Your choice of battery connection for your solar power system requires careful consideration. Which you choose depends on the goals for your system and its physical characteristics. Let’s assume you have a 12-volt 1000 Ampere hour solar power system. We’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of each battery connection type using this system as an example.
The first type of connection we’ll discuss is a parallel connection. In this configuration, the negative poles are connected, and the positive poles are connected. A parallel connection maximizes the charging capacity of the batteries. Using our example system, you can deliver 1000 amps for an hour, 500 amps for two hours, and so on.
A drawback of parallel connections is that you lose charge quickly across long spans of wire. Using larger wires or reducing wire run length reduces these losses. Parallel systems also require branch connectors or combiner boxes. Thicker wire and additional equipment increase the costs for these systems. If your system doesn’t need long spans of wire, you can save some of these costs.
A series configuration connects the positive pole to the negative pole of the next battery. Series configurations maximize the voltage of your system or the force behind the electrical current. Because there’s more force in the charge, energy charge losses across your runs of wire are less. So, more charge is available to power your home.
In this kind of system, all the batteries work together. They don’t charge independently. So, if one battery is malfunctioning, all the other batteries will be affected as well. In a series configuration, ensuring that your batteries are well maintained is essential.
When choosing a solar panel installer, make sure they walk you through the options that will work best for you. You want a system that provides the best performance while meeting the energy requirements for your lifestyle.