solar cell in series

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by mrel, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. mrel

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    Got all different voltage solar cell bigger solar cell put out 12 volts and smallest put out 3 volts if i hookup solar cell in series get about 20 volts OR will big solar cell burn out the small solar cell when connect in series?
    Second question if i connect all the different voltages in parallel will i gain more current?
    Would i damage the smallest voltage solar cell when connect in series.
  2. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    If they all had the same output current I think you could connect them in series. If you have 4 3V cells you could connect them to get 12V and then I think it would be OK to put that in parallel with a 12V cell.
  3. russpatterson

    Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    I've never mixed and matched different cells. If you connected different sizes in series I think you would only get as much current through as the smallest cell (lowest current capacity) in the chain.

    If you connected different sizes in parallel I would expect the voltage to collapse to that of the battery or load and maybe burn up some energy driving your low voltage cell, assuming that's at a lower voltage than your load. Possibly harming the lower voltage cell. I've never tried it though.
  4. s2pk


    Jul 10, 2010
    if all cells are of same voltage, they must be connected in parallel to get higher power
    however if you have different voltage panels then you must connect them in series, you will get high current but the voltage will drop sufficiently