput voltage. Series connected solar panels are generally used when you have a grid connected inverter or charge controller that requires 24 volts or more. To series wire the panels together you connect the positive terminal to the negative terminal of each panel until you are left with a single positive and negative connection.
Solar panels in series add up or sum the voltages produced by each individual panel, giving the total output voltage of the array as shown.
Solar Panels in Series of Same Characteristics
In this method ALL the solar panels are of the same type and power rating. The total voltage output becomes the sum of the voltage output of each panel. Using the same three 6 volt, 3.0 amp panels from above, we can see that when these pv panels are connected together in series, the array will produce an ouput voltage of 18 Volts (6 6 6) at 3.0 Amperes, giving 54 Watts (volts x amps) at full sun.
Now lets look at connecting solar panels in series with different nominal voltages but with identical current ratings.
Solar Panels in Series of Different Voltages
In this method all the solar panels are of different types and power rating but have a common current rating. When they are connected together in series, the array produces 21 volts at 3.0 amps, or 63 watts. Again the output amperage will remain the same as before at 3.0 amps but the voltage output jumps to 21 volts (5 7 9).
Finally, lets look at connecting solar panels in series with completely different nominal voltages and different current ratings.
Solar Panels in Series of Different Currents
In this method all the solar panels are of different types and power rating. The individual panel voltages will add together as before, but this time the amperage will be limited to the value of the lowest panel in the series string, in this case 1 Ampere. Then the array will produce 19 Volts (3 7 9) at 1.0 Ampere only, or only 19 watts out of a possible 69 watts available reducing the arrays efficiency.
We can see that the solar panel rated at 9 volts, 5 amps, will only use one fifth or 20% of its maximum current potential reducing its efficiency and wasting money on the purchase of this solar panel. Connecting solar panels in series with different current ratings should only be used provisionally, as the solar panel with the lowest rated current determines the current output of the whole array.
Connecting Solar Panels Together in Parallel
The next method we will look at of connecting solar panels together is what’s known as “Parallel Wiring“. Connecting solar panels together in parallel is used to boost the total system current and is the reverse of the series connection. For parallel connected solar panels you connect all the positive terminals together (positive to positive) and all of the negative terminals together (negative to negative) until you are left with a single positive and negative connection to attach to your regulator and batteries.
When you connect solar panels together in parallel, the total voltage output remains the same as it would for a single panel, but the output current becomes the sum of the output of each panel as shown.
Solar Panels in Parallel of Same Characteristics
In this method ALL the solar panels are of the same type and power rating. Using the same three 6 Volt, 3.0 Amp panels as above, the total output of the panels, when connected together in parallel, the output voltage still remains at the same value of 6 volts, but the total amperage has now increased to 9.0 Amperes (3 3 3), producing 54 watts at full sun.
But what if our newly acquired solar panels are non-identical, how will this affect the other panels. We have seen that the currents add together, so no real problem there, just as long as the panel voltages are the same and the output voltage remains constant. Lets look at connecting solar panels in parallel with different nominal voltages and different current ratings.
Solar Panels in Parallel with Different Voltages and Currents
Here the parallel currents add up as before but the voltage adjusts to the lowest value, in this case 3 volts or some voltage value very close to 3 volts. Solar panels must have the same output voltage to be useful in parallel. If one panel has a higher voltage it will supply the load current to the degree that its output voltage drops to that of the lower voltage panel.
We can see that the solar panel rated at 9 volts, 5 amps, will only operate at a maximum voltage of 3 volts as its operation is being influenced by the smaller panel, reducing its efficiency and wasting money on the purchase of this higher power solar panel. Connecting solar panels in parallel with different voltage ratings is not recommended as the solar panel with the lowest rated voltage determines the voltage output of the whole array.
Then when connecting solar panels together in parallel it is important that they ALL have the same nominal voltage value, but it is not necessary that they have the same ampere value.
Connecting Solar Panels Together Summary
Connecting solar panels together to form bigger arrays is not all that complicated. How many series or parallel strings of panels you make up per array depends on what amount of voltage and current you are aiming for. If you are designing a 12 volt battery charging system than parallel wiring is perfect. If you are looking at a higher voltage grid connected system, than you’re probably going to want to go with a series or series-parallel combination depending on the number of solar panels you have.
But for a simple reference in regards to how to connect solar panels together in either parallel or series wiring configurations, just remember that parallel wiring = more amperes, and series wiring = more voltage, and with the right type and combination of solar panels you can power just about any electrical device you may have in your home.
