Sunday, August 30, 2009

SOLAR ENERGY: Solar Kit Wiring Overview

By N. Olison

Wiring is an often overlooked, yet completely essential part of a functioning solar power system. It has ins and outs the same way inverters and panels do. No matter what your situation is, there is always a specific type of wire for the job. The effectiveness of a wire depends on how much of a charge it can handle and how much voltage it loses while carrying the maximum current you expect to be producing at one time.

Also, depending on what type of wire you purchase, you'll be looking at different levels of durability. Some wires are made specifically to resist sunlight. Others are made specifically to for use underground. You're going to want to make sure you use the wires that are going to last the longest under the conditions you're going to be using them in.

Without these wires, all the energy produced by your solar panels would be lost almost instantaneously. Proper installation is key, these wires must have solid, water-tight connections because chances are your solar panels are going to be exposed to the weather.

There are three ways to go about the actual wiring process once you've selected your wires. You can either hook up your solar panels in a series or parallel fashion, or the third method series/parallel. Solar panels that are hooked up in a series are connected positive end to negative end. When this happens, the voltage is multiplied by the number of panels in the series. If you have three solar panels in a series with 12 volts and 3.5 amps, the total voltage of the system would equal 36. But the amperage would still be 3.5.

The opposite is true for solar panels that are connected in a parallel. When hooked up in a parallel, it's the amperage that increases per panel and the volts that stay unaffected. When panels are wired in a parallel, the positive ends are hooked up to the positive ends and the negative ends are hooked up to the negative ends. Those same three solar panels from the previous example are hooked up in a parallel then the entire system would have 10.5 amps and 12 volts.

Depending on your preference, you can run your house with more voltage or with more amperage. However, there is a third option called series/parallel, where you hook up two or more series of solar panels and connect them together. This is a way to achieve high amounts of both voltage and amperage. Now that you know how wiring works you can pursue your eco-friendly system.

N. Olison specializes in residential solar energy topics and has published numerous articles on a range of related topics including solar panels, home solar kits and eco-friendly solutions. Mr. Olison is a writer by trade and has recently focused his efforts on reporting on the evolution of the solar power industry.

Read more about Residential Solar Solutions here and to learn about and shop solar energy products, please visit PV Power, a supplier of residential and commercial solar power products and information.

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