Motorised solar panels

rivabill

Full Member

Messages
28
I've just fitted two 260 watt solar panels that lift up via 2 12volt actuators, is it best to run series or parallel?
I have an epever MPPT tracer 40 amp

Thanks,
Bill
 

St3v3

Full Member

Messages
908
What's the maximum output current of your panels?

Also, some pictures of the mechanism would be really nice to see.
 

wildebus

Full Member

Messages
2,216
"best" can depend on what your controller can handle. 260W panels tend to be "24V" ones and have a Voc (maximum Voltage possible) of around 40V.
If that is the case (check the label on the back of the panel) then connecting in series will put an occasional voltage of around 80V into the controller - that is fairly high and many controllers will not accept that. If that is the case, than connecting parallel is the only option (other than changing controller of course)
Connecting in Parallel with keep the voltage the same and double the maximum current - A 40A controller should be able to copy with a 520W PV Arrays current output, but again check the maximum current in allowed by the controller against the maximum current output of the controller (again, info on the label and remember to double current for parallel setup).
If you have the free choice between Series and Parallel, then pros and cons for both.
  • Series is slightly more efficient as higher voltage and lower current = less cable losses in power transmission
  • Parallel allows one panel to have shade without the whole array being affected
For your 2 x 260W Array, I would be inclined to opt for Parallel.
The real-world increase in performance of Series over Parallel is negligable, but if you controller can handle either option it will be dead simple to try them both and see if it makes a difference,
 

Pedalman

Full Member

Messages
87
How many people find electrics fries their brain and prefer that to frying their vehicle ? Me !
I can wire a plug or a socket, change a fuse but when it comes to calculating voltage, current and amps my brain smells like hot oil in a frying pan. :)
 

rivabill

Full Member

Messages
28
It was fairly easy to do as there was a frame work already on the mh
£85 for the actuators inc remote ( 400mm travel) about £25 for the alu, nuts and bolts etc so £110 to raise them to 38 degrees, bargain(y)
 
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