For more information about Connecting Solar Panels Together in either series or parallel combinations, or to obtain more information about the different types of solar panels available, or to explore the advantages and disadvantages of using solar power in your home, then Click Here to order your copy from Amazon today and learn more about designing, wiring and installing off-grid photovoltaic solar electric systems in your home.
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0 Комментарии и мнения владельцев already about “ Connecting Solar Panels Together ”
I have read on the web that there should be a diode (blocking reverse flow of current) inserted between PV panels arranged in parallel. I have two small 12v panels (50W 30W) and I want to chain them in parallel to get 80W @ 12v. Do I have to put a diode somewhere in the wiring between the panels and the battery? Or just between the two panels?
Hi I have 4.2 kw controller(ups) and 8 solar panel of 545 watt each. each panel 48 volt. each panel current is 10 amp at its peak Now. i have a question How can i arrange these panels to get max output? If i put 6 panel in series and 2 panel in parallel then connect these together. what is my output ? I require max output Kindly guide me
hello some advice please i have 4 x 235w panels voc 37v rated 29.5v to power 4 x 130 ah wet battery bank wired series and parallel via a 100amp mppt controller and 24v 6000w invertor would i be better off wiring the panels in parallel or series thanks for your help and advice
Please I have 2 Panels 270Watts each, connected to a charge controller that charges a 12Volts 200AH battery. I just bought another 2 Panels 300Watts each to be connected together with the existing system. I am thinking if I pair 270W panel with 300 W panel in series before connecting them all in parallel will reduce the loss?
We expect that there would be very little difference in the I-V characteristics between your 270W and 300W panels, as there is such a small difference in wattage, 270W compared to 300W. Thus the Vmp and Voc voltages would be very similar. But the Imp and Isc values would be more different. Then 2 x 270W in one series string, and 2 x 300W in a second series string, with both strings in parallel. That way the voltages would balance out but you would still get different branch currents relating to the wattages.
Currently, I have a 24v system with 24v panels connected in parallel. I want to step down to 12v system without changing the 24v panels, I just want to buy one 12v panel and connect in parallel. 1) What is the effect of 12v panel besides reducing the voltage output of other 24v panels to 12v? 2) Would the 24v panels retain their qualities in case I return to the 24v system after a few years?
1) It does not work like that. Your output would be around 18 volts and your 24 volt panels would be feeding current directly into the smaller 12 volt panel due to such a large mismatch. 2) Probably not, as they would deteriorate over time anyway, and would see your 12 volt panel as the load
Ok. Can I step the 24v panels down to 12v using my PMT 12v/24v Charge control? I want to scale down to 12v without throwing my active panels into the bin.
Hi If I got 2 x 200w Omega OSP201 Panels connected in series VOC – 22.2; SCC(A) – 8,6; VMP(v) – 18; Max VMP – 8,11 Connected to 2×180 amp/h batt in Paralel with 2000w Pure Sine inverter and 20 Amp Solar control charger. Is it the correct way? Thank you, I’m following
I have 24 x 230 W 37 volt 7.8 Amp panels. In order to fit these panels into my all-in-one EGR 120/240 6000 inverter I have to have a 500 volt max. I believe the only way to meet the 500VOC max requirement, I would need to wire 12 panels in Series and 12 panels in Parallel giving me 12 x 7.8 = 93.6 amps and 37 volts in Parallel 12 x 37 Volts = 444 Volts and 7.8 Amps in Series Can I combine the 2 Arrays?
12 panels in parallel with 12 panels in series, No. 12 panels in one series string equals 444 volts, and 2 series strings in parallel (12S2P) equals 15.6 (7.8 7.8) amperes.
If I connect two 18v panels in series creating 36v output, then connect this array in parallel with two other 36v panels, if one of the 18v series panels is in shade, how will it affect the total output.
The connection solar Panels was useful to me, so I am saying thank you, and hope to learn more from you
Hi I have a few 70 volt solar panels and they are very low amperage, I want to Connect to batteries however don’t as yet have an inverter, how are inverters rated and are there inverters that will take high voltages and give 12volt battery Charging Outputs,? I see many 12 volt and 24 volt inverters but cant seem to find one that accepts 70 plus volts input, these panels were sold with LED lights and i was told to connect 3 lights to one panel and they will act as day time down lights but there is no voltage on the light fittings and was told less than 3 lights will be too little and the panels out put would blow them up, so I decided not to operate this way as it sounds unsafe instead I want to use the panels to Charge batteries but the High voltage output is Confusing as other panels I used had 6-12 volt output not 70 volts
It seems you are confused. Solar Charge Controllers, also called Battery Charge Controllers take the voltage and current generated by photovoltaic panel(s), and/or wind turbine generators and produce a standard output voltage of between 12 to 48 volts DC (depending on model) used to charge a single battery or a larger battery bank. The configuration and wattage of any connected pv panel, or array would depend on the DC input characteristics of the contorller. Inverters take the DC voltage and convert or invert (hence their name) it into AC mains voltage and power, either single-phase 240V or 3-phase for use in the home or to feed the incoming mains power. Thus you would have two different controllers, one to produce the required DC voltage, 12V, 24V, etc. from the panels and another to create the higher mains AC voltage for the home. Nowadays, there are all-in-one MPPT Solar Regulators or System Voltage Controllers which have both units within one controller. Again, the DC input and power rating of the regulator will decide how you configure your panels, or array.
Thanks for that one last question the panels are 67.9v at 1.07 amps and 72.5 watts how is the best way to wire them all in Parallel, or 3 in series 3 in series then both sets of 3 in Parallel? I am thinking all 6 in Parallel from my Understanding is there a calculation for the best size Battery or number of Batteries that this will Charge? Thank you for your assistance
If your panels are rated at 70 watts each, and you state you have 6. Then that gives a total of 6 x 70 = 420 watts. This 420 watts is ONLY available during “full sun” conditions, about 4 to 5 hours per day. Thus assuming 4 hours gives 4 x 420 = 1680 watt-hours per day. Since its a DC system, watts are equal to volt-amperes (VA) in this case. Thus you have 1680 VA per day max. Assuming a 12 volt system, that equates to 1680/12 = 140 amp-hours per day max. Assuming a 50% depth of charge per day, then you would need a 280 Amp-hour battery. That is, your battery discharges to 50% capacity each day, and your panels recharge it during the 4 hours of full sun. Clearly, system losses and efficiency are not considered here.
I have two 100ah 12v batteries connected in parallel. I have a 100 watt thunderbolt solar kit connected to both batteries. I plan to add another 100w solar panel kit. Should I connect each solar kit to both batteries or connect one kit to a single battery and the other kit to the other battery?
Solar kit implies panel and charge controller. Then it is not advisable to connect two or more charge controllers to the same battery terminals as they will compete against each other and the battery bank may not be charged or protected correctly. Instead connect all the pv panels to the input of one battery charge controller.
not connect in paralel,you just connect your batteris in series and connect the pannels in series in order to increase the current,your system will run perfectly
Incorrect information. Series connection increases voltage, not current. He has a 12 volt system, not a 24 volt system
Hi there,I have 2x 330w in parallel with 36v,20a output.Can I run this through a 24v, 20amp. 440 watt voltage inverter/dropper/converter??
Please bear with me, I man not a total newby, but I do still have a lot to learn about this… I am changing / adding to my RV solar system. It currently has a single panel that I think is 175 watt with a 30 amp PWM controller and 2 12-volt 100 AH RV batteries that were not properly maintained and need to be replaced. Controller and batteries will get changed out, as I change/add panels on the roof and upgrade the wiring to the controllers and battery bank. I want to build the system so I can add to it in equal increments as I discover just how much power I need and if needs change. (Unit not yet in my possession so I don’t know exactly how I will be consuming power.) My original plan was to build the system with three 200-watt panels and a 60 amp MPPT controller (or 2 panels and a 40 amp controller), keeping everything balanced and add to the system in these increments. I have plenty of room for controllers and batteries, with a fair amount of room on the roof and plan on using Tilt Brackets to maximize collector exposure This is where I fall down…. Panels in Series or Parallel? Parallel would give me 27 volts. Series would give me 81 volts. I would really like to stay with 12-volt system so I don’t have to change anything else in the RV, Can this be done with the higher voltage / lower current feeds from the panels? Will the controllers be able to take the higher voltage and adjust accordingly or should I go with the lower voltage and higher current? Also, I don’t yet know at what my Charger/Inverter is rated at so I may have to change that as well. At this point the only thing I have purchased is batteries that were removed from my previous RV’s system. These are FLA 6-volt GC2 batteries that were connected in series/parallel giving me 12 volts, 420 AH (allowing for a 50% draw-down), giving me 210 AH. I will eventually switch over to Li Batteries and add additional cells as the system increases I am considering 200 Watt panels, up to 2000 watts MAX. The manufacturers spec’s on these panels have a Voc of 27 volts, Short Circuit Current of 9.66 amps. In your opinion, would I be better to consider more panels with a lower wattage (100 watts) or continue with the 200 watt panels? This is a large RV and mostly Boondocking / Dry Camping expected for 1 night stays and up to 2 weeks or more. (I have a portable generator, but would prefer to use it only when necessary).
The size of chosen panels would depend on the available installation space as 2 x 100W panels would take up about 40% more area than one single 200W panel. The configuration of your 2kW array would depend on the DC input characteristics of your charge controller. Higher voltage and lower current would be the preferred option as lower current means smaller diameter cables. Your 60 amp MPPT controller may have a DC input voltage of 150VDC, then your panels Voc of 27 volts would mean 5 panels in one series string (5 x 27 = 135V) and two parallel branches (5S2P) giving a Isc of 19.32 amperes (2 x 9.66) for your 2kW (10 x 200W) array. Clearly, you would need to consult your charge controllers specifications first.
I have 12 – 250 Watt solar pannels. Voc 37.6 and Rated current 8.27 Amps I have a 80A MPPT solar charge controller wit a Max PV input 2000W (Max. PV Array OV). I Have 24V 3KVA, with input voltage 65-140VAC/95-140VAC. Wich would be the ideal way to set up the solar panels to produce the most for my battey bulk and inverter?
We assume you have bought the solar items you have bought for a reason because you have some knowledge or have been previously advised. If not or you have no idea what you are doing but want us to tell you. Clearly, a 250W panel is for 24 volt battery charging. Thus 2000/24 = 83 amperes as you have stated. Then you need a 48 volt system with 6 branches of two panels per string. This would give a maximum array Voc of 75.2 volts, and a maximum array current of 50 amperes.
I have two panel 545 watt and one panel 150 watt l have 2.8 kva inverter 24watt how I connect these panel serial or parallel.
Clearly with such a large mismatch between panels, you cannot use the 150W panel with the two 545W panels.
All is spoken and all is said ,but I just want to know we have six 150watts panels,a 60A charge controller and 4 200A batteries which right way would you recommend us to use in connecting the panels and the batteries /which installation style will give something that is better that we may be able to use a 240-300 volts inverter and 60 12volts bulbs
You have 6 x 150 watt panels. Then you have a total of 900 watts maximum at full sun, no matter how you connect them. 150W panels are for charging 12 volt batteries, thus their Vmp is usually about 18 volts. 3 x 18 = 54 volts plus 25% for Voc equals about 68 volts. If your 60A charge controller can handle a maximum DC input of 68 volts, then 3 panels in a series string, and 2 parallel branches (3S2P). If not, 2S3P. Your 12 volt light bulbs will require a 12 volt supply from the 12 volt batteries. Then your 4 batteries are connected in parallel.
If both solar panels (120w and 200w) have a charge controller fitted do I need to remove one of them to charge two 12v 105A batteries
Each panel can be used to charge a single battery. But as the characteristics of each panel is different, each battery will charge at a different rate.
or join the the wiring below the two controllers to the battery bank. in this way should one panel, controller or wiring fail, the other panel will carry the load
Hi I have 8 solar panel of 545 watt each. each panel 48 volt. each panel current is 10 amp at its peak Now. i have a question How can i arrange these panels to get max output? If i put 6 panel in series and 2 panel in parallel then connect these together. what is my output ? I require max output Kindly guide me
I have 3x 215 watt panels victron. using a 50amp victron controller i will be fusing a 50amp from controller to battery.can you tell me do i need to fuse each panel to controller or can i just use one fuse.which size fuse.plus what would you recommend series or parallel.many thanks.
215 watt panels are generally for 24v systems, thus have an output voltage of around 36 volts. 215w/36v equals about 6 Amperes. 3 in series equals about 108 volts (check panel specs for max Voc). If you controller can handle upto 120VDC input go series at 6 amps. If not 3 in parallel at 36 volts, 18 amps at full sun. For series, obviously one fuse. For parallel, one fuse per branch (panel) if you want, or just one for the whole set.
If I have two solar pannes of same voltage(18v×2) but different amperes(80w,120w) and I use two different charge controller on one battery of 150AH.will my connection add up as expected?
Many consumers are searching for reasonably priced off-grid systems, and Harbor Freight solar panels are one of the top options. Are you wondering how long do Harbor Freight solar panels last? A lot of buyers pick this brand due to several reasons.
First, they manufacture portable and affordable solar panel systems; secondly, these solar panels are adept at generating an adequate amount of energy. But, more importantly, harbor freight solar panels can last from 5 to 8 years.
Essentially, such factors are valuable in making the final buying decision. In this post, let’s explore more about Harbor Freight solar panels.
How Long Do Harbor Freight Solar Panels Last
Amorphous solar panel systems are generally expected to have a service life of 5 up to 8 years. They are straightforward to install, and the entire setup is not costly compared to hiring an electrician. You also won’t need to spend more running the wiring from the house approximately 90-feet away and burying the lines.
The Advantages of Harbor Freight Solar Panels
In this Harbor Freight solar panel review, we’ll view the pros of the system.
Harbor Freight solar panels have been specifically designed with excellent mobility features. The entire system allows a workable small space, and you can install it in no time.
In addition to this, the kick-out stand situated on the rear section of the panels does not offer the most durable support; regardless, it’s useful for an adaptable setup. Changing the angle of the solar panels to keep an eye on the sun’s movement is a breeze and valuable for optimizing power capture.
The system is practical as it provides a sufficient amount of energy to run appliances and lights when on the go or for other outdoor activities. Also, ensure that the solar panel system can optimally charge your battery at daylight so that you could utilize it at dusk. Check if the system charges the battery for 8 hours.
Priced at a reasonable cost, Harbor Freight solar panel system is an entry-level system that works excellently for its purpose.
Many homeowners who have already set up this system find it pretty intuitive and beginner-friendly. So long as you carefully follow the user guide, it is easy to connect all the panels together and get the solar panel system working.
Are Harbor Freight Solar Panel Systems Worth it
There’s no denying that Harbor Freight solar panels provide a more unique access to solar energy. Many people who have already used these solar panels have reported that they might not be the fanciest and most robust systems you can purchase; however, they are less expensive.
over, they execute the task they are specifically designed to do. Such solar panels are effortless and quick to install and use. And they are durable enough for their applications. Hence, if you’re searching for a less expensive and portable solar system; this is good enough for your purpose.
Be that as it may, if you search for a home solar panel system that produces ample energy, a different model might be needed. Harbor Freight solar panels are ideally fitted to use away from your place. Indeed, they are excellent access to the world of free and renewable energy from sunlight.
Exploring about Harbor Freight Solar Panels
Harbor Freight 100 watt Solar Panel Kit Review
As aforementioned, Harbor Freight is one of the less expensive options available nowadays. They usually come in pretty affordable kits. When buying Harbor Freight solar panels, a 100-Watt solar panel kit generally does not contain two critical items: an inverter and a 12-Volt battery.
Please note that a power inverter is necessary. It converts the DC power produced by the panels to alternating AC power, which you could utilize to run your home appliances.In addition, you can utilize this if you have an extra car battery.
For beginners, the setup process may take a bit of work and time. This is why it’s recommendable to understand the user manual first and ensure if the unit is in complete working order.
At first, it commonly takes a while to get everything in place and determine which cable is linked to what. Nonetheless, it isn’t pretty intricate, and installing the solar panels in your outdoor areas pointing at the sun can be a cinch.
The solar panel system typically contains solar panels with 25-Watts. Furthermore, they are designed as amorphous silicon solar cells that operate excellently despite overcast conditions and under direct sun exposure.
Likewise, they commonly contain several accessories, such as the required cables and a stand to reinforce the solar panels. The uncomplicated solar charge controller enables you to track the amount of energy you produce rapidly.
Also, the panels contain a couple of LED lights with USB ports that are pretty portable for utilizing the unit on the go. Solar panel kits from Harbor Freight are generally lightweight, so setting them up is not burdensome.
Harbor Freight solar panel systems execute an exceptional job of fully charging a 12-Volt battery to operate home appliances such as a fridge, LED lights, and a TV. Fundamentally, the most crucial test of the unit is to ensure that it can produce sufficient energy on a normal day to power the battery optimally.
It’s recommendable to test the system on a sunny day. Check the charger controller a few times to inspect if everything’s working fine and if the solar panels are generating power.
Try to come back and check again after roughly 8 hours, after you’ve set up everything. If the battery is completely charged, then this means that the system is ideal for optimally charging a 12-Volt battery.
Keep in mind that, just like a Harbor Freight 15 watt solar panel, a 100-Watt version won’t also completely power an entire home. As you might already know, 12-Volt is adequate only to operate lights, mainly if you utilize appliances like TV and LED fixtures.
Additionally, the Harbor Freight solar kit is not ideal for air conditioners and home heating systems.
Nevertheless, if you wish to utilize these panels as a backup system at your place during power interruptions, they are reliable for that purpose. Further, you can refer to a more complex system setup with more robust electricity storage or utilize a few car batteries.
But, consider that you could anticipate a Harbor Freight 100w solar kit to charge roughly one 12-Volt battery a day.
Did we answer your question about how long do Harbor Freight solar panels last? Hopefully, from this post, you gained more ideas on whether or not these solar panel systems are the right option for your solar power needs. As mentioned above, the features that make this system an ideal alternative include:
- Ease and convenience of setup
- Portable and affordable
- Can last for roughly 5 to 8 years
- Sturdy enough for their purpose
Please be reminded that such systems come with limitations, so it’s strongly suggested to consider them before making the final buying decision. Harbor Freight solar panel systems are undoubtedly a first-rate introduction to the world of renewable energy from the sun.
How to Connect 2 100 Watt Solar Panels. Everything You Need to Know
Connecting two 100 watt solar panels is an effective and simple way to increase the power output of your off-grid solar installation.
Solar panels, like batteries, have negative and positive terminals. How these terminals are used to connect solar panels determines whether the connection is in series or parallel.
Before teaching you how to connect two 100 watt solar panels in series and parallel, we will tell you about the difference between these circuits.
We will cover the equipment needed to install and connect 100-watt solar panels. You will also find out more about the uses of series and parallel circuits, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Series and Parallel: What does it mean?
Why does it matter if your circuit is in series or parallel? How your solar panels are wired directly impacts your system’s performance. It also plays a role in which inverter to use.
Ultimately, you want to wire your solar installation to give you a better return investment and the best possible savings. This is when knowing how to install 100-watt solar panel arrays becomes crucial.
A series connection is created by connecting the positive terminal of one solar panel to the negative terminal of another solar panel. Connecting two or more panels like this creates a PV source circuit.
A circuit in series has only a single path for current to flow along. A series circuit is a continuous, closed-loop where all the circuit’s current has to flow through all of the circuit’s loads.
This is why your entire series circuit would stop working when a single panel is affected. Christmas lights are a great example of a series connection: when one bulb breaks, the entire string stops working.
When panels are connected in series, the voltage of the panels adds up, but the amperage stays the same.
A parallel connection is created by connecting the positive terminal of one panel to the positive terminal of another panel and connecting the negative terminals of the two panels.
The positive wires are connected to the positive connector in the combiner box; the negative wires are connected to the negative connector in the combiner box. Multiple panels wired this way are called a PV output circuit.
There are multiple paths for the current to travel along in a parallel circuit. When one panel in a parallel circuit is defective, the current will ignore the broken path and keep moving along other paths.
Parallel connections are used for household electrical wiring. That is why you can turn your TV off, but your lights will stay on.
When panels are connected in parallel the amperage increases, but the voltage stays the same. As the amperage increases, the thickness of your wires will increase too.
Make sure you are clued up on what gauge wire for 100-watt solar panel installations would work best.
Series-parallel circuits are not simple series or simple parallel circuits – they combine both elements.
Two or more components in a series-parallel circuit may be connected in series to form one “group” of series components. There may be two or more “groups” of series components. These “groups” can be connected in parallel to each other.
If one component in a series “group” fails, the other components in that series “group” also fail. But, the other “groups” of series components will keep working, because they form part of the larger parallel system.
How to Connect Solar Panels in Series
Assembling a series circuit is quite simple and no additional equipment is needed. When you wire solar panels in series, you only need a single wire to connect the panels.
To set up your panels in series you must connect the positive terminal of the first solar panel to the negative terminal of your second solar panel.
The wire runs from the negative terminal of one panel and is connected to the positive terminal of the next panel – this creates a string circuit.
You would be left with one free positive terminal and one free negative terminal. These need to be connected to either the input of the inverter or the input of the charge controller.
How do you know where to connect it? Off-grid solar systems and grid-tied systems with a battery backup need to be connected to the charge controller.
Grid-tied solar systems without a battery backup need to be connected to the inverter.
Power Output of Solar Panels in Series
When two solar panels are wired in series, the voltage of the panels adds up, but the amperage remains the same.
How to Connect Solar Panels in Parallel
Wiring your solar panels in parallel is a bit more complicated since you need more than a single wire.
To wire two solar panels in parallel you join the positive terminals of both panels together, and you join the negative terminals of both panels together.
All the negative terminals need to be connected to each other, and all the positive terminals need to be connected to each other.
In smaller systems, you can accomplish this in different ways, but a branch connector is usually used. Y-shaped branch connectors have two inputs for positive (that changes to one), and two inputs for negative (that changes to one).
You will be left with one common negative terminal and one common positive terminal. This needs to be connected either to your charge controller or your inverter.
How do you know where to connect it? Connect it to the charge controller if you have an off-grid system, or a grid-tied system with a battery backup.
Connect it to the inverter if you have a grid-tied system without a battery backup.
When installing a parallel circuit, you or your installer would need to install a combiner box. Combiner boxes transfer the combined output of multiple panels’ strings to an inverter
Afterward, the charge controller can be installed.
Power Output of Solar Panels in Parallel
When solar panels are connected in parallel the amperage will increase, but the voltage will stay the same.
If you have two 100 watt 12V solar panels and a 12V battery bank, your system needs to be parallel to keep the voltage the same.
Apparatus and Equipment You May Need
When you install solar panels and connect them either in series or parallel, there are some apparatuses that you may need.
Make sure to check your 100-watt solar panel specifications to make sure these devices are compatible.
Solar Charge Controller
Solar charge controllers regulate the flow of current, charge batteries, and run electrical loads. They manage the flow of current between batteries and solar panels for optimal power output.
You may be wondering: What size charge controller do I need for a 100-watt solar panel? A 10-amp charge controller would be suitable for a 100W solar panel with a 12V battery bank.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controllers are used in series circuits, while Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) charge controllers are used in parallel.
Inverters convert the current flowing from your battery from direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).
But what size inverter do I need for a 100-watt solar panel ? A 12V 200 Watt inverter would be suitable.
Batteries store excess electricity. Without batteries, for your solar installation, you may find yourself without power on cloudy days or during the night.
What size battery for a 100-watt solar panel would be suitable? You would need a 100 Ah 12V battery for a 100-watt solar panel.
When Are Series and Parallel Circuits Used?
Series circuits are rarely found in common household electrical wiring. Usually, Christmas lights and landscape luminaries use series connections.
Power strips and single ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles which are found in electrical circuits also utilize series connections
Parallel circuits are much more common than series circuits. Standard household circuits (120V) are parallel circuits.
Your household branch circuit that runs your lights, appliances, and outlets is a parallel circuit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Series and Parallel Circuits
- One defective branch of a parallel circuit will not affect the other branches or stop the flow of current in the system.
- Appliances can be connected and disconnected without affecting the entire circuit.
- The voltage remains constant across the entire circuit.
- Constant voltage means that all the components function at the same capacity, regardless of the addition or removal of components. (i.e. light bulbs have the same brightness.)
- Parallel circuits are safe and reliable.
- It is difficult to transport energy over long distances with parallel circuits due to high amperage.
- Parallel circuits are more expensive to build than series connections.
- Parallel circuits require additional equipment and more wiring.
- You cannot increase the voltage of a parallel circuit without decreasing the circuit’s resistance.
- Series circuits act as current regulators.
- Series circuits cost less than parallel circuits to build.
- The voltage of the solar system increases.
- It is easier to transfer energy over long distances with series circuits.
- If one component fails, the entire circuit fails.
- If more components are added the resistance decreases.
- Less current flows through each component when resistance decreases. (i.e. bulbs burn less bright)
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:
- Solar Panels: Everything You Need To Know
- Top 4 Portable Solar Panels
- 300 Watt Solar Panels
- 500 Watt Solar Panel System
- DIY Solar Panel System Installation Guide
- 1000 Watt Solar Panel Systems
- What Equipment You Need for a Complete Solar Panel System?
- 60-Cell vs 72-Cell Solar Panels
- How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
- Top 4 Grid-Tie Inverters Definitive Buyer’s Guide
- Solar Power Inverters: Do I Need One